It’s hot, it’s cold, it’s rainy, it’s snowing. Well, Mother Nature, what’ll it be?
A double whammy of warm temperatures and rain ate away at snow depths last week, before the mercury dropped late in the week, allowing snowguns to fire and patch up some bare spots. Thanks to the eleventh hour reprieve, resorts headed into the three-day weekend with reasonable conditions. Most resorts continue to have 100% of their terrain open, thanks to healthy bases built up during an extended stretch of cold temperatures in December and January. DCSki readers report that some trails continue to have bare spots.
Looking forward, the temperature will rise once again early this week, climbing into the 50’s on Tuesday. Then, cold temperatures will return, with lows dropping back into snowmaking range by Wednesday night and continuing through the weekend. The extended forecast shows temperatures rising early next week, and then falling again by midweek - which is starting to sound like a familiar pattern.
This past weekend, the nonprofit organization Special Love and the National Institute of Health (NIH) brought over 40 families of children with cancer to West Virginia’s Canaan Valley Resort for skiing, inner tubing, and in-door events.
“The purpose of our group is to provide children with cancer opportunities to enjoy the often forgotten happiness of childhood,” explained David Smith, executive director of Special Love.
The NIH Ski Club accompanied the families and provided basic skiing instruction.
“Teaching children with cancer to ski requires more attention to the special needs of each child, as well as an understanding that some children might have difficulty skiing,” said Bob Bingaman, president of the NIH Ski Club.
The NIH Ski Club helped offset the cost of the trip by raising over $14,000 during a 2000 holiday fundraiser.
Special Love hosts more than 20 programs throughout the year for children with cancer, their families and friends, who live in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington D.C. For more information on Special Love, contact David Smith at (540) 667-3774 or visit www.speciallove.org.
A combination of warm temperatures and rain is lethal to ski resorts, and some resorts tend to get a little creative in their condition reporting when this combination presents itself, such as last week. The award for “truth in advertising” goes to West Virginia’s Snowshoe Mountain Resort. Snowshoe received two inches of rain last week, and reported receiving two inches of rain. Snowshoe also dropped its base by nearly two feet. Temperatures dropped on Friday, allowing Snowshoe to turn 20 million gallons of water into snow through Sunday, leaving the base at a healthy 60-72 inches.
Some other resorts in the region received similar levels of rain and even warmer temperatures, but according to their condition reports, their base dropped by only a few inches. Unfortunately, there are no uniform standards for reporting snow depths and conditions - just another reason to read DCSki each and every day.
How can you practice skiing when the snow melts? The Skier’s Edge machine, produced by Park City, Utah-based Skier’s Edge Company, provides a way to practice multiple types of skiing at home. Developed in collaboration with National team coaches from around the world, the exercise machine includes a base carriage with a captive rail and 4 interchangeable options, allowing the user to adjust for various skiing styles from a tight Powder/Mogul application to a wide-carve application.
The unique, non-impact, lateral exercise machine provides an excellent workout for ski enthusiasts, matching the feel of the slopes without the need to bundle up or wear goggles.
The Skier’s Edge Company provides a free video on the Skier’s Edge machine. For more information, call the company at (800) 225-9669 ext. 954 or visit www.skiersedge.com.
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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