Hello Everyone –
Sometimes I wonder what it would be like not to have skiing, riding or snow tubing in March and April in this neck of the woods. Then I realize that I don’t have to wonder because there is always plenty of snow on the slopes in this region, from North Carolina into Virginia, across West Virginia and Tennessee and north into Maryland this time of year. It looks like a very promising spring skiing season ahead for everyone.
I read a number of on-slope web reports and stories in various papers about the current conditions and still don’t think people realize just how much snow is out there on the slopes. The calendar says March but the conditions are the best of the season (at some locations). Just when you think a warm trend and underdeveloped snow is going to put a stake in this season’s heart, the temperature drops, snowmaking commences and natural snow falls from the skies. Not a bad combination. There are a number of Doubting Thomas’ out there, just read some of the forums. Forget what they are saying, there is no better time to hit the slopes then right now through the first of April.
Skiers and snowboarders are going to be reading about historical temperatures that may indicate very warm days ahead (except for early this week). Just a friendly reminder the information you are finding in the 10 to 15 day forecasts are fueled by historical data. You can believe what you read 48 hours out as being factual, but beyond that be very, very cautious. The majority of the resorts throughout the region have done an excellent job this year in providing very believable condition reports. So the moral to this story is to check this site or each resort’s own site for conditions or weather forecasts.
What makes this time even more perfect than the mild temperatures are the price of lift tickets. All of the resorts will be dropping or have already dropped the cost of single-day tickets. Nevertheless, prices for lift tickets and lodging are dropping like the temperatures last month. This should make any decision to go or not to go very easy. If you are not fan of skiing or riding on a blustery day in January or February you will like the March days that are usually sunny and mild. Instead of layering to keep warm, a single fleece or vest is usually the only thing needed to keep the upper body comfortable. Now give me another excuse not to head to the slopes in March or early April.
That’s it for this week, more to come as the season continues, just remember whether it be cold or whether it be hot, we’ll whether the weather, whatever the weather will be. Think about it! See you on the slopes.
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Joe Stevens, a member of the southeast ski industry since 1990 is a regular columnist for skisoutheast.com and serves as the Communications Director for the West Virginia Ski Areas Association.