Charleston, WV – Skiers and snowboarders have started heading to the mountains of West Virginia for the season, as the first two downhill areas opened for the 2023/2024 season. Snowshoe Mountain and Timberline Mountain opened for the season Saturday, December 2 at 9 am. The Pocahontas and Tucker County facilities is now providing skiers and snowboarders with a variety of terrain for their opening day turns on the slopes.
For the other alpine areas in the state, Winterplace Ski Resort and Canaan Valley Resort are scheduled for mid-December openings, weather permitting. Oglebay Resort is hoping to open for skiing during the Christmas holiday.
Low mountain top temperatures across West Virginia provided excellent conditions for snowmaking operations to take place at the resorts. Some natural snow has already occurred at the higher elevations this fall.
The snowmakers at all the state’s ski resorts can produce manmade snow whenever temperatures permit, allowing the industry’s unsung heroes to cover the slopes for skiers and snowboarders. When snowmaking conditions are at their best (in the low teens), over 20,000 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.
The West Virginia Ski Areas Association again this year is offering a program that will allow any child in the 4th or 5th grade to ski or snowboard for FREE. All of West Virginia’s ski areas, Canaan Valley, Oglebay, Snowshoe, Timberline and Winterplace are accepting the association’s Ski Free 4th and 5th Grade Passport Program.
The Passport may be used to obtain up to three (3) Junior lift tickets at participating resorts during the 2023-2024 season and one rental. Resort benefits are determined by each ski resort.
During a normal ski season, the mountain state’s ski resorts account for nearly hundreds of thousands of skier visits. The top states providing skiers and snowboarders to West Virginia slopes are Virginia, North Carolina, Ohio and Florida.
The ski and snowboard season traditionally, weather permitting, continues from this point through the end of March. The five-month long ski season in West Virginia has an estimated economic impact of over $250 million and 5,000 jobs at the resorts and other related companies.