The Mountains of West Virginia have received over six feet of natural snow this season since the beginning of December, creating awesome conditions for the state’s ski resorts as 2011 approaches this week. The tons of natural snowfall stretches from Oglebay Resort in Ohio County in the north to Winterplace Ski Resort in Raleigh County in the south and it is not over yet.
Along with the natural snow has come cold temperatures that have been perfect for snowmaking operations. The temperatures at the higher elevations have allowed snowmakers at West Virginia ski areas to provide the most open terrain in the mid-Atlantic and southeast regions with over 100 trails open, along with terrain parks and snow tubing hills.
The snowmakers at all of the resorts have been working around the clock covering the slopes this month, creating 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 alpine and nordic areas are open. “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 found it this year 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.