I finally got in my first and last turns of the season (work + injury = crappy ski year). Oh well.
Met up with my folks on Thursday evening. It was warm and windy. Woke up to 40 something temps. My Dad (age 70) said he wanted to ski Silver Creek one last time before it closed for the season (it's his favorite due to lack of crowds and generally better snow quality). Let's just say that was a mistake. It's clear they hadn't made snow over there in any substantive fashion for some time. Conditions varied from a thin layer of loose frozen granular over hardpack/ice to blue sheets of death on a the runout from Fox Chase to Flying Eagle lift. Some of the ice underlying thegranular also had that lovely death cookie texture that can rattle fillings loose.
Later that day the sun came out and Cupp Run was superb top to bottom with nice corn. Upper Shays was a mess.
I'll also add that mgt had already decided to close the ski school at Silver Creek. This sucks for my four year old. Anyone with half-a-brain knows the terrain at Silver Creek is much more conducive to teaching beginners.
Awoke Saturday to a very overcast, warmer, and less windy day. I took my daughter over to ski Skidder and the magic carpet. Let's just say squatting whilst snow-plowing forces you to use muscles that you otherwise wouldn't. After a couple hours of this she was done and my legs were burning as if I had already spent a solid half-day skiing. I then headed over to the Widowmaker area. Virtually no lift lines and fairly decent snow, especially on the edges. Camp 99 was holding up very well with just a bit of ice in the center of the firs steep section and plenty of soft snow to the edges. Sawmill was in worse shape. You sort of had an isthmus of snow in one area to get to the main slope and rapidly eroding conditions.
I did a dozen or so laps over there before my left calf decided to stage a coup and cramp up on me. That was my day.
On another note I still can't figure out the mentality of some people. I came across one couple trying to coax their daughter (I'd guess age 8) down Camp 99. She was still snowplowing. Now granted none of the runs on the basin are terribly steep for any great distance but in the conditions that existed yesterday, such a move was just idiotic. I'd say I did four or five runs before the poor girl made it down. Don't worry though, I'm sure making a your daughter cry in fear will make her love the sport.
Overall a good time. I will say that attendance seemed to be down.
If asked to predict what will close first, well I can't make much of prediction since I didn't explore much of the basin. Without a good snow storm or some extensive snowmaking I'll say; Upper Shays, Sawmill, and possibly the upper part of Widowmaker (Camp 99 actually seemed to have better snow).
Come on Showshoe! Hold it together for one more week!
As of 3/8 the mountain was still in pretty good shape...there were some really nice spring moguls on Widowmaker. Coverage on Camp 99 was good. Cupp/Shays softened up nicely throughout the day. I thought Lower Shays skied really well - there were some uncovered areas, but I had no trouble finding some really nice lines through the moguls. One area where the coverage was not very good was the final slope down to the ballhooter lift, to skiers right of the liftline (after you pass flume). The center part of this slope had a fair number of muddy areas, but it was actually really fun to ski the narrow areas of good coverage on the left or the right.
Ok, I just checked the Snowshoe site and Shays is now closed. Their Daily Mountain Comment says that they hope to re-open it for the weekend, and that they will take advantage of the upcoming cold weather to run the snow guns, so hopefully things will be in good shape for you this weekend.