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Repeat rounds of snow bring out cross country skiers in Tucker County

TUCKER COUNTY, W.Va. — In the cross country skiing business, it’s all about the snow.

And, this season, the owner of White Grass Ski Touring Center in Tucker County said the snow’s been good.

“We’ve had three or four seasons without much snow and then, this winter, it’s been pretty much consistent so we’re happy about the weather. We’ve been lucky to have a lot of skiing this winter,” said Chip Chase.

As of Thursday morning, Chase reported a couple feet of snow with higher amounts in places at his business property located off Route 32 in Canaan Valley as the site saw the latest winter weather precipitation out of a system that was affecting much of West Virginia.

“Plenty of snow. Plenty of snow. That’s for sure,” Chase told MetroNews.

Many counties were under Winter Storm Warnings from the National Weather Service through the day Thursday.

In Raleigh County, a heavy mix of precipitation was reported at Winterplace Ski Resort with icing evaluations underway.

Winterplace was keeping the upper mountain area and the snowtubing park closed on Thursday because of conditions.

During the Presidents Day Weekend, COVID-19 capacity restrictions resulted in last Saturday and Sunday being sold out days for lift tickets at Winterplace.

Five additional inches of snow were reported Thursday morning at Canaan Valley Resort in Tucker County with the storm total expected to top ten inches by Friday afternoon.

A lot of terrain was open as well at Snowshoe Mountain in Pocahontas County, Timberline Mountain in Tucker County and Oglebay Resort in Ohio County in what has been an overall atypical winter season due to COVID.

At White Grass, Chase said cross country skiers were adapting easily to safety protocols.

“We were sort of, like, masked people to begin with. Even without COVID, we all had masks on,” he said.

“It’s an outdoor sport to begin with. It’s an outdoor group of people and it’s also a group of people that want to be really careful and are very concerned about their health, our health and everybody’s health.”

This year, Chase said interest in cross country skiing from first-timers has been the highest ever in his 40 years in business.

“COVID is creating an incredible interest in cross country skiing that I’ve never seen before,” he said.

For those who didn’t want to ski, he recommended snowshoeing.

“Snowshoeing is easier and it’s something the whole family can do without any skill level at all,” Chase said.

Ski season in West Virginia usually continues into March, depending on the weather.