The Mountains of West Virginia have received in some places almost five feet of natural snow this season, creating awesome conditions for the state’s ski resorts preparing for a busy holiday season. The natural snowfall stretched from Oglebay Resort in Ohio County in the north to Winterplace Ski Resort in Raleigh County in the south and more is on the way.
More importantly than the natural snow has been the cold temperatures that have accompanied the snowfall. The temperatures at the higher elevations have been perfect for snowmaking operations this week, allowing West Virginia ski areas to provide the most open terrain in the mid-Atlantic and southeast regions. The snowmakers at all of the resorts have been working around the clock covering the slopes, allowing the industry’s unsung heroes to create excellent holiday conditions. When snowmaking conditions are at their best this week (in the low teens), over 10,000 tons of snow is being produced in West Virginia per hour, enough snow to cover 20 football fields with a foot of snow each hour. That’s a manmade blizzard for skiers, snowboarders and snow tubers to enjoy in the mountains of West Virginia.
All of the mountain state’s resorts are open for the season and there are over 100 trails, the most of any state in the region, available for skiers and snowboarders. “We are off to a great start, with plenty of terrain open for the holiday visitors,” says Terry Pfeiffer, President of Winterplace and the West Virginia Ski Areas Association. “Anyone looking for a White Christmas can find it in the mountains of West Virginia.”
The natural snowfall has also helped open the state’s Nordic areas, White Grass in Tucker County and Elk River in Pocahontas County. There is plenty of snow in the back country for cross-country skiers and snowshoers to have fun on.