Season Over in Mid Atlantic?
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snowsmith - DCSki Supporter 
February 16, 2023
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,562 posts

Folks - it is looking bleak for an extended local ski season. I can't image the former Snowtime resorts will last much longer. The southern resorts in VA can't be doing too well. The Laurels resorts, 7S, HV and LM have a surface that does not ski well and there is a very limited window to make snow for the upcoming Presidents Day weekend. After that, the weather looks bleak. The only MA resorts hanging on to some descent terrain are the higher elevation resorts - Snowshoe and Timberline. That said I am guessing that the snow surface is deteriorating quicky into April like conditions.

In my 48 years of skiing at our little mole hills, I cannot remember a worse ski season. The current La Nina weather pattern which we've had for the last 3 years is supposed to be ending. Will that bring us better weather for the 2023/2024 ski season? Or is this becoming a permanent weather pattern signaling, perhaps, and end to MA skiing. I sure hope not. 

I am currently trying to schedule a trip to Utah or Colorado so I can ski on real snow.

This situation is depressing. JimK has the right idea.

Shotmaker
February 16, 2023
Member since 02/18/2014 🔗
177 posts
It feels like we are running out of time but 5 years ago at the end of February Snowshoe had very thin cover. There were rumors that unless significant snow fell or enough machine made could be generated March would be a disaster. 

Well March came in like a lion and Cheat Mountain magic worked. We had roughly 8’ of snow in the first 10 days.  Here is a pic of the snow pile at Top of the World parking lot the last weekend in March. 

There is always hope don’t throw in the towel yet for the Mid-Atlantic!1676592590_aghjkdcpvbdg.jpg
wgo
February 16, 2023 (edited February 16, 2023)
Member since 02/10/2004 🔗
1,635 posts
I remember March 2018 well. I extended a weekend trip for a powder day after 10 inches of snow overnight, and I think Snowshoe got 40 or 50 inches of snow that week. I doubt that will happen this year but I will be skiing TL and Snowshoe regardless for as long as they have decent terrain open.
mdr227
February 17, 2023
Member since 01/11/2016 🔗
191 posts
Many of us remember the days of skiing into April at Timberline and Snowshoe with some great conditions and even in recent years we've had more local resorts like Liberty and Bryce stay open until mid to late March with pretty good conditions.    This year though even if we get a cold March with some good snow it will be too late to make much of a difference at the closer in resorts with such limited terrain open and terrain that is open incredibly thin in depth and width (the last two days have probably undone weeks of snowmaking with the high temps, humidity, rain, etc.).    The other big issue for ski resorts staying open in a Winter like this is skier interest as many are already hanging up their skis/boards for the Winter and moving on to Spring.    How many people are going to want to continue to ski at a place like Whitetail that will be lucky to have two to three top to bottom trails open this weekend for the full prices being charged for such limited terrain?    I can only imagine how much money many of the local resorts are losing this Winter.
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jimw
February 17, 2023 (edited February 17, 2023)
Member since 02/2/2015 🔗
113 posts

No the pattern is changing back to El Nino so I'm hoping to see a rebound again in March.  Artic Air will be pushing south.  

Yes 2018 March weekend trip turned into a week trip.  Truck broke down so I had to get a rental from Staunton (last 4wd they had) to get to Snowshoe.  Stayed in a least 4 different places that week.   One of the best if not the best time of east coast riding.  

marzNC - DCSki Supporter 
February 17, 2023 (edited February 17, 2023)
Member since 12/10/2008 🔗
3,226 posts

Meanwhile it's 22 degrees at Cataloochee in NC as of 6pm on Feb. 17 and snowmaking is going full blast.

Snowmaking in progress at Massanutten, Timberline, and Canaan Valley too.

Going to look different by morning in a number of places.

chuck_wow
February 18, 2023
Member since 01/14/2023 🔗
54 posts

Somebody say what's up at liberty whitetop please. Hope as manynof yall as possible y'all are shredding it somewhere.

Shotmaker
February 19, 2023
Member since 02/18/2014 🔗
177 posts

marzNC wrote:

Meanwhile it's 22 degrees at Cataloochee in NC as of 6pm on Feb. 17 and snowmaking is going full blast.

Snowmaking in progress at Massanutten, Timberline, and Canaan Valley too.

Going to look different by morning in a number of places.

Snowshoe received 3" natural and lots of machine made. This brings the total season to a whopping 34.5" which is roughly 30"+ more than all resorts east of Snowshoe! Conditions here on Saturday were exceptional and really good through mid day Sunday.

Grumpy dad
February 21, 2023 (edited February 21, 2023)
Member since 11/7/2021 🔗
142 posts

7Springs had some bare spots this weekend. Sunday was mashed potatoes on top of some really hard stuff that would catch you off guard easily.  Lots of muddy/wet butts this weekend.  The resort was PACKED, but the lift lines were long for periods of time but not as bad as previous.  By 3p on Sunday, it was pretty dead.  By 5pm we didnt wait for more than a minute to get on the lift.  Everyone must have gone inside.

I fear for 7S.  They made enough snow when needed but I think they were banking on some natural, and that didnt materialize but what did was very warm temps/rain, with little opportunity to make snow...

and here we are again.  2 week forecast shows MAYBE two nights that they can make snow with many days being quite warm w/ rain.  That's a bad combination for what they have already which is barely holding onto a few inches of base in MANY areas.

Im hoping they are wrong about the forecast....but they are always wrong when it comes to snow and snow totals, never the bad news.  

