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Mid-Atlantic/SE skiing (PA, NJ, DC, MD, VA, WV, NC) for 2020-21

marzNC

Angel Diva
#1
Seems pretty clear that there will be a 2020-21 ski season in the Mid-Atlantic and southeast, as well as other regions in N. America. Here's the thread for news and advice related to skiing/boarding in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, southern NY, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, or North Carolina.

Note that Timberline is back on the list. The new owners installed two new lifts and completely renovated the lodge. Should be really nice!

NC: Sugar, Beech, Appalachian, Cataloochee

VA: Massanutten, Wintergreen, Bryce
MD: Wisp
WV: Snowshoe, Canaan Valley, Timberline, Winterplace

PA, western: Blue Knob, Seven Springs, Hidden Valley, Laurel Mountain
PA, closest to DC: Liberty, Roundtop, Whitetail
PA, eastern: Elk, Montage, Jack Frost, Blue, Camelback, Bear Creek, Big Boulder

NY Catskills: Belleayre, Hunter, Windham, Plattekill

For the Mid-Atlantic discussion for 2019-120, click here.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#2
There are ski swaps happening. Seem to be for gear only, and appointments are highly recommended for drop off and shopping. In addition to websites, Facebook and Instagram are good sources for updates.

Oct. 23-25: Alpine Ski Shop
Nov. 8: Ski Center LTD
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#3
With all the buzz around the Indy Pass adding Jay Peak, people in the Mid-A got a new location for 2020-21 too. Winterplace was added. The full list for the region is:

NC: Cataloochee

VA: Massanutten, Bryce
WV: Canaan Valley, Winterplace

PA, western: Blue Knob

I haven't been to Winterplace in a while. The main advantage is that it's very close to the Interstate highway, so relatively easy to reach. Especially in comparison to the other ski resorts in WV. It's a fun place for intermediates when it's not busy. The snow tubing is really good!
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#4
Freestyle is have a Swap and Tent Sale in early Nov. Also a raffle as a fundraiser for the local SPCA.

Oct. 23-25: Alpine Ski Shop
Nov. 4-8: Freestyle in Charlottesville
Nov. 8: Ski Center LTD
 
#5
Sold all three skis at the Alpine Swap today! Swung by and they were getting cleaned out. Hoping my old boots sell too for some extra bucks. With the Alpine swap the only one on the region, there was definitely high demand for used items. Wondering if I should have priced our items higher! But I wanted to be sure they sold so I can buy some new hard snow skis for the season. Hubby also really needs new boots.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#6
Sugar has pulled snow guns out onto the trails! Last season Opening Day was Nov. 9. Probably will be a little later than that in order to get more trails open. Typically Sugar like to be first-to-open in the southeast.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#7
The NC Ski Association worked together with management of all six ski areas in NC to create a Ski Week Be Well document based on the core information put together by NSAA over the summer. The entire document is on the Sugar website. The guidelines are general, such as requiring mask usage in buildings and anywhere people will be closer together to strangers, such as loading and unloading lifts. So they are the base from which individual ski areas will come up with their unique approach based on their base set up, lifts, and market.

https://www.skisugar.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/SkiWellBeWell_2020-NCSAA_16.pdf
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#8
The new 6-pack lift at Timberline in WV is getting closer to being ready for the ski season. Having a high-speed lift to the summit is going to make skiing at Tline far more fun midweek. Plus with all the snowmaking infrastructure improvements, should be more terrain open even during early season.

 
#9
Sugar has pulled snow guns out onto the trails! Last season Opening Day was Nov. 9. Probably will be a little later than that in order to get more trails open. Typically Sugar like to be first-to-open in the southeast.
Now that @marzNC has turned me on to the idea of skiing here in the SE (this is my first yr of retirement, so never had the option of skiing at will before), I'm chomping at the bit (especially after seeing the photo of the snow dump last night in Taos)!
 
