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News Briefs
Author thumbnail By M. Scott Smith, DCSki Editor

Cold weather returns

In late December and early January, temperatures trended upwards into unseasonably warm territory, eating away at the bases of local ski resorts and even causing some to temporarily close this past weekend. A stretch of cold temperatures in mid-December had allowed Mid-Atlantic resorts to build up healthy bases for the holiday season, and most weathered the warm sell well.

Thankfully, the mild temperatures disappeared on Monday night as the mercury once again fell below freezing. Temperatures are currently forecast to remain at or below freezing for the next one to two weeks, with the possibility of some natural snow later this week. Sub-freezing temperatures have allowed resorts to launch into around-the-clock snowmaking efforts, and at this time, the snowguns are flying on slopes throughout the region.

“We’re going to bury this place,” summed up a snowmaker at West Virginia’s Snowshoe Mountain Resort, describing Snowshoe’s plans for an all-out snowmaking assault. Other resorts have the same game plan for this week, and by Wednesday, slopes that had melted away in recent days were already covered with a nice base of snow. By this weekend, things should be back in great shape.

Because temperatures are expected to stay below freezing during the day, many resorts will be making snow on open slopes throughout the day. Skiers and boarders are advised to bring goggles.

Timberline upgrades Silver Queen lift

DCSki first reported Timberline Resort’s plans to upgrade its Silver Queen chairlift this past August, but many visitors to the resort this winter noticed that the lift still had double chairs, and not the promised triple chairs. A supplier delay prevented the upgrade from taking place before the slopes opened this season, but the new triple chairs began arriving in recent days and Timberline has been swapping doubles for triples on the lift throughout the week. The lift will run at the same speed, but the wider chairs will increase uphill capacity. Timberline plans to load test the lift starting today, and may have the upgrade and testing completed by this weekend.

Verizon Luge Challenge to visit Liberty

The 2004 Verizon Luge Challenge will allow adults and children age 10 and older to expierence the thrill of racing for valuable prizes on a safe, snow-banked, timed luge course at several resorts on the east coast this winter. Locally, the Luge Challenge will swing by Pennsylvania’s Liberty Mountain Resort February 21-22. Participation in the Luge Challenge is free, and no experience or lift ticket is required. USA Luge international medalists, athletes, and coaches will provide the instruction.

After learning the basics of accelerating, steering and stopping, participants will be invited to take practice runs on a recreational version of a luge sled down a track complete with snow-banked curves and timing equipment. This will be followed by a race against the clock for various prizes.

For more information, visit www.usaluge.org.

Jack Frost offers Women’s Ski Clinic

Pennsylvania’s Jack Frost Resort will offer a women’s-only ski clinic the weekend of January 17-18, 2004. The clinic will be taught by Heather Bedell, a Level III member of the Professional Ski Instructors of America. Bedell has participated as a test team member for SKIING Magazine’s “Best Products Issue.”

The clinic will begin with a continental breakfast, followed by a discussion of the differences in women’s bodies and the effect this can have on skiing and equipment choice. Throughout the weekend, on-slope activities and lessons will help skiers overcome challenges with control, speed, and ice. Yoga, conditioning, and mental exercises will also be part of the clinic.

For more information on the clinic, contact Heather Schiffbauer at 800-468-2442 ext. 1041, or visit www.jfbb.com.

About M. Scott Smith

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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