If I can get the kids out 3 more times I wont feel like I lost out on passes this year.  

ShredDMV
February 21, 2023
Member since 09/23/2022 🔗
24 posts

The season is what you make of it honestly, and agreeing it has definitely been poor conditions, but I've still been having a blast going around and skiing the Mid-Atlantic.  I suppose that's what a significant hiatus away from the sport will do to someone haha.  Enjoy the video from Mnut!  footage from 2/21

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrgOWB3s21g

marzNC - DCSki Supporter 
February 25, 2023
Member since 12/10/2008 🔗
3,226 posts
Bryce is holding Winterfest on March 11.  Should be able to do a bit more snowmaking this weekend.
marzNC - DCSki Supporter 
February 25, 2023
Member since 12/10/2008 🔗
3,226 posts
For this weekend, Feb 25-26, Massanutten is down to the core trails. That means Southern Comfort (green), Upper and Lower Showtime (blue), and Diamond Jim (black). Mueller's Mile (blue) from the top is closed. There are a couple sections of Mueller's that get a lot of sun exposure. It's possible to ski Upper Paradice to Ridgecrest (blue) but Upper Mass Transit and Yee Ha are closed so can't go that way and lap the Peak lift.

Wintergreen is open with core trails only. While the Acorn lift is running, only Eagle Swoop (blue) is open and the cross trails are closed. Dobie (green) and the terrain park are open off the Blue Ridge Express. There is essentially one way down off the Highlands lift (black).  Wintergreen will be closed after Feb. 26.
snapdragon
February 25, 2023
Member since 01/27/2015 🔗
333 posts
the mass should have cut their tix in half for the hard cores i see on the cams...i bet the plug gets pulled tomorrow looking at next week's forecast
marzNC - DCSki Supporter 
February 25, 2023
Member since 12/10/2008 🔗
3,226 posts

snapdragon wrote:

the mass should have cut their tix in half for the hard cores i see on the cams...i bet the plug gets pulled tomorrow looking at next week's forecast

 Massanutten has Snow Moon Fest scheduled for March 3-5.  One way or another, there will be a few slopes open next weekend.

The width and depth of the snow on Southern Comfort is more than in the past decade after similar heat waves.  Same for Diamond Jim and Showtime.  The old stick guns on Upper Showtime were replaced with TT10 fan guns.  Can't tell that from the webcams.

When was the last time you skied at Massanutten?

Massanutten fan guns on Showtime, mid-January 2023

1677366424_wavttyfzlddo.jpg

ShredDMV
February 25, 2023
Member since 09/23/2022 🔗
24 posts

Conditions over at Whitetail on closing weekend, their shortest season ever apparently.  Made the most of it, enjoy!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iBgcjY0IqVM

marzNC - DCSki Supporter 
February 26, 2023
Member since 12/10/2008 🔗
3,226 posts

Massanutten decided today to suspend operations Wed-Fri in order to have slopes open March 4-5.  They have hopes for another chance for snowmaking by the end of the week.

chuck_wow
February 26, 2023
Member since 01/14/2023 🔗
54 posts


 Hey why didn't you drive to 7S? Also wanna say I'm a huge fan of your how to survive fed prison YouTube vids. Keep up the good work. I'm rooting for you.

ShredDMV wrote:

Conditions over at Whitetail on closing weekend, their shortest season ever apparently.  Made the most of it, enjoy!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iBgcjY0IqVM

snapdragon
February 26, 2023
Member since 01/27/2015 🔗
333 posts
it doesn't matter when the last time i was at the mass...i can look at a web cam...read a trail report...analyze a 10 day weather forecast...arrive at the conclusion that muddy corn on 3 trails isn't worth $90...no matter how much lipstick is on the pig
SeniorSki
11 months ago
Member since 01/31/2022 🔗
131 posts
The haves and have nots, wow Mammoth mountain has received 280 inches of snow this season. They are expecting another 3 to 4 feet. I believe we will be seeing videos of skiers on July 4th. I think Alta is the big winner this season, need to look that one up. While the middle Atlantic basically has zero, bummer. 
Shotmaker
11 months ago (edited 11 months ago)
Member since 02/18/2014 🔗
177 posts
Actually they have reported 500” at the Main Lodge and 650” at the Summit. 
Grumpy dad
11 months ago
Member since 11/7/2021 🔗
142 posts

There was SOME excitement a few days ago that the laurels would get a decent snowfall.

Well that's been cancelled.  Instead we will get rain again.  

I feel like a lactose intolerant person who works for a cheesecake factory.

Grumpy dad
11 months ago
Member since 11/7/2021 🔗
142 posts


Wow I just looked at their webcam. How do they think they are going to reopen this weekend? 

snapdragon wrote:

it doesn't matter when the last time i was at the mass...i can look at a web cam...read a trail report...analyze a 10 day weather forecast...arrive at the conclusion that muddy corn on 3 trails isn't worth $90...no matter how much lipstick is on the pig
bob
11 months ago (edited 11 months ago)
Member since 04/15/2008 🔗
736 posts
Conditions in the mid Atlantic might look grim, but the Poconos are looking alright. Actually, Blue, Montage and Elk   look pretty good
Timothy.grasso
11 months ago
Member since 11/20/2018 🔗
62 posts

bob wrote:

Conditions in the mid Atlantic might look grim, but the Poconos are looking alright. Actually, Blue, Montage and Elk   look pretty good

I skied Jack Frost (AM) and Big Boulder (PM) this Monday (prior to the 7 inches on Monday night). The conditions were pretty solid and not a soul around. It was nice to try somewhere new and my 6 year old enjoyed the "trails in the trees" at Jack Frost.

