Uphill Craze


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There is a storm brewing, and I’m not just talking about the pending nor’easter. A bigger storm . . . literally and figuratively. I’ve had a big uptick in questions/inquiries regarding uphill skiing/snowboarding, this year. So, let’s go ’round the horn, and take a look at SOME of the resorts, in the region, that have opened their arms to uphill travel.

Silver Creek (Snowshoe) . . . “uphilling is the (snow)sport’s fastest-growing segment”

Last Friday, Snowshoe took a huge step and announced (on their blog) an uphill access plan at Silver Creek.

This is a real “game-changer” for the area, as a premier resort in the southeast has done a complete 180-turn, on uphill access. The Alterra-owned resort nailed-it by recognizing that, “uphilling is the (snow)sport’s fastest-growing segment”.  In addition, they highlight that, “it gives you the opportunity to really slow down and enjoy nature . . . on the way back down you truly enjoy every turn . . . and, it’s a fantastic workout and fun way to stay in shape during the winter months”. These are three quality, encouraging, statements coming from Snowshoe.

Getting ready for the uphill

It’s a win-win because, “all proceeds from our uphill ticket sales will go directly toward the National Forest Service’s Stewardship Fund and will be used to fund conservation and recreation projects here locally in the Monongahela National Forest”.

Snowshoe is kicking-off the uphill craze with:

Uphill Thang | February 12, 2022
If uphilling sounds like something you’d like to try, there’s no better time than our first ever Uphill Thang on Saturday, February 12, 2022. We’ll have both alpine touring and splitboarding demos available from top brands like Burton, Blizzard, and Volkl. There will also be an uphill race, or an “uphill battle” as you might say, as part of the festivities. Don’t miss it!

Massanutten . . . early adopters to the uphill scene

A few years back, Massanutten was the first resort in the region to host a skimo race.

Their uphill travel policy is very lenient and much appreciated: Uphill Travel – “Uphill travel using skins or other skis designed to travel uphill on snow is permitted on open terrain during operating hours. All trail users must have a valid slope use ticket or pass. Uphill traffic should stay to the side of the trail while climbing.”

In the coming years, it will be a fun adventure to explore some of the new (proposed) terrain going downhill, as well as up.

Canaan Valley Resort: It takes a village . . . 

An initiative by the Canaan Valley State Park Foundation, in the last couple of years, has ensured uphill access for the foreseeable future. While CVR hasn’t pushed out an uphill trail this year, they have typically utilized (advanced) Lower/Upper Prosperity for uphill access.

Just this morning CVR mentions, “We recently finished our snow making on Easy Does It and have pushed out this trail Lower Prosperity.” In addition, they give us a glimpse into their upcoming plans . . . “There is also more snow in the forecast along with cold temperatures, so our mountain crews are planning on continuing their snowmaking efforts to keep our open trail count high.”

I would expect to see CVR have an uphill trail open in the near future, for the remainder of the season.

Here is some footage from their annual marquee uphill race of the year:

Look for the 3rd Annual Sunrise Scramble to happen on Sunday, March 6th.

Wisp . . . First tracks on fresh pow or fresh cord!

Wisp – Uphill/Downhill in Blue (click to enlarge)

You’ll have to get up a bit early as Wisp only allows skinning up from 7am – 9am on Sunday through Friday (no Saturdays). No bother, the advantage is that you’ll always have first tracks! Here is their uphill policy from 2019-2020 . . . I imagine it is still the same, just carried over from year-to-year. Always worth a double-check, though.

Whitegrass Ski Touring Center

Last but not least is the big daddy of them all . . . unlimited uphill galore! For a modest $25 you can enjoy “Colorado skiing for West Virginia prices”, as they say.

Your backyard . . . “The mountains are calling, and you must go.” -John Muir

Sometimes the best up/downhill is your closest mountain. A couple of days ago, I had a great ski to the Fryingpan Mountain FireTower. Many of these towers in southeast were built decades ago, on the highest point in a region . . . as far as the eye can see. Quite a few of them had service roads, that was once in existence, to construct these tower.

The natural snow we have had the past couple of weeks is constantly changing forms (powder to crust to slush) and often requires a few toys (ahem tools), for the objective. I fat-biked 2.6 miles from the intersection of Wagon Road Gap (4,600′) to the service road for the tower. I switched to skinning up the  ~ one mile service road that was shaded, and held great snow. From there, I climbed the cold, icy tower being careful to not go viral . . . Haha! Descended the tower and had a mile long ski back to the bike. Returning to the truck was an easy fat bike cruise

Ultimately, the storm is brewing, and this is the perfect time to get out there and enjoy the “uphill thang”

See you on the mountain!

P.S. Yes you can even rock some freestyle on these skinnier ski’s




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