Ideal Conditions will Greet Skiers this Weekend 1
Author thumbnail By M. Scott Smith, DCSki Editor

A week of good snowmaking temperatures can really pay off, and area resorts are hoping the best conditions of the season will bring a lot of skiers and boarders out of the woodwork this weekend.

Temperatures dipped late last week and stayed low, allowing local resorts to make up for a balmy mid-season, buildings snow bases that will last well into March. A week ago, a lot of resorts had thin coverage, and conditions were either loose granular (slush) or frozen granular (ice). Snowmaking and even some natural snow has converted conditions to packed powder, while adding a foot or more of base depth.

The snow piles up at Snowshoe. Photo provided by Snowshoe Mountain Resort.
West Virginia’s Snowshoe Mountain Resort has received over a foot of natural snow this past week, including five inches from Thursday’s storm, and has been running up to 230 snow guns at once. An $8 million investment in snowmaking improvements last summer has allowed the resort to make over 2,100 tons of snow an hour. Their snowmaking system has been put to good use this year, because the resort has received just over 80 inches of snow this season. This compares to the 202 inches received last season.

100% of Snowshoe’s terrain - or 56 trails - is open, with a base depth of 46-80 inches. Surface conditions are groomed packed powder. Snowshoe has also made a reserve snowpile at the top of Ballhooter, topping out at 30 feet. As temperatures rise next month, Snowshoe will tap into this mound of snow to fill in bare spots.

Resorts closer to D.C. are also offering perfect conditions. Ski Liberty has built its base depth to 24-48 inches, with packed powder surface conditions. All slopes are open except Don’t Worry, Strata, and the Snowboard Half-Pipe.

Ski Roundtop is reporting similar conditions, with a base depth of 22-46 inches. All trails are open except Recruit and Gunbarrel.

Whitetail’s base depth ranges from 20-40 inches, and the 475-foot long Halfpipe is in the best condition of the season. 14 trails are open, but Limelight, Fanciful, and Far Side are closed.

Moving west to Maryland’s Wisp ski resort, skiers and boarders will find a base depth of 21-36 inches. Wisp received 2-3 inches of new snow from yesterday’s storm. 20 trails are open.

Seven Springs has 29 trails open, and 1-2 inches of natural snow has helped to boost the base depth to 30-45 inches. The tubing hill is also open. Nearby Hidden Valley has 25 trails open, with a base depth of 30-42 inches.

Virginia’s Massanutten ski resort has 11 trails open with a base depth of 28-40 inches. The snowboard park and popular tubing park is also open.

This weekend, temperatures will rise into the 40’s, and there is a chance of rain on Sunday. Temperatures are forecast to fall somewhat after the weekend, with lows in the upper 20’s and highs in the mid-40’s. Conditions should stay good at local resorts for the foreseeable future, and there will undoubtedly be more opportunities to make snow.

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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DCSki Sponsor: Massanutten Resort

Reader Comments

Kenneth Sams
September 9, 2009
Just wanted to let you know that there are now 59 trails.. sawmill and slops north of the soaring eagle lift.

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