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jimw
11 months ago
Member since 02/2/2015 🔗
113 posts
A little snow is in the forecast for this weekend for Snowshoe then more next weekend.  We will see.  
chuck_wow
11 months ago
Member since 01/14/2023 🔗
54 posts
Liberty has announced that today was their last day of the season.
Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter 
11 months ago
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
2,030 posts

Seven Springs posted this picture this morning at about 7:15.

1677937694_npztqquhnpwp.jpg

This is from Seven Springs 2 days ago. "And we do see opportunities for snowmaking the second half of the weekend – and beyond – which we fully intend to take advantage of once the temps drop!"

dclivejazz
11 months ago
Member since 03/5/2017 🔗
55 posts
Bummer about Liberty. I was going to try to go tomorrow.
Grumpy dad
20 days ago
Member since 11/7/2021 🔗
142 posts

Well, here we are again.  
I remember this post, and I was hopeful that Feb would do what Feb normally does in the Laurels - and just snow snow snow.  And here we are almost exactly a year later and this post fits exactly to that of last year.  Almost like the movie groundhog day, and today is groundhog day.
Ugh. 
Welp, get out there while you can.  Weather will be 60 next week from now.  Sigh.

 

snowsmith wrote:

Folks - it is looking bleak for an extended local ski season. I can't image the former Snowtime resorts will last much longer. The southern resorts in VA can't be doing too well. The Laurels resorts, 7S, HV and LM have a surface that does not ski well and there is a very limited window to make snow for the upcoming Presidents Day weekend. After that, the weather looks bleak. The only MA resorts hanging on to some descent terrain are the higher elevation resorts - Snowshoe and Timberline. That said I am guessing that the snow surface is deteriorating quicky into April like conditions.

In my 48 years of skiing at our little mole hills, I cannot remember a worse ski season. The current La Nina weather pattern which we've had for the last 3 years is supposed to be ending. Will that bring us better weather for the 2023/2024 ski season? Or is this becoming a permanent weather pattern signaling, perhaps, and end to MA skiing. I sure hope not. 

I am currently trying to schedule a trip to Utah or Colorado so I can ski on real snow.

This situation is depressing. JimK has the right idea.

snowsmith - DCSki Supporter 
20 days ago
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,562 posts

Grump - I agree in the short term it does not look good. But just about every weather model agrees that a return of an extended cold period will start mid-month. The "Euro" model below illustrates this expected change in the pattern.

1706887217_syzpcrtbtrgy.jpg

 

Grumpy dad wrote:

Well, here we are again.  
I remember this post, and I was hopeful that Feb would do what Feb normally does in the Laurels - and just snow snow snow.  And here we are almost exactly a year later and this post fits exactly to that of last year.  Almost like the movie groundhog day, and today is groundhog day.
Ugh. 
Welp, get out there while you can.  Weather will be 60 next week from now.  Sigh.

 

snowsmith wrote:

Folks - it is looking bleak for an extended local ski season. I can't image the former Snowtime resorts will last much longer. The southern resorts in VA can't be doing too well. The Laurels resorts, 7S, HV and LM have a surface that does not ski well and there is a very limited window to make snow for the upcoming Presidents Day weekend. After that, the weather looks bleak. The only MA resorts hanging on to some descent terrain are the higher elevation resorts - Snowshoe and Timberline. That said I am guessing that the snow surface is deteriorating quicky into April like conditions.

In my 48 years of skiing at our little mole hills, I cannot remember a worse ski season. The current La Nina weather pattern which we've had for the last 3 years is supposed to be ending. Will that bring us better weather for the 2023/2024 ski season? Or is this becoming a permanent weather pattern signaling, perhaps, and end to MA skiing. I sure hope not. 

I am currently trying to schedule a trip to Utah or Colorado so I can ski on real snow.

This situation is depressing. JimK has the right idea.

Leo
20 days ago
Member since 11/15/2005 🔗
350 posts


 I hope you're right snowsmith.  But at what point do resorts just give up?  By late next week the entire base will most likely be at risk even in resorts with better snowmaking.

snowsmith wrote:

Grump - I agree in the short term it does not look good. But just about every weather model agrees that a return of an extended cold period will start mid-month. The "Euro" model below illustrates this expected change in the pattern.

1706887217_syzpcrtbtrgy.jpg

 

Grumpy dad wrote:

Well, here we are again.  
I remember this post, and I was hopeful that Feb would do what Feb normally does in the Laurels - and just snow snow snow.  And here we are almost exactly a year later and this post fits exactly to that of last year.  Almost like the movie groundhog day, and today is groundhog day.
Ugh. 
Welp, get out there while you can.  Weather will be 60 next week from now.  Sigh.

 

snowsmith wrote:

Folks - it is looking bleak for an extended local ski season. I can't image the former Snowtime resorts will last much longer. The southern resorts in VA can't be doing too well. The Laurels resorts, 7S, HV and LM have a surface that does not ski well and there is a very limited window to make snow for the upcoming Presidents Day weekend. After that, the weather looks bleak. The only MA resorts hanging on to some descent terrain are the higher elevation resorts - Snowshoe and Timberline. That said I am guessing that the snow surface is deteriorating quicky into April like conditions.

