Whitetail as of 0610 on 11 January was reporting light drizzle and a 12-22 inch base of machine groomed, "packed powder." Snowmaking probably will not be able to resume until early Sunday morning at Whitetail. My concern is that a 12-22 inch base is a pretty thin amount of cover--I hope it endures over the course of the weekend. The Tail usually keeps a big pile of snow at the top of the mountain to cover bare spots, but I wouldn't be surprised to see a trail closure or two over the weekend. The one thing Whitetail will not do is allow people to ski on trails which could potentially damage skis. "Nothing close comes close!"
West Virginia may be a better bet. I spoke to Joe Stevens of Snowshoe today at 0745 and he said that while it did rain on the mountain on Thursday, the rain changed to snow at 0400 today. Thus far, Shoe received 2 inches and expects to receive another 2-3 inches of natural on Sunday. Snowmaking should resume today or tonight, and continue whenever temperatures permit (every night at the very minimum but also for the better part of many days as well). Snowshoe also has a good 42-54 inch base so I think trail closures are out of the question.
I suspect Timberline also received some fresh snow, but they still only have 3 top-to-bottom trails open. Furthermore, on Sunday, a race will force the closure of Upper White Lighning. With another 8 hours or so of Snowmaking, I was told that the resort could open another trail, but I wouldn't bank on it given the warm weather spell we've just had.
In short, I would I place my bet on Shoe for the best skiing this weekend.
Does anyone know anything about 7 Springs?
That puzzles me. I was there on Wed. (soft & thin) night and all they did was post orange circle signs on the bare spots. I've been on runs there that had trails down to 12' wide! With all the rain, it must be getting pretty thin & narrow by this weekend!
By any chance...do you work there?
Just got an e-mail from Joe Stevens on Snowshoe and snowmaking. Here's what he said,
"Mountain operations has made the decision to only make snow at night and not when the trails are in use. So no snowmaking
during the day. Our base is in good shape and handled the "underdeveloped
snow" without problem. "
That surprises me about Whitetail. I stand corrected. I've never had that experience personally, but I trust your posts so I'll take your word for it.
I don't for Tail but I think they do an incredible job given their geographical disadvantages. I also like their Deer Valley inspired Lodge and high speed chairs.