With Thanksgiving come and gone, the holiday season has officially arrived in the Blue Ridge. For some, this means a shopping bonanza beginning on Black Friday and ending only when the post-Christmas sales do. For others, however, the holiday season is synonymous with only one thing: skiing. Luckily, this year, Mother Nature has been kinder to the Mid-Atlantic than in 2011, when early season snow was as sparse as sleep on Christmas Eve. We have Sandy to thank for that, but also colder temperatures in the high country in general have allowed for more robust snowmaking at area resorts. The first weekend in December is usually hit or miss for quality snow and good coverage, and in 2012, it’s a hit. Time to unpack the ski clothes from the garage and hit the slopes.
West Virginia’s Snowshoe Mountain Resort has received nearly 30 inches of snow this season and have been blowing snow whenever possible. Early season skiing means not that many slopes or lifts are open – Snowshoe has eight slopes and four lifts running right now – but that just saves you from overdoing it on the first day back on snow. The most important thing is that, yes, they are open and, yes, you can go skiing. Use this weekend to breakout last year’s gear to see what held up over the summer, what falls apart as soon as it’s put to use, and what needs to be upgraded and added to Santa’s list. It will also be a great opportunity to get your ski legs warmed up so you’ll be ready to shred with confidence once the Western Territories open.