Archive for the ‘Davis skiing’ Category

Paragliding at Canaan Valley Resort

Saturday, November 12th, 2016

Canaan Valley is known for outdoor adventure. It’s the home of West Virginia’s earliest ski industry. Today the Valley offers two downhill and one cross country ski resorts: Canaan  Valley Resort, Timberline and Whitegrass.

Its cool summers are beloved by mountain bikers, hikers, golfers, hunters and fishermen.

But the area’s newest activity is the high adrenalin sport of paragliding. Also known as hang gliding, paragliding is a growing sport in North America. Canaan Valley Resort State Park is home to a new paragliding launch site that further expands the Valley’s offerings .

“It’s a project that we’ve been working on for the past six years, and finally it’s come to reality and everybody is really excited about it,” said Stan Beafore, park superintendent.

Just more than 4,000 feet in elevation, it can be accessed via the resort’s scenic chair lift. The southwest facing launch site faces into the prevailing winds, which are extremely rare in the Appalachian Mountain range.

“We actually had some people launch off here for the first time last week. Really great experience. It was fun to see, it’s going to be popular,” Beafore said.

Canaan Valley Resort and the Mountaineer Hang Glider Association opened the site on Oct. 8. The site is one of only two sites in the Eastern United States that is accessible by a ski resort chairlift.

It can be accessed from Memorial Day through the end of October, and mid December through mid March. The fee to ride the chairlift to the top of the mountain is $7 for adults. Pilots can carry their paragliding equipment with them on the lift, and the launch site is a short walk from the lift.

To use the launch site, pilots must be current members of the U.S. Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association. Beafore said its legal to paraglide in Canaan Valley Resort State Park. Landing sites have also been set up with two family farms nearby.

Although pilots can fly year round in the region, the most favorable flying time in the Potomac highlands of the state occur in the afternoons during the summer and fall.

Park officials also developed a plan to not harm the Cheat Mountain salamander, that’s listed as a threatened species, and known to live atop Weiss Knob.

A raised boardwalk to cross over the habitat and to reach the launch site was built. The species can travel under the structure to avoid having their area disturbed by visitors.

Beafore said the West Virginia State Parks Foundation, the Foundation for Free Flight and the Mountaineer Hang Gliding Association helped pay for the launch site.

The Mountaineer Hang Glider Association have a contractual agreement with US Hotels, the management company for Canaan Valley Resort’s operation. Pilots using the launch site work direction with the hang gliding association for launch times. Pilots can make launch reservations with Ben Herrick by phone at 304-866-3312.

 

Portions of this article reprinted from The State Journal October 20, 2016

It’s Almost (Always) Snow Season in Davis, WV

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

Shovel Ready in Davis, WV

Typical snow trench in Davis, WV

Living in downtown Davis, WV isn’t for the faint of heart. Especially in snow season, where drifts can block the sidewalks, push up against your doorway, and bury your car, and that’s in a good year. Last year’s snowfall was the heaviest in years, over 266 inches, or 22 FEET.

In a place where the snow starts in November and ends sometimes in May, we treasure a good snow shovel. People have strong opionions about which type is better: the scoop or the pusher. At my house (pictured above) the scoop is never put away. It sits there all summer reminding me on our perfect summer days how we paid the price for this heavenly weather in February, and how the next winter isn’t far behind.

At the Bright Morning Inn we use a pusher to clear the sidewalk leading to the restaurant. We use it in the morning before we open, and then several more times depending on the weather. We salt the walk, too, using various products we buy buy the bucketful.

A few of the people in town are fastidious about clearing their snow. But most of us do it halfheartedly, knowing that any amount of effort is never quite enough, and in the end the snow will always win. We figure that the skiers who travel to Canaan Valley

, well, they won’t really mind a little snow here and there.

As November turns the corner we look forward to snow season again, for the crisp air and blue blue skies. It brings out the heartiest souls, mostly skiiers who–for whatever mysterious childhood reasons–approach snow with joyfulness and not gloom. It’s an infectious attitude, and helps those of us who work here smile in spite of the difficulties.

Canaan Valley Snowfall Approaching Record Levels

Saturday, January 16th, 2010

Cutting a trench in front of Hellbender's Burritos

According to local weather guru Dave Lesher, whose records of  Canaan Valley weather can be seen at http://canaanweather.4t.com/, the first nine days of January this year have been the snowiest ever for the past 66 years, which means some of the best cross country and downhill ski conditions in recent memory!  At the Bright Morning Inn in Davis we’ve been shoveling, scraping and plowing, and then doing it all over again…to prepare for guests. The inn is mostly filled on weekends this month, but plenty of mid-week slots are open. If you haven’t tried mid-week x-c skiing at Whitegrass or Blackwater Falls you’re missing out on a pleasure mostly known to locals: peaceful woodland trails and a solitude that is sublime. And if you’re a downhill skier at Timberline or Canaan, midweek offers that rarest of benefits: non-existent lift lines.



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