Snowshoe — Mountain layout
Experts will find challenge on the two trails in The Western Territory (right), which is across the street from the rest of the trails. This ensures that only skiers and riders who want to be here are here. The rest of the resort caters to intermediates and lower levels, with a nicely isolated area for first-timers and novices. Heres a trail map.
To reach The Western Territory, site of the expert terrain, you must cross the street. Literally. Its across the access road from Snowshoe; a shuttle bus transports skiers between Silver Creek and the Snowshoe/Western Territory areas. Given the predominance of southern, once-a-year ski-weekers among the clientele, this section is usually least crowded. It consists of just two runs, Cupp Run and Shays Revenge, which take advantage of Snowshoes total vertical drop. Both trails are worthy of their black-diamond rating. At moments along Cupps, nifty little places can be found to zip into the trees. The lower section of Shays is significantly steep and often bumps up.
Silver Creek holds two trails marked black, Flying Eagle and Bear Creek. While these have short sections that present some pitch, competent intermediates can handle them.
This is an intermediate skier’s delight. More than one-third of the runs here are rated in the blue-square realm.
At the Snowshoe area, the best runs are Ball Hooter and Skip Jack, which lead down to the Ball Hooter and Grabhammer chairs respectively. On packed weekends, traffic can be a problem here.
Another interesting, less-traveled option is the Upper Flume/J Hook/Lower Widowmaker route, found to skiers far right off the Widowmaker chair. Even though the Northern Tract is rated beginner, it is a great place to find untracked powder after a storm.
At Silver Creek, Fox Chase-to-Laurel Run offers the most extended blue-rated run. Cascade and Slaymaker-to-Spur are also good cruisers, but none is particularly long. An intermediate will have a blast at Silver Creek and find much smaller crowds compared to Snowshoe.
The resort caters to green-level skiers and riders. At the far left, off Snowshoe’s top ridge, is the Northern Tract, a comfortably isolated group of a half dozen easy trails that gives green-trail skiers their own lift-served real estate off the Powderidge chair. These trails are wide enough to be reassuring, but meander a bit to lend texture.
Silver Creek’s green-rated runs are generally short but very welcoming, presenting a good place for first-timers to begin the transition to more general terrain. Cubb Run gently hugs the far right edge of the area and allows access to three chairlifts.
The good news is that the Skidder area for first-timers is just a few steps from the Shavers Center, home to the ski school and rental shop. The bad news is that it’s laid out laterally on the ridge top and can become a bit frenzied and turbulent with skiers and riders passing through en route to other parts of the hill. The terrain itself is conducive to learning: short, wide and gentle.