Riding the Knob. The Blue one.
February 27, 2013
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90 miles and a 100 minutes from our house lies Blue Knob. With a name like that, its appropriate that it has the biggest vert in PA, a huge 1072 feet of cruisy groomers, a few bumpy steeps and glades that would probably ski great with good cover. 2 slow main chairs ply each flank of the ski area, with a top-to-bottom ride taking a good 10 minutes. That’s plenty of time to take in the views of the rolling hills of Pennsylvania and observe the antics of the locals staying in the slopeside accommodation. These antics seemed to revolve mostly around drinking a fair bit of beer from late morning, sat around fire pits and in the lively bar at the Knob tip. It all happens on the top of the Knob, ticket window, a basic but functional day lodge and bar which looks like it hosts some pretty rowdy evenings.
A week of consistent snowfall and cold temperatures meant we saw the Knob in some of the best conditions of the season according to the locals. The groomers all over the mountain rode like western snow all day long, soft and forgiving, from the cold 20F of 9am through to 36F at 4pm when we rolled off the hill. The cover in the upper (officially closed) glades was respectable, and with care there was some good turns to be had. As the day warmed, some of the best skiing was on the strangely orange-tinted slushy of Extrovert. A run with genuine steeps, in the morning only budding base jumpers were to be seen sliding down in various non-vertical states. By late morning though, the ice transformed to firm gelato, and this became a run of choice for much of the afternoon.
Despite the slow lifts, there was never a lift line. Hence, combined with the respectable vert, we managed to eek out a decent day of skiing in a mere 25 runs. If winter and snow keep a firm grip on the Knob during March, there might well be another blow out before the lifts wind down for summer.
Saturday 7200m vert
Season Totals: 51 days, 21 powder days, 469,300m vert