The mountains of West Virginia have received over a foot of natural snow since the beginning of this week, as two more resorts, Timberline in Tucker County and Winterplace in Raleigh County open for the season this Saturday, December 8. Snowshoe Mountain in Pocahontas County has been open since November 21 and is opening additional terrain daily. Canaan Valley Resort is planning to open its cross-country and snowshoeing trails on Saturday and drop the ropes on its ski terrain on December 22.
The temperatures in the higher elevations have been perfect for snowmaking operations, allowing West Virginia areas to provide the most open terrain in the mid-Atlantic and southeast regions beginning this weekend. The snowmakers at all of the resorts began to work around the clock when temperatures dropped, allowing the industry’s unsung heroes to create the excellent early season conditions. When snowmaking conditions were at their best this week (in the low teens), over 10,000 tons of snow was 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.
The mountain state’s resorts annually attract over 800,000 skier visits and that number is again attainable since the start of the season is coming at a tradition time. The top states providing skiers and snowboarders visiting West Virginia slopes are Virginia, North Carolina, Ohio and Florida. The ski and snowboard season traditionally, weather permitting, continues through early April. 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.
See you on the slopes for the first turns of the season.