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Presidents weekend - Elk, Plattekill, others?

Sven Leonson

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I could use a little help with planning a Presidents' weekend getaway. We're a family of four advanced skiers from the DC area who hate crowds. During the MLK weekend, we hit Canaan Valley in WV and never had to wait in line (and they had gotten like 8 inches a few days earlier!!) While it doesn't look like the weather will cooperate with fresh snow, we're hoping to at least try and minimize the lift lines.

So, we're thinking of trying Plattekill cause we heard that it doesn't get that crowded. Someone though mentioned Elk and from what I can find, it sounds like it is good for avoiding crowds as well (and is closer).

Any thoughts on what type of lift lines we could expect at either place? Would you suggest one over the other or a different place all together?

FWIW, we considered Blue Knob (limited terrain open) and CV/Timberline (CV sounds like the snow is getting thin/Timberline is a zoo if you don't stay on the expert lift - which is fine but would like to ski more than 4 trails or so.)

Thanks in advance guys!
 

ScottySkis

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Plattekill will be great and not crowed like the others(shocking that I say that)also in Mass Berkshire East from what I hear won't be to bad,and in VT Magic won't be to crowed,hopefully some great spring conditions this weekend
 

〽❄❅

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Never been to the others, thinking about Elk on presidents day so long as the Arctic air comes. Weather dot com predicts 32º and "snow much of the time" in Union Dale Pa for pres day:) Was 62º in Philly today, 65º on Friday:-(
 
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dmc

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I worry about Plattekill.. It's getting a reputation.

Why not just head back to WV?
 

Sven Leonson

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Why not head back to WV? Mainly for variety's sake. We really enjoy exploring new trails.
 

BenedictGomez

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My "off the map" pick for this weekend is Bolton Valley.

I dont know if it will work, but I thought it might be a somewhat neglected Presidents Weekend mountain with everyone packing in Sugarbush, Stowe, Smuggs and Jay.

I'll report back if my pick was a success or a failure on Monday. Anyone else ever ski Bolton on a Saturday/Sunday of Presidents?
 

billski

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My "off the map" pick for this weekend is Bolton Valley.

I dont know if it will work, but I thought it might be a somewhat neglected Presidents Weekend mountain with everyone packing in Sugarbush, Stowe, Smuggs and Jay.

I'll report back if my pick was a success or a failure on Monday. Anyone else ever ski Bolton on a Saturday/Sunday of Presidents?

I believe VT schools run on a different schedule; but you do get a lot of Burlington locals on the weekend. We mostly ski there on weekends and aside from people stumbling over each other in the diminutive lodge, the skiing experience is great. Still, the lines are pretty short, and the vibe is pretty laid back compared to more southerly resorts.You'll probably get some people from the southern states, but since there isn't that much lodging without driving some distance, it gets overlooked by many long-haul travelers.

If you really want to be off the radar consider Dartmouth Skiway or Middlebury snow bowl. Not as large, but often neglected, which is good....
 

BenedictGomez

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I believe VT schools run on a different schedule; but you do get a lot of Burlington locals on the weekend. We mostly ski there on weekends and aside from people stumbling over each other in the diminutive lodge, the skiing experience is great. Still, the lines are pretty short, and the vibe is pretty laid back compared to more southerly resorts.You'll probably get some people from the southern states, but since there isn't that much lodging without driving some distance, it gets overlooked by many long-haul travelers.

Thanks for the rundown, I'm hoping it's somewhat light as you suggest. It is more of a "locals" mountain, so hopefully some will stay away from the Holiday pricing. Friday we're doing the $19 night skiing followed by $2 apres-ski beers in the lodge with the ski/snowboard movie. The night skiing will be very limited terrain-wise I imagine, but it should still be fun. Sunday we'll get there for first run.


If you really want to be off the radar consider........ Middlebury snow bowl. Not as large, but often neglected, which is good....

