This season has been a banner season, with consistently cold temperatures and plenty of natural snow. The result? As we approach the middle of March, Mid-Atlantic resorts have average bases of a few feet (or more). With longer days and a gradual warming, great spring skiing will cap off an unforgettable ski season.
During this time of the season, local resorts let their hair down and focus on having fun. Fun was the key word at Pennsylvania’s Whitetail Resort this past weekend, as Springfest brought activities such as the famed Pond Skimming Contest, always a crowd pleaser. Many other resorts have similar activities planned for the coming weeks, going under names such as the Spring Carnival (at Elk Mountain and Seven Springs), the Snowy Luau (at Timberline Resort), and the Beach Party (at Winterplace and Snowshoe). Of course, you don’t need to participate in these planned activities; the snow is still great, so you can focus on skiing or snowboarding.
The month of March brings with it numerous bargains; most resorts offer discounted pricing on lodging, packages, and even lift tickets.
March 3 marked the beginning of Canaan Valley’s Value Season, dropping daily lift tickets to $24 for adults and $18 for kids ages 6-12. These prices are valid on weekdays or weekends at the West Virginia resort.
Overnight guests to Pennsylvania’s Jack Frost and Big Boulder resorts will receive a lift ticket for each night of a two-night minimum stay at on site accommodations. If you don’t stay at an on-site property, you can still get discounted lift tickets. Through the end of the season, a lift ticket valid open to close at Jack Frost and Big Boulder will be only $20 per day.
Some resorts have also announced that they intend to stay open into the month of April.
West Virginia’s Snowshoe Mountain Resort had originally targeted April 6 as its closing date, but is now seriously considering keeping the slopes open until April 13. With an average base from 76-100 inches, Snowshoe’s snow isn’t going anywhere.
Maryland’s Wisp Resort as announced that it plans to stay open until April 6, although beginning March 16, the East Ridge trails will be open only on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Wisp is offering its own special; from March 9 through the end of the season, a $21 Ski Package will be sold including lift ticket, lesson, and rental.
“Our spring skiing conditions are terrific for any type of skier,” said Bill Cox, Ski School Director at Wisp. “With more resistance from springtime snow, beginners can maneuver and come to a stop more easily on the slopes. More advanced skiers will relish the bumps, and everyone will enjoy the sunshine and mild temperatures.”
Unfortunately, at this time of year, it may not matter if snow conditions are ideal. Once the temperature starts rising, many snowsports enthusiasts focus their attention on other activities, and forget that snow-covered slopes are just a short drive away.
Mid-Atlantic resorts are prepared to stay open late into the season, but only if guests keep visiting. With great conditions and bargains to be had, now is the perfect time to visit the slopes and help extend the season.
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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