Weekend Trip Recommendation for a Beginner?
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KTMan
February 13, 2023 (edited February 13, 2023)
Member since 02/13/2023 🔗
11 posts

Hello DCSki community.  I was recently invited on a Snowboard trip to Colorado and decided to jump in with both feet.  Sparing the details my first trip didn't go great due to altitude sickness and a few other things, but I don't want to just give up on the hobby yet.

I have since returned to the DC area, and would like to try again at my first time snowboarding. I was hoping for any recommendations or advice on booking a trip locally?  I've been trying to research it myself (Which is how I found this community) but am starting to feel a little bit overwhelmed with the information and prices.

What I'm looking to do is drive up Friday night / Saturday morning, take a lesson in the morning and then spend the remainder of the Saturday and all day Sunday practicing and developing to hopefully get comfortable at least navigating green trails so the next time my friends are going on a trip, I'm at least competent.  

Does anyone have recommendations for resorts that would be ideal for this?  Based on my own research I was leaning towards something like Wisp, or Canaan valley.  They appear to have a similar price point, but I'm open to the community's thoughts and suggestions as I ultimately have no idea what I'm doing.

Timothy.grasso
February 13, 2023 (edited February 13, 2023)
Member since 11/20/2018 🔗
64 posts

Bryce.  look on airbnb for places right on the slopes (ski in/out).  We have been teaching my son (just turned 6) to ski there (8 lessons) this year and he loves it there. My wife and I ski it and its not the longest but it works! Lift tickets are cheap and lift lines are non-factor. Food is great and everyone is so damn friendly.  And their snow is beautiful and they make it whenever possible.

We have done a long weekend at Wisp (skiing was great on Friday, bad on Saturday and good on Sunday) and we loved it.. but saturday's are nightmares and you will wait in line.. for a long time unless you are at north camp (which is where we take our son). The main face is overcrowded on weekends.

Timothy.grasso
February 13, 2023
Member since 11/20/2018 🔗
64 posts
and Wisp is too flat in spots for a snowboarder.  I love Canaan but they just don't have the snow to make it worth it.  I hope someone (Timberline) buys the lease from the state and makes it into what it could be!
KTMan
February 13, 2023
Member since 02/13/2023 🔗
11 posts


 Thanks for the recommendation! I'll look into Bryce right now.

Timothy.grasso wrote:

Bryce.  look on airbnb for places right on the slopes (ski in/out).  We have been teaching my son (just turned 6) to ski there (8 lessons) this year and he loves it there. My wife and I ski it and its not the longest but it works! Lift tickets are cheap and lift lines are non-factor. Food is great and everyone is so damn friendly.  And their snow is beautiful and they make it whenever possible.

We have done a long weekend at Wisp (skiing was great on Friday, bad on Saturday and good on Sunday) and we loved it.. but saturday's are nightmares and you will wait in line.. for a long time unless you are at north camp (which is where we take our son). The main face is overcrowded on weekends.

Timothy.grasso
February 13, 2023
Member since 11/20/2018 🔗
64 posts

Their snow school is great (affordable). They have lessons during the week so that is a great time to take advantage of the empty slopes and work on your skills.

I take days off during the week and just ski there (it is 1 hour and 40 minutes from Arlington so I can be on the slopes when they open).  I can do 20 runs in 4 hours (no stopping, no lift lines and skiing right onto the chair) and not see anyone on the slopes. I like to think its my private ski playground during the week!

Moe Gull
February 13, 2023
Member since 09/5/2022 🔗
37 posts

Timothy.grasso wrote:

Bryce.  look on airbnb for places right on the slopes (ski in/out).  We have been teaching my son (just turned 6) to ski there (8 lessons) this year and he loves it there. My wife and I ski it and its not the longest but it works! Lift tickets are cheap and lift lines are non-factor. Food is great and everyone is so damn friendly.  And their snow is beautiful and they make it whenever possible.

We have done a long weekend at Wisp (skiing was great on Friday, bad on Saturday and good on Sunday) and we loved it.. but saturday's are nightmares and you will wait in line.. for a long time unless you are at north camp (which is where we take our son). The main face is overcrowded on weekends.

 

+1 this is great advice

MarkJ
February 13, 2023 (edited February 13, 2023)
Member since 02/4/2022 🔗
12 posts

My kids learned at Bryce.  It is a great alternative to the much busier other DC area resorts.  It doesn't have the terrain or vertical that the others do, but that doesn't matter starting out.  Their beginner carpets are great, and we had a good experience with the ski school.  My favorite part of Bryce was you could go on a holiday weekend and ski more than waiting in line.  Which is quite a feat for this area.  They also do a great job putting out the snow and normally have great coverage.   It's great for beginners and the prices are reasonable, for skiing anyways.  And the cafeteria was affordable, and you could find a chair on the weekend.  At least that was how it was a few years ago.  We're on to a bunch of other more challenging places now, but Bryce was great starting out.  

I used to stay at a hotel in Woodstock a lot of times.  Pretty affordable there.  

And as far as altitude.  I have that issue too.  Whenever I go to Colorado I stay the first night or two in Denver.  That spares me from the 9000 ft headaches.  

KTMan
February 14, 2023
Member since 02/13/2023 🔗
11 posts
Thank you everyone for the  resounding recommendation for Bryce! Given three of you came back with the same advice and no dissenting voices I went ahead and booked a trip to Bryce next weekend, thanks again for the recommendations! I'll report back if I'm able to point my board down the slope hahaha
superguy
February 14, 2023
Member since 03/8/2018 🔗
518 posts

HV would be a great choice too.  It has a chill vibe, is less crowded, and its terrain is more mellow. Nice thing is there's something for everyone off of each lift, so anyone can roam between its 3 sections.

Plenty of lodging and food options in Somerset or Donegal, both of which are straight shots on 31 right out of HV. Lift ticket's around $75.

KTMan
February 27, 2023
Member since 02/13/2023 🔗
11 posts

Wanted to report back and and say thanks for the recommendation for Bryce, it was exactly what I was looking for! Conditions on Saturday were fairly nice, with temperatures allowing for snowmaking overnight and some fresh snow coming down on Saturday morning.  I was able to get a lot of practice in for J Turns, S Turns, and Heel sliding. 

Sunday conditions deteriorated quite heavily, with temperatures reaching nearly 60, the snow became quite heavy and slushy.  I stuck it though until the slopes closed, and tried to a final run on their green track.  Unfortunately a skill issue combined with conditions where there were mud patches and stretches of the run were nothing but packed Ice means I had a pretty hard time with this slope, but I did a get a LOT of heel slide practice in ha ha!

Also was able to take a lot of notes on my gear deficiencies and things I would like to upgrade / change, with step 1 being a shell that is BREATHABLE.  My current shell is one I owned before I took an interest in winter sports and is completely waterproof, which is quite nice, except that it doesn't evacuate any sweat and even keeping it completely unzipped and wearing only a base layer underneath it by the end I was SOAKED in sweat. 

Given the conditions I'm not sure if I will make it out again this season but I'd sure like to try, thank you again for all the help and recommendations!

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