Winter is On its Way
Author thumbnail By M. Scott Smith, DCSki Editor

Snowshoe began testing its  snowmaking system today as temperatures dipped below zero. The  resort also received 2 inches of natural snowfall.
Testing the guns. Snowshoe began testing its snowmaking system today as temperatures dipped below zero. The resort also received 2 inches of natural snowfall. Photo provided by Snowshoe Mountain Resort.
The 2000-2001 winter season is fast approaching. A blast of arctic air hit the east coast this weekend, dropping temperatures and even bringing some snow to higher elevations. West Virginia’s Snowshoe Mountain Resort dragged the snowguns out of the closet for a test firing, while some resorts in New England are hoping to open with limited terrain within the next couple weeks.

Snowshoe’s snowmaking team woke up Monday to the site of natural snow. By Monday afternoon, 2 inches of snow had accumulated on the ground, the first measurable snowfall of the season. This inspired the snowmaking team to make some of their own.

“Before crunch time comes, we wanted to test our system out to make sure everything was working properly,” explained Ed Galford, Snowshoe VP of Mountain Operations. “We don’t [often] get these types of chances to test our system out before we have to fire everything up to get open,” he added.

Snowshoe plans to open for the season on Friday, November 17, conditions permitting.

Other resorts in the region, such as Pennsylvania’s Seven Springs, also received a dusting of snow.

Further north, some New England resorts received even more snowfall. Vermont’s Stowe resort is reporting up to 8 inches of fresh snow. That’s not enough to open the resort, of course, but continued cold temperatures may allow snowmaking to finish the job in the next several weeks.

“We went from the brilliant colors of fall to the brilliant white of winter overnight,” said Michael Colbourn, Stowe Mountain Resort’s vice president of marketing.

Colbourn noted that as Vermont’s highest mountain, Stowe creates its own wintry microclimate that draws extra moisture off Lake Champlain.

In its annual quest to be the first to open, Vermont’s Killington Resort is also keeping an eye to the sky and making snow at every opportunity. Last week, snowmaking operations began at the resort. When will the resort open? The official word is: soon.

El Niño and La Niña will not be serving as wild cards this winter, so with any luck, area resorts will be able to open by early December and enjoy consistently cool temperatures throughout the season.

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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