Thursday, February 17, 2011

Regional Roundup: Temperature Yo-Yo

Whiteface, Feb 13

It’s too bad that our great stretch of winter weather is being interrupted this week with mild temperatures that will push the 50-degree mark all the way up through ski country tomorrow. The good news is that the warm-up will be brief, and won’t be accompanied by any significant base-destroying rain..

Temperatures will head back down to seasonal norms by Saturday (highs in the 20s) and stay there for at least the next 5 to 7 days. Gusty winds will be a factor on Saturday, and skiers this holiday weekend will likely have to settle for machine-groomed granular surfaces, something of a letdown after weeks and weeks of powder and packed powder conditions.

As of Thursday evening, all areas are reporting near 100% of their terrain open, but conditions will change rapidly over the next 24 hours, so check for updates. Gore and Whiteface have a variety of events scheduled over the 3-day holiday weekend, including autograph sessions with Vancouver Olympic Medalist Andrew Weibrecht at Whiteface on Saturday and a telemark festival at Gore on Sunday. Friday night is West Mountain's Fire on the Mountain 50th Anniversary Party with torchlight parade and fireworks. The torchlight parade will begin shortly after the slopes close at 9pm, immediately followed by the fireworks display.

The best cross country skiing this weekend will be at touring centers like Garnet Hill Lodge and Lapland Lake, with their grooming capabilities. Lapland Lake has a Ladies' Ski program on Saturday, and a full moon night ski with campfire that night.

It won't take much new snow to get skiing surfaces back into prime condition, and there are some opportunities for snow in the coming days. In the meantime, if you're lucky enough to hit the slopes Friday, you’ll likely enjoy some great spring conditions, perhaps similar to what we saw on December 31, right before our winning streak of winter weather started.

Photo credits: Whiteface Mountain

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