- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 15, 2002

Timberline Four Seasons Resort opened for the season Friday with about 30 percent of the area skiable and two lifts operating thanks to the welcome early winter weather.
Conditions on Timberline's 4,268-foot peak in West Virginia's Canaan Valley have been ideal for snowmaking, and there has been abundant snowfall so far this season. Although a mid-December opening is customary for Timberline, having nearly a third of its terrain covered with snow is unusual.
Through Christmas Day, Timberline has its preseason rates in effect: $23 lift tickets during the week, $27 on weekends. After Christmas, Timberline will have night skiing Thursday through Saturday.
Over the summer, Timberline upgraded its rental equipment with hundreds of shaped skis and snowboards. Lodging is available on the mountain in condos and vacation homes. Information: 800/766-9464; timberlineresort.com.
Canaan Valley expects big season
Canaan Valley Resort, Timberline's neighbor in Davis, W.Va., has made some improvements over the past two years, said managing director Chuck Trader. The two-story Bear Paw Lodge, opened last year, gives Canaan a modern facility and amenities in nearly 21,000 square feet of space. The dining area can accommodate more than 500 people at a time.
"In addition to the new base lodge, skiers will find that we have enhanced our service and entertainment offerings during the offseason and we have created special ski and stay packages," Trader said. Night skiing will be offered on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings from Dec.26 through March2. On Saturdays, live music will be provided at the ski area during the day and at Canaan Lodge at night. NASTAR citizen ski racing begins Jan.22.
A Swoosh Value Season lodging and ski package is available through Dec.24. The package includes two nights' lodging, two lift tickets, two breakfasts and a $4 discount on standard ski rentals for $109 a person (double occupancy). That package can be increased to five nights for $149 a person.
In addition to alpine, or downhill, skiing, Canaan has snow tubing, ice skating, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Inside, there is an arts and crafts center, fitness club and pool. Information: 800/622-4121; canaanresort.com.
Happy trails at Snowshoe With 40 trails available and more coming, Snowshoe (W.Va.) Resort is in midseason form. So far this season, Snowshoe has received 45 inches of natural snow and continues to make snow at every opportunity.
Since early November, the guns have been on at the Snowshoe and Silver Creek areas for more than 500 hours. When the temperatures are in the mid-teens, Snowshoe snowguns can pump out 2,500 tons of snow an hour enough to cover four football fields. The base is 32 to 44 inches.
One terrain park and the snow tubing hill are operating at Snowshoe and Silver Creek. In addition to skiing and snowboarding, there's snowmobiling, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing through the Snowshoe Mountain Adventure Center. Information: 877/441-4386; snowshoemtn.com.
Lease gear at Hidden Valley
The least enjoyable part of a day of skiing is standing in long lines and filling out rental forms. To cut down on guest frustration and inconvenience, Hidden Valley Four Seasons Resort, Somerset, Pa., has developed an equipment lease program that allows skiers to receive rentals each time they show up at the area without doing more paperwork.
Lines are eliminated with express lanes for lease pass holders. The lease packages are $90 for children and $199 for skiers 12 and older. Regular rentals at Hidden Valley are $20 a session. The lease program begins Jan.3. Information: 800/458-0175; hiddenvalleyresort.com.
Take the Plunge at Wintergreen
At Wintergreen Resort's snow tubing park, in Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains, the Plunge, is operating. The park has eight lanes, and the chutes are 900-feet long with a 100-foot vertical drop. A two-hour session is $15 midweek and $17 weekends including equipment. The Plunge is open every day from 10a.m. to 6p.m. Information: 434/325-2100; wintergreenresort.com.
Wisp's snow tubing park open Wisp at Deep Creek Mountain Resort, McHenry, Md., has two rope tows to transport tubers to the top of the hill at its eight-chute, Bear Claw Snow Tubing Park. Bear Claw Park is open every day and available for private parties and group sessions. The two-hour, pre-scheduled sessions are $14 a person weekdays, $16 Saturday, Sunday and holidays.
Wisp is selling a packet of 10 snow tubing passes for $100. The passes can be used Sunday after 3p.m. to Friday before 5p.m. Information: 301/387-4911; skiwisp.com.
Moon worship at White Grass
There are few opportunities to silently slide over fresh snow at night, your way lit by the moonlight. White Grass Ski Touring Center, Davis, W.Va., will celebrate this month's full moon and the changing of season with Full Moon Solstice Tours from Thursday through Saturday. Moonlight tours at White Grass usually run 7 to 8p.m. but can go longer and further into the Canaan Valley depending on the tourers.
The folks at White Grass will have a winter solstice tour Saturday. The plan is to ski all day (thankfully, on the shortest day of the year). Information: 304/866-4114; whitegrass.com.
Snow Sports appears on Sundays in The Washington Times during the winter. Contact: bclapper@washingtontimes.com.

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