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Late snows extend W.Va. ski season

Mar. 26, 2013 @ 11:00 PM

DAVIS, W.Va. -- Fred Herz looked out the window of the Timberline Four Seasons Resort in Davis, W.Va., and was loving every minute of what he was seeing -- snow, snow and more snow.

Herz, the Milton resident who is vice president of Timberline, the state's only family-owned ski resort, said this month's continued cold weather and snowfalls have been the icing to what has been a fantastic ski season at Timberline, located in Canaan Valley, the highest valley east of the Mississippi.

While the state's five ski resorts were all closed last year after an unseasonably hot St. Patrick's Day weekend popped temps to nearly 80 degrees, this year, three of the resorts -- Timberline, Snowshoe Mountain and Winterplace -- are all staying open into Easter weekend.

Timberline and Snowshoe are set to close Sunday, March 31, while Winterplace is scheduled to close this Saturday, March 30. Timberline will offer $1 lift tickets for Sunday afternoon from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

White Grass Touring Center, the state's largest Nordic Center in Tucker County, is also providing excellent coverage for cross-country skiers and snowshoers and will do so as long as the snow lasts on the trails.

The mountains of West Virginia have received more than 17 feet of natural snow this season, and temperatures have been perfect for snowmaking operations.

"It has been a fantastic season," Herz said. "We passed 200 inches of snow about a week ago. We are into some big amounts of snow for March. It's the best we've had for several years, and people have been really happy that we had this much snow after a really poor season last year. This has really topped it off the way that the snow has come timed for spring breakers with Easter being early this year."

With great March snow conditions at a time when Southern and many mid-Atlantic ski resorts are closed, Herz said they've had folks up from as far away as Florida and the Carolinas hitting the last of the season's powder.

Herz said conditions are equal to -- if not better than -- what they were in January, in the heart of the season.

"The people who are here are really finding out what March skiing is all about," Herz said. "We can just get great conditions and the alleviation of the crowds and just being one with nature. You get these big snow dumps, and some people just fall in love with what they find."

For more information on skiing and snowboarding in West Virginia, visit goskiwv.com.

Follow H-D reporter Dave Lavender on Facebook or Twitter @DaveLavenderHD.

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