Weekday Crowds at Local Ski Areas
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mdr227
7 months ago (edited 7 months ago)
Member since 01/11/2016 🔗
139 posts

Have been hoping to get a weekday trip or two in this Winter from Northern VA to one of the resorts within a 3 hour drive.   From what I can tell the most crowded places by far seem to be Whitetail and Liberty with very long lift lines while places like Bryce, Canaan Valley and possibly Timberline (though they have changed the angle of their webcam to not show the full lift lines).   Previous years I'd make quick trips to WT and Liberty on weekdays and there would be no lift lines, but now lift lines look to be like they are on weekends on weekdays.    What I am not sure about is whether those lift lines are longer because so many more people are going during the week with people teleworking and schools being virtual or it it's because the lifts are not being fully loaded.   My guess is it's due to more people teleworking and having more flexibility since the lifts in prior years would typically only load 1 or 2 people per chair.  

Has anyone had any direct experience on the weekday crowds, lift line times and access to the rest rooms (since I know indoor dining is non-existent or limited)?

Here is an example of what the WT lift lines looked like at 1:50 today (Weds).

1612378247_rihxawywtkya.jpg

Leo
7 months ago
Member since 11/15/2005 🔗
279 posts

My experiences are not within the geographic range you are asking about, so note that disclaimer. 

But I will say that the resorts I have been to for weekday skiing have been busier than prior years by a reasonable margin but still very enjoyable and much less crowded than weekends.  Lift lines were either brief or essentially non-existent and getting a table for food was easy.

dinozaur
7 months ago (edited 7 months ago)
Member since 02/1/2014 🔗
15 posts
I visited Timberline on Tuesday the 2nd and experienced no lines. Typically skied right onto the lift. Talked to a season passholder who on weekends just goes to Canaan since the TLine lines have been 30-40 minutes. She said that Canaan lines are non-existent even on weekends.
Dafixison
7 months ago
Member since 01/30/2020 🔗
21 posts

I can attest to the hot mess at WT today.  Folks were lining up on the hillside of Far Side for the lift. Have never seen anything like that before; folks were blocking the trail's run out and sliding around everywhere while waiting in line.

It was practically empty on the mountain cams yesterday.  Guess everyone saw that, and decided to come out today.

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psuskier
7 months ago
Member since 01/23/2020 🔗
2 posts
Bryce was great today with my 6yr old. Skied right on all day.  What was the Liberty situation like today?  I sprung for Bryce assuming Whitetail & Liberty were going to be a mess today since Berkeley was closed and Fredrick had asynchronous learning.  I’m hoping to take his twin brother to Liberty tomorrow since we have epic midweek passes.
wojo
7 months ago (edited 7 months ago)
Member since 01/17/2005 🔗
312 posts

Been to Bryce twice and the 'Nut twice this year mid week.  Both were M-T during the week!!

Short Trip Report from today -- Today Massanutten was again empty for my 4 hour pass.  When you are there for the opening bell the lot at the bridge to the Southern Comfort lift seems to have open spots (makes it easy to eat lunch at your car).  Hardly anyone there by the time I took my last ride at 1330.  Runs were slick!  They were making snow on Mass Transit and Show Time til about 1045.  The blown snow on Mass Transit resulted in a hard surface almost impervious to the edge of my board.  I really like the rollers and whales on ALL the blues and blacks, really fun to Ollie and get some air.  The jumps on the Pacer park were just a tiny bit too big for me, so I knuckle hucked them (ton's of fun), the lower park on Nutten to It had two tasty jumps that were built perfectly by the park crew.  MAK Attack was BIG frozen moguls, but you can sneak in off of Showtime about 100 yards above the mid station and get the bottom of the moguls where they are smaller and easier and not as froze, then make the drop in to the Pacer park.  I have grown to appreciate Massanutten now that I have been there about 6 times, my only wish is that it was 1/2 hour closer to Dulles and had two high speed quads (ok . . . one high speed quad).  They pack a lot of variety into the place and like I said, its empty mid week!!!

Every one was masked up, so there was really no need for the staff to enforce things, I suspect they would tho' 

wfyurasko - DCSki Supporter
7 months ago
Member since 07/27/2014 🔗
212 posts
This is an encouraging report. If I make it out this year, that's the spot. Maybe in a couple of weeks.
Baltimore1
7 months ago
Member since 03/13/2019 🔗
7 posts
I was at Roundtop this afternoon and it was much busier than a typical weekday. I assumed it was due to the recent snowfall.
wgo
7 months ago (edited 7 months ago)
Member since 02/10/2004 🔗
1,360 posts
I was at Mnut this past Friday and Sunday and it was a lot of fun - especially Sunday with the fresh snow. As usual lift 6 had no lines. The Showtime lift had longer lines on Sunday but still never more than a 5 minute or so wait. Mask compliance was pretty good, but there were a few people without masks and I did not see any enforcement from the staff.
dclivejazz
7 months ago
Member since 03/5/2017 🔗
30 posts
I was at Liberty today and it had a lot of people for a weekday but not as bad as it looked on the WT webcam. 

