“Getting this season started has been as tough as kick starting a 747, and you can quote me on that,” said Joe Stevens, Communications Manager of Snowshoe Mountain Resort, referring to Snowshoe’s struggle to open for the 1998/99 season.
The West Virginia-based resort had initially planned to open on November 13, but pushed the opening date back to this Friday, November 20, after warm temperatures interfered with snowmaking operations. Although the resort has taken advantage of every opportunity to make snow, the opening date has now been delayed until sometime next week after unwelcome warm temperatures lingered. If nothing else, this serves to show that Mother Nature is still in charge, and hasn’t yet decided if winter is here.
Last year, the resort opened on November 21.
Snowshoe is aiming to open in time for the Thanksgiving holiday, which traditionally attracts a lot of early-season skiers and boarders.
Nighttime temperatures during the past week have dropped to the upper 20’s, allowing Snowshoe to make snow, but temperature inversions - when the peak of the mountain is warmer than the base - have limited snowmaking at the top of the mountain. When conditions are ideal, dropping to the teens at night and staying below freezing during the day, Snowshoe can cover the equivalent of three football fields with a foot of snow each hour.
But when temperatures are above freezing, the high-tech snowmaking equipment isn’t terribly helpful and the resort has to resort to other options.
“Someone isn’t doing their snow dance and believe me, we could use it right now,” writes Stevens.
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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