Skiing Western Pennsylvania

It was nowhere near as absurd as I thought it would be. Granted, I went to the biggest and best resort Pennsylvania has to offer (Seven Springs, about 55 miles east-southeast of my house), but still: not absurd.

One of the cool things about it was that, while pretty nice, it was unapologetically western Pennsylvania. It wasn’t trying to shoehorn Park City or Stowe into the Laurel Highlands, it was just trying to be what it was. Frex:

  • They have a bowling alley.
  • And a tubing hill.
  • And a skeet-shooting range.

I think I was kind of expecting it to be either run-down (like anything in the Catskills) or just pathetic (two functioning chairlifts and a j-bar). It was neither and the snow (mostly man-made) was pretty good (although I quickly figured out to stay on the run with the snow-making machinery if I wanted to avoid ice).

I’m using a lot of parenthetical statements (like this one).

This being Pennsylvania, the biggest problem they have is lack of elevation change. Per their website, I think the biggest drop is like 750 feet. So basically, by the time you get your pole straps on you’re at the bottom of the hill.

I mean, not *quite*, but almost. I timed it once: 55 seconds top-to-bottom. And that’s with the clock starting at the time my butt got off the chair at the top to the time it again made chair contact at the bottom. Although that also kind of speaks to how not-overcrowded the lift was.

It also sort of speaks to the kind of runs they have there — almost everything there is a bombing run. There are a couple of runs that are meant to be mogul fields, but with no new snow for a couple of days, these areas were icy and no fun to ski (for me).  The bombing runs were pretty good bombing runs, though, with maybe an inch or so of soft stuff on top and enough small bumps and military crests to keep it interesting (for 55 seconds).

Only a Sith deals in absolutes.

The weather was also good — sunny and mid-20’s, cold enough to prevent the formation of slush, warm enough that you didn’t wish you were dead when going up the lift. Kind of a long walk from the parking lot to the lifts (there’s a shuttle bus you can take instead). Bowling alley, yeah, and like six restaurants. I don’t know. Is there any other relevant information anyone wants to have? Even though this was the biggest, most expensive resort in the area, when you take rentals and gas money into consideration, the price becomes comparable. When you also factor in that, short though the hills might be, it has more terrain than other places — yeah.

Right: if (questions) then {ask;}.


1 comment

  • Mr. Telkontar

    Were you a better skier than the ski patrol? I have skied twice in Wisconsin; at one, I was better than the ski patrol (and any other skier I saw). At the other, one ski patrol could have kept up with me.
    The diamond run you picture is harder than the double diamond in Wisconsin.

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