- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 28, 2004

The days are longer, the temperatures warmer and open ski resorts fewer. Such is the way of spring.

Today is the last day of skiing and snowboarding at many resorts in the Middle Atlantic region, leaving only three — Seven Springs in Pennsylvania, West Virginia’s Snowshoe Mountain Resort and Timberline Four Seasons resort — operating. Seven Springs and Timberline plan to remain open for another week, and Snowshoe has targeted April11 as its final day of on-snow activity.

Snowshoe moves into the final two weeks of its season with plenty of snow on the trails and good conditions the rest of the way.

“We have to be realistic,” said Joe Stevens, communications director for Snowshoe. “It’s tough to convince people in the D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland suburbs that there’s still snow up here. They’re busy cleaning off their mowers and getting their gardens ready, and they’re not thinking about skiing.”

The season’s snowfall is above 175 inches, about 97 percent of the resort’s 10-year seasonal average of 180 inches. Last March, Snowshoe received 20 inches of snow, and this year’s total is more than 28 inches. There’s up to a 5-foot base on the mountain.

While this year’s snow depth numbers are good, they pale in comparison to 1993, when Snowshoe received 62 inches of snow in eight days (March8-15), including 39 inches on the 13th and 14th.

Snowshoe has dubbed its grand finale of the winter season Last Hurrah Weekend on April10-11. Events include the Pond Skimming Championships on Saturday morning. On Sunday, there will be Easter activities, a sunrise Easter service, the highest-elevated Easter egg hunt in the East and an Easter brunch. Contact: 877/441-4386; snowshoemtn.com.

At Timberline, in Davis, W.Va., preparations are under way for the Locals Cup activities next weekend. The event is the last opportunity of the season for skiers and snowboarders in the Canaan Valley to get on the snow, and friendly competitions have evolved between Timberline staff and workers from neighboring Canaan Valley Resort, which closes today.

Even though the activities are billed as a local event, outsiders are welcome and encouraged to participate, said Timberline spokeswoman Marsha Lauk, adding, “We’ll have a slalom race, a bump contest and a rail jam in our terrain park, and they’re all open to anyone who shows up.”

Timberline also is featuring traditional West Virginia food during the Locals Cup activities. If it is island food you crave, today is the last day of Timberline’s Caribbean Weekend.

“We’ve had a great winter,” said Lauk. “We’ve gotten the right amount of snow at the right time, and the weather this year has been ideal for making snow and keeping it.”

Lauk estimates that 165 inches of snow fell on Timberline this winter. Contact: 800/766-9464, snow phone 304/866-4828; timberlineresort.com.

The final events of the season at Seven Springs Resort, Champion, Pa., are Saturday’s Meltdown Party and pond skimming adult fun and games are featured.

Season passes for the 2004-05 season are available from the pass office at Seven Springs. Individual passes are $340; juniors $299; 70-79 $69. A 2004-05 pass is valid for the rest of this season as well. Contact: 814/352-7777, 800/452-2223; 7springs.com.

Treasure hunt at Wintergreen — Wintergreen Resort, in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, celebrates the end of ski season with a Mystery Treasure Hunt today, the last day of skiing at the resort. Plastic eggs will be hidden on the slopes. Each egg will contain a prize ticket that can be redeemed for merchandise and activities at Wintergreen. Contact: 434/325-8180, snow report 434/325-2100; skiwintergreen.com.

Wisp goes snowmobiling — Though the skiing and snowboarding end today, Wisp at Deep Creek Mountain Resort, McHenry, Md., will run a snow-cross and a hill climb for snowmobiles Saturday. Registration begins at 9a.m., with practice at 11a.m. and racing at noon. Gate fee is $8. The Wisp Resort Hotel has special rates all weekend for the event; reservations, 800/462-9477 and mention Trainer’s Outdoor Motorsports.

Wisp is also beginning to offer special golf packages. Contact: 301/387-4911; skiwisp.com.

Snow Sports appears Sundays in The Washington Times.

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