Snowmaking Conditions Return Tonight

First Trax

We made it through the underdeveloped snow yesterday and should see smooth sailing at least through mid-week.  We are currently seeing some flurries at a couple of the West Virginia resorts.  Canaan Valley, Snowshoe, and Timberline all saw some natural fall, and might still be seeing some hit the ground as I type.  Both Snowshoe and Timberline are reporting an inch of new natural snow yesterday and last night.

The Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee resorts didn’t get quit so lucky.  Every morning I visit all of the ski resorts' web sites to get the skinny on what is happening for you guys.  While all the resorts do a good job reporting the current conditions, Wintergreen takes it a step further with their Mountain Message blog.  If you are a fan of Wintergreen and have not visited the blog, I highly recommend it.  You can find it here.  They always tell it like it is and I’m going to cheat and copy today’s message here for you.

Snowmaking Plan for this week:

All dressed up and nowhere to go…  Our forecasted overnight low in the 20's never arrived.  Instead, the ski area stopped short at around 34 degrees.  The colder air is simply taking a little longer than previously forecasted to get here.     

We have a good forecast for the next 7-10 days, providing lots of snowmaking hours.  As soon as the temp permits, we will begin refreshing the surface and repairing any weak spots.  We have stockpiles of snow that we plan to push out.  This snow will assist in building up thin areas and widening terrain. 

While doing all of the above, a big portion of our snowmaking capacity will be focused on opening new terrain.  The Terrain Park, Lower Diamond, Lower Cliffhanger and Devils Elbow are all on the "next open" list.  All of this terrain is expected to open this week.

This is just a very informative post and gives you a clear picture of not only what you can expect today on the mountain, but also what to expect in the coming days.  Some resorts would try to put on more of a marketing spin – kudos to our friends at Wintergreen for telling it like it is.

OK, so now we know that not all of our resorts where able to make snow yesterday.  Let’s see what affect this had on the conditions.  While the vast majority of the mountains were able to maintain the status quo, a few took a hit including Sugar who lost 2-4” of base, Bryce who lost 4”, and Massanutten who is reporting a loss of about 2”.

Getting ready at Massantten
Crews getting Massanutten ready for the day

Generally speaking, the next few days at the resorts will include mild days with mixed clouds and snow making temps at night.  The northern and higher elevations resorts might get a little more of the natural today and tomorrow.  For just about everyone, Thursday brings our next chance of precipitation, and as we’ve seen these past 24 hours, location and altitude will be the deciding factors on whether or not it will drop as snow.

We have one more day of 2013, so make the most of it.  January brings a lot of cool events that we’ll discuss as we get a little closer.  January 3-5, Snowshoe is hosting Burton Women’s Snowboard Camp, and will host the 24 hours at Snowshoe January 11-12th. January is learn to ski and snowboard month at Beech with their “Skiing 101” program.  The weekend of January 11-12 is going to be a big one at Massanutten as they will have demo days and the ski school is offering special 2 hour clinics including a Women’s and Intermediate clinics.  Our message board member and Mnut, marzski, has a good thread going with some of the details,  We’ll cover these more as soon as the holidays past.

Take care out there today and enjoy the final days of 2013.

Tim Bahlke
Drop me an email at [email protected] to let me know what you think or with suggestions on what we could be doing better.


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