#10
I keep checking the Cat website. They are going to sell 6-hour and 4-hour day tickets. Pretty sure that's different from last season. 6-hour weekday $55, weekend $73. Can't buy tickets yet but apparently will be a different system according the the notes about the 2020-21 winter plan that mentions: "An upgraded online sales/reservation system."

There are links on the Cat website to both the NCSSA and NSAA Ski Well Be Well documents.

Per usual, Cat hopes to open "early-to-mid November!" :thumbsup:
 
#11
Ironically, I think the southeast is going to have a good ski season. People don't fly to ski in the southeast. Most regulars drive under 2 hours and don't usually have to worry about snowy roads. At least not outside of WV. It's rarely frigid during the daytime, so booting up in the car or even eating in the car is fine most days even in Jan and Feb.

The only destination resort that requires serious driving effort is Snowshoe and that's well established, owned by Alterra, and not only is on Ikon but also has Snowshoe-only season pass options. People have been driving the 2-lane WV roads to Snowshoe from DC, Atlanta, and even Florida for years for ski vacations. While they may not fly out west this winter, they are less likely to cancel plans to head to slopeside lodging at Snowshoe.

Ikon and Snowshoe season passholders won't need lift access reservations. Since a lot of folks to drive to Snowshoe only go for one ski trip, they typically buy day tickets. Those who stay in resort lodging would get good discounts. So managing capacity by limiting day tickets should be pretty straightforward. Snowshoe was open for most of the summer, so already has experience with being an open resort during a very contagious pandemic.

Of course, that assumes that COVID-19 numbers don't skyrocket in the coming months.
 
#12
For folks thinking of skiing at Snowshoe, here are the basics about using Ikon, Snowshoe-only passes, or buying day tickets.

It's well worth reading all the winter operations information sooner rather than later. Have to click on the "+" signs to see the details. I noticed the mention of "industry guidelines" along with state and federal guidelines. It's clear that mask mandates for kids vary by age depending on the state, assuming there is a state requirement. For WV, it's age 9. For NC, kids age 5 and up need a mask. For VA, it's mandated for ages 10 and up but encouraged for kids over age 2.

https://www.snowshoemtn.com/discover-snowshoe/safety-and-responsibility/covid-19

WELCOME TO THE MOUNTAIN
As we look forward to welcoming you back to the mountain, please know that we will be implementing new policies and procedures in line with state, federal and industry guidelines.
The key facets of our COVID-19 plan involve daily employee health screening requirements, maintaining physical distancing, and increased sanitation and disinfecting efforts. You will notice some changes upon your visit, including but not limited to our employees wearing masks, physical barriers at point of sale locations, an increased quantity of personal sanitization stations, and alterations to our operational procedures and programming. For more on specific areas of the resort, please explore the drop-down menu below.
We kindly ask for your help by maintaining physical distancing, following directives from our staff and staying home if you feel ill or are at risk of transmitting the COVID-19 virus. In accordance with an executive order signed by Governor Jim Justice on July 6th, all individuals age nine or above are required to wear adequate face coverings in public spaces (inside buildings, common areas, chairlift lines, etc.).
Be Safe. Be Kind. Have Fun.
WILL I BE ABLE TO WALK UP AND BUY A LIFT TICKET?
With firm capacity limits in place, walk-up access is not guaranteed. We strongly encourage our guests to purchase their tickets in advance to avoid disappointment.
DO I NEED A RESERVATION TO SKI/RIDE AT SNOWSHOE?
At this time, Ikon Pass, Ikon Base Pass, Snowshoe Unlimited Pass, and Early Season Pass holders will not need reservations to ski and ride during the 2020/21 winter season at Snowshoe. Guests who advance purchase a package (including lift tickets/passes and lodging, etc.) are guaranteed mountain access for the dates of their booking.
WHAT ARE HOLIDAY AND PEAK PERIODS?
Christmas: December 26, 2020 - January 2, 2021
Martin Luther King Jr. Day: January 15 - 17, 2021
Presidents Day: February 12-14, 2021
Peak Periods: Friday - Sunday, December 18, 2020 - March 13, 2021
CAN I BUY A TICKET ON THE DAY I WANT TO SKI?
To ensure access to the mountain we strongly suggest purchasing a pass (either Ikon or Snowshoe specific). At this time, we anticipate limited availability of walk-up tickets during the winter season. Some single day lift tickets may be available for day of purchases based on last minute availability.
CAN I BUY A SINGLE DAY LIFT TICKET IN ADVANCE?
We will be offering online, advanced single and multi-day lift tickets in advance. These will be available in the coming weeks. Guests are encouraged to purchase in advance to guarantee mountain access.
 
