The Mountains of West Virginia will start off 2011 with snow everywhere! West Virginia Ski Resorts have received over six feet of natural snow this season since the beginning of December, including a record of 70 inches in Canaan Valley. 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 of the mountain state.
The continous cold temperatures have also 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 upcoming weather forecast calls for milder temperatures during the day and subfreezing during the night, perfect conditions for skiers, snowboarders and snowmakers.
The snowmakers at all of the resorts have been working whenever the temperaturs have allowed, covering the slopes, 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 going into 2011 with some of the best conditions I have ever seen for this time of year,” says Terry Pfeiffer, President of Winterplace and the West Virginia Ski Areas Association. “Anyone looking to use those skis or snowboards they got for Christmas will find pleny of snow in West Virginia right now.”
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.