In my 48 years of skiing at our little mole hills, I cannot remember a worse ski season. The current La Nina weather pattern which we've had for the last 3 years is supposed to be ending. Will that bring us better weather for the 2023/2024 ski season? Or is this becoming a permanent weather pattern signaling, perhaps, and end to MA skiing. I sure hope not. 

I am currently trying to schedule a trip to Utah or Colorado so I can ski on real snow.

This situation is depressing. JimK has the right idea.

bousquet19 - DCSki Supporter 
20 days ago
Member since 02/23/2006 🔗
774 posts
I’m going to choose to be Pooh rather than Eeyore. ⛷️ 
The19thHole
20 days ago
Member since 06/29/2015 🔗
83 posts

It will get cold enough mid-month for everyone to make snow and freshen up their existing trails. 

I wonder about places like Wintergreen. Their conditions are abysmal right now, and the mountain is only about half open. Will they make an effort to open the rest of the mountain so late in the season? If not, then this will be the second year in the row they barely get half open.

HVdad
20 days ago
Member since 01/9/2018 🔗
91 posts
I think it’s done for the lower elevation resorts and a few resorts in the south. Liberty, Roundtop, Whitetail, M’Nutt, Wintergreen all in big trouble, they’ve normalized skiing in crud. Go north or go up in elevation.
marzNC - DCSki Supporter 
19 days ago
Member since 12/10/2008 🔗
3,226 posts

HVdad wrote:

I think it’s done for the lower elevation resorts and a few resorts in the south. Liberty, Roundtop, Whitetail, M’Nutt, Wintergreen all in big trouble, they’ve normalized skiing in crud. Go north or go up in elevation.

 Have you skied Massanutten in the last year or two?  The depth on the core trails is well over 3 feet and the number of trails with contours that are essentially stored snow is impressive.  I skied Mnut last week for two days and had a good time.  Didn't rain at all on Thursday.  By Friday evening, the trails had been packed down by skiers/boarders after the snow softened mid-afternoon.  The investment in increasing water supply, automated snowguns, big fan guns (replacing old stick guns), took about a decade but is clearly paying off.  The key is being able to make snow 3+ days in a row when daytime temps remain low.  Mnut can now have 200+ snowguns firing at the same time for hours and hours without running out of water.

The folks skiing in NC are having a good time this season.  Those resorts have continually added snowmaking infrastructure.  That's how to stay in ski business in the southeast for 50+ years.  Also helps to generate revenue in the summer time.

mdr227
19 days ago
Member since 01/11/2016 🔗
191 posts
It really has been a disappointing season for snow making weather other than the cold spell in early December and the one a couple of weeks ago when we had the two snows.   Luckily the resorts are hanging on and doing what they can, but are not going to really be able to do any consistent snow making for a couple of weeks at least.  In years past some resorts would stop making snow after President's Day weekend, but I think all local ones will do whatever they can until the end of the month to keep existing trails open.   Doubt any new terrain will be opened at this point, it will be more making sure what is open can stay open as long as possible.   In the last five years we've had at least a couple of years when skiing into mid-March was possible at all the local resorts thanks to early March cold spells.   Hope that continues this year even with the abysmal start. 
Keith_Moon
19 days ago
Member since 02/19/2019 🔗
204 posts
The NC and WV resorts all seem to be doing fine, as does Wisp.  I think the ones that are having trouble are just in PA and VA.
marzNC - DCSki Supporter 
19 days ago (edited 19 days ago)
Member since 12/10/2008 🔗
3,226 posts

Keith_Moon wrote:

The NC and WV resorts all seem to be doing fine, as does Wisp.  I think the ones that are having trouble are just in PA and VA.

 Massanutten is doing just fine.  They made snow early this morning, Feb. 3.  From what I can tell, there will be snowmaking opportunities most nights in the next week.  Mnut is 100% open and has been most days since Jan. 17.  Keep in mind that includes new trails on the upper mountain that didn't exist a few years ago that added around 100 snowguns.  There are 55 on Mueller's Mile.  I've been skiing Mnut since 2005 and the difference is impressive.

The amount of investment in snowmaking infrastructure in the last decade at Mnut is amazing.  Especially for a resort that is employee owned via an ESOP, which was started in 1995 and gained 100% ownership in 2015.  The key is that Mnut was a 4-season resort from the beginning in the 1970s.  The revenue from golf courses and the waterpark helped provide the financial resources to update and upgrade the slopes starting around 2006.  The revenue from snowsports means the winter season is also bringing in revenue.  That means many more people can have year-round jobs.  I recognize lifties who have been doing the job for a decade at least . . . who don't ski/board.

Bryce is doing fine as well, from what I can tell.  It's the oldest ski resort in VA.  Like Appalachian in NC, Bryce is small but is in a cold pocket that makes snowmaking possible more often than not, and understands the market very well.

Both Mnut and Bryce were early adopters of the Indy Pass.

