Snowshoe Mountain can get very crowded on weekends and holidays, especially in the main Basin area in front of the village and Corduroy Inn. Below are some tips to avoid waiting in long lift lines:
Early bird gets the worm – head out first thing in the morning when the slopes open at 9am. It usually takes 1 to 2 hours before the lift lines get really long. This is a great time to enjoy the trails serviced by the Ballhooter chairlift (Basin area in front of the main village).
Act Single – When the lines get long, my daughter and I often use the “singles” line. This line tends to be a fraction of the time of the regular line. If you are skiing with other people, split up into singles and regroup at the top of the lift. You’ll get a lot more runs in and it’s a great way to meet people!
Eat Early – The lift lines sometimes get a reprieve during lunchtime when everyone hits the restaurants for lunch. So plan to have lunch at 11am, you avoid the crowds in the restaurants, and then after your lunch you ski/ride when everyone else is fighting for a table in the restaurants.
Head South – Once the lines get long in the main basin area (Ballhooter), ski over to the southern end of the resort and ski off Soaring Eagle Express chairlift. This line is always a lot shorter than the other lifts in the basin area and has a selection of trails for all skill levels. For the beginner, follow Upper Flume and Lower Hootenanny for a nice long green circle run. For the advanced skier, test your skill on Widowmaker, Camp 99 and Sawmill, which are some of the more challenging runs on the Basin side of the mountain.
Head West – ADVANCED SKIERS/SNOWSBOARDERS ONLY – Snowshoe’s famous Western Territory, conveniently located right across the street from the Corduroy Inn, is 1500 vertical feet of the best skiing and snowboarding south of New England. Since these trails are for advanced skiers only, there is almost never a lift line longer than a couple of minutes.
Hop on the Shuttle – BEGINNER-INTERMEDIATE SKIERS/RIDERS – Silver Creek is Snowshoe’s sister ski resort, which is a 5 minute shuttle ride from the Corduroy Inn. Your lift ticket is good at both resorts. Silver Creek almost never has any lift lines and it has great trails for beginners. The trails are wider and straighter than at Snowshoe so they tend to be less congested with people and an easier place to learn how to ski/ride. There are also two long black diamond runs at Silver Creek to challenge the advanced skier. The only downside to Silver Creek is that it does not have any modern detachable high-speed chairlifts. Silver Creek is where Snowshoe’s night skiing is located, so it does not close till 9pm.
Make sure to check what trails are open before you head out, especially early or late in the season. You can find current trail status here.