More than 50 skiers were in the frostbite line at Snowshoe, their faces marred by the telltale white speckles. Next morning, when the bottom fell out of the thermometer, the gas station was using a huge blow dryer to warm up frozen engines.
Another couple had no problem with their car en route to Blue Knob, but coming home was another matter -- they waited 23 hours for a tow-truck. It wasn't worth the wait: Once home, they found that their water pipes had burst.
It's a tough sport. BIG BOULDER -- Lake Harmony, Pa., 225 miles. The base, 36 to 60 inches, doubled. Machine, packed- powder surface. All trails have been groomed. Four lifts and all 10 trails are open. Night skiing until 10. Vertical drop, 475f. 717/722-0104. BLUE KNOB -- Claysburg, Pa., 150 miles. Mambo Ally, Bunnyhop, Upper 66 and the beginner's slopes are open. A spokesman says conditions are excellent. Base is 12 to 20 inches -- an increase of four inches. Machine and natural powder surface. Nine trails, four lifts and two rope tows in operation. Vertical drop, 1,052f. Night skiing 6 till 10. 800/458-3403. BRYCE -- Bayse, Va., 120 miles. At least two to three inches of new snow. Base 10 to 20 inches. Last week's bare spots should have disappeared. Packed- powder surface. Snow guns going. Redeye, Bootlegger and Revenuer open. Two double chairs, two rope tows and the Mighty Might tow open. Night skiing from 6:30 till 10. 703/856-2121. CAMELBACK -- Tannersville, Pa., 230 miles. Snow was falling as the report arrived. Base 15 to 36 inches. Natural and machine powder surface. All 22 traiks are open. Eight to 10 lifts functioning. Night skiing 5 to 10. Vertical drop, 800f. 717/629-1661. ELK MOUNTAIN -- Union Dale, Pa., 270 miles. Flurries. The base, 20 to 34 inches, increased two inches over the past week. The new ski shop is open. Packed powder and machine powder surface. Thirteen trails, four or five lifts working. Night skiing Monday through Saturday, 4:30 to 10. Vertical drop, 1,100f. 800/679-2611. HIDDEN VALLEY -- Somerset, Pa., 191 miles. One inch of fresh flakes. Snow machines working. Surface is packed powder with some icy spots. Base 5 to 45 inches. Six trails, two lifts and one rope two functioning. Cross-country skiers have 28 kilometers to travel. Vertical drop, 400 feet. 814/443-1414. JACK FROST -- White Haven, Pa., 250 miles. Flurries only. Most of the week's storm passed to the east. Base is 36 to 60 inches, a significant increase. Groomed surface of machine and natural powder. Twelve trails and four lifts open. Cross country skiing. No night skiing. Vertical drop, 500f. 717/443-8425. LAUREL MOUNTAIN -- Boswell, Pa., 190 miles. Zero to 40 inches of machine-made snow. Granular surface. Five trails and two lifts open. Night skiing, 4:30 to 10:30. 412/238-6688. SEVEN SPRINGS -- Champion, Pa., 190 miles. Two to six inches of natural snow. Base is four to 11 inches in natural snow areas, six to 40 on machine made slopes. Packed powder and natural powder surface. Sixteen trails and up to eight lifts open. Night skiing until 11. Vertical drop, 997f. 814/352-7777. SKI LIBERTY -- Fairfield, Pa., 65 miles. Fresh snow falling. Base varies, 6 to 36 inches. Primary surface is powder, secondary is packed powder. 14 trails, four lifts and one J-Bar open. Night skiing from 5 to 10. Night skiing lift ticket is $9. Vertical drop, 575f. 717/642-8282. SNOWSHOE -- Snowshoe, W.Va., 245 miles. Average temperature on the mountaintop is in the teens. Two and one-half inches of fresh snow, plus four to six inches of machine-made snow. Surface is groomed powder. Six lifts and 20 trails, ranging from novice to expert, open. Base 35 to 40 inches. Lower Cup Run finally opened. No night skiing. Vertical drop, 1,500f. 304/799-6630. WINTERGREEN -- Wintergreen, Va., 168 miles. Three to five inches of new snow. Base 16 to 60 inches. Natural powder surface. Seven trails and three chairs are open. Night skiing Tuesday through Sunday from 7 to 11. Vertical drop, 525f. 804/325-2200. WISP -- Oakland, Md., 185 miles. The weatherman said Wisp would get six inches of fresh snow, and it did. The base maximum increased by 20 inches, now at 28 to 50 inches. Surface is groomed, loose granular. Sixteen trails, two double-chairs, one poma lift and one rope tow available. Night skiing Tuesday through Friday, 6 to 10. Night lift tickets cost $9. Vertical drop, 610f. 800/638-1070.