Local Resorts Slide into Great Early Season 1
Author thumbnail By M. Scott Smith, DCSki Editor
Piles of snow build up at Liberty Mountain, as seen in this shot taken in recent days. Photo provided by Liberty Mountain Resort.

The calendar may say it’s only December 9, but the conditions at Mid-Atlantic ski resorts are in mid-season form. And a good mid-season, at that.

Visitors to Whitetail this weekend found a scene fit for a ski brochure, as this photo from Saturday shows. Photo provided by Whitetail Resort.
Bear Creek and Elk Mountain are set to open today, leaving only a small handful of resorts that have yet to claim opening dates. West Virginia’s Timberline Resort plans to open midweek on December 12, and Pennsylvania’s Laurel Mountain and Jack Frost plan to open December 14. All other major resorts in the Mid-Atlantic are now open, many with over half their terrain open. Seven Springs, for example, has every slope open.

Excellent conditions are the direct result of two factors: sub-freezing temperatures that have lingered since late November, allowing optimal snowmaking, and recent winter storms which have dumped as much as 18 inches of fresh snow on some resorts over the past week.

Because it’s early December, discounts abound at local resorts. Although Laurel Mountain Resort won’t open officially until Saturday, December 14, the resort will really open on Friday, December 13. The difference? Lift tickets will be free on Friday. You must stop by a lift ticket window to get a free lift ticket, good from 4-10 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 13.

Value season lodging rates are in effect at many resorts throughout the Mid-Atlantic. Call your favorite resort to find out what specials are currently available.

As trails continue to open, many resorts are also opening lanes in their snow tubing parks. Maryland’s Wisp Resort opened its Bear Claw Snow Tubing Park on Thursday, December 5.

“The popularity of the tubing park last season spurred us to add two more lanes,” said Jerry Geisler, Vice President of Operations and Guest Services at Wisp. The Park now offers eight runs, serviced by two surface tows.

Plenty of packed powder at West Virginia’s Snowshoe Mountain Resort. Photo provided by Snowshoe Mountain Resort.
Continued cold temperatures this week will keep the snowguns running, at least at night.

“Things are really opening quickly and with the cold temperatures, we’re making an unbelievable amount of snow,” explained Eric Flynn, Vice President of Snow Time Inc. PA Region, which owns Liberty, Whitetail, and Ski Roundtop. The three resorts had a great weekend and each resort already has over half its terrain open -; something that normally doesn’t happen until early January.

“There is a lot of snow out there, no kidding,” said Snowshoe Mountain Resort’s Joe Stevens. The West Virginia resort has received a foot and a half of natural snow over the past week, and will open Upper Shay’s Revenge this morning. Snowshoe plans to bring its Silver Creek area on-line on Friday, Dec. 13, adding another 15 trails to its open trail count.

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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Reader Comments

JimK
December 9, 2002
A thrift minded skier could get 3 days of lift tickets for an amazing $7 by combining some early season offers later this week: ski free on Dec 13 at Laurel Mtn in western PA, then drive an hour south and ski Dec 14&15 at Wisp, MD for $7 on their special birthday weekend deal.

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