Snowshoe Status
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johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
November 18, 2003
Member since 07/18/2001 🔗
1,986 posts
I just pulled this from:

"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

johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
November 18, 2003
Member since 07/18/2001 🔗
1,986 posts
Snowshoe just pushed their opening day to the 29th:

This current warm weather trend is the culprit...

November 18, 2003
Member since 12/31/2001 🔗
113 posts
I'll be up there mid december so I hope the weather cooperates enough to open most of the mountain by then. I wonder how this weather will affect other resorts.


November 19, 2003
Member since 07/31/2003 🔗
485 posts
I'm booked to be at the shoe 12/11/03 - 12/14/03. I'm hoping as well that there'll be something to ski on.


DCSki Sponsor: Canaan Valley Resort
November 19, 2003
Member since 09/27/2002 🔗
589 posts
SS news says Sat Nov 29th opening "at the earliest". I find that ominous. We are booked for Dec 17 thru 22 and I'm wondering if rather spend all that money for just a few runs on the basin side, it might be wiser to cancel now while we still can. Another contributing factor is that the instructor we normally use is out for the season with a torn ACL .. good instructors should be banned from playing soccer during the off season! We usually book several private half day lessons over a long weekend at the beginning of the season (you know how friggin' expensive -that- is) and I'm just not prepared to eat that amount of cash cause conditions are far less than optimal.

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?


November 19, 2003
Member since 03/11/2004 🔗
144 posts
SS can get a half dozen solid trails up from nothing in a week - and then add several more a day. They don't open unless they are sure they roll it out quickly.
johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
November 19, 2003
Member since 07/18/2001 🔗
1,986 posts

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.

November 19, 2003
Member since 01/25/2002 🔗
316 posts
Killington was off and running, but the warn rain came and turned the place into a mud pit.

0304 is not off to a good start....

johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
November 19, 2003
Member since 07/18/2001 🔗
1,986 posts
Killington is hanging in there with 16 open trails and 3 lifts.

I may make a trip up there late in December, so I have been checking their web site frequently.

November 19, 2003
Member since 03/11/2004 🔗
144 posts
If I recall, late starts usually lead to late finishes. That was the case 2 years ago. Unfornately, most move on from skiing by mid March, and many hills close down - even though there is still plenty of snow into April. Of course snow in late March does nothing for us now!
November 19, 2003
Member since 01/25/2002 🔗
316 posts
Yah I know what their *site* says, but friends who live up there say quite another.

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.

November 19, 2003
Member since 03/7/2004 🔗
58 posts
To the poster who talked about it being cold in the West meaning the winter will suck in the East: That is absolutely not true. As a matter of fact, LET THEM have their cold and snow now...Because by early December the pattern will change giving us the cold and snow (just watch). Now would you rather have the East cold and snowy now, only to have a warm dry winter? No! So just be patient, our winter will come.
November 19, 2003
Im with you danwxman maybe we are getting our jan thaw over with now! There has been mention of a slight warming of the pacific(el nino) & we are starting to see those warm moist feeds from that area.That could mean a rain,powder type winter.hopefully the north winds will win.The last el nino canaan got around 145".With rain storms inbetween.
November 19, 2003
Actually it is true -- and as you will see Resort openings will be extremely late in the region. This pattern also brings about rain, and warming trends in mid-feb early March. I have worked at a Mid-Atlantic resort for 6 years, what about you?
Roger Z
November 19, 2003
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
The west vs. east comparison is a little false. The central Rockies (Utah, Colorado) have had one good winter in the last five years and that had an early runoff, hence the five year drought that they have going. Utah had fire warnings as late as October. We've had in those last five years at least two outstanding winters and two awful ones.

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.

November 20, 2003
This season is off to a great start... out west.

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!

November 20, 2003
Member since 12/8/2001 🔗
792 posts
Please hope that this is not a repeat of two years ago.
johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
November 24, 2003
Member since 07/18/2001 🔗
1,986 posts
Here are some official statistics on snowfall amounts at Snowshoe:

Year: Inches
92-93: 174.00
93-94: 202.25
94-95: 101.50
95-96: 290.00
96-97: 141.00
97-98: 202.00
98-99: 157.50
99-00: 127.00
00-01: 178.00
01-02: 115.00
02-03: 216.00

Source: Snowshoe Mountain Resort

[This message has been edited by johnfmh (edited 11-24-2003).]

johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
November 24, 2003
Member since 07/18/2001 🔗
1,986 posts
This just in from SNOWSHOE:


Hello Everyone:
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."

November 25, 2003
Looks like that snow ave for snoeshoe is just a few "'s off there 180 ave.Not bad with global warming & all! somebody else was saying this GREAT website has thier ave at 153. GEEZ with all that snowmaking power couldn;t they at least add some sleding Or a little green run for the kiddies? After all they are trying to get families up there for thanksgiving.I mean at 2700 tons of snow an hour how much can they make with mon,tue,maybe wed,thur nite with a little from mommy nature & then all thru the weekend On top of what is allready there?? Let the kiddies play Can they spare a few snowballs?
johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
December 1, 2003
Member since 07/18/2001 🔗
1,986 posts
This just in:

"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."

Ski and Tell

Snowcat got your tongue?

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