Skiing After the Rain/Ice
February 10, 2004
Hi there - I'm new to this board, but have appreciated all the insight and information thus far.
Anyway, I was wondering if anyone has any thoughts about skiing this weekend at Whitetail/Liberty after all the rain and ice we've gotten in the last 24 hours. Will the slopes be a pile of mush this weekend, or will grooming make decently skiable slopes?
Thanks in advance.
Roundtop claims that the ice froze to the top of the trail, and should help prevent the rain from penetrating their snowbase-- in other words they didn't groom last night and as soon as the rain stops they'll mix up the granular into their packed powder surface.
The major advantage of skiing this weekend should be that a lot of folks will stay home, hence even if conditions aren't optimal it shouldn't be that crowded. I'd expect the bases held up well and you'll run into more ice, but could also have a lot more enjoyable experience.
Snowshoe actually shut down for the day today because of the Ice storm. It must have been pretty bad, as I have never seen this happen there before for reasons other than high winds or lightning. They reported 5.5 inches of snow and ice for the storm, and the picture of the day doesn't look too promising. If other resorts got the same sort of treatment that SS did, i would expect Saturday to be a sheet of ice even with the best grooming efforts. Maybe if it gets broken up a little on Sat, Sunday could be decent after some overnight snowmaking.
I just got back from Snowshoe this afternoon. The ice there was incredible this morning but they were working frantically to get every back up and running. Silver Creek was open tonight. I expect that with a little snow overnight and grooming the slopes will be good as new on Saturday.
Snowing as i speak in the highlands.looks like it will snow all day & nite.There will be some happy campers up there! They can get heavy rain but 90% of the time its followed by a few inches of powdery snow..& you say what rain? I was thinking earlier that if the resorts got an initial few "'s of snow followed by an " of ice just leave it alone.what better way of protecting the base!!Those that chose to open & groomed the ice prob lost 8 inches of base..I'll let the rocket scientist on this site figure out the economics of this move.what you say mr Z & CO.?
Since there's still 2 inches of snow on the ground here in Crownsville, MD, where it rained almost all day, I bet that even the ski areas that groomed didn't lose more than an inch or two of base. Unless it was a heckuva lot warmer in WV than it was here yesterday. Looking forward to any intrepid skiers/boarders to tell us what the slopes were like today...
I just got off the phone with Timberline. Other than some frozen granular they dodged the ice storm bullet.
rode roundtop from 8:00 to 2:00 and it was pretty good. nice soft wet granular 'hero snow'. i would imagine that tonight is goingot get hard with frozen granular but they will probably make snow so tomorrow could be good.
Been getting snowshowers here north of Morgantown all day with about 2" of new snow. Probably about 4-6" in the mountains just to my east.
My wife and I were at Wintergreen, VA
yesterdy from 11-4 (sorta a last minute
descision to go skiing made at 9 that
morning). Slopes on the Highlands side
were pretty good early on; started getting
icy around 2. All in all a commendable job
by the crew of getting the slopes in good shape.
I should add that it was really busy at the
resort. Bit of a suprise, given the weather
on Friday. I guess people have a lot of
faith in the grooming abilities at
I was at Wintergreen also. The slopes were nice once they got open. The entire side with the blue runs did not open until 10:15 and the highlands didn't open until after 10:30. This really caused some logjams.
Then the Big Express broke for about 2 1/2 hours and then the Acorn lift broke for 40 minutes later that afternoon. All in all I was a little disappointed at Wintergreen and seriously thinking to not go back.
Just got back from Snowshoe yesterday. I was pretty worried going up and to be honest it was a horrendous drive. I was at work when one of my group left me a message saying they were stuck at the bottom of the mountain and couldn't get up. Worrying to say the least. I finally decided to go ahead and give it a shot and set out at 4pm from Fairfax. Once we got into west Virginia down 55 the ice or snow asn't the problem, it was the fog. It was like driving in a bubble, 20 to 30 visibility and crawling along through the dark. It tok about 6 hours to get there. Thankfully along the way I received calls from everyone in my group saying they had gotten in okay.
Woke up Saturday morning looked out the window not expecting much and got a nice surprise. Blowing powder. Walked over to the top of Powderidge 3-4" powder on top of the hardpack. Needless to say went riding. It dumped all day long. By 4:00 pm it was just perfect. The terrain park suffered a little from the storm. The halfpipe was bulletproof ice one side and 8" of powder on the other. The landings on the jumps were rock solid so it was very hard to land clean. Sunday I was clearing out but some of the group stayed on. They had a full on powder day with blue sky. What could have been a disaster turned out much better than I could have hoped.
My take on Wintergreen is that for the
distance I have to drive to get there
(< 1 hr) it is a decent area, especially
if you stick to the highlands. But I don't
think I would go there with a group of mixed
ability - it seems to get really, really
busy in the beginner area. And parking
can be a hassle, too. I'll probably go back
a couple more times this year.
I was at Liberty Sunday afternoon and it was INCREDIBLE skiing! The ice storm (okay - RAIN) on Friday left a glaze of ice everywhere there was snow. However, the groomers did a decent job and the traffic Saturday helped even more. I spent the afternoon on the bumps on Eastwind and it was great from about 11:00am until 3pm. At that point, the sun was starting to throw longer shadows and the trails on the backside started to refreeze. All in all, no problems from the "ice" storm. There were more issues from the usual thaw-freeze-thaw cycle, but then that's old hat to us Mid-A skiers, right?
If I was less than an hour, it would be no problem for me to go back by myself and stay on the Highlands. Driving from DC, little bit of a different story.
My friend from Raleigh (who we met up there this weekend) told me a story that sounds utterly ridiculous but he swears its true. When they first opened the Highlands, you had to take a ski test to prove you could ski that terrain. He says he failed the first time. Does anyone remember this at Wintergreen?
Man, I wish they would require a ski test. Too many times there are people that have absolutely NO business being on the terrain that they're attempting. You get wobbly kneed snow plowers TRYING to run down mogul runs, etc. In Utah, I saw this kind of sight in the double-diamond chutes off of the Millicent (spelling?) lift of Brighton. WHAT were they thinking?? It's one thing to challenge yourself but that should be at the appropriate level.
[This message has been edited by warren (edited 02-10-2004).]
Yes, I remember the "tests" from early '90s. Maybe they had loosened their standards by then, but all you had to do was show a little parallel form as you approached the entrance to those trails and they would wave you through. Actually, it was/is a good thing, because it kept lines manageable for the chair that serves that area. The weekend crowds are what make Wintergreen a little unpleasant sometimes, I guess they have a monopoly on pent-up demand from southern half of VA and northern part of NC? I can remember a few times where I had to drop my party off near ticket window, then go park a quarter mile (or more)downhill from there along their access road, then slog back up to join my group. Traffic on trails can be real heavy at those times. But Wintergreen has a lot of mtn top development (condos/pools), so it can be a pretty nice place to do an overnight stay.