Snowshoe has 60 trails with their longest run being 1.5 miles. In my opinion they have the best conditions in the Southeast year after year (156 inches of snowfall so far this year). The two other resorts relatively close to me, Wintergreen and Massanutten, don’t hold a candle to Snowshoe. They even guarantee their snow conditions. There’s plenty of beginner slopes and enough intermediate and advanced runs to keep you from being bored. I even tried my hand at the small/med terrain park – which didn’t end so well for me. There’s three distinct areas, Snowshoe, Northern Tract and Silver Creek. They offer six terrain parks, including the new Skill Builder park at Silver Creek area. We went to Silver Creek for night boarding, and I was anxious to try the new park since I wasn’t able to land anything at the Progression Session Park in the Snowshoe area. I went down the trail and didn’t see anything remotely close to a terrain park. No jumps, no rails – I was definitely disappointed. They tout it on their website. It must exist. Maybe I was blinded by the whiteout conditions.
Restaurants, bars and shops create a Colorado-type atmosphere for us east coasters. Skiers and boarders walk off the slope to grab lunch and come back after a long day for a warm meal. The Village attracts families, couples and bar-hoppers. This season they launched a racing zip-line amongst the buildings. We came off the slopes for a quick bite during the late afternoon and were surprised when we couldn’t just grab something quickly. Most places in the Village are sit-down restaurants and even the option of taking your food to go requires the wait of a sit-down meal. It would be awesome if they had food trucks or stands at the top of the slopes.
The past four years that my husband and I have gone we’ve met up with another couple and stayed at Ridgewood or Mountain Crest at the top of the mountain. It’s extremely convenient to walk two minutes to the top of a run and avoid trying to find a parking space. Parking on the mountain is extremely limited and favors those staying overnight. There is a free shuttle that you can take from your place to the Village if you wanted to eat out or attend any special events. Last week we stayed at Mountain Crest. They have 30 odd rooms in a three-story building with an exterior that mirrors a motel. Inside they’re more like town homes complete with two beds, two baths, loft, living room, fireplace, terrace, and complete kitchen. Wifi is not available at Mountain Crest but it is at Ridgewood. Phone signal can be spotty at Mountain Crest.Eating on the mountain can be expensive. We spent $25 for two of us to eat lunch at the Boathouse at the bottom of the mountain. If you don’t mind taking a break from the slopes, you can walk back to your room and put a pizza in the oven or make a sandwich. With a stove, oven and microwave it’s definitely worth bringing your own dinner supplies as well.There are cheaper options for lodging further down the mountain. The Inn at Snowshoe is a 5-minute drive from the top of the mountain and has comfortable accommodations. It’s also right across the street from Route 66 Restaurant – a must do for breakfast. The dining room is strategically placed in their shop, so you are compelled to look around while you wait for your omelet or pancakes. I do love the vintage signs on the wall though. I would recommend this place for breakfast on your way out. It’s not the quickest place to stop if you’re in a hurry to start your day on the slopes.
Events-Snowshoe knows how to party
Though it didn’t mirror the MTV Spring Break era, our visit coincided with Snowshoe’s “Ballhooter Spring Break – Midriffs and Chairlifts.” It was Spring Break for college students, and the mountain was keeping the party going with rail jams, slalom races, volleyball and tug-o-war on the snow, concert and comedy shows. It was a laid-back atmosphere that welcomed people skiing in costume, shorts and bathing suits. We were miles from a beach, but that didn’t stop us from having a beach party on the slopes. – beach balls, sunglasses and grass skirts included. We would have liked to see a 21 and up ski area during this event. I think it’s unlikely that staff would hand out jello shots on the slopes when families with their kids are on the trails as well, but maybe it’s a possibility if we’re sectioned off. Maybe next year?