Snow sports: At last, a snowy weekend

February 11, 2012 12:00 am

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This could be one of the best weekends of the season for downhill and cross-country skiers, snowboarders, snowtubers and snowshoers.

Snow started to fall in the Laurel Highlands late Friday afternoon and more is expected today and Sunday. Go to www.paccsa.org and click on the Webcam to see the amount of snow on the cross-country and snowshoe trails in Laurel Ridge State Park.

Thanks to forecasts of well-below freezing temperatures, especially overnight, local and regional resorts plan to operate their snowmaking systems around the clock today, Sunday and Monday to replenish their snow pack. The average base ranges from 12 to 24 inches.

The combination of natural and machine-made snow is good news for Mystic Mountain at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort & Spa, which is having its annual WinterFest this weekend.

The festivities, which began yesterday, will continue today with a nine-hole golf scramble; a pond plunge where participants are rewarded with free lift tickets and rental equipment; and an Out Cold Party, where the goal is to ski/snowboard to the bottom carrying a stein of beer and ride the chairlift to the top with the least amount of spillage.

There also are snowman-building, snow angel-painting and snow-putting contests for children; chair massages; an art tour, ice-carving, a snowmelt party in the Sundial Lodge, a torchlight parade and live entertainment by Reggae Matics in the Hitchin' Post Saloon.

Information: www.nemacolin.com; 1-800-422-2736.

Gates and Guns

The Mon Valley Ski Club will have its Second Annual Gates & Guns competition next Saturday at Seven Springs.

"It's a competition like no other," said club president Kyle Prawdzik.

Is it ever.

Each member of a five-member team will take at least two runs around the blue and red gates of the NASTAR race course on the North Face side of the resort. The teams then travel to the Sporting Clays Lodge, where each member will fire a shotgun at 25 orange clay targets.

Larry Walsh writes about recreational snow sports for the Post-Gazette.
First Published 2012-02-11 02:01:35
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