Waterville Valley 3/10/2013

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  1. #1

    Waterville Valley 3/10/2013

    Date(s) Skied: March 10, 2013

    Resort or Ski Area: Waterville Valley

    Conditions: Packed powder

    Trip Report:

    After skiing Bolton Valley the day before, my wife and I opted for something a little closer. With Waterville Valley being 45 minutes away and we had a gift card that would make skiing free – this was a no brainer. We automatically thought that it was going to be one of those mash potato days since the temps were predicted to be around 47 for the high. The day before with temps around 47 Bolton Valley got soft and slow very quickly, however, not so at Waterville. I think the temps stayed a little lower and the orientations of the two are almost opposite which allowed the trails to never get soft. Snow conditions were nearly perfect and we were skiing with bluebird skies!

    When we arrived, we were a little concerned about the number of cars in the parking lot – it was going to be a valet day! We automatically had visions of long lift lines however our thought was – this is a chill day with no kids and we will take what we get. So right out of the gate, we noticed that the line was very long at the White Peak Express and it remained that way for most of the day so we opted for the two other alternatives to get you to the summit which were Valley Run High Speed Quad to Sunnyside Triple or World cup Triple to Northside Double. We started off with the second option and to be warned – these two chairs are slow. We were OK with that since it was a sunny comfortable day and there were zero people at both lifts! We used this combo twice and it was relaxing. We always opted to go to the summit on the High Country Double which also seems slow but we wanted to extend our runs to the base. Not really sure that extra chair to the summit is really worth it – most of the people didn’t head up that chair.

    Our first true run was from the summit down to Oblivion over to Valley Run. This is a nice run but Oblivion does get a little crowded on the first corner but then drops into a flat (really a green trail at that point) which leads you to Upper Valley Run where it opens up and starts to run again. From there to the base, it is just a pure wide trail with lots of room to run and we did just that. In fact we liked Valley Run so much that we decided to hit the Valley Run HS Quad a few times. One of the trips down, we actually headed into what we thought were going to be glades but ended up being more of a small section of woods that were pretty flat and pretty much designed for play. It did not matter though we were just fooling around today! However, the Sunnyside Glades just above that looked good! After those few runs on Valley Run, it was time for a beverage and food at T-Bars where the food is OK and the Harpoon IPA tasted as it does everywhere else.

    After taking a short lunch break, we headed back up to the summit by taking the first option mentioned earlier Valley Run HS Quad to Sunnyside Triple then to High Country Double since there was still a long line at the Express Quad. Our next run was Scramble to Tangent to Tippecanoe to The Boneyard to Lower Periphery. Once at the base, we decided to get back on the slow lifts on that side of the resort since the lift line at the Express Quad was still long. It was time to sun ourselves and relax again, then ski over to Northside Double then up High Country. We then decide to go from the summit to Side Winder the over to Tyler Too to the Northside double and back to the summit. Earlier while on the Sunnyside Triple we noticed that True Grit looked great, so True Grit it was as we headed back to Valley Run from the summit. True Grit is a very nice steep that seemed like it would be really tough from the top but skied very well on the groomed side of the trail. My knees are too beat up for moguls anymore! Once at the base we just continued to use the Valley Run Chair in combination with the Sunnyside Triple for the rest of the day (well three more summit to base runs) simply because there were never any lines and it was more chill! In addition to sticking to those lifts, we basically skied the trails mentioned earlier with some slight variations

    In the end, the White Peak Express always had a long line. The nice thing about Waterville Valley is the fact that there are three options to get to the summit. Two which have little to no lift line, where as the other has about a ten to fifteen minute wait but it is their fastest chair (trade-offs). One final note regarding the lifts – We called the Valley Run HS Quad “The Couch” - it was that comfortable!

