2017-2018 Mid-Atlantic Skiing Preview

We have had our first snowfall, the winter solstice and Christmas, so you better be doing your wall-sit exercises – the Mid-Atlantic ski season is well underway (DCski). It’s going to be cold for the foreseeable future, so the snow guns are going to firing often. I just subscribed to Ski Magazine and SPOILER ALERT our region wasn’t mentioned in the most recent issue. My annual kick-off from commuter skier perspective is here to fill the void, but without trying to sell you equipment worth more than your car.

Cheaper skiing for the kids

If you don’t mind heading to Pennsylvania with your 4th or 5th grader, for $35, you can buy them the Pennsylvania Snow Pass:

How about skiing or boarding for FREE this winter? Well here’s your chance! Your Pennsylvania 4th & 5th Grade Snowpass offers you the privilege of skiing and boarding at Pennsylvania Ski Resorts for FREE this winter – Take mom or dad with you for the thrill of a lifetime – an experience you will never forget.

h/t Ed Fowler of Skidome.org. I’ll report back on how it works out for my fourth grader.

Capital Weather Gang Skier Forecast

The Post‘s weather blog is considering regular forecasts for skiers:

I have already replied with my support for this feature.

Pow(d)er Rankings

While I encourage you to read all of my recaps of skiing in the Mid-Atlantic, I have broken it down into easier to skim format:

Ski area Rating Visits TL;DR
Big Boulder, Poconos, Pa. 17 I had two semesters of skiing class here, but it’s a snowboard park now and probably good for that. Bordercross runs are fun though.
Blue Knob, Claysburg, Pa. ■■ 1 Minimalist ski area with the only bowl skiing around, cozy rustic lodge…slopes get icy though. If there is even half an inch of fresh snow, it’s really good. I want to hit Stembogan Bowl again.
Blue Mountain, Palmerton, Pa. 1 Highest vertical drop in Pennsylvania, but only by a few feet. Solid, if unspectacular and kind of far for a Washingtonian for what you get. The non-snow operations are great though. Might as well go a little further north, especially during the week though.
Camelback, Poconos, Pa. ■■

5 Thirty-three slopes probably make this the best overall ski area in the Poconos, even with only 800 feet of vertical drop. The Nile Mile is my favorite slope anywhere in Pennsylvania. If there was 25% more vertical, it’d be a black diamond rating.
Jack Frost, Poconos, Pa. 1 Inverted, tiny, not worth the distance from D.C. but fun if you are there. The short runs would make it a good place to get early skiing in to stretch out your ski legs.
Massanutten, Harrisonburg, Va. ■■ 1 My best day ever was at this small resort. There is a lot of vertical and some really great diamonds hills and beautiful views. I will return someday.
Timberline, Davis, W.V. 1 T-Line has the highest elevation and snowfall, but worst lifts and management. It could be so much more, but they are undercapitalized. Don’t bother.
Whitetail, Mercersburg, Pa. ■■ 8 The elevation is under 2000 feet, but is over 900 feet of vertical drop. At only 90 minutes from the Capital Beltway, it’s an excellent option for D.C. commuter skiers. It may be the best run ski area around, though it’s dry.

UPDATE: December 31, 2017

I already made it out to Whitetail this season and got to utilize the PA SnowPass with my 4th grader. It was a good day.

Other ski areas visited in the distant past, but not profiled: Wisp (Maryland), Liberty, Roundtop, Montage (Pennsylvania) and Eldora (Colorado). A big mistake I made as a college student was not taking advantage of those $10 lift tickets with a valid ID. Youth is wasted on the young.

It’s almost 2018

And we still do not have the Better Off Dead Lane vs. Ricky ski pole duel hacked with light sabres. Seriously, it’s so obvious it hurts. Somebody, make it happen.

By the way, all though not Mid-Atlantic specific, there is now a Mount Brodie line of merch 😍😍:

Independent Snow Sport Media

The long-time go-to for Washingtonians interested in skiing has been dcski.com, run by M. Scott Smith (interview from 6-ish years ago). He has in-depth resort profiles as well as a facebook page & forums.

Skidome.org focuses on the southern Pennsylvania resorts closest to D.C. and has discounts for regular skiers.

According to some (like the NBA; the NHL realized the folly & realigned divisions), DC, Virginia & Maryland are the Southeast. I suppose the case for most of the Old Dominion is fairly strong, but semantics aside, SkiSoutheast has profiles & news of Virginia, Maryland, West By God Virginia & more southern resorts. It’s enthusiastically updated often, a must-read if you want to go to a WV resort or further south.

Your annual cinematic inspiration

Pronounced “shee-ing,” skiing is fast becoming the most popular of all winter sports. And small wonder, for there is no finer conquest than that of a mountain clad in its glorious winter mantle of glittering white.

Sadly, The Art of Skiing featuring Goofy isn’t embeddable in a good format now, so you have to go here and settle for shaky cam.

Twitter list

Remember when twitter lists were a thing? Here’s one I put together mid-Atlantic skiing twitter list (it scrolls forever):

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