Mid-Atlantic ski resorts see colder temps, snow-making opportunities over holiday weekend

The D.C. area may be coming off an especially warm weekend, but ski resorts within driving distance from the city are looking forward to freezing conditions that should allow them to begin making snow Thursday night.

“With our upgraded snow-making system, we’re able to make a lot more snow in short windows of time,” said Shawn Cassell, of Snowshoe Mountain in West Virginia.

In Pennsylvania, Jamie Storrs said $3.5 million in snow-making upgrades completed this summer at Whitetail, Roundtop and Liberty allow the resorts to make more snow than ever when conditions are cold enough.

“Thursday through as late as Tuesday, which is a really solid snow-making window, should allow us to get back to 100% at most, if not all, our resorts in Pennsylvania,” Storrs said, also speaking for Jack Frost and Big Boulder.

Big Boulder, about a four-hour drive from D.C., is known for its terrain park, which includes features such as jumps, rails and boxes that skiers can do tricks on.

For people of all ages and skill levels, tubing is popular and available at all the above mentioned resorts, except Jack Frost, where they expect to bring it back later in the season.

A bit of advice for people who might take to the slopes this weekend: Don’t forget goggles. Snow guns will be blowing newly made snow every minute possible while conditions are favorable, and that might include some active slopes.

“When that happens, you want to be pretty well covered up,” Cassell said. “Skiing under the snow guns is better than not skiing at all, but it’s not always ideal.”

Cassell also wants people to know that snow-making technology has evolved considerably over the past decade or so.

“You can’t replicate the super-light, dry, fluffy powder, but this stuff sticks around longer,” Cassell said. “People used to think those machines just pretty much blew out ice, and that’s not the case anymore — it actually makes some really good snow to ski on.”

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