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Winterplace Website
Winterplace is the most accessible ski facility in the South Midwest. The main lodge and westernmost runs look directly down on I-79. And Winterplace has done an excellent job of positioning itself as a major facility. It does not rank number one in any of the usual categories, but averaged across the board, it may be the best overall location for a family or group.Winterplace has a good mix of green and blue runs with a few blacks thrown in. It has a fine ski school with good teaching slopes next to the Main Lodge. It has decent slopeside restaurants, lodging on site, good snowmaking coverage, and the second best tubing hill in the region. Winterplace lifts run from 9 am – 10 pm, giving it the longest skiing day in the region. And the all day lift ticket includes night skiing. Most important, Winterplace under Terry Pfieffer is the most customer friendly ski operation in the region, and especially inviting to youth groups.

This is the ideal second stop for a family or group. Newcomers should start at Perfect North, where they can learn fundamentals at lower cost. But Winterplace is the next step up, and many groups who take just a few trips each season make this their only overnight destination. They can ski at Winterplace two weekends for what they would spend on one trip to Snowshoe or Seven Springs. For kids selling candy and wrapping paper to pay their way, that becomes critical. Those coming from far Western Kentucky may need three day weekends. But anyone within a six hour drive should avoid Winterplace on Martin Luther King or Presidents Day weekends. Because of its convenient interstate access, crowds are oppressive. Parking, lift lines, lessons, food courts, equipment rentals and slopes are all jammed. Make every effort to ski at other times.

Winterplace sets at low altitude, and even though its slopes face north, their pitch is low enough that they begin picking up sun by early February. Not even the impressive array of snow guns can fight off the inevitable, and by mid February the snow base at Winterplace is beginning to weaken. Therefore, it is best skied between New Years and Valentine’s Day. No matter which weekend you come, you must beat the Saturday morning equipment line. You can do this by arriving by 930 pm Friday night and driving straight to the Main Lodge, where the rental facility and lift ticket counter is in the basement. If that’s not possible, then first thing Saturday morning, stop at the Ski Barn down by the interstate and rent whatever you need. You can thus pick up your lift tickets and head straight to the slopes. Otherwise, figure on losing an hour standing in lines. If you make these arrangements Friday night, consider driving straight to the Mountain House on arrival Saturday morning. You can then ski the eastern slopes while most people are working their way across the slopes from the Main Lodge. Making first tracks down Woods Run, Plunge and Nose Dive with the sun coming up on your right and fresh powder glistening is a beautiful experience. It will all be hardpack by 11 am.

A shuttle connects the Main Lodge with Mountain House every 15 minutes, and there is parking to your left as you come in. Drive to Mountain House, unload, then go back down and park. You'll be using the West Virginia Turnpike, a toll road. Bring five dollars in quarters and put them in your ashtray or console. Then you can drive through the exact change lanes and avoid waiting cashier lines.
If you're coming from north or west, you will come through Charleston. After leaving the city and crossing the river, consider taking the McCorkle Boulevard Exit and stopping for gas and food, your last chance for an hour.
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