|Skiing at Seven Springs is a step into history. This and
Boyne are the two oldest resorts in the region and predate just
about everything in the Rockies and half of the New England locations.
With a very prosperous Pittsburgh a short drive to the west, Seven Springs has enjoyed a steady clientele from World War II on. It became a pioneer in snowmaking technology even though its Laurel Mountain location guarantees plenty of natural flakes. Seven Springs sits at 3000 ft. elevation far enough North to run a November to April season every year.
|So realize that many of the slopes you enjoy here have been skied by prominent
visitors for 60 years. Down in the lodge, you can find photographs hanging
on various walls reminding you of this fact.
Seven Springs offers one of the more interesting mixes of Greens in the region. The classic cruising run here is Village, an arrowhead shaped run that begins at the top of Lift # 1, winds past The Village condo complex, then rounds the shoulder of the ridge and heads back down to the base. It’s no Salamander, but it is a pleasant family outing.
|Boomerang is a parallel route which adds a little
Fawn Lane starts downfrom Lift # 3, crosses the meadow, passes behind a
grove of trees and drops straight down the hill to Helen’s Restaurant and Lift # 4. This is a good run for practicing carving or snowplow skills. It’s wide and forgiving but has a good pitch.
Branching off Fawn Lane is Alpine Pass, which stays over in the trees and keeps dropping until it reaches Lift # 5.
These are all runs facing the Main Lodge. Lifts #4 and #5 take you over to the North Face, the newer side of the ridge.
From #4, Phillip’s Run is a meandering route through the trees which starts out dropping slowly along the face of the slope, then turns and drops directly down, finally swinging to the right to pass Helen’s and return to Lift # 4.
|Or you could take Waldes Frieden, a somewhat steeper but still
novice zigzag through the trees.
From #5, Deer Pass takes you back across the ridge face to Helen’s and Lift # 4. Halfway across you cross Alpine Pass, so you could turn left and follow it back down to Lift # 5.
All these runs form a web in the middle of the ridge, crisscrossing through the forest between the original section and the new section.
But from Lift # 5, you could bear directly left and follow Lost Boys across the meadow and into the trees on the North Face. This is quite a long descent, and will bring you to Lift # 7. The first fourth of this run is a marginal blue as it drops steeply down off the hill, so with the speed you pick up you should have a good sprint once you reenter the trees even though the pitch levels out.
To get over to the newest set of Greens, take Lift #8 up, then grab the rope tow to cross the flat. This brings you to Turtleneck, one of the region’s greatest Greens. It winds around down through the woods at a lively pace. Turtleneck is no beginner run. It is narrow, steep and winding so you have to have pretty good control.
|The North Face can also receive some pretty severe weather.
If driving snow, freezing temperatures or slashing wind are anywhere in
the area, they are most likely to hit this side of the ridge. So if you
take young skiers over to Turtleneck, have chapstick, gaiters and other
Seven Springs is probably weakest in its Blues. It offers four right above the Main Lodge. Certainly Tyrol, coming down very sharply from lift #2 directly to the base, separates the pretenders out right away and sends any true novices back to their Greens. Stowe, running parallel but with about five degrees less pitch, is a little longer but still pretty stiff. Cortina, winding down from Lift # 3, is a little more forgiving, and Wagner, coming around the trees the other way from Lift # 3, could be considered a high Green.
The other Blues here are all high Greens. Alpine, Sunrise and Sunbowl cut across the forest just below all those Greens, and while each has a brief steep or two, they lend themselves to snowplowing or basic carving.
Little North Face is a good Low Blue / High Green. It runs
from Lift # 5 out across the meadow, snaking through the trees, then emerges
for a long straight down the lower half of the North Face. It’s
wide enough to be forgiving except where it sprints through the woods.
Back over on the original face, Avalanche is short but sheer, and Goosebumps
is even shorter but diabolical. It’s designed like a hooked funnel.
It starts out quite wide, then continually narrows until just as the skiier
reaches top speed, the trail veers sharply left.
There are other things to do here. One of the most entertaining is snowshoeing. They can rent you the equipment, give you lessons and send you out with a guide. As this photo shows, there is plenty of fine open country where you aren't dodging skiiers or snowboarders.