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Backcountry Skiing in Virginia?

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Backcountry Skiing in Virginia?

Postby jackstraw0083 » Wed Feb 20, 2013 3:10 am

In a couple weeks I'm going to be moving from Utah to Culpeper, Virginia (near Shenandoah Nat'l Park). What I'm wondering is if there's any backcountry skiing in VA? I'm obviously not expecting anything like what we have in UT, but it would be great to be able to get out every now and then. Thanks in advance.
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Re: Backcountry Skiing in Virginia?

Postby Bark Eater » Wed Feb 20, 2013 12:40 pm

Check out the Dolly Sods Wilderness Area in West Virginia. Not far away from where you will be. Neat terrain and relatively high average elevation (for the east coast of course) gives you one of the best chances for decent snow coverage.
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Re: Backcountry Skiing in Virginia?

Postby Buz Groshong » Wed Feb 20, 2013 3:23 pm

I'm not quite sure what you are looking for, but yes you won't find anything like Utah. I'm not a skier, but lots of people who I've hiked with do "cross-country" skiing. They usually go to the ski resorts in WV where there are trails that they can ski. Don't expect to find any true back-country skiing.
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Re: Backcountry Skiing in Virginia?

Postby POLUKO » Wed Feb 20, 2013 5:59 pm

I have never tried BC skiing in the East but I am from there. One big factor is the amount of tree cover the east coast has. There are not many above treeline areas and the forest is much more dense then out west. It's not as if there are no backcountry opportunities out there, but you will really have to want it; I have heard of mega storms dumping on the blue ridge so in a good snow year there should be plenty of snow at altitude. Other years you may have to leg it up to the Whites, Adirondacks, or even out to the western ranges. Some winters even New England is crap. There have been some truly terrible warm winters with nothing but ice, sleet and rain.

I just had a thought...take it or leave it...but you could skin up the blue ridge or the skyline parkways
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Re: Backcountry Skiing in Virginia?

Postby jackstraw0083 » Wed Feb 27, 2013 9:59 pm

Thanks for the insight. Looks like WV may be my closest option to finding semi-skiable backcountry conditions. I like the idea of checking out the New England ranges as well. I should be able to get in a couple more tours before I leave in a week, so I'm going to try to savor every turn.
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Re: Backcountry Skiing in Virginia?

Postby WyomingSummits » Thu Feb 28, 2013 1:23 am

WV is your best bet.....and western Maryland. I grew up 1hr west of Culpepper. It's nothing like Utah. :)
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Re: Backcountry Skiing in Virginia?

Postby chugach001 » Fri Jun 07, 2013 7:19 pm

White Grass is one of the best old-school telemark centers in the country. It's every bit as core as mad River and the skiers from there rip. As an Alaskan who moved East I can attest that you will probably hate and curse eastern skiing (for very good reasons). And if you're like me you'll quit a couple times in the process. But, if you're like me and stick to it, you'll figure it out and fall madly in love with skiing all over again. Enjoy!
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Re: Backcountry Skiing in Virginia?

Postby pvnisher » Fri Jun 07, 2013 7:41 pm

A few moves ago I went from CO to VA, and found that it was almost just as fast for me to fly to CO as it was to drive to anywhere (reliably) decent on the east coast. A little more expensive, yes, but same time and infinitely better conditions.
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