That's a great idea for the future. We'll be staying in St. Albans, so Middlebury is a bit further than I'd like to go, but it's one of the few VT ski areas I've never been to, and I bet you're right, it will probably be empty!
 

gores95

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Elk will probably be pretty crowded on President's weekend....there really is no way to avoid crowds as its probably the busiest time of the year hands down. We love Elk but their lifts are a bit slow which doesn't help either. It probably won't be as crowded as some other local mountains but again you are going to get crowds anywhere you go.
 

trackbiker

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Elk will likely be more crowded than an average weekend but they manage the lines well and it will be less crowded than other areas. Lift line waits will likely average 5 minutes. They have a good base and make snow on all trails except Lehigh. Plattekill will be uncrowded but I would see how the natural snow trails hold up through the thaw. I love Plattekill but the natural snow trails could have thin cover.
 

2sons

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We skied Bolton President's Day weekend last year. Certainly crowded for Bolton standards, but nothing compared to say Stowe. The longest line is to get a table in
the restaurant upstairs! Heading up this weekend, although the none too happy about the 70% chance of rain Friday:sad:
 

BenedictGomez

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We skied Bolton President's Day weekend last year. Certainly crowded for Bolton standards, but nothing compared to say Stowe.

My original plans were to hit Mont Sutton in southern Quebec, and avoid the US PDW crowds altogether.

That plan was scrapped, however, when I learned that the Vermonters we're staying and skiing with and who live just 12 miles from the Canadian border and < 1hour from Montreal, dont have Passports.


Heading up this weekend, although the none too happy about the 70% chance of rain Friday:sad:

Yeah, chance of rain Thursday night through Friday, I hope it doesn't damage the skiing too severely.
 

Sven Leonson

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Hmmm, hadn't thought about the natural cover at Plattekill and how the weather might affect it.

I appreciate the input. We might do both. Hit Elk on Saturday, then continue on and do Plattekill on Sunday.

As I mentioned, we really like trying out new places. Last two spring breaks, we've loaded up the RV and toured New Hampshire and Vermont. Unfortunately, this year spring break is really late so we are heading the RV south to the outer banks and do some surf fishing. This President's weekend trip is sort of to make up for that.
 

dmc

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Hmmm, hadn't thought about the natural cover at Plattekill and how the weather might affect it.

I appreciate the input. We might do both. Hit Elk on Saturday, then continue on and do Plattekill on Sunday.

That sounds like a good plan! Safari!

It's now not supposed to rain on Friday so it's looking better and better.. :) Otherwise i'd say go where there's good grooming. Now it looks like it's going to be warm with bumps where it's not groomed..
 

TeleMac

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Elk

Elk will likely be more crowded than an average weekend but they manage the lines well and it will be less crowded than other areas. Lift line waits will likely average 5 minutes. They have a good base and make snow on all trails except Lehigh. Plattekill will be uncrowded but I would see how the natural snow trails hold up through the thaw. I love Plattekill but the natural snow trails could have thin cover.

Yes indeedy. Elk will be jammed from 10:30 - 2:30 both Saturday and Sunday. Expect 10-15 minutes on the main lifts, but almost no wait for "singles" on the quad. Arrive early (lifts open at 8 on w/e_ and ski late (till 10) works best.
 

gorgonzola

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if youre looking for uncrowded / off the radar areas you could always check out greek peak after elk, a little over an hour north... we'll be there fri/sat/ sun. i've never ski'd platty and haven't been to elk in eons so i really can't compare
 

BenedictGomez

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Holy hell, on I-87 south of Catskills, every 4th vehicle at the reststop had skis or boards. And it was crazy packed. Im north of Albany now, highway still crowded with many ski and board racks, though not as bad as catskill region.
 

Jersey Skier

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Any updates to how bad it was? Thinking about heading somewhere tomorrow. Hopefully Monday will be a little less crowded.
 

BenedictGomez

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Lets put it this way. I drove 330 miles to northern Vermont, and i'll drive 330 back tomorrow. Days skied? Zero.
 
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