All Systems Go for Snowshoe Opening
Author thumbnail By M. Scott Smith, DCSki Editor

Picture from Wednesday, November 17, 1999.
Snowmaking continues at Snowshoe. Picture from Wednesday, November 17, 1999. Photo provided by Snowshoe Mountain Resort.
This Friday, Snowshoe Mountain Resort will be the first Mid-Atlantic resort to open slopes for the 1999-2000 winter season, beating last year’s opening date by six days. The West Virginia resort will launch its 26th season by opening Skidder, Cross Cut, Gandy, and Powder Monkey. The four trails connect to form a top-to-bottom run, and will be served by the Skidder and Grabhammer lifts. Thanks to recent snowmaking efforts, skiers and boarders visiting Snowshoe on Friday will be greeted by a base depth of 12-18 inches.

“We have been making snow around the clock since Sunday evening, and Tuesday night’s temperatures in the teens allowed the snowmakers to put down more cover on the opening day terrain,” said Mountain Manager Artie Speicher. “The low temperatures permitted the snowmakers to turn on more than 100 snow guns at one time, creating a manmade blizzard.”

Snowshoe first began making snow on October 23. Snowmaking has continued since then whenever temperatures were favorable, interrupted by a few mild periods. The resort has also received a helping hand from Mother Nature in recent weeks, with snowstorms dropping a few inches on the Pocahontas County resort.

Snowshoe’s Joe Stevens reports that snowmaking will continue as temperatures permit in an effort to open additional terrain quickly. Several trails at the Silver Creek area are expected to open in time for the Thanksgiving holiday. Meanwhile, Stevens warns that early-season visitors shouldn’t expect mid-season conditions.

“If you were planning to come up for opening day with the hope of finding Cupp Run open, you are going to be disappointed,” Stevens said. “But if you just want to make some first turns of the year at reduced early season prices, then that’s what you’re going to find,” he added. Cupp Run, an advanced slope at Snowshoe’s Western Territory with a 1,500 foot vertical, requires a substantial snowmaking effort due to its size and pitch. However, due to recent snowmaking enhancements, Snowshoe is able to produce the equivalent of over a foot of snow on three football fields in an hour, so the trail count should rise steadily in coming weeks if the temperatures stay low.

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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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