Tips for Enjoyment – Snowshoe
This page offers suggestions as to things you might want to consider. If you have a suggestion that you think should be added please email me and put Tips in the subject line. Keep in mind that I live and love to ski and this page is for those who think like me. I use the term ski, snowboarder interchangeably.
What to bring:
For your car:
Check the windshield wiper fluid. It is a whole lot of curvy roads with road spray and just now finding out you are out of the blue stuff to clean your windshield
Don’t forget the ice scrapper.
A snow shovel (just in case).
Kitty litter for traction is worth gold if you get stuck
Plan your fill ups with gas before you travel. We top off in VA before entering WV as it is cheaper per gallon.
Types of clothing:
Layers are best!
Windproof and waterproof is a must for skiers and boarders.
You need gloves that cover your wrist or strap over or under your jacket. You fall and snow gets on your wrist, your hands will feel like they are freezing. The waterproof gortex gloves that you can buy for $15/ $20 are great. Buy 2 pairs if you can. Rotate each pair to allow for drying.
Cover your head. Better yet, protect the coconut with a Helmet!
The wind at the top of the mountain can make it feel significantly colder that the temperature reads. In my experience the wind is worse than the cold. Dress in layers that are windproof. If you have too many layers you can always take one off.
Buy toe / hand warmers at Wal-Mart or at Costco.
Don’t wear jeans unless you have nothing else or you never fall and you are spring skiing. Jeans get wet and will freeze your derrière.
Keep in mind you can buy everything you need at the mountain…. at a higher price.
Bring a swim suit. It is fun to swim outside in the heated Split Rock pools in the winter. The Hot tubs are a nice way to soak sore muscles.
Food / supplies:
Wild Cat Provisions is the only mountain top store. It has Beer, bread, chips and cokes. They also rent DVD’s and have a deli. Similar to your basic 7-11. The closest “real store” is in Marlinton. If you come up and forget the steak, forget steak, or go out.
Beer! Beer prices are relatively the same on the mountain however the selection is limited to the major brands and maybe a few others.
Wine. Not much of a selection to choose from. There is a place at the bottom of the mountain that sells (some) wine. Best advice I can give is to BYOB, drink beer or purchase your drinks at the bars.
The closest liquor store / ABC is 45 minutes away (one way) in Marlinton. Kind of a party spoiler if you run out. You do not want to drive to Marlinton after skiing, drinking or whatever for booze. It is a hard drive during the day, so plan your trips wisely.
Restaurants / Bars:
A busy weekend at the mountain can result in up to a 2 hour wait to be seated at most of the restaurants if you try to eat at the peak times. A lot of people don’t mind (or don’t know), I am the type that brings my own steak. Even if you don’t rent one of my places, find a place to rent with a full kitchen. Most of Snowshoe’s rental properties in the village have no kitchen and a refrigerator that you have to struggle with to get a 12 pack in (no way for a gallon of milk for the kids and a 12 pack to fit). Snowshoe (understandably) wants you to go out for breakfast, lunch and dinner and the village properties are designed for just that, no way to cook a meal (I don’t consider microwave popcorn a meal). At our Mountain lodge and Logger’s home, you make the choice on whether to cook dinner and to have desert at Starbucks. All of our appliances are full size, including stove, refrigerator, microwave, coffee pot and dishwasher.
Here is the skinny on the places competing for your money.
Cheat’s pizza. Decent “gourmet” pizza, but don’t go in thinking that you will get the “2 for” that Domino’s offers.
Moonshine. One of our favorite watering holes. Inside the Shaver’s Center
The Junction. Good all around food. Serves great omelets for breakfast and the rack of ribs is one of our favorites. Nice bar and social party area.
White rabbit Market. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. A cross between a Subway, Starbucks and a Panera Bread.
Foxfire Grill. Great sunsets. Similar to the Junction in type of food. Nice place for “Happy Hour”.
Old Spruce. Cozy, small casual menu and great place for local happy hour.
Hoots Bar & Grill. Order your burger, wings and fries from the window and set your quarters on a table to play some pool. Decent breakfast sandwiches and Billy at the bar is the man at Happy Hour!
Shavers Center. Cafeteria style; breakfast and lunch.
Wild Cat provision. Sandwiches, pizza, all carry out.
Where’s the party?
The Connection. Over 18 and looking for the party? You will eventually find the Connection.