Wintergreen is another story completely.  W'green was ahead of Mnut for high-speed lifts and snowmaking for a while.  But not being able to get Highlands and Acorn 100% open has hurt in recent years.  There hasn't been much news about snowmaking infrastructure upgrades for a while.  Like Snowshoe, W'green is an upside-down resort that's not particularly close to a population center.  Staffing is probably harder for W'green than Mnut.  From a customer standpoint, there isn't much to do for someone who books lodging for a long weekend in advance at W'green and happens to have bad luck with snow and/or weather conditions.

snowsmith - DCSki Supporter 
19 days ago (edited 19 days ago)
Member since 03/15/2004 🔗
1,562 posts
Marz- I previously had a low opinion of the resorts south of DC. Especially , M’nut, as resort people used to call , Massofnothing. But they have really stepped up their game.  I have yet to ski at M’nut. It’s a bit far from Baltimore. As far as NC resorts, they are small but I am amazed they can keep snow on those mountains. I think PA resorts west of the Alleghany front who depended on some natural snow will unfortunately need to make significant investments in snow making, like M’nut, to keep up with the competition. With climate change, I think their snow making systems need to be more like Roundtops or M’nut’s to account for the weather challenges. 
Keith_Moon
19 days ago
Member since 02/19/2019 🔗
204 posts

It's the elevation.  Beech, Sugar and Cataloochie are the three highest resorts in eastern North America.

snowsmith wrote:

 As far as NC resorts, they are small but I am amazed they can keep snow on those mountains.
Keith_Moon
19 days ago
Member since 02/19/2019 🔗
204 posts

Yes, they are perennially disappointing.  Maybe they get enough warm-weather revenue that they can keep afloat just by half-assing it in the winter.  If they would do what M'nut does they could be awesome.

marzNC wrote:

Wintergreen is another story completely.  

marzNC - DCSki Supporter 
19 days ago (edited 19 days ago)
Member since 12/10/2008 🔗
3,226 posts

Keith_Moon wrote:

Yes, they are perennially disappointing.  Maybe they get enough warm-weather revenue that they can keep afloat just by half-assing it in the winter.  If they would do what M'nut does they could be awesome.

marzNC wrote:

Wintergreen is another story completely.  

 Like Timberline, it's not about the terrain or the location . . . it's about the owner's commitment to what it takes to continually improve the infrastructure related to snowsports for the long run.  Meaning snowmaking and lifts.  Sooner or later lifts need an update or upgrade plan.

Massanutten has managers for snowsports who have worked there for decades.  It makes a difference.

I've been paying attention to small hills in the midwest lately.  Skied in Michigan last month.  Saw first hand how Boyne Resorts is working to move Boyne Mountain and Highlands to the next level.  That's where Everett Kircher started back in the 1950s.  There are still old, slow lifts even as they put in fancy new D-line 6-pack/8-pack lifts for busy periods.  Kircher had to invent snowmaking machinery.  Across the valley from Highlands, Nub's Nob has staff who build and maintain snowguns and lifts year round.  Their snowmaking is legendary even for that region.  The place was hopping on a Thursday afternoon/evening with all the families coming on for race programs and multi-week lesson programs under the lights.  It was easy to understand why the 70 Plus Ski Club has a popular annual 3-day gathering at Nub's every January.  I was glad I opted to go when they were there.

Wintergreen is like some of the PA resorts.  They were ahead of the game for a while and stopped innovating and keeping up with new technology.

Blue Mountain and Camelback are examples of PA resorts that have been upgrading/updating in recent years.  Probably why they make sense as Ikon locations as of 2023-24.  Camelback has an indoor waterpark.  Blue is harder to reach, but clearly has a strong following from what I hear about crowds on weekends.

JimK - DCSki Columnist
19 days ago (edited 19 days ago)
Member since 01/14/2004 🔗
2,938 posts

Good discussion.  I agree with much of what MarzNC said. 

Having skied regularly in the mid-A since 1967 it's been interesting to watch the ebb and flow of which resorts do well and don't do well.  

Here's an article from 2000 where I reminisce about skiing back then.  Here's an excerpt, which since it's from 2000 I'd need to update to reflect current state of play:

[The hot spots I frequented for local skiing then were Charnita (now Liberty), Roundtop, and Bryce Mountain. Though still a fine children’s and beginner’s area, Bryce has been somewhat eclipsed by newer resorts in recent years. Liberty and Roundtop remain key venues for the local D.C. skier/boarder action, with Whitetail joining the mix in the past decade.

An hour or two further away, other popular old areas like Seven Springs, Canaan Valley, Wisp, Blue Knob, and Camelback offer additional options for Beatles-era skiers. Most of these resorts were every bit as crowded on prime winter weekends as they are now. In fact, perhaps more so, because many of the additional local areas we now have access to, such as Massanutten, Wintergreen, Whitetail, Winterplace, Snowshoe, Timberline, and Hidden Valley, didn’t come along and absorb a lot of the skier traffic until years later.

It’s well known that the number of active skiers nationwide has been fairly constant over the last 10 years. I’m sure that if someone could quantify it, we would all be pleased to know that there are now many more miles of available ski runs per number of participants than 30 years ago. I can remember back in the 1970’s when the lines for the two main double chairs at the bottom of Mambo Alley at Blue Knob, Pennsylvania would each stretch endlessly on many Saturday and Sunday afternoons. It took about an hour or more to muddle through them.

As America’s ski industry has downsized or consolidated in recent years, we’ve had a few local casualties too. In the 1970’s I once visited a short lived northern Virginia ski area called something like “Seven Devils” near Shenandoah National Park. For quite a few years there was a small, now defunct, Maryland area called Braddock Heights. It operated near I-70, close to where Whitetail is now.

You might have been one of the few to try Cherokee ski area west of Warrenton, Virginia during the few brief seasons it operated around a decade ago. It became a victim of inadequate cash flow and a succession of warm greenhouse-effect winters. You can still see Cherokee’s trail cuts off to the left as you head west on I-66 near Linden, VA.]


marzNC - DCSki Supporter 
19 days ago
Member since 12/10/2008 🔗
3,226 posts

Thanks for the link.  That's from before I was active on DCSki.

