As this article goes to press, light snow is falling on the entire D.C. metropolitan area, raising hopes of a white Christmas and signaling the start of the 1998-99 ski season for area resorts. As yesterday’s cold front settled over the region, bringing sub-freezing temperatures, local ski resorts fired up the snowguns and made some serious snow. Snowmaking will continue around the clock at many resorts through the weekend and into next week. As a result, a large number of resorts will be opening over the next several days, just in time for the Christmas weekend.
Starting in Maryland, Wisp Resort is already open with one beginner trail and will be opening several more trails by the end of this weekend. Base depth is 12-24 inches, with packed powder to machine groomed conditions. Several inches of natural snow are expected.
In Pennsylvania, Hidden Valley Resort marked its opening last Saturday with three slopes. Thanks to aggressive snowmaking, Hidden Valley is expecting to have 100% of its terrain open within the next few days. Hidden Valley cut eight new trails and slopes this past summer, resulting in over 100 acres of skiable terrain.
Also in Pennsylvania, Seven Springs Resort is open with five trails, including four intermediates. Seven Springs is hoping to cover all of the front side, as well as the North Face Slope, by Saturday. Natural snow is adding to round-the-clock snowmaking.
Whitetail Ski Resort has set Saturday as its opening date. Ski Roundtop will be opening on Thursday morning at 8:00 a.m. By the weekend, Ski Roundtop hopes to have Minuteman, Fife & Drum, Exhibition, the Half Pipe, and Discovery Area open. Ski Liberty is also planning on a weekend opening date.
In West Virginia, the ski season is already well underway. Snowshoe Mountain Resort has 18 trails open with a base depth of 18-36 inches. 7 lifts are in operation. Expert trail Cupp Run, as well as the Ruckus Ridge Tubing Hill, will both open Saturday.
Canaan Valley is also open with 5 trails and a base depth of 14-24 inches. The ice rink is also open. The tube park and terrain park are expected to open soon, and cross country skiing and snowshoeing will also start up soon.
West Virginia’s Winterplace Ski Resort will be opening on Thursday, December 24.
In Virginia, Bryce Resort will also open on Christmas Eve, with a base depth of 8-24 inches. Four slopes are expected to be open, including Redeye, Revenuers, Little Nipp and Bunny.
Massanutten has been making snow and plans on opening December 24.
Also in Virginia, Wintergreen Resort has opened 2 trails with a base depth of 10-20 inches. More trail openings are expected soon.
By the end of this weekend, every area resort should be open. If you plan on skiing or boarding, keep in mind that early-season conditions can be limited and resorts are typically very crowded between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Contact the resort you plan to visit for specific opening information, including hours and special holiday rates that may be in effect.
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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