Heavy rain and warm temperatures during the past week have seriously crippled many of the ski areas close to D.C. Ski Liberty, Ski Roundtop, and Whitetail have watched helplessly as their conditions have deteriorated throughout the week. Meanwhile, the mountains in West Virginia have continued to enjoy colder temperatures.
The weather forecast does not look promising for snowmaking at area resorts for at least the next several days. An unseasonably mild winter has prevented local resorts from building up a base; a strong base in the past has allowed area resorts to coast into late March. Without sustained below-freezing temperatures, it may not be economically feasible for area resorts to stay open much longer, although no resort has indicated an intention to close for the season yet. It may get cold yet - winter’s not over.
In the meantime, if you ski at Roundtop, Liberty, or Whitetail, expect to see bare spots and limited cover. Check with the resort prior to making a trip; hours may be limited.
Ironically, just a few hours to the west, West Virginia has been enjoying one of the best seasons on record. Ample natural snow has fallen, and temperatures remain low. It appears resorts such as Snowshoe may be able to stay open into April.
For Friday, Liberty will have 7 trails open with a base depth from 8-22 inches. Primary conditions are springlike, and some thin and bare spots exist. Temperatures are expected to be in the 50’s today.
As if adding insult to injury, Snowshoe received 2 inches of new snow yesterday while resorts closer to D.C. continued their slow melt. Snowshoe’s base depth is now 36-82 inches, and all 54 trails are open with groomed frozen granular conditions. Snowshoe continues to make snow as conditions permit to build up their base in preparation for spring skiing and boarding.
Roundtop has 9 trails open, with a base depth up to 36 inches. Conditions are wet granular/springlike, with some limitations. The tubing hill has closed for the season.
Seven Springs has 11 slopes and 14 trails open, with a base depth from 36-48 inches in snowmaking areas and 0-2 inches in natural snow areas. Conditions are groomed granular.
Whitetail is down to 7 trails, with a base depth from 12-30 inches. Conditions are wet granular/springlike, and limitations exist.
Wisp has managed to escape some of the warm weather, and still has most of their terrain open, with the exception of Devil’s Drop, Bobcat Bowl, Fox Way, and Deer Run. Base depth ranges from 24-82 inches. Conditions are machine groomed wet and frozen granular.
M. Scott Smith is the founder and Editor of DCSki. Scott loves outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, kayaking, skiing, and mountain biking. He is an avid photographer and writer.
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