"The snow guns continued to blast away last week at the
Snowshoe and Silver Creek areas. Our veteran snowmakers were able to make
snow on a dozen trails throughout the week, just over a hundred hours worth.
At one time late in the week over 150 guns were operating pumping out about
2700 tons of snow an hour. However, due to the milder temperatures early
this week, it looks like it's going to be a traditional Thanksgiving opening
for Snowshoe Mountain, Wednesday, November 26.
There is a bunch of snow there from top to bottom at both
areas and again this season it's not about being first but opening with the
best available quality. We don't like to get the season going and then have
to pull the plug.
"The weather forecast is calling for those mild temperatures
to be with us through Wednesday of this week and it actually looks like the
guns are going to come back on Thursday night, maybe even Wednesday night.
There are 3 - 6 inches of snow in the forecast for Thursday and Friday and
that would be very nice. So far this year, we have received about an inch of
natural snow, nothing to brag about, but enough to get excited about around
This current warm weather trend is the culprit...
I don't suppose anyone has any ideas for an alternative resort with good instructors, decent conditions and within five hours total (not west, going there later) of DC?
I think it is reasonably safe to assume that Snowshoe will have ample terrain open by the end of December. Short of driving to VT, there's isn't going to be a better place to ski early in the season. Snowshoe can really crank them guns when the cold air comes.
0304 is not off to a good start....
I may make a trip up there late in December, so I have been checking their web site frequently.
They say if you ski the place now, bring rock skis. Bare patches galore, thin cover in most places, base is bare and melting away on others.
One thing is for certain, skiing or no the central Rockies desperately need a snowy, cold winter with a late runoff to get the depleted water levels back up. No snow = no water out there. As we can see out our windows right now, that's not the case here.
Here on the east coast, it's still early-- the pattern could do a 180 the first week of December. As I recall last autumn was above avg until Thanksgiving week, when the temperatures plummeted and stayed well below average for four months. That could happen again... but even in a bad winter there are still a few big storms that hit WV.
Snowcone if you're willing to go more than five hours, sometimes the weather patterns shift as you head north and Greek Peak (six hours) or the Catskills (6-7 hours) could have snow when WV doesn't. That is NOT the case right now-- unless a zonal jet stream gets stuck somewhere in PA it's not worth going up there. All things equal, Snowshoe has one of the best snowmaking systems on the east coast.
Squaw Valley, Alta, Snowbird, ... all are receiving an amazing amount of snow. In Utah they are already at nearly 30% of the season average (at some resorts) and it isn't even december!
One thing about the Mid-Atlantic is that the winters are literally on/off. Last year was cold, excellent, supurb by most accounts, suggesting that this year would be at best mediocre.
Think about the past... this trend has persisted sine about 1996... with on/off winters in this region.
Another indicator (that has proven somewhat reliable) is to look at what is happening out west. As it turns out, if it is snowing early outwest, the east is toast. Go fig. Last year (for example), a cold wet winter on the east actually caused a mediocre winter out west.
Right now it looks like Shoe will be able to open on the 29th... I would say at most however 5 trails. They are only going to have 3 - 5 days of snowmaking (and only at night). Lets just see what they can do.
Now, the worst case scenario is that the warm weather will return in Early december and persist until X-mas (as has happened in the past, cold late november turns into very warm dec). If this is the case... pray for snow!
Source: Snowshoe Mountain Resort
[This message has been edited by johnfmh (edited 11-24-2003).]
"OPENING DAY REMAINS ON STAND BY
Okay, who is the one that made Mother Nature mad this time
around? Someone needs to remind her that it's time to start making snow, so
we would appreciate a little bit of attention on the cold temperature front.
However, due to the milder temperatures earlier this week, it looks like
it's going to be a Friday, December 5 slope opening at the earliest. It all
depends on how much the temperature holds below freezing. The resort will
be open for Thanksgiving this week and there will be plenty of activities
going on and around the Village at Snowshoe.
I went out with our Snowmaking Manager last Friday and there
is still a large amount of snow from top to bottom especially in the Spruce
Glades Terrain Park. Last week's 4.15 inches of rain worked on it a bit,
but I was pleasantly surprised by the amount still on the trails. Come to
think of it, if that under-developed snow had been the real stuff, we
would've had 40 inches of natural to play on. Oh well, life goes on doesn't
it. When we drop the ropes for the season we are going to open with quality
and plenty of snow to have fun with.
The weather forecast is calling for these mild temperatures
to leave here later today and be replaced with some cold temperatures and
snow tonight. Then temperatures in the teens return by Thursday night and I
can hear those snow guns now. Remember, when temperatures are in the teens
the snowmaking team is producing over 2700 tons of snow an hour. That's a
lot of snow folks."
"It was decided this morning to begin the 2003/2004
season, this Friday, December 5. We will open with 11 trails and three
lifts at the Snowshoe area, the most available terrain in the region."