Mid-Atlantic Ski Season Kicks Off, with Help from Mother Nature
By M. Scott Smith, DCSki Editor
December 6, 2009 — After a relatively mild November, ski areas across the mid-Atlantic region welcomed the arrival of cold temperatures and natural snowfall, taking the opportunity to fire up the snowguns and push towards opening dates. Warm temperatures in November stalled snowmaking operations all the way to New England, with resorts across the East pushing back opening dates.
In the southeast, North Carolina’s Sugar Mountain Resort began its 40th winter season on Friday, November 27, 2009 with limited terrain. Sugar Mountain began snowmaking on Thanksgiving Day on the Upper and Lower Flying Mile slopes. Beech Mountain and Cataloochee Ski Areas have also opened for the season.
West Virginia’s Snowshoe Mountain Resort anticipated opening on November 24, but milder weather prevented effective snowmaking, and the date was pushed back. Snowshoe dropped the ropes for the first time on Saturday morning, December 5, opening 38 acres across 10 trails in both the Snowshoe basin and Silver Creek areas. Snowshoe reported a 14-24 inch base for opening day conditions.
Winter finally arrived in a tangible way on Saturday, as a cold front delivered 3-5 inches of snow across the mid-Atlantic region. The arrival of cold temperatures has allowed mid-Atlantic ski resorts to begin snowmaking operations in earnest. Saturday night, snowguns could be heard firing across resorts. Opening dates should not be far behind.
“Our crew will work to get the mountain open as soon as possible,” said Dick Barron, Director of Ski Operations at Pennsylvania’s Seven Springs Resort. Seven Springs began making snow on Friday night.
“We are committed to providing our guests with quality snowmaking and grooming,” Barron added. Seven Springs has not yet set an opening date.
Also in Pennsylvania, Whitetail Resort fired up its snowguns for the first time overnight Saturday.
Closer to Philadelphia, Bear Creek Mountain Resort began snowmaking last night.
“We are looking forward to another great winter season with or without natural snow from Mother Nature,” said Bear Creek’s General Maager, Mark Schroetel. Bear Creek can cover all of its slopes with two feet of manmade snow with three to four days of round-the-clock snowmaking.
Continued cold temperatures for the next week should allow snowguns to remain firing, at least during the night. The National Weather Service has predicted a colder- and snowier-than-normal winter season in store for the mid-Atlantic region, which is welcome news to area resorts and wintersports enthusiasts.
Related DCSki Stories:
Firsthand Report: Whitetail Resort (February 20)
Connie Lawn and Charles Sneiderman visited Pennsylvania’s Whitetail Resort over the Presidents Day holiday weekend, discovering prime conditions. They provide this Firsthand Report, describing Whitetail’s Adaptive program and sharing plans for future enhancements by Whitetail General Manager Don MacAskill.
Firsthand Report: Snowshoe in the Rain (January 22)
Can skiing in the pelting rain at Snowshoe be fun? If you’re DCSki Columnist Matthew Graham, it sure can be. He describes his recent rainy adventure in this Firsthand Report.
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Firsthand Report: Snowshoe Mountain Resort (January 13)
Connie Lawn and Charles Sneiderman spent the weekend at West Virginia’s Snowshoe Mountain Resort. They filed this Firsthand Report.
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Firsthand Report: Whitetail Resort (January 4)
A midweek escape to Pennsylvania’s Whitetail Resort on Thursday revealed the perfect skiing trifecta: plenty of sun, plenty of snow, and no crowds. DCSki’s Editor provides this Firsthand Report from his first turns of the season.
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Mid-Atlantic Ski Season Gains Momentum (December 27, 2012)
A shot of cold air and some natural snow has helped launch the 2012-2013 winter season in a big way. Find out the status of Mid-Atlantic ski areas.
Firsthand Report: Early Season Skiing at Seven Springs, PA (December 23, 2012)
There’s never a dull moment for mid-Atlantic snowsports enthusiasts. Weather-wise we’re off to another roller coaster ski season, but the folks at Seven Springs, PA are doing their utmost to get in the game, as Jim Kenney discovered on an early-season trip on December 15, 2012. Jim provides this Firsthand Report.
Hidden Valley, Seven Springs to open Friday (November 29, 2012)
On Friday, November 30, 2012, Pennsylvania’s Hidden Valley and Seven Springs Resorts will kick off their ski seasons.
The Weekly Altitude (November 25, 2012)
The Weekly Altitude provides a look at what’s happening in the Mid-Atlantic ski and snowboard scene. In this weeks issue: Ready, Set, Fire the Snowguns!; Kickstarter Project aims to develop Adventure Case for iPhone; North Carolina Ski Areas Association Offers “Gold Cards.”
What’s New for 2012: Beech Mountain Resort (November 22, 2012)
North Carolina’s Beech Mountain Resort is celebrating its 45th anniversary this winter. Thanks to recent snowmaking enhancements, Beech has the best snowmaking capacity in the resort’s history.
What’s New for 2012: Seven Springs Resort (November 22, 2012)
Dozens of improvements across Seven Springs Mountain Resort should provide skiers and boarders with a better experience this winter. The Pennsylvania resort has made strategic investments in snowmaking improvements, added an additional terrain park, and initiated a mountain beautification program that has made subtle refinements throughout.
About the Author
M. Scott Smith is the founder and Editor of DCSki. Scott loves outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, kayaking, skiing, and mountain biking. He is an avid photographer and writer. To read other articles by Scott, click here.
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Getting another MAJOR Boost - posted by SkiBumMSP
December 19, 2009 at 11:11 am
As of December 20, there is a full-on blizzard in progress in the Mid-Atlantic. Snow totals are not expected to be anywhere from two to three FEET! Have not seen powder this epic. To bad I ended up getting stuck in Charlottesville in an attempt to get to the ski slopes!