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R. & Deborah A. Fletcher
Snowshoe Mountain, West Virginia, think you know it?
How long since you last visited? Located
in the heart of the mountainous wilderness of Pocahontas County the well-known
ski resort is not the same. Intrawest Corporation purchased the resort in the
Fall of 1995. Since then more than
$100 million has been invested in improvements.
Already known as a top ski resort in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern
United States, the resort is well on its way to becoming a world-class
Intrawest Corporation has been making Snowshoe Mountain more than a ski resort.
It is now a four-season resort destination with golf, horseback riding,
tennis, fly fishing, hiking, and mountain biking being the primary draws during
the non-skiing seasons. When the
ongoing facelift is complete, every facet of the resort will have been improved
Snowshoe's Cupp Run and Shay's Revenge are perennial favorites among return
skiers. These expert-level
trails feature snowmaking along the entire trails--as do all the trails.
The area containing these two black diamond slopes is referred to as the
Western Territory and is serviced by the Western Express high-speed detachable
quad lift that will have guests from the bottom to the top of these 1.5 mile,
1500' vertical drop runs in six minutes. Shay's
Revenge is a challenging, double black diamond, 60 % pitch slope is the rage of
The expansion of the resort's water source, Shaver's Lake, from 10 acres
to 40 acres in surface area has greatly improved the resort's snow making
capabilities. The lake now holds 109
million gallons of water, compared to only 10 million gallons previously.
Night skiing is available on twelve trails in the Silver Creek portion.
Snowboarding is really catching on, so a couple of years ago the resort
added the Ruckus Ridge Adventure Park.
The 450' half-pipe created for the snowboarders is the longest in the
region. Checking out action, we
found the snowboarders were having a blast doing jumps and trick maneuvers.
Photographing the action, we saw one guy take a spill and ricochet around
the packed ice-like snow a few times.
"That's what it's all about," said Chuck Duncan, shaking his
head. Chuck is a young snowboarder
who spends a good deal of time on the slopes.
He says the accommodation of snowboarders on the slopes is one of the
best improvements so far.
Kid's World at the adventure park just opened this year.
Ski instruction and activities for the kids are available all day with
several night programs also being offered.
Is snowboarding too radical for you?
Well there are plenty of other activities to keep you busy.
A popular attraction with families is the tubing park.
We watched as one 60-something grandfather blasted down the hill next to
his five-year-old grandson, laughing like a child himself.
"I've never done anything like this before," he said, a little
Mothers and young children, fathers and daughters, every family
combination enjoy the activity. Young
and old alike find the tubing thrilling.
Other new activities include the opening of 40 kilometers of snowshoeing and cross-country skiing trails, guided snowmobile tours and--for the
romantics--horse-drawn sleigh rides. The
Sunrise Backcountry Hut is a great option for those who really like to
get away from it all. Guests either
hike, snowshoe or cross-country ski back to the hut, which will sleep 12-14.
Here dinner and breakfast, included in the lodging price, are prepared by
the hut staff.
Snowshoe Mountain is really two resorts in one, Snowshoe and Silver
Creek, with a total of 56 slopes and trails; 18 in the Silver Creek Area and 38
in the Snowshoe area. A single lift
ticket covers both areas and there is a free shuttle running between the areas.
Snowboarding is permitted on all 56 slopes and trails.
There are 14 lifts in operation 4 Quads (2 fixed, 2 high-speed
detachable) and 7 triples, and three surface lifts.
Slopes open at 8:30 AM and most lifts close at 4:30 PM (the Western
Express closes at 4:15 PM). Night
skiing at Silver Creek ends at 10:00 PM.
Don't ski? Don't snowboard?
Don't worry. Take time to
learn with one of over 100 of the resort's PSIA-certified instructors.
Ski and snowboard lessons are available for practically all ages.
There are a total of 285 rooms and 1400 condominium units available for rental. Rimfire Lodge, completed in June 1999, is open with 142 condos, several retail stores and Eli's Tavern. Around the resort, there are a number of restaurants, both full service and fast-food. Among the full service is the Red Fox, which is truly a world-class restaurant. The food and the service are impeccable. A favorite with us is Auntie Pastas--turning out tasty Italian cuisine.
Snowshoe Mountain's altitude of 4848' and 10-year annual average snowfall
of 180" ensures great skiing conditions.
Some year's snowfall is nearly 20% above the average.
All this means New England skiing conditions are available right next
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Text and Photos Copyright Thomas R. Fletcher / PROSE AND PHOTOS