Please walk home. Everything is close, walking distance in the village and to Mountain Lodge. Walking distance does not mean leave your jacket, gloves or hat at home. Snowshoe is at the top of the mountain and frostbite takes seconds when it is -20 degrees. Your skin will freeze and your trip will not be as fun if you don’t take this advice. The mountain and the roads can be vicious and there is limited parking. Use the free shuttle for any reason, especially if you go to Brandi’s, night ski or party at the Creek. Snowshoe police are a friendly group of very nice and helpful people, but get paid to keep all guest safe (drivers too). They are the real deal. Don’t think that drunk driver laws are not enforced or that traps are not set to catch the drivers too lazy to walk or smart enough to take the shuttle. They want you to have fun. They want you to party. If needed, they will call the shuttle for you or give you directions. They have been known to give people rides, jump cars, push stuck cars and bend over backwards to help you be safe. So unless you do really stupid stuff or drive when you shouldn’t, you probably won’t get a chance to meet them.
Cell phone / Internet coverage:
Verizon and AT&T have service in the Village. Snowshoe has free Wi-Fi in areas. It is spotty at best and best in some spots. You have to click “agree” to get to the free Wi-Fi. So think in terms of strategic posting when trying to post a selfie with your bestie!
Keep in mind that because of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, Snowshoe is considered a quiet area and as technology has improved so has the phone and internet service.
Lift line psychology:
Have a plan if you want to avoid lift lines (or keep them to a minimum). Holidays and Saturdays are typically the most crowded. So here are my tips on how to get the most of your Saturday experience.
Be one of the first on the mountain. The party crowd and teenagers sleep until 11:00 ish (at least mine do) and the folks out drinking the night before will be in recovery mode at Starbucks drinking the triple shot espresso mixed with red bull.
Ski during lunch hour. People are programmed and we hear it all the time. “Kids, lets meet for lunch at 12:00. I have seen Ballhooter on Saturday’s with small lines between 12:00-1:00. For those that haven’t taken this advice or read this page, they will find the crowd (and long wait times) at Shavers center waiting for their slice of pizza.
Ride Grab Hammer lift: It is right next to Ballhooter but without the line.
Ride Soaring Eagle Express lift: (formerly Widowmaker). The line is always shorter than Ballhooter. If you are a new skier or a “green” run skier, find your way to Powder Ridge lift. There are some fun, long runs that are wide open and a blast to play on for the novice and expert skier alike.
Ride Western Express lift: for some of the best East coast black diamond. As a homeowner of a Colorado home, Cupp and Shay’s are the closest thing to out West skiing you will find anywhere on the East coast!
Ride Powderidge lift: for some fine Green run skiing! Skiers / Boarders in lessons go to the front of the line. Split the cost with 2-5 of your buddies in a private lesson.
It is better in my opinion, to rent at Expedition Station, in the village, for equipment for your family. I prefer the Ski Barn, but if you have a problem with your equipment, you have to drive to where you got the skis / board, to get it fixed. Major bummer if you are the Dad and your kid is waiting for you to get the equipment fixed. If you have a problem or don’t like your equipment and you rented from Snowshoe, they will exchange or fix your stuff and you will be back on the mountain quickly.
Forget the Jean Claude 70’s and 80’s style of ski. You will ski much better on the “new stuff”. Short and fat is where it’s at! Consider buying used demo’s from the MAC (Mountain Adventure) Center. The cost of the ski and boot will pay for itself in 1 to 2 ski trips. Demos are better than the stuff they rent to everyone else and the rentals do cost more, but I think it is worth it. They will deduct the price of the rental if you decide to buy. And they have some room to negotiate!
If you get to Snowshoe in the evening, call to see if you can get your rentals the night before you ski. It is not extra and you won’t have to wait with the crowds the next morning. I do not know what time they are open to, but it is worthwhile finding out and trying to get to the mountain before they close and getting your rentals knocked out. Rentals are at the bottom of Expedition Station (walking distance, 4 minutes from Mountain Lodge, 8 minutes from Logger’s) and Top of the World (Logger’s is a 4 minute walk and Mountain Lodge is an 8 minute walk). The main number for Snowshoe is 304.572.1000. Operators are standing by and will direct your question or they will know the person that can help.
The Village on a winter night is magical! Bring your camera! I like all the shops and I’m not one that likes to shop. There is everything you need for mountain living and skiing. Full Tilt, 4848, Pocahontas Supply, High County Clothing, they are all good. Stop by Starbucks and grab a coffee and desert and sit by the fire while your taking a break. It is a great way to finish off an evening at Snowshoe!
We love the Ski Barn just outside the entrance to Silver Creek. You have to drive to get there or take the bus. Great selection. We buy most of our gear here/
The Why Knot Shop is furniture, fudge, decoration has it all, cool shop at the base of the mountain. We love going in there!
West Virginia Driving rules:
If you do not want to, or are not comfortable driving faster than 5mph, let the locals pass. There is no shame in letting the driver behind you, who knows the road and drives it daily, letting them pass you. Put your right turn signal on and slow down and let them pass when you are in a safe spot! Don’t be a Picker (out of state bone head) just because you are not comfortable driving on mountain roads. You will find that it is less stressful and you will enjoy the drive more with someone not riding your rear!