The dipsy quad line moved pretty well and was light after 5. My partner was very uncomfortable with the lack of social distancing and slack mask wearing on the back side lifts and bailed after a few runs. She requested a refund and got it. But she was bummed. It was her first time out this year.

I have to say, I’ve noticed on several occasions that many of the lift attendants there have been pretty feeble with their mask wearing themselves, often letting it hang below their nose or off their faces entirely. Usually I can keep away from them tho. 

The snow was great and it was a beautiful late afternoon. I was a bonehead for not going out to WT on Tuesday. Tuesday’s have been relatively quiet so far for some reason.


marzNC - DCSki Supporter
7 months ago
Member since 12/10/2008 🔗
2,498 posts

wgo wrote:

I was at Mnut this past Friday and Sunday and it was a lot of fun - especially Sunday with the fresh snow. As usual lift 6 had no lines. The Showtime lift had longer lines on Sunday but still never more than a 5 minute or so wait. Mask compliance was pretty good, but there were a few people without masks and I did not see any enforcement from the staff.

 There are more likely to be reminders about mask usage on the base lifts than on Lift 5 or Lift 6.  Like all resorts, it depends on the liftie how much they push mask usage.  Did see an instance when Lift 5 was stopped so that the liftie could give a free surgical mask to the boarder who just sat down.  I think that was on Saturday.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
7 months ago (edited 7 months ago)
Member since 12/10/2008 🔗
2,498 posts

mdr227 wrote:

Have been hoping to get a weekday trip or two in this Winter from Northern VA to one of the resorts within a 3 hour drive.   From what I can tell the most crowded places by far seem to be Whitetail and Liberty with very long lift lines while places like Bryce, Canaan Valley and possibly Timberline (though they have changed the angle of their webcam to not show the full lift lines).   Previous years I'd make quick trips to WT and Liberty on weekdays and there would be no lift lines, but now lift lines look to be like they are on weekends on weekdays.    What I am not sure about is whether those lift lines are longer because so many more people are going during the week with people teleworking and schools being virtual or it it's because the lifts are not being fully loaded.   My guess is it's due to more people teleworking and having more flexibility since the lifts in prior years would typically only load 1 or 2 people per chair.  

Has anyone had any direct experience on the weekday crowds, lift line times and access to the rest rooms (since I know indoor dining is non-existent or limited)?

 Massanutten has clearly been more busy on Fridays and Mondays, especially in the afternoons.  There is hardly anyone around from 9:00-11:00 per usual.  Although more people the usual showed up for powder turns last Sunday morning.  Many seemed to be locals who left by 11:00 when the fresh snow was pretty chopped up.  Snow was actually better after lunch when it was mostly skier-packed or small soft bumps on the steeper trails.

Even on Saturdays, the wait for Lift 5 is more like 5 minutes than 10.  Lift 6 never has a line.  Now that there is a trailer with indoor restrooms, staying up on the upper mountain is easier.  Also the connector trails, Mass Transit and Yee Ha, are open so it's relatively easy to go between Lifts 5 and 6 without taking the time to go to the base.

Indoor dining at Massanutten is available on the two lower floors of the lodge and in the umbrella bar for those people comfortable with the idea.  A host seats people at well-spaced tables.  No brown bagging is allowed indoors.  Can order take-out and eat outdoors at tables on the porch.  Also a few tables under the porch.  Fri, Sat, Sun, Mon the new Mid-Mountain Grill is open 11am-4pm without outdoor seating only.

Massanutten has been my home mountain since 2004 (4-hr drive from NC).  I ended up skiing 20 days at Mnut in January.  The increased snowmaking plus limited ticket sales has made it a great place to have a season pass for 2020-21.  Happened to be the first year my local friends could justify getting season passes.  That's one reason we went for a bonus weekend Jan. 19-31 to enjoy the snowstorm.

Denvern61
7 months ago
Member since 11/11/2020 🔗
10 posts

I'm in to double digit days at TM that includes both weekends and weekdays and haven't seen a 40 minute lift line. Like every where, lift lines goes in cycles, last Saturday waited 25 min one time and only 15 the next. When crowded I tend to jump on the mid station lift and do laps till the line looks better or just want to run from the top. I'd rather be riding regardless vertical or or trail selection. 

