How long does the ski season last at SnowShoe/WG
I had plans to make a trip before the seasons end thinking we had 2 weeks left here in the mid south. I'm a recent transplant to my area and to boarding, so haven't paid much attention if SS or WG get decent snow at the tail of Feb and head of March - or is it over by mid March usually?
Are you refering to Wintergreen or Whitegrass? Usually, the shoe stays open until the second weekend in April. Wintergreen will stay until the end of March. Whitegrass until the snow stops. They all have ample terrain open on closing day. It's just that all the flatlanders are too busy planting potatoes to bother to go sking in April and March, which in my opinion, has the best conditions.
Let me make one thing clear about the end of the ski season in the mid-Atlantic. At most ski areas you have TWO end dates. The date when quality skiing comes to an end, which is usually around the 2nd weekend in March (at many ski areas within the mid-Atlantic). And, after that comes the Technical Closure Date (TCD). By the time the TCD arrives, there's usually LOTS of thin BROWN snow with plenty of bare spots, not what a reasonable person would call quality skiing. Although each ski season varies, I would plan most of my skiing BEFORE mid-March. If there's lots of high quality skiing after that, consider it a bonus. And, keep in mind that, when March, 07 rolls around, 8 or 9 days of relatively mild weather will have taken place, including some rain....not a particularly positive indicator for some high quality skiing in late March.
I've consistantly had stellar late March riding. It will depend on the coming warm up but I think even the close in places are ready for it. They have huge mounds of snow built up at Whitetail. Exhibition must have 3 mounds, each wbout 8-10 feet deep ready to be pushed around if they need it. Stalker has a 20' quarter pipe at the end of it ready to be used as needed. I'm sure the westernmost areas will have good quality snow up until they actually close due to lack of interest. I agree that there is definitely the technical date and the realistic date but I think we still have the potential for some good March riding. To be honest I'm looking forward to a few days of soft corn and slop. Short of pow pow thats as good as it gets.
I understand what you're saying mm, but as a rule, the month of March is usually some of, if not the BEST, skiing of the year in the WV Alpps. Two of the past three seasons saw near epic conditions in the valley on closing day in April. That being said, I have also endured what you describe in crud and crap with the emergence of mud chickens everywhere. However, I have also experienced those conditions in NE and the West. It just depends if you want to make turns or not or where you choose to ski. This year, we must have had a back a$$ward season, because the beginning of the season resembled the TCD snow conditions you describe. I have even hiked in late April and early May to get some turns. There weren't many linked turns, but they were turns all the same. Quality sking? Definetly not, but sking all the same.
Agreed. March and early April have been surprisingly good for me at Snowshoe, with a couple nice powder dumps each year and plenty of open terrain. I have been at Snowshoe in late March and seen them continue snowmaking on important trails. Wintergreen, on the other hand, usually starts declining past early March, even though they try to go to at least the third week of March. They just stop making snow and the warmer temps (compared to Snowshoe) means the snow disappears faster.
Unless we get a major warmup, Snowshoe in mid to late March is still a very good bet, and you may strike it lucky and hit a major snow dump. Last year, Snowshoe was actually in better late-season form than some of the major New England resorts.
Looking through my ski notes from last year: I was at Snowshoe on March 23-24 -- except for lower Shay's, all trails were still open, and the week's natural snowfall had been groomed in for very good skiing. We have a trip planned for March 16-19 this year, right after the lodging rates drop 30-40% on March 15.
I have to disagree MM wrt Snowshoe. With a 4+ foot base at mid-March and something like 50 inches of natural snow fall during March, comfortable temps, fewer people, lower prices, etc. it is hard to beat. Unfortunately, many years SS could go a couple weeks into April, but there are no skiers. Yes it can be a little soft later in March, but the base is so deep that it actually makes for some very good quality skiing. Last year March 19th after a significant warm spell, I skied Cupp all day, basically by myself, and had the best conditions that I can remember (other than a true powder dump). Deep base, no ice, a little soft but still fast - a cruisers dream really. If I recall correctly, after that date, it got cold again, snowed some more, and keep things going into the first weekend in April.
I have a similar recollection. I was at Silver Creek that same weekend, and the coverage on the trails was just fine. I remember thinking that I had actually timed it rather poorly because there was more snow and cold after we left, which I imagine made for better conditions the following weekend.
I have a friend with a Summit condo at Snowshoe and each year for the past 7 or so we have gone up to ski around the last weekend in March. We have never been disappointed by the conditions...only complaint is that they close SilverCreek in late March. Several times we were snowed in for an extra day due to major snowfalls.
Go and enjoy. Snowshoe is great and generally has the best late season conditions thanks to the thick base and the colder temps that near 5000 foot altitude brings.