I gleaned this interesting nugget from the Friends of the 500th newsletter.
Taken from "Weatherdoodle" by Dave Lesher:
According to Canaan Valley weather observer, Kenny Sturm, this winter's number of days with snowcover from Dec to Feb totaled 76, well above the normal of 58 days. Unfortunately, January was a spoiler for local ski interests as spotty snowfall and very warm temps must have certainly taken a bite out of business.
March was a little bit of a letdown also.With that said, Any ski area that had their Ski doo doo together in the Mid Atlantic would have had a GREAT year! Can you Imagine Whitetail having the same weather that TL (With the north face) had? the magic that they could work?...I cannot wait for a ski area to come along north of SS & south of Wisp...WITH THEIR DOO DOO Together!
One word, Andy: "Whitegrass." I'm sure Swimmer agrees.
This was not a banner year for Whitegrass but still good turns were found by those willing to work and look for them. Up along the ridge of Powerderline through the trees was just plain fun, not to mention forging your own path of untracked through the ravines of the National Nordic. I can't wait until better snow to burn a few laps of 5 dollar lift up Canaan, through the back door, down Pipeline, around Baldy, down Springers from the top, quick skate back to Canaan, repeat. This year I never found the top of Springers to be filled in enough. It's pretty exposed to wind. I tried a couple of turns but my last weekend there I kicked up a baseball sized rock with my ski edge and landed on it with my thigh. When I hit, I thought I broke my femur. I can't ever remember having that much pain before, even through reconstructive jaw surgery or a broken back. That's what I get for trying to push my luck with less than stellar conditions.
I am saddened by how quickly people forget about the efforts made by Timberline this year to make snow. All during the season people were praising Timberline for their concentrated efforts to blow snow as much as possible, really a strong improvement over years past. But as soon as the season is over, people are all negative. I suppose nothing will ever be good enough.
Yeh,your right Swimmer TL "improved" But your not supposed to let them know it! It won't take em 2 hot seconds to lose the eye of the snowcat & kick back on their laurels for the next 3 years! Canaan could do much better & I hope they get the new management soon.Sounds like someone needs to plant a line of spruce up on Springer to block the wind & "farm" the snow.
Don't be sad. Tline did do a great job making snow up until President's Day when they stopped for the season (leaky pipe? maybe, cheap or out of snowmaking money? maybe also). The lack of snow making caused them to close Almost Heaven a month early, plow whales, and groom all bumps. That said, Tline mountain ops consistently does an awesome job making the most out of whatever snow they have.
The real story is the 78 vs 58 days snowcover between December and Feb - I must have missed something this year. It must have been the front-loaded snow in December, because things sure seemed more brown than white most of Jan and Feb.
That 78 days is impressive. I'm going to pull a Mountain Masher moment here
though and say that I could swear that CV averages more than 58 days of snow cover a year. Don't they average 60-80 days normally? If they did, this would put them in the upper end of their average- still good, considering how bad the winter was down this way, but not out of line with expectations. 58 just seems low.
Well, the measurement is the total between Dec and Feb - does not include March. So its 58 days out of 90 some total - snowcover almost 65% of the time on average. The 78 days noted for this year would be over 85% of days with snow cover - which seems quite high to me. Then again, how are "days of snowcover" supposed to be officially measured? If a trace counts then I guess 78 days of snowcover this year might be reasonable, but then the average seems pretty low.
Don't forget Nov! I can personaly account for 8 in Nov & 4 in oct & I'm sure there were more days than that. You all know how the snow piles up in drifts here & there thruout the Valley. It creates large areas of thin cover that easily gets burned off by the sun...there is a mathamatical formula I'm sure that they use to figure out the snow cover if you could spread out all those drifts....Don't ya think? There will be many days of 0 snow on the valley floor but a solid cover as soon as you enter the woods on the Valley's edges. My better half doesn't need any stats.I'll look out our living room window & say "I can't believe its still snowing" & she just nonchalantly says "whats the big deal..its always snowing here!" ....looks like i need 1 more inch to reach 167 this year....looks a little cooler later on this month
I took a quick look at Chip's WG stats and here they are:
Skiable days: 124
Skiable w/ 50 km: 49
APRIL-6" so far
It's hard to believe that we go 33" in January but Chip's figures are generally reliable.
My question is not that did it snow more than 30" in January, but how long did each of the snows last on the ground immediately following the snows. Then how high did the temperatures get on the following days. Maybe it's me, but it seems like that after it snowed in CV, the temps just didn't stay at a consistent freezing or low mark. It seemed like they rose, melted the snow, it snowed again and repeated the process all winter.
Yes, the snowfall itself this year was at least average (the snowstorm in October might have helped skew it slightly above), but the snowpack was pitiful. There was almost always some snow on the ground, especially in December in which I think the whole month was covered, but the frequent thaws never let the snowpack build. Especially in January which was extremely warm, but every week there seemed to be a short cold blast that would last two days and bring 6+ inches of snow with it. February was better, but still had too many warm spells to get anything to stick around. So in short, there was a lot of time this year with a trace to a few inches on the ground, but never much more than that except right after a couple good storms. I does sound to me that 58 days of snow on the ground is low.
This was not a banner year for Whitegrass but still good turns were found by those willing to work and look for them. Up along the ridge of Powerderline through the trees was just plain fun, not to mention forging your own path of untracked through the ravines of the National Nordic. I can't wait until better snow to burn a few laps of 5 dollar lift up Canaan, through the back door, down Pipeline, around Baldy, down Springers from the top, quick skate back to Canaan, repeat. This year I never found the top of Springers to be filled in enough......
Steve, guess you missed it (Baldy face) on that one day that it was good to go. Hit it nicely w/ buds from C'ville and learned valuble lessons on where the snow lies this year:
Me finishing off the Baldy face:
So, despite a 'bad' snow year, there's plenty of skiing if you're willing to chase it. Can't wait for one of those 'epic' winters to roll thru again, but I'm more than happy with what we got this year.