If you hit the trails on Tuesday - Thursday you will be just fine, or even Monday and Friday there is no crowd to speak of.  Restroom can be accessible from outdoors or short walk into lodge. Can't say anything else about lodge,being I always boot up, eat, drink, or whatever at the car. 

ksampson3
7 months ago
Member since 01/9/2012 🔗
68 posts

I was at Whitetail yesterday (Feb 3rd) and the lines were nuts. Like Xmas week and MLK/President's day weekend all rolled into one. I'm guessing that it was a "perfect storm" for a couple of different reasons. 

- It had snowed for a couple of days straight and Wed was the first nice day since then. It was Bluebird with no wind on the hill even though it was blowing like stink in the parking lot. Sunny warm days = more skiers.

- My kids have Wednesdays "off". It's not really an official day off of school, but they don't have instruction so the kids treat it like a day off. My high schooler was supposed to meet his friends to ski with but they arrived late and it took over 2 hours to get through the ticket and rental lines. We left around 1 PM and they still weren't on the hill. So...lots of kids on the hill that normally wouldn't be there midweek. 

- Because they're not loading full chairs, that really adds to the length of the lift line. Social distancing on the expert quad was part of the reason that the line snaked up the hill onto Farside. I'd never seen that before. People weren't all crammed together in a pen like in seasons past. Even though we had only skied for 4 hours, I finally called BS on waiting in line and left. 

I talked to one of the lodge employees and he said that it had been crazy busy "for the past 5 days". I also talked to a mountain safety guy and he said that they barely had enough employees to open up the lifts. The lack of J-1 employees has really put a crimp in their ability to fully staff the mountain - according to him. 

RodneyBD - DCSki Supporter
7 months ago
Member since 12/21/2004 🔗
190 posts
A good tagline to to describe the south-of-the-mason dixon line crowd at Massanutten is "no helmet, no mask, no problem"
camp
7 months ago
Member since 01/30/2005 🔗
599 posts
Blue Knob on Tuesday, minimal lines and minimal masking by the lift staff and most customers. One liftie was often smoking while loading chairs, which I guess is hard to do with a mask over your mouth and nose.
wgo
7 months ago
Member since 02/10/2004 🔗
1,360 posts

This seems like a good strategy, especially when there is fresh snow on Good Intentions or lower AH. I am not too proud to ski some low angle powder. 

Denvern61 wrote:

 When crowded I tend to jump on the mid station lift and do laps till the line looks better or just want to run from the top. I'd rather be riding regardless vertical or or trail selection. 

The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
7 months ago
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
3,107 posts

Speaking of Lower Almost Heaven trail: where did is it? No longer on Trail Map!

The Colonel 

wgo
7 months ago
Member since 02/10/2004 🔗
1,360 posts

It's listed as "Thunder Snow" on the trail map, I guess because it will be a terrain park at some point? 

The Colonel wrote:

Speaking of Lower Almost Heaven trail: where did is it? No longer on Trail Map!

The Colonel 

The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
7 months ago
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
3,107 posts
Thank you, thought that was it!
Goback todc
7 months ago
Member since 12/8/2020 🔗
30 posts


 WOW , how rude from a supporter

RodneyBD wrote:

A good tagline to to describe the south-of-the-mason dixon line crowd at Massanutten is "no helmet, no mask, no problem"
RodneyBD - DCSki Supporter
7 months ago
Member since 12/21/2004 🔗
190 posts


I'm not referencing Massanutten skiers on dcski.  I'm referencing the majority of Massanutten skiers on the mountain.  Pretty straightforward observation from standing in line at Chair 4.

If you'd prefer a more positive comment, I will say that watching the adaptive skiers and coaches in action at Massanutten is pretty inspiring.

Goback todc wrote:


 WOW , how rude from a supporter

RodneyBD wrote:

A good tagline to to describe the south-of-the-mason dixon line crowd at Massanutten is "no helmet, no mask, no problem"
AbuEllie
7 months ago
Member since 01/30/2021 🔗
4 posts

Brutal, I was there on Tuesday and it was totally fine. Not empty, but never had to wait more than a minute or two for the Express and usually ski-on or close to it on Expert's Choice.

 

Dafixison wrote:

I can attest to the hot mess at WT today.  Folks were lining up on the hillside of Far Side for the lift. Have never seen anything like that before; folks were blocking the trail's run out and sliding around everywhere while waiting in line.