I noted what JimK wrote about Massanutten in 2000:

"I have skied at the Massanutten ski area, a few hours south of D.C. near Harrisonburg, VA, several times a winter for the last 15 years. During the vast majority of those visits they had no natural snow on the ground. Additionally, the daytime tempratures were often above 50 degrees, yet they routinely had 90-100% of their terrain open every January and February. It’s like that all around the region now and it has greatly improved the typical ski experience and cut down on the ice/rock/dirt factor that was much more prevalent in the ‘60’s and ‘70’s."

When I was taking my daughter to ski at Mnut the week before Christmas in 2006-12, there was only one time there wasn't enough snow for any slopes to be open.  The 2012-13 season was also when an early March snowstorm meant there was enough snow to go sledding on the golf course and make snowmen the weekend of March 9-10.  A father and daughter made the drive from Pittsburgh that weekend.  They and my daughter (girls were tweens) enjoyed the waterpark on Saturday evening.

These days, Massanutten has a Snow Moon Fest the first weekend of March.  Any ski days after that will be gravy but is likely to happen.

JimK wrote:

Good discussion.  I agree with much of what MarzNC said. 

Having skied regularly in the mid-A since 1967 it's been interesting to watch the ebb and flow of which resorts do well and don't do well.  

Here's an article from 2000 where I reminisce about skiing back then.  Here's an excerpt, which since it's from 2000 I'd need to update to reflect current state of play:

[The hot spots I frequented for local skiing then were Charnita (now Liberty), Roundtop, and Bryce Mountain. Though still a fine children’s and beginner’s area, Bryce has been somewhat eclipsed by newer resorts in recent years. Liberty and Roundtop remain key venues for the local D.C. skier/boarder action, with Whitetail joining the mix in the past decade.

An hour or two further away, other popular old areas like Seven Springs, Canaan Valley, Wisp, Blue Knob, and Camelback offer additional options for Beatles-era skiers. Most of these resorts were every bit as crowded on prime winter weekends as they are now. In fact, perhaps more so, because many of the additional local areas we now have access to, such as Massanutten, Wintergreen, Whitetail, Winterplace, Snowshoe, Timberline, and Hidden Valley, didn’t come along and absorb a lot of the skier traffic until years later.

It’s well known that the number of active skiers nationwide has been fairly constant over the last 10 years. I’m sure that if someone could quantify it, we would all be pleased to know that there are now many more miles of available ski runs per number of participants than 30 years ago. I can remember back in the 1970’s when the lines for the two main double chairs at the bottom of Mambo Alley at Blue Knob, Pennsylvania would each stretch endlessly on many Saturday and Sunday afternoons. It took about an hour or more to muddle through them.

As America’s ski industry has downsized or consolidated in recent years, we’ve had a few local casualties too. In the 1970’s I once visited a short lived northern Virginia ski area called something like “Seven Devils” near Shenandoah National Park. For quite a few years there was a small, now defunct, Maryland area called Braddock Heights. It operated near I-70, close to where Whitetail is now.

You might have been one of the few to try Cherokee ski area west of Warrenton, Virginia during the few brief seasons it operated around a decade ago. It became a victim of inadequate cash flow and a succession of warm greenhouse-effect winters. You can still see Cherokee’s trail cuts off to the left as you head west on I-66 near Linden, VA.]


 

marzNC - DCSki Supporter 
19 days ago (edited 19 days ago)
Member since 12/10/2008 🔗
3,226 posts

snowsmith wrote:

Marz- I previously had a low opinion of the resorts south of DC. Especially , M’nut, as resort people used to call , Massofnothing. But they have really stepped up their game.  I have yet to ski at M’nut. It’s a bit far from Baltimore. As far as NC resorts, they are small but I am amazed they can keep snow on those mountains. I think PA resorts west of the Alleghany front who depended on some natural snow will unfortunately need to make significant investments in snow making, like M’nut, to keep up with the competition. With climate change, I think their snow making systems need to be more like Roundtops or M’nut’s to account for the weather challenges. 

 From Baltimore, hard to say if a trek to Timberline versus Massanutten is more worth while at this point for someone who likes to ski bumps.  If there is enough snow to ski trees in WV, then Timberline is better.  The primary advantage for Mnut is not having to drive on WV roads, although US48 being 4-lane most of the makes a huge difference.  I've been heading to Timberline for a night or two during my early January week at Mnut the last couple winters.  Might do a day trip over Pres. Day weekend with the teen joining me.  She hasn't skied anywhere but Mnut so far.

From the first time I skied Mnut in 2004, I enjoyed the fact that Lift 6 to the top at Mnut never had a lift line, even on holiday weekends.  Now there is usually a line of 5+ chairs on weekends but it moves quickly with the detachable quad.

The layout for the expansion of the upper mountain trails at Mnut are pretty close to a plan made back in the 1970s.  It took a long time to put enough water and snowmaking power in place to be able to cover more terrain up there.  Even getting Paradice started wasn't happening before MLK weekend because of lack of pump capacity.  The golf courses and waterpark came first from a business standpoint.  Mnut is booked solid during the summer.  In the winters, I can get a timeshare unit essentially any time without having to plan months in advance.

Keith_Moon
18 days ago
Member since 02/19/2019 🔗
204 posts

From my perspective, it's not the lifts that are the problem at WG; it's the snowmaking.

Their main lift is a really nice high speed 6-pack and I don't remember any issues with any of the other ones.  Sure, some are slow but that's not uncommon.  Although it can get brutally crowded there on weekends I don't blame the lifts for that.

