Firsthand Report: Snowpocalypse Now at Blue Knob 4
Author thumbnail By Jim Kenney, DCSki Columnist

On February 6, 2010 a wide swath of the mid-Atlantic region of the United States was hit with one of its biggest snowstorms ever. The reported snow tallies for local airports were: Reagan National 17.8”, BWI 24.8”, and Dulles 32.4”. Many ski areas in Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, and southern Pennsylvania received upwards of two feet of snow.

D-Trail. Photo provided by Jim Kenney.

I spent February 6 and 7 shoveling snow around my home in northern Virginia, but by February 8th I was ready to venture out. The regional road conditions had improved and my office was still closed. That clinched it. I agreed to rendezvous with three friends at Blue Knob ski area in southwestern Pennsylvania. Once I cleared the DC metro area the roads were surprisingly good for the 160 mile trip to Blue Knob.

Ditch Glades. Photo provided by Jim Kenney.

February 8, 2010 at Blue Knob will go down in my personal annals as one of the best days of local skiing in my 43 continuous seasons of downhill action in the mid-Atlantic. Blue Knob reported 27-28” inches of snow on the 6th and ski conditions remained superb, ranging from packed powder on the groomers, to big soft bumps on many of the steeper slopes, and cut-up knee-high snow in the glades. It wasn’t cold smoke/blower snow, but the four of us agreed it was pretty dang awesome considering we had not flown in an airplane to get it.

Extrovert. Photo provided by Jim Kenney.

We skied a good sample of Blue Knob’s terrain. Jack Rabbit and the easier glades dropping from its right edge were in great shape. Mambo Alley, Upper 66 and Expressway were the nearest things they had to groomed runs. Deer Run and Richey’s Run, normally steep groomers, were bumped-up big time.

Marcus on High Hopes. Photo provided by Jim Kenney.

Stembogan Bowl/Trail was loaded with tons of snow, extremely variable bumps, mounds, and cut-up old powder. It was as wild as I’ve ever seen it, like skiing whitewater on a raging river. Extrovert was prime, with huge bumps, and the occasional patch of underlying hardpack to keep you on your toes. Edgeset and Lower High Hopes were totally bumped-up. Both were challenging, yet forgiving because of the softness of the moguls.

Skyline Glades. Photo provided by Jim Kenney.

We found good natural snow coverage in the following glades: Ditch, D-Trail, Skyline, Triple, and Forever. East Wall Glades was roped off, but appeared to have been tracked-up the day before. Bottom line: Glade skiing is alive and well in the mid-Atlantic!

Laurel Hill Crazie in Triple Glades. Photo provided by Jim Kenney.
Stembogan Bowl. Photo provided by Jim Kenney.

We’re having a pretty special ski season in the mid-Atlantic, big storms just ahead of the Christmas Holidays and President’s Weekend. If you’ve been sitting on the fence about when to ski next, I recommend you get to Blue Knob or any ski area in the region NOW. Strike while the iron is cold and snowy, provided you can get out of your own driveway!

Home video by Jim and Vince Kenney

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About Jim Kenney

Husband, father and retired civilian employee of the Department of Navy, Jim Kenney is a D.C. area native and has been skiing recreationally since 1967. Jim's ski reporting garnered the 2009 West Virginia Division of Tourism's Stars of the Industry Award for Best Web/Internet/E-Magazine Article.

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Reader Comments

RobbieA
February 11, 2010
Awesome photos!
Woody
February 11, 2010
'Way to get out there, Jim. Enjoyed the photos and video.
chris your sis
February 12, 2010
We actually had a really big snow storm today in Lago Patria (coastal town north of Naples,Italy).
It is so rare to get such a snow storm that people, including me, were hanging out their windows taking pictures. Didn't stick long but it was beautiful while it lasted.
John F. Kenney
February 19, 2010
WOW Jim, Seeing those moguls on Extrovert brought back a lot of memories. What great powder! I noticed that the chairs were empty. What gives with you government workers? Every skiing Federal worker should have been out there. I skied Canaan Valley Ski this past weekend with a Troop of 25 Boy Scouts and we had the same thing on Presidents Weekend no less. As fast as you got down you could ski up to the chair and ride on up. Incredible once in a lifetime conditions with white stuff falling all day. It was the kind of powder you could fluff with a whistle and it was falling an inch an hour. I watched boys who were skiing for the first time in their lives schuss the mountain. Black Diamond, no problem. I got to spend the day helping our boys gear up and teach the fundamentals then cut them loose. Built lots of memories like the ones we schuss boomers have of Mt Baldy and Holiday Hill in So. Cal. Great Pictures little brother! JFK

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