WINTER carnivals, ski races, snow sculpture contests, fireworks, all-night skiing and a cross-country festival highlight activities at area ski resorts this weekend.
All of this, however, hinges on weather conditions. The mild temperatures and rain wiped out the snow base at some resorts. Before you make plans to attend any of these festivals, call the ski area first.
The West Virginia Telemark Festival will be held Saturday and Sunday at the White Grass Nordic Touring Center in Canaan Valley. Unfortunately, White Grass had no snow at midweek. The festival will be moved to Canaan Valley or Timberline if White Grass remains snowless on Friday. Call Chip Chase at 304/866-4114 before you go. Wherever it is, the festival will offer telemark lessons instructing skiers in the sport, