by: James L - 3rd January 2012

  • 4
  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Expert
  • 4All-Mtn. Terrain
  • 5Family Friendly
  • 5Nightlife
  • 2Terrain Park
  • Value
Varied Terrain, Lots of lifts (even high speed), High snow rate
Cost (as always), Lodging if not staying at the resort.

Full review

Snow Shoe was a great place to visit, with our timing. First day of our visit (Dec. 30, 2011), was not the best. The weather had been warm, so the slope conditions were somewhat icy. It also was raining while on the slopes (we still rode). The runs were covered (no bare spots), but every resort has trouble in warmer temps. The second day was the bomb (Jan. 2, 2012). The weather was beyond cold (14 deg. F / 7 deg. F wind chill/ blowing snow). The resort had groomed the night before, and with snow blowing only a beginner would have not hit the slopes. The visibility, at times, was less than 75 ft. There were a few icy spots on the slopes, but those were expected. As with any resort, the prices are high, Snowshoe isn't any different. Their prices are slightly higher prices due to the remoteness of the resort. It is also recommended (by myself) to stay at the resort. There are very few places to stay, within reasonable driving distance from Snowshoe. We were staying in Staunton, VA. The drive alone was 2 hours one way. The resort had no vacancies (late planning), so we elected to make the trek for our time there. We had booked our room in Staunton before going, due to no vacancies at the resort. If you plan to visit Snowshoe, book early. If the season is late (late snow), jump fast to reserve a room. The rooms go quickly when the snow starts to fall, or the temps drop to seasonal conditions. If visiting during Christmas or New Years, try to make reservations no later than Thanksgiving. Easier to cancel for bad weather, than not have reservations with blowing snow. Do not plan to get a room when you get there, you will be disappointed. The only major complaint about the resort, would be some of the food from Shaver's Center. The pizza is not great. Also some of the food from the Big Top is nothing to write home about either. Those instances were the only issues we had, during our visit. The lines at the slopes were short, and moved quickly. The Black Diamonds were mostly closed due to the weather before we arrived. If you decide to go to Snowshoe, definitely check the weather, and plan accordingly. A snow shovel, deicer, scraper, and chains are definitely needed items. With the snow blowing you can become stranded quite quickly at Snowshoe if ill-prepared when visiting. The people are friendly, and would probably help you out. Best to be prepared. If Riding/Skiing, make sure you are outfitted properly (goggles, GOOD gloves, face protection/full head covering). If the snow is blowing and cold out side (as we all hope for), your preparation will pay off. If you are not, you can outfit at the resort, but your wallet may not be happy after the event. If not skiing, make sure to have low end ski gear (pants, jacket, head covering). The extra warmth will enhance your happiness during your visit. I recommend some kind of water proof foot wear, when not skiing/riding. The resort does have two internet hot spots for the computer nerds, so take your netbook/laptop if visiting. There is no cellphone service, so make sure you remember this fact. Park your car, and catch the bus. It travels the entire resort, and will save a huge amount of frustration. We did just that, it really is the best method of locomotion around the resort. It may save you from paying an insurance deductible. Wait times can be irritating, but it will give you a chance to meet others. Before jumping on a bus, make sure you are headed where you want to go. Ask people where things are. Resort Maps are somewhat vague about services provided by specific vendors. The employees are very well versed where to get items, about various shops, and the steps to get there. This fact will counter the vague maps. How well did we enjoy our visit? We are about to reserve our room for next year.
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