    One thing we did notice about the trail map – Waterville does like to slice and dice there ski area into shorter trails probably to get their trial count up higher (who knows). The summit is actually listed as six trials but is just a wide open area. There are about 7 or 8 main paths down but there are tributary trials that spread out. Don’t get me wrong, every resort adds short connector trails to their counts theirs seems to be exaggerated (maybe not, just my opinion). They do have over a 2000’ vertical but the terrain near the summit is over rated and is like skiing a green trail! The real mountain starts where all chairs meet at the bottom of High Country Double! For their vertical, they do not ski as big as some other resorts with equal vert probably due to the narrow layout of the trail system.

    Overall it was a perfect day; trails were great and the weather just beautiful. We had skied Waterville Valley twice. The first time was tough since it rained the day before and then froze (groomers created golf balls to ski on), the second time was alright but the trail count was low due to limited snow making opportunities. Out of all fairness, both of the earlier trips were in December so they were not the only resort in that shape at the time. This time around they were fully open and coverage was amazing. I really like the resort for the most part. We generally do not ski Waterville since we opt for the best deals every weekend. We find that deals for this resort are hard to come by. We skied Waterville for free on each trip this year compliments of Southern Wine & Spirits of New England, so we cannot complain.

    Thanks Southern Wine & Spirits of New England and Waterville Valley for a great time! BTW if you are a Ride and Ski member, Saturday March 23rd is a discounted day at Waterville and there will be a Ride and Ski après ski party! Let’s cross our fingers for supporting weather and extend this great season!



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    2012-2013 (39)
    2013-2014 (36)
    2014-2015 (51)
    2015-2016 (47)

    2016-2017 target - 50

    If you take what the mountain gives you, you will always have fun!

  2. #2
    Great report!

    The High Country Double is mostly valuable in the early season when they're uploading and downloading via the White Peaks Express to only ski the peak. Once they've got snow top to bottom, that chair becomes more of a scenic ride for guests or a practice area for the racers as the runs down are barely worth the slow ride up.

    Back in the day (1988?), the White Peaks Express did go to the summit but wind holds were too frequent. They added tall wind fence like they have at the "lower" top of the White Peaks Express but even that didn't allow for them to keep it running. They later shortened the lift to it's current location at the bottom of High Country Double and have far less wind holds.
    Quiver:
    Rossignol Experience 88 - 172cm (All Mountain)
    Rossignol 9SL - 161 (SL carver)
    Rossignol WC GS - 181cm (GS carver)
    Rossignol Z10 - 162cm (Bumps, crud & park)
    Rossignol Super 7 - 180cm (Powder)

  3. #3
    Just to add to what Cheese is saying.. Prior to the quad installation to the summit, high country had narrower New England style trails rather than the wide open wind magnet that exists now. It still was hardly worth it though. Before that they had the White Peaks double chair which terminated near where the current quad does. I remember waiting upwards of 30 mins for that lift.
    "man you make it look so fluid"

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by bobbutts View Post
    Just to add to what Cheese is saying.. Prior to the quad installation to the summit, high country had narrower New England style trails rather than the wide open wind magnet that exists now. It still was hardly worth it though. Before that they had the White Peaks double chair which terminated near where the current quad does. I remember waiting upwards of 30 mins for that lift.
    Waterville is a value option for the big mountains but certainly a step up from local mountains such as Wachusett, Crotched etc. To keep my skiing expenses low, I've chosen Waterville more often than not. Will be there for $17 day as there's a great meetup.com group gathering there for that day (only can get a few people there otherwise from that site); and I expect it'll be a day to take it as it comes. Will probably be a day I'll have to ride Sunnyside as I would be willing to bet White Peaks would get to be a good 30 minutes.

    But my imagination is crowds were there because Sunday was a bluebird day. Usually, White Peaks gets ridiculously busy at 10 on a Sunday and dies down around lunch and gets busy (but not too bad) at 1 and then gets quiet again at 2.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by mlkrgr View Post
    I expect it'll be a day to take it as it comes. Will probably be a day I'll have to ride Sunnyside as I would be willing to bet White Peaks would get to be a good 30 minutes.

