Friends and Family to Renew Acquaintances with Seven Springs Mountain Resort This Winter
child’s eyes light up when approaching a glistening village settled like snowflakes in the valley across the Laurel Highlands. Parents sigh, the journey over, the car soon parked for a few days, play and relaxation the only items found on the itinerary. For decades, families have experienced this jubilation over the holiday season, a time to gather together at Tahoe Lodge at the top of North Face to share anecdotes from mornings spent traversing 285-acres of snow, plot some late afternoon tubing and establish rendezvous times in the pool. Friends and couples are equally at home exploring the multi-faceted Seven Springs Mountain Resort without any other cares in the world.
It's impossible to count how many children first learned to ski at Seven Springs, landed their first 360 in the Alley Terrain Park or got a taste for giant slalom tearing down on the Nastar Course. Today many of these same kids return as parents to teach their own children to ski, a tradition that makes a lot of sense given Seven Springs legacy as an ever more-rare family-owned, independent ski resort. It’s ever harder to promise snow these days, however Seven Springs snowmaking coverage is without peer in the region with 32 of 39 named runs receiving natural snow enhancement when necessary. Skiers and snowboarders hardly notice the discreet snowmaking equipment, what is unmistakable is guaranteed snow across the mountain.
Families and friends of all abilities enjoy the runs at Seven Springs together, a rare opportunity to ski parallel terrain that challenges and satisfies every skier or snowboarder. Beginners can work on turns down the lengthy Village Trail while intermediates traverse Tyrol Slope. Advanced skiers and riders have terrain that lays right in between, Avalanche Slope, a steeper run that leads to a meet up for all three parties at the Avalanche Lift. Coming together to ride the chair provides a special treat for mixed ability groups to enjoy the resort en masse while experience suitable terrain.
The same opportunity is available on North Face for advanced and expert skiers. Advanced skiers descend the Giant Boulder Slope, a 4,000-ft run that includes a little something for everyone. Giant Boulder falls adjacent to the expert Giant Steps Slope, 3,200-feet that descends, like the Giant Boulder, 700 feet off the North Face. Runs off the Blitzen and other lifts invite skiers and snowboarders to sample more challenging terrain like Alpine Meadow Glades and the North Face Slope or hone skills on the North Face Bypass Trail and Blitzen Slope. Even the top of Gunnar Lift at the 2,994-ft peak invites intermediates and beginners to descend on several blue runs and the green Lost Girl Slope respectively. The eight terrain parks and pipes are every bit as diverse and inclusive.
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Families and friends come together as easily off-slope as at any one of the nine chairlifts that spread out across Seven Springs. Après ski sets up across the restaurants, especially inside Timbers, great for burgers, over the awesome wings at the Bavarian Lounge or sipping from the 50 taps at Foggy Brews. Kids clamor for Pizza Place, home to full New York-style pies as well as slices, perfect portions for an après ski snack.
Many families, as well as couples, head straight off to the pool and hot tubs, a chance to play indoors with the same vigor expressed on the ski hill or soak away the aching bones in a romantic setting. Unlike communal hot tubs at most resorts, Seven Springs features several spas by reservation only, a perfect excuse to relax one-on-one before heading off to a romantic dinner for two at Helen’s or Slopeside Restaurants. Both family-friendly restaurants elevate the dining experience, beginning with locally sourced rustic fine-dining fare such as Chesapeake Crab Bisque and Elk Loin inside Helen's. Return guest heads straight to Slopeside on Fridays for the famous Seafood Buffet or the Farmer’s Buffet on Saturday evenings.
Ask any family or group of friends about their ski vacation preferences and you’re likely to hear as many different answers as people are speaking. While a few folks might ski or ride the first chair to last run, most of us consider a trip to Seven Springs to be as much a winter escape as a strict ski holiday. With a base elevation of 2,240-feet, the Laurel Highlands landscape is ideal for a wide variety of resort activities like cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and snow tubing. Indoors offers still more fun amenities such as the bowling alley, indoor miniature golf, even a roller rink. The Bear Trap Fun Zone Game Room offers competition during 60 games from traditional Skee Ball to popular video games.
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Like favorite ski runs, games and eating spots, many families and friends return to familiar lodging year after year. The Main Lodge Hotel offers guest rooms as well as multi-room suites that are ideal for couples, families, girlfriend and buddy groups, all located steps from the chairlift. Townhomes and Condominiums invite guests to spread out a little, perhaps prepare a home-cooked meal with groceries from Highlands Market. Seven fully-equipped cottages and 13 chalets accommodate a variety of groups from friends to multigenerational family groups. Like choosing the toppings at Pizza Place, the variety of lodging can host accommodate any lodging request. Seven Springs is also well known for enticing winter packages, always check the website.
Like the best yuletide trees, lights shine bright in Seven Springs Mountain Resort throughout the winter season and especially over the holidays. Families and friends arrive, stow the car keys and take full advantage of this multidimensional destination. Perhaps today is a serious six-hour ski day, tomorrow reserved for a half-day on the hill followed by a sleigh ride and dinner with the grandparents inside Seven Ten Bistro. However we choose to design our winter holiday, it’s good to know Seven Springs has something fun and relaxing for everyone. And that’s what the holidays are all about. Visit the Seven Springs website and start planning your winter escape.