Welcome, Winter!
Author thumbnail By M. Scott Smith, DCSki Editor

Time to dig out that old winter coat. While you’re at it, dust off those skis, because the days of watching the Weather Channel in anticipation of low, snowgun-happy temperatures are here. While it will still be a few weeks before the snowguns fire up, it’s an excellent time to take the skis in for their annual tune-up.

It’s also time to think about shutting off the water to the outside faucets, because cold weather has settled in over the Baltimore area. How cold? Expect to see lows dipping into the upper 30’s over the next several days, with highs barely reaching 60. This weekend will have its share of rain, as well.

This cold snap will help convince trees to shed their leaves, so fall foliage should be at its prime in the coming weeks. You might want to dust off that rake while you’re searching for your skis or snowboard.

Speaking of skis, now’s a good time to get your existing skis tuned up - or to purchase a new pair. Each year, you should have your skis tuned, and a safety check performed on your bindings. A proper safety check will require both boots and skis. Tune-ups with safety checks tend to run between $40-$50, and can be performed at most local ski shops, such as REI and Princeton Sports. (Foregoing the safety check will generally save you $20.)

The big craze this year (and last year, for that matter) is “shaped” skis, also known as parabolic or hourglass skis. Shaped skis allow skiers to carve more easily than traditional skis, and have helped to inject some new excitement into skiing, easing the transition from beginner skiing to intermediate skiing and beyond. Ski shops expect that over 90% of the skis they sell this year will be shaped skis. And you thought your computer became antiquated quickly.

Those same ski shops have inventories of traditional skis, and you can find some fantastic deals. Skis that were state-of-the-art and high-end just two years ago are now selling for a fifth of their previous cost.

Which local ski area will be the first to open? Our money is on western Maryland’s Wisp, or perhaps southern Pennsylvania’s Seven Springs. It is not unusual for both to open around Thanksgiving. For other resorts, such as Whitetail, Liberty, and Roundtop, we’re anticipating a mid-December opening date. Those making the trek to New England resorts such as Killington will undoubtedly be rewarded with satisfying skiing by mid-November. Thanks to low temperatures in Vermont, Killington may make snow this weekend.

Stay tuned to DCSki for all of your local skiing info!

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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