    But my imagination is crowds were there because Sunday was a bluebird day. Usually, White Peaks gets ridiculously busy at 10 on a Sunday and dies down around lunch and gets busy (but not too bad) at 1 and then gets quiet again at 2.
    White Peaks is either great or not. Having one lift that access everywhere you want to ski is certainly convenient and if you're with family or friends it's really easy to stick together or find each other no matter what route you choose down. On crowded days this convenience does cause a line but often it's not a long as it looks. Check your watch and don't be surprised if the line is less than 20 minutes even though it looks like 30. Not that 20 minutes doesn't suck, but compared to the fixed grip combination of World Cup to North Side it might still be quicker.

    If you're lapping Grit, L.Bobby's, Gema and Ciao then Sunny Side is the chair to ride. Otherwise you're ripping double blacks and blacks then dumping out onto beginner's Valley Run for the final run back to White Peaks. Much like exiting an interstate and speeding on back roads the temptation is there to carve up Valley Run at speed. You're in control, but you're still scaring the bajeezus out of those that aren't.
    Quiver:
    Rossignol Experience 88 - 172cm (All Mountain)
    Rossignol 9SL - 161 (SL carver)
    Rossignol WC GS - 181cm (GS carver)
    Rossignol Z10 - 162cm (Bumps, crud & park)
    Rossignol Super 7 - 180cm (Powder)

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Cheese View Post
    Much like exiting an interstate and speeding on back roads the temptation is there to carve up Valley Run at speed. You're in control, but you're still scaring the bajeezus out of those that aren't.
    LOL - That is true for sure! However, it is fun to rip up Valley Run! At least the Quad there is fairly quick back to Sunnyside! St' Patty's Day there will be crazy so this combo Valley Run and Sunnyside will be the way to go - although there may be lines there too! We are headed way north to Wildcat! Easy for us since we live in central NH!
    2012-2013 (39)
    2013-2014 (36)
    2014-2015 (51)
    2015-2016 (47)

    2016-2017 target - 50

    If you take what the mountain gives you, you will always have fun!

  7. #7
    i have had many of good days ripping laps on gemma/true grit/ lower bobbys and ciao.

    i can ride sunnyside all day!

  8. #8
    Agreed on the Sunnyside lift...that lift services the best terrain on the mtn and is almost always ski on when I'm there.
    2016-17
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    Cannon 12/3, 4/8
    Ragged Mtn 12/9, 12/16, 12/17, 12/23, 12/24, 12/30, 12/31, 1/2, 1/7, 1/15, 1/21, 1/29, 2/11, 2/18, 3/4, 3/5, 3/19, 3/26, 4/1
    Crotched Mtn 12/21, 1/4, 1/11, 1/18, 1/25, 2/1, 2/8, 2/12, 2/15, 2/22, 3/9, 3/25, 4/2
    Gunstock 12/28
    Wildcat 1/22, 2/10, 4/15, 4/16
    Magic Mtn 1/26, 1/27
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    Okemo 11/26, 2/25
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    2016-2017 Days: 51
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    2009-2010 Days: 47

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by xwhaler View Post
    Agreed on the Sunnyside lift...that lift services the best terrain on the mtn and is almost always ski on when I'm there.
    If Utter Abandon and Tommy's World Cup dumped out at the bottom of Sunnyside as well, I'd totally agree.
    Quiver:
    Rossignol Experience 88 - 172cm (All Mountain)
    Rossignol 9SL - 161 (SL carver)
    Rossignol WC GS - 181cm (GS carver)
    Rossignol Z10 - 162cm (Bumps, crud & park)
    Rossignol Super 7 - 180cm (Powder)

  10. #10
    Nice TR, thanks. Really gives me a sense of the terrain, though I've never been.

    WV must be very proud of Hannah (again!)-
    http://espn.go.com/olympics/skiing/s...-championships
    If it's snowin' I'm goin'

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