Ski season in West Virginia launched Friday morning at Snowshoe Mountain, where more than 12 slopes have opened to skiers and far more snow than usually lies on the ground.
Despite a brief drizzle, more than 100 skiers attended the opening day festivities, and thousands are expected to arrive as autumn gives way to winter, according to resort officials.
“We never let a little rain spoil the fun up here,” resort spokesperson Shawn Cassell of the opening.
“Our snowmaking team has had a very productive couple of weeks, and there’s a lot more snow on the mountain than we usually have in mid-November.
"We’ve got about a dozen trails open, with an average base of nearly 60 inches, and it looks like cold and snow are back on the menu as early as tomorrow night so we’re excited about yet another strong start to ski season.”
The Allegheny Mountains in West Virginia saw their first snowfall on October 17, which officials at Snowshoe Mountain regarded as a good sign.
Able to make more snow than ever, the resort cranked up its state-of-the-art snowmaking system on November 1, and so far expectations for the season are being proven.
“Last season we opened with the most terrain we’d had in a decade, and the upgraded equipment allowed us to expand terrain and maintain a consistent, quality snow surface throughout the winter, despite a historically low natural snowfall total.”
Going into year-two, Cassel says, “our snowmaking team has an even better handle on the new equipment, and we’re excited to see them back in action.”
The snowmaking investment also allowed the resort to reduce its energy consumption by about 5 million kilowatts per year, he said.
The upgraded snowmaking equipment is much more energy-efficient, which has allowed Snowshoe to lighten its carbon footprint and cut costs, all while making more snow than ever.
On the second-highest point in West Virginia, at 4,848 feet above sea level, Snowshoe enjoys one of the longest periods of natural snow-cover in the Allegheny Mountains.
The resort includes 11,000 acres adjoining the Monongahela National Forest and offers some of the most skiable terrain in the region as well as extensive lodging options, fully developed mountain biking trails, a Gary Player golf course, wedding and convention areas, and a wide variety of outdoor activities.
Snowshoe was chosen as the “Best Ski Resort” in the region by the readers of Blue Ridge Outdoors.
The Snowshoe Bike Park was recently named the No. 1 Bike Park in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic Regions by MTBParks.com and hosted the 2019 Mercedes Benz UCI MTB World Cup Finals.
Snowshoe Mountain Resort is part of the Alterra Mountain Co. and is included on the Ikon Pass.
Find out more at www.snowshoemtn.com.
Tubing park at Snowshoe goes green (and red, blue…)
Snowshoe Mountain has installed lights that are expected to trim energy use by 80 to 85 percent at its Coca-Cola Tubing Park. But the new lights aren’t just efficient, “they’re also pretty spectacular,” according to Shawn Cassell. With a wide variety of color options that allow for stunning light shows, the new cost-saving LED system will make for a sensational snow-tubing experience. Read the full story here.