2019/2020 A Tale of Two Ski Resort Season Prospects

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SWOOP
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Tagline: Swooping in on fresh pow

Wed Jan 15, 2020 8:45 am

Well the Tale of 2 Resort Prospects is playing out. While no doubt many areas will recover nicely, the damage has been done. Notably at Wintergreen, App, Beech and Sugary and the small areas that shut down.

Regarding Wintergreen, thanks Marz for making one of my points below (from another site)
"Wintergreen chose not to start building a base in Nov. The difference between Wgreen and Mnut is pretty noticeable this season"

The reason I am so hard on WTG is that they have the terrain (Highlands, they have the lifts (2 HS 6 packs), they have SNOWPOWER, but they dont have any runs open. WTG today has a thread to connect Dobie and Eagle Swoop, probably not even safe to be open. That is a crying shame.

Marz is right. While MNUT and most resorts that have any snow left are all in pretty rough shape, except maybe Snowshoe, WTG did not make snow in November when they could have. They also did not and historically do not start making snow early in the Highlands-a big mistake. The past couple years it has been late Jan to mid Feb before 100% of the mountain is open. This year, it probably won't even happen.

The thrivers and survivors seem to be: Snowshoe, Cat, Wisp, Canaan Valley, and Bryce to some extent.
Good news is the picture should drastically improve over the weekend!
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marzski
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Wed Jan 15, 2020 11:46 am

I was interested to see that Mnut hasn't blown any snow on Upper Showtime yet. It was a clear indication that the focus was on keeping the core trails that are more protected from the sun covered with as close to side-to-side coverage as possible. A patroller I talked to last Sat said that even the upper part of Lower Showtime was too thin and that's why it was closed for a while. That gets sun too.

The only trail that Mnut will re-start more than once a season is Geronimo. That's the short but steeper green next to Lift 3 that's good for beginning boarders. Southern Comfort doesn't have enough pitch.

With the expansion of the teaching area at Mnut, keeping that fully covered helps give beginners a place to have fun when Geronimo isn't open. I got in a few powder turns last week right next to the longer magic carpet that's been shifted over a bit. Was worth repeating. :-)
2019-20: Bryce, Cataloochee, Massanutten. Plans: Taos, SLC using Ikon, Steamboat, Alta in April
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marzski
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Wed Jan 15, 2020 11:48 am

SWOOP wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 8:45 am
Well the Tale of 2 Resort Prospects is playing out. While no doubt many areas will recover nicely, the damage has been done. Notably at Wintergreen, App, Beech and Sugary and the small areas that shut down.

. . .

The thrivers and survivors seem to be: Snowshoe, Cat, Wisp, Canaan Valley, and Bryce to some extent.
Good news is the picture should drastically improve over the weekend!
Do you think App can recover pretty fast once the temps drop? Or do they essentially have to start over from grass?
2019-20: Bryce, Cataloochee, Massanutten. Plans: Taos, SLC using Ikon, Steamboat, Alta in April
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SWOOP
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Thu Jan 23, 2020 9:00 am

100% Open! Congrats to CAT and BRYCE for being first.
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Thu Jan 23, 2020 10:36 am

SWOOP wrote:
Thu Jan 23, 2020 9:00 am
100% Open! Congrats to CAT and BRYCE for being first.
And congrats to Sugar for having THREE times as much open terrain/acres than Cataloochee which is 100% open.
RUSnowShoe
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Wed Jan 29, 2020 11:35 am

SWOOP wrote:
Sun Jan 05, 2020 7:57 am
Oops, forgot Massanutten, must be my meds.

Ok, after some consternation, I'm going to put MNUT in the Thriver/Survivor column for a few reasons.
1) Further north than WTG, and a few degrees cooler even though lower elevation
2) Smaller acreage to cover
3) Have to hand it to MNUT management that went all out on the snow making early and opened in November!!! Now that is what we are talking about!

As far as the Shoe trail opening priorities, yes there is definitely a shift in strategy from new mgmt.
Not only was BOTH Cupp and Shay's a priority, but Bearclaw at SC was made a priority, assuming to spread the crowds (and also support the jr racers in lieu of not having Widowmaker open) they made snow where they made the investment in new guns (Shays, Camp, etc)

You have a good point on your comment for holiday traffic flow. They did good to spread the crowd by getting Camp and J-Hook open early as well as Bearclaw and Fox Chase at SC, but missed the boat on Moonshine and Ballhooter. Super surprised about Moonshine as it is a traffic flow run from the easy part of the mountain (North) to Ballhooter-maybe that was on purpose. Also, by not having BH run open, the only way to go left off BH lift is the easy trail and back to BH. The problem is that BH run (and Knot Bumper) do not have much for snow guns and investment here is badly needed. Skippy is a well traveled run and I enjoy it. Choker is not a high traffic run, but I am encouraging an improvement on Choker when the new lift goes in. Open the area to skier's left at the top of the lift by installing a bridge and tunnel for Choker and Heisler. This will extend to steep part of Choker and spread the bottle neck from always getting off the lift and going left with the bottleneck. This is a small investment for a big gain. Further SS could put a nice moniker on the tunnel for some advertising benefit to pay for the tunnel (I got it, just ask me :)

Well, temps dipped lower than expected last night on the east slope resorts and VA resorts are making snow so good deal-this could save them from the impending thaw coming up-cross your fingers.
You reference a new lift going in at Snowshoe? Do you have any more information? They desperately need to relieve the crowds at Ballhooter.
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