March Offers Best Conditions of the Season
Author thumbnail By M. Scott Smith, DCSki Editor

Preparing the slopes for a sunny day of skiing at Whitetail. Photo provided by Whitetail Resort.
If you looked at the calendar, you might think it’s time for spring to arrive, but Mother Nature is presenting a “winter encore.” A week of cold temperatures and natural snowfall has transformed the conditions at local ski resorts from so-so to exceptional, and more snow may be on the way this week.

Things couldn’t be better at West Virginia’s Snowshoe Mountain Resort, which is reporting a base depth of 64-96 inches.

How does that compare with other resorts across the country? Colorado’s Vail Resort is reporting a base depth of 54-62 inches, while Vermont’s Killington Resort is clocking in with 20-60 inches. But the base depths at Northern California and Washington state resorts are a little more humbling. For example, Washington’s Mount Baker has a base depth of 296-338 inches, while California’s Kirkwood is reporting a depth ranging from 233-327 inches.

Nonetheless, you won’t hear many complaints for skiers and boarders at Snowshoe, where surface conditions are groomed powder. Thanks to several feet of natural snowfall last week, the aptly named Snowshoeing Center at Snowshoe is open for business with 10 kilometers of trails. For skiers and boarders, all 56 trails are open with 12 lifts in operation. The Mountaineer Terrain Park at Silver Creek has table tops, jumps, spines, and a burn with a roller. Snowmaking operations are ongoing, and natural snow is expected again this week starting Tuesday. Snowshoe should have no trouble staying open until April 11, its slated closing date.

Plenty of packed powder at Snowshoe. Photo provided by Snowshoe Mountain Resort.
Excellent conditions can also be found at resorts closer to D.C. Resorts such as Wisp, Seven Springs, and Hidden Valley also received healthy amounts of natural snowfall last week. Smaller amounts of snow fell at resorts such as Liberty, Roundtop, and Whitetail, but the snow helped eliminate thin areas while significantly improving surface conditions.

Whitetail Ski Resort received 7-11 inches of natural snow last week, and resumed snowmaking operations last night on selected terrain. Base depth is 26-42 inches with loose granular and packed powder conditions. All trails were groomed except Exhibition, which is being allowed to bump out, and the Halfpipe. On Friday, March 12, Whitetail will be offering Pennsylvania and West Virginia residents $19.99 lift tickets. Proof of residency is required. On Saturday, Whitetail will once again try to hold the torchlight parade and fireworks display at 9:00 p.m., an event that has been postponed twice due to bad weather. Whitetail’s annual Pond Skimming event will also be held on Saturday.

Ski Liberty has machine groomed, packed powder conditions on a base depth of 22-48 inches. All trails are open except Don’t Worry, Strata, and the Halfpipe. Liberty’s Springfest will be held this Saturday, with costume contests and prizes, races, deck entertainment, and a pond skimming contest.

At Pennsylvania’s Blue Mountain Ski Area, 25 trails are open with a base depth of 30-60 inches. Snowmaking operations continue as temperatures permit.

Virginia’s Massanutten Resort has 11 slopes open with a base depth of 24-38 inches. The popular tubing park is also open. The final Boardercross will be held on Sunday.

A combination of excellent conditions, cold temperatures, and late-season pricing make this the best time of the season to ski or board. Enjoy it while it lasts!

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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