#13
Snowmaking is on at Snowshoe!

Also at Sugar. Watching SkiSE webcams could be pretty interesting in the next week.

It's in the 40s at my house this morning.
 
#16
I ran across an instructor at Liberty and got some inside information. Mountain will be limited to 60% capacity. No singles will be forced to ride chair with anyone else. Reservations for restaurants required. Group lessons limited to 6 people. Instructors must boot up at car and not at lodge. Instructors are allowed to leave skis at mountain but nothing else. No picnic lunches inside. I didn’t get a chance to talk to him for long so couldn’t ask more questions or clarifications. And of course, all subject to change.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#17
I ran across an instructor at Liberty and got some inside information. Mountain will be limited to 60% capacity. No singles will be forced to ride chair with anyone else. Reservations for restaurants required. Group lessons limited to 6 people. Instructors must boot up at car and not at lodge. Instructors are allowed to leave skis at mountain but nothing else. No picnic lunches inside. I didn’t get a chance to talk to him for long so couldn’t ask more questions or clarifications. And of course, all subject to change.
60% sounds about right for PA. My guess is the range will be from 50-75% in the Southeast/MidA.

Interest that group lessons will go up to 6. Mostly have been seeing 4 or 5 as the max.

Is there only the one base lodge building at Liberty? It's the one Snowtime ski area I've never been to at all. Only having the building open for restroom, grab-and-go food, and a quick warm up will be pretty standard at small ski areas.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#18
It snowed in WV! Measurable at Canaan Valley, Timberline, and Snowshoe.

Snowshoe has lots of snow guns on full blast. Trying to build as much base as possible before it warms up. Hopefully more cold weather the next few weeks. Snowshoe plans to be open for Thanksgiving per usual. The goal is to have as much terrain open as possible so that more day tickets can be made available.

No reservations needed for passholders for Snowshoe, that includes Ikon Full/Base or the Snowshoe-only passes. Given that a fair number of people who go to Snowshoe only go once a season based on day ticket discounts that go with resort lodging, anyone who hasn't planned in advance may be out of luck.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#19
For those of you in the DC/NoVA area, the regional ski forum DCSki has an entirely new look. It's a bit unsual because the software is homegrown and quite sophisticated. DCSki has been around for over twenty years. The archives are very impressive.

A recent interview with the man in charge of Vail Resort's Mid-Atlantic region is pretty interesting. Jeff Lifgren is also the the GM of Liberty. Like many VR GMs, he started as a ski instructor at one of VR's Colorado resorts. He grew up in NY and skied in the Catskills and at Mount Snow.

October 2, DCSki
Interview Series: Vail’s Jeff Lifgren
https://www.dcski.com/articles/1622
 
#20
Liberty, which is owned by Vail Resorts, has figured out what will happen for their adult multi-week lesson program. For adults the cap is 60 students with max 6 per lesson group. That includes the women's program. Past participants are getting the chance to sign up before any remaining slots are made available to new people. Lessons are 8:30-noon on weekends. The cost is $239 without lift tickets and $300 if someone doesn't have an Epic pass.

Saturdays: Jan 2, 9, 23 and 30.
Sundays: Jan 3, 10, 24 and 31
Sat+Sun: Feb 20, 21 and Feb 27, 28
 

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