In the 10 years I've been going there they just haven't demonstrated a commitment to consistently keeping their runs open.

I believe they consider themselves a 4-seasons resort more than a ski resort, whereas T-Line focuses on skiing (and frankly has a lot better weather).  Obviously MNut also has a LOT going on beyond just skiing so it's really a credit to them that they have opened up new runs and generally improved their skiing experience.  Maybe the collective ownership structure at MNut has facilitated that, inasmuch as since they are employee-owned they don't have to focus so much on quarterly profits, while WG's parent company, Pacific Group Resorts, is publicly traded.

marzNC wrote:

Keith_Moon wrote:

Yes, they are perennially disappointing.  Maybe they get enough warm-weather revenue that they can keep afloat just by half-assing it in the winter.  If they would do what M'nut does they could be awesome.

marzNC wrote:

Wintergreen is another story completely.  

 Like Timberline, it's not about the terrain or the location . . . it's about the owner's commitment to what it takes to continually improve the infrastructure related to snowsports for the long run.  Meaning snowmaking and lifts.  Sooner or later lifts need an update or upgrade plan.

chaga
18 days ago
Member since 11/24/2009 🔗
638 posts

Timberline was 100% open yesterday and every run was SWEET!! Not even really crowded as far as lift line wait.

I see no reason why they wont be 100% open all week with prime conditions before it gets colder second half of the month also!  

 Haven't been to the shoe, but hopefully they are 100% also given their prime locale. 

Crush
18 days ago (edited 18 days ago)
Member since 03/21/2004 🔗
1,251 posts

Thus the problem - small crowds = less operating income. It's not the conditions, it is the economics. If they aren't making money they will close down. Seen it a thousand times. If ops is costing them they'll close down due to skier visits. Just like Zuckerberg/Metaverse. 

Quote Siouxsie and the Banshees "Kiss them for me"

chaga wrote: "...  Not even really crowded as far as lift line wait."

Keith_Moon
17 days ago
Member since 02/19/2019 🔗
204 posts


 From my experience, TLine is able to manage the lift lines so it doesn't SEEM crowded.

I don't think their business is hurting.

Crush wrote:

Thus the problem - small crowds = less operating income. It's not the conditions, it is the economics. If they aren't making money they will close down. Seen it a thousand times. If ops is costing them they'll close down due to skier visits. Just like Zuckerberg/Metaverse. 

Quote Siouxsie and the Banshees "Kiss them for me"

chaga wrote: "...  Not even really crowded as far as lift line wait."

chaga
17 days ago (edited 17 days ago)
Member since 11/24/2009 🔗
638 posts


 they do a great job managing the lines, and its a high speed 6pack.   expanded parking lots and shuttle service this year. They are serving way more skiers than timberline ever did in the past, trust me.  Their parent resort, Perfect North in Indiana right near Cincinnati,  gets 5x the skiers as Timberline and is almost 100% open also, so tells you something about what a committed owner can do.   They are focused and run a tight ship and Timberline is gonna improve snowmaking even MORE this summer! :) 

Keith_Moon wrote:


 From my experience, TLine is able to manage the lift lines so it doesn't SEEM crowded.

I don't think their business is hurting.

Crush wrote:

Thus the problem - small crowds = less operating income. It's not the conditions, it is the economics. If they aren't making money they will close down. Seen it a thousand times. If ops is costing them they'll close down due to skier visits. Just like Zuckerberg/Metaverse. 

Quote Siouxsie and the Banshees "Kiss them for me"

chaga wrote: "...  Not even really crowded as far as lift line wait."

teleman
17 days ago
Member since 07/8/2005 🔗
186 posts

It sure would be nice if they left one run with bumps or even skiers right of white lightning.  The place was flat as a pancake this weekend and boring.

chaga wrote:


 they do a great job managing the lines, and its a high speed 6pack.   expanded parking lots and shuttle service this year. They are serving way more skiers than timberline ever did in the past, trust me.  Their parent resort, Perfect North in Indiana right near Cincinnati,  gets 5x the skiers as Timberline and is almost 100% open also, so tells you something about what a committed owner can do.   They are focused and run a tight ship and Timberline is gonna improve snowmaking even MORE this summer! :) 

Keith_Moon wrote:


 From my experience, TLine is able to manage the lift lines so it doesn't SEEM crowded.

I don't think their business is hurting.

Crush wrote:

Thus the problem - small crowds = less operating income. It's not the conditions, it is the economics. If they aren't making money they will close down. Seen it a thousand times. If ops is costing them they'll close down due to skier visits. Just like Zuckerberg/Metaverse. 

Quote Siouxsie and the Banshees "Kiss them for me"

chaga wrote: "...  Not even really crowded as far as lift line wait."

 

snapdragon
17 days ago
Member since 01/27/2015 🔗
333 posts
to you boring...to me scoring...the new booters sent me soaring...yew!
snowyslope92
16 days ago
Member since 09/24/2018 🔗
24 posts
Whitetail has been making snow overnight the last 2 days and they will have another window overnight tonight.  I am heading out there tomorrow for short lines and decent conditions.  Unfortunately it is gong to get up to 59 on Saturday.  The website claims all the trails are open except for Limelight and exhibition.
Crush
16 days ago
Member since 03/21/2004 🔗
1,251 posts


 Ooooh my Hart F17s would have a ski-gasim !

teleman wrote:

It sure would be nice if they left one run with bumps or even skiers right of white lightning.  The place was flat as a pancake this weekend and boring.

