"No way. I'm not driving 9 hours through a hurricane to ski mank"
^this was the general consensus as Sandy hit the coast. None of us were willing to gamble with a drive like that through areas with no power, heat, gas, etc... Until it passed, that is. Once it was a sure thing and reports were coming in from Canaan Valley that the snow is deep and sexy, we started planning and decided to just call out of work thursday and friday and to make this happen. After all, when would we get to ski a snowicane the first day in November again?
About a dozen of us set out from all over- my ride consisted of 9 hours overnight- I got picked up at around midnight and we drove straight through until we pulled into the Canaan Valler Resort (CVR) lot at 9am. When we got there, everyone was still without power. CVR's lodge was nice enough to rent us rooms for $10 anyways and supply us with extra blankets so we got our rooms set with blinding speed and then convened in the Whitegrass (WG) lodge next door.
Then the magic happened- and oh, was it ever magical.
Day 1 was all hot laps at Whitegrass. Pretty mellow place at first glance, but lots of fun zones hidden around the map for sure. Untouched and wind protected trees, wide-open meadows, you name it- it's all there, and the lodge is so laid back that nobody bats an eye when the ball jar of moonshine gets passed around and everyone chipped in food, beer and shnacks to just make one big buffet. Pretty much the coolest place ever. Also the place is simply unlocked, with a jar and a note that said they are operating on donations only. Oh yeah, and the snow was good. Damn good.
*sorry in advance for the different quality pics, they were collected from many different sources.
some of the group, all smiles!
Lots and lots of smiles.
The crew getting down with their bad selves:
resident rando racer Jon S in a rare moment of not speeding off into the distance or slaughtering your transition and lapping you.
Our gracious host Chip, sho is on 3-pin XC skis fwiw. Dude is an animal and just about the nicest dude EVER!
At the end of day 1, we retired to the lodge for beers and another "All of everyone's food made into something big for everyone" feast and recap of the day's stoke. Moonshine was chugged. High-fives were shared. Safety meetings were had. A cooler, more laid ack lodge simply does not exist.
While we were hanging out, the guy who runs whitegrass said outr hotel called and were being evacuated from our rooms. We thought he was joking. He was not. We got evacuated and reshuffled into a cabin- all of us- where we could at least make a fire and dry our skins on the ceiling fan. Not bad for $10 a person though, I must say! That and 3 FEMA meals a day was pretty damn good! (the hotel was also set up as a local aid location, but all guests were encouraged to eat the food and not let it go to waste) Still no heat or power, but whatever. Who cares about things like that when there's skiing to be done!?
Day 2: Headed next door to Timberline, which is a legit resort with lifts and stuff- but it was obviously closed except for the few employees who came in to enjoy the heat in the lodge. T-line is much steeper (but still not wildly steep or anything) so it was a little more fun- that and the skin track was far more efficient so we were able to squeeze out a few extra laps before we headed back home.
Yours truly again:
And the crew, shredding as usual
And then we hit the road, fully stoked and wishing it could have lasted longer. Alas, we got the goods while we could. Hoped you guys and girls enjoyed this little trip report and you all have an awesome season.