Recent pleasant temperatures are allowing outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy more of the fall season, but they’re also delaying snowmaking at resorts anxious to start their ski season. With high temperatures remaining in the 60’s for the next few days, resorts hoping to capture a November opening date are now realizing that the slopes might not be ready until early December.
In fact, with weather conditions remaining iffy, resorts are now withdrawing opening dates that were tentative from the start, instead promising that the slopes will open once a solid patch of cold temperatures arrives.
West Virginia’s Snowshoe Mountain Resort - which was able to fire up its snowguns early last week - has more recently seen an upward trend in temperatures, as well as unwelcome “temperature inversions,” where the temperature at the top of the mountain is higher than the temperature in the valley. The warm temperatures have silenced Snowshoe’s snowguns and caused the resort to scrub its original plans to have slopes open by Thanksgiving day. Thanksgiving festivities remain on track, however, with lots of food, outdoor adventure, and fun planned for the holiday weekend. West Virginia’s Canaan Valley Resort is also planning Thanksgiving activities.
Snowshoe is looking for a drop in temperatures beginning next Monday, and plans to make snow at every available opportunity. Resort officials are now expecting an opening date in early December, but are determined to only open slopes once they are able to provide a quality guest experience, even if that means a delayed opening.
Of course, DCSki will continue to track snowmaking efforts across the region and report the latest on opening dates for area resorts. In the meantime, use the warm weather to squeeze in a few more hiking and biking trips, knowing that winter weather is just around the corner.
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.