It was practically empty on the mountain cams yesterday.  Guess everyone saw that, and decided to come out today.

wojo
7 months ago
Member since 01/17/2005 🔗
312 posts

RodneyBD wrote:

A good tagline to to describe the south-of-the-mason dixon line crowd at Massanutten is "no helmet, no mask, no problem"

 That has not been my experience at the NUT, Bryce or T-line.

wfyurasko - DCSki Supporter
7 months ago
Member since 07/27/2014 🔗
212 posts

wojo wrote:

RodneyBD wrote:

A good tagline to to describe the south-of-the-mason dixon line crowd at Massanutten is "no helmet, no mask, no problem"

 That has not been my experience at the NUT, Bryce or T-line.

 Have either of you gone midweek? I'm still thinking about it. I'll probably think about so long the season will be over.

wojo
7 months ago
Member since 01/17/2005 🔗
312 posts

wfyurasko wrote:

wojo wrote:

RodneyBD wrote:

A good tagline to to describe the south-of-the-mason dixon line crowd at Massanutten is "no helmet, no mask, no problem"

 That has not been my experience at the NUT, Bryce or T-line.

 Have either of you gone midweek? I'm still thinking about it. I'll probably think about so long the season will be over.

So far my trips have been a Thurs and a Friday at Bryce

A Tuesday and a Wed at Tline

A Wed and a Friday at the NUT.

All were empty all were arrive at ~first chair.  I have been sticking to VA and WV based on the testing requirement for PA.  It seems to be working based on reports from Whitetail.  Just wish Massanutten had a high speed chair, still able to get 20+ runs on a four hour ticket, but there VERT is way less than at Whitetail :-)

 

Denvern61
7 months ago
Member since 11/11/2020 🔗
10 posts


 Thunder snow open today as a full blown park from mid station down. Lots of people in the park, but only a few knew how to ride features. Not to many calling "drop in" or other verbage to let people know someone was make run down, thus causing concerns when trying to spot landing or lips on to features cut down from riding as small jumps making it tough for those trying to hit the rail right.......all that will come with time with park managers staying visible and educating park riders. 

 hitting feature

wgo wrote:

It's listed as "Thunder Snow" on the trail map, I guess because it will be a terrain park at some point? 

The Colonel wrote:

Speaking of Lower Almost Heaven trail: where did is it? No longer on Trail Map!

The Colonel 

dclivejazz
7 months ago
Member since 03/5/2017 🔗
30 posts
Probably the smallest crowd I’ve experienced so far this season At Whitetail today, along with pretty decent snow conditions. Quite a treat.
Sincraft
7 months ago
Member since 09/5/2011 🔗
256 posts

hey take a look at 7springs webcams during the week.  Right now we have 48" of base, and have had new snow every week for weeks and minimal if any rain for quite some time.   It's all powder and we just received what they say to be 5" over two days but trust me when I say it's more.  Not sure why they are reporting lower.  

There are no lift lines really.  Gunnar isnt viewable online but that side is also at most a 1 min wait.  As long as you dont mind riding with others during a pandemic as they spit all over the place with their masks down blowing their nose or talking.  I believe you can opt not to ride with others but I never have that issue as I ride with a full crew of my own. You could call and ask if this is really an option and being enforced.

Mepps3
7 months ago
Member since 01/31/2014 🔗
2 posts

I was at Whitetail Thursday, Feb 4. Longest lift wait was maybe 5 minutes. The lift operators were encouraging two singles to pair up...which kinda contradicts their 6 foot distancing signs everywhere else!! I didn't really care since we are outside and wearing masks. 

A lot of Maryland plates in the parking lot. 

Evans Dad - DCSki Supporter
7 months ago
Member since 01/27/2021 🔗
30 posts
I realize Timberline isn't REALLY local, but my family just got back from a 3 day (M-W) trip and we also did a 2 day midweek trip a couple weeks ago and the longest lift line we experienced either trip was maybe 5 minutes one time.  Mostly we were able to ski right up to the gate.  Love that new 6-pack!   
Goback todc
7 months ago
Member since 12/8/2020 🔗
30 posts
I'm guessing you haven't read the guidelines. Rules for the, but not for me. It's plain to see some supporters here have that attitude.
MarkosC
6 months ago
Member since 02/27/2021 🔗
5 posts

I skied Whitetail 4 nonconsecutive weekdays this season.   The employees said that Tuesday and Thursday were the low days, Wednesday got surprisingly busy, and of course Friday-Monday was crowded, especially the weekend.  Looking at the mountaim cams confirmed this.

So I went selected Tuesdays and Thursdays from mid-jan onward.   They were about as empty as reasonably can be expected for a ski resort.  Good for me, as I'm a beginner who hasn't mastered their "sidewinder" trail, and is uncomfortable on their "snow park" trail.   (the former is awful on weekends - in the dip you can regularly see 1-2 dozen people washed out at any given time, while other people go really really fast, sometimes uncontrolled, around them) 

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
6 months ago
Member since 12/10/2008 🔗
2,498 posts

I skied at Canaan Valley, Timberline, Bryce, and Massanutten last week midweek.  Granted it was pretty warm on Wed, but in general there weren't any lift lines to worry about.  More families seem to be starting to ski after lunch and staying until closing.  Could be that the kids are doing virtual school in the morning or adults are getting in some work hours.

The limits on all types of tickets (4-hr, 8-hr, night session, last 2 hours) have clearly made a difference for Mnut.  Fridays and Saturdays have been selling out after the snowstorms started.  Season passholders are unlimited.  

Even on Saturdays when the base lift lines look longer, the waiting time has been 10-15 minutes.  As opposed to 15-30 minutes during peak times (11:30-2:30).  People are spacing and there are ghost lanes.  The wait for Lift 5 has never been more than 5 minutes, assuming the lift hasn't been stopped because someone messed up loading/unloading.  Of course, never a lift line for Lift 6 (two long blacks).

Most people are booting up in the parking lot (helps that they are all paved).  There are people using the locker room (ground floor of the lodge) to boot up and leaving their shoes in a free cubby.

wgo
6 months ago (edited 6 months ago)
Member since 02/10/2004 🔗
1,360 posts

I think that lift 5 is running a bit more slowly on average, mostly because the attendants are being proactive in slowing it down when people are not ready to load (which is happening more, I think, due to the increased spacing). Of course this may just be perception on my part. Roundtrip on lift 5 yesterday afternoon was around 12 or 13 minutes. 

I've been enjoying the runs off of lift 5 this year. Bumps on Mak Attack are skiing nicely, trees have been skiable on occasion, and the snow this year has opened up some fun stuff on Showtime.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
6 months ago (edited 6 months ago)
Member since 12/10/2008 🔗
2,498 posts

wgo wrote:

I think that lift 5 is running a bit more slowly on average, mostly because the attendants are being proactive in slowing it down when people are not ready to load (which is happening more, I think, due to the increased spacing). Of course this may just be perception on my part. Roundtrip on lift 5 yesterday afternoon was around 12 or 13 minutes. 

I've been enjoying the runs off of lift 5 this year. Bumps on Man Attack are skiing nicely, trees have been skiable on occasion, and the snow this year has opened up some fun stuff on Showtime.

Agree that Lift 5 at Massanutten is usually running slower.  Although one weekend it was running quite fast and the liftie was actively slowing it down on a regular basis.  Not sure how good an idea that is from a mechanical standpoint.  I don't think it's the spacing.  Since people are being quite good about alternating between the two lines, it's seems less confusing then usual when a liftie is trying to match up people to fill chairs.  Probably more that there are people who haven't skied that much are on Lift 5.  In particular more of those people midweek than usual.

I skied in the trees on Wed afternoon.  The snow had been so skier packed, it lasted longer than I expected after the warm up.

Did you ski the section under Lift 5 above mid-station?  That's the first time I've ever seen that open.

wgo
6 months ago
Member since 02/10/2004 🔗
1,360 posts


 Unfortunately no. I somehow managed to miss the fact it was open last Sunday, and while it was open yesterday the coverage looked too thin for my taste (I have already had one base grind this season)

marzNC wrote:

Did you ski the section under Lift 5 above mid-station?  That's the first time I've ever seen that open.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
6 months ago
Member since 12/10/2008 🔗
2,498 posts
Wonder if the weekday crowds are about to get any bigger in PA now that travel restrictions are no longer an issue.  The change was effective on March 1.
mdr227
6 months ago
Member since 01/11/2016 🔗
139 posts
Went to Whitetail for the first time this year today with the restrictions lifted and with a nice sunny, cool day and snowmaking overnight thought it would be pretty crowded, but wasn't bad at all.   A bigger crowd that had been appearing on web cams the last couple of weeks, but the express quad never had a wait more than a couple of people really, only the Snow Park quad would get slightly backed up only when they had to stop the lift if someone had trouble getting off or loading.   Really nice conditions and a bright sunny cool day, was expecting iffy conditions after the heavy rain over the weekend and cool down overnight so glad they blew some snow.
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