Timothy.grasso
16 days ago (edited 16 days ago)
Member since 11/20/2018 🔗
62 posts

I was at Whitetail this Sunday at 9am (27 degrees out). Skied 10 runs and left at 10:30.  It was a sloppy mess with lots of brown showing. The snow just had a ton of moisture in it. Yes, all the rest of the slopes are open but I imagine they are quickly thinning out. 

I skied TLine yesterday and it was amazing (started at 11:30 and skied until 4:30)!  We got in 29 runs and the snow conditions were pure magic. Wall to wall coverage of great snow.

Heading out to Whitetail on Friday night to do some night skiing with my 7 year old and then heading to Wisp for the weekend.  I know conditions will not be TLine but a day (or night on the slopes) are worth it. Especially with our short season.

cj68
16 days ago
Member since 03/17/2009 🔗
35 posts


 

Crush wrote:


 Ooooh my Hart F17s would have a ski-gasim !

teleman wrote:

It sure would be nice if they left one run with bumps or even skiers right of white lightning.  The place was flat as a pancake this weekend and boring.

If it's bumps you seek, Liberty has been the best place locally for years, as we basically hand build them to exact specs that we learned skiing with the World Cup athletes on the Blackcomb Glacier. Years ago, RT was the spot, but they fired their head groomer who used to make all the good bumps. WT was always hit or miss if the bumps on Exhibition would be good.

I've had a couple of pairs of the F17 Classic and it is a great ski when tuned properly. I know a lot of people that bought them back when they were still being made and had them mounted and then went skiing... big mistake. And of course they immediately hated the ski and a lot of people sold them without ever knowing that they did not come tuned from the factory. 2 degree base bevel and 1 degree side is what I skied mine at and they turned like butter.

SeniorSki
15 days ago
Member since 01/31/2022 🔗
131 posts
Ok ski fans here we go after the 12 there looks to be a series of potential snowstorms coming, I’m putting my hat on and looking forward to the last week in February and first week in March. Staying positive that the original winter forecast for the mid-Atlantic will be arriving. 🤞
eggraid
14 days ago
Member since 02/9/2010 🔗
510 posts

Interesting to hear that about Liberty. I agree, they do have the best, most consistent bumps around. I wish more resorts would allow bumps to form on lower-angle trails so people can practice without going straight to the toughest trails on the mountain. 

teleman wrote:

It sure would be nice if they left one run with bumps or even skiers right of white lightning.  The place was flat as a pancake this weekend and boring.

If it's bumps you seek, Liberty has been the best place locally for years, as we basically hand build them to exact specs that we learned skiing with the World Cup athletes on the Blackcomb Glacier. Years ago, RT was the spot, but they fired their head groomer who used to make all the good bumps. WT was always hit or miss if the bumps on Exhibition would be good.

I've had a couple of pairs of the F17 Classic and it is a great ski when tuned properly. I know a lot of people that bought them back when they were still being made and had them mounted and then went skiing... big mistake. And of course they immediately hated the ski and a lot of people sold them without ever knowing that they did not come tuned from the factory. 2 degree base bevel and 1 degree side is what I skied mine at and they turned like butter.

chaga
10 days ago
Member since 11/24/2009 🔗
638 posts


 Liberty always had bumps even 30+ years ago!  Awesome place. good to hear its still got some character. :)     Made a quick day trip to snowshoe yesterday and Shays in western territory was a nice longggg fun bump run!  Speaking of weather, incoming winter storm in canaan tuesday, 3-6" pow!  You know what to do!!!  

shays at the shoe yesterday! empty lift lines bumps galore!  :)  

1707758697_dwqnuqqdtznz.jpg

  

eggraid wrote:

Interesting to hear that about Liberty. I agree, they do have the best, most consistent bumps around. I wish more resorts would allow bumps to form on lower-angle trails so people can practice without going straight to the toughest trails on the mountain. 

wgo
10 days ago
Member since 02/10/2004 🔗
1,635 posts


Nice! Spring bumps on lower shays are always fun. 

chaga wrote:


 Liberty always had bumps even 30+ years ago!  Awesome place. good to hear its still got some character. :)     Made a quick day trip to snowshoe yesterday and Shays in western territory was a nice longggg fun bump run!  Speaking of weather, incoming winter storm in canaan tuesday, 3-6" pow!  You know what to do!!!  

shays at the shoe yesterday! empty lift lines bumps galore!  :)  

1707758697_dwqnuqqdtznz.jpg

 

snapdragon
9 days ago
Member since 01/27/2015 🔗
333 posts
guns are fired up at the line...should be back to mid-winter specs in a couple days...yew!
Moe Gull
3 days ago
Member since 09/5/2022 🔗
37 posts
Should be a good finish this year on the east coast.
marzNC - DCSki Supporter 
3 days ago
Member since 12/10/2008 🔗
3,226 posts

Snowmaking all day yesterday, Feb. 17, at Massanutten.  Continued all night all over the mountain.  It was a bit weird that snowmaking continued even in the teaching area until about 10am.

The skiing today was MUCH better than yesterday.  Oddly, wasn't as crowded as Saturday afternoon.

Timothy.grasso
2 days ago (edited 2 days ago)
Member since 11/20/2018 🔗
62 posts

We skied at Bryce yesterday (going back this weekend) and the conditions were amazing! Snow guns were back on last night and still going at of 7:34am Tuesday morning.

Hopefully all the resorts can weather the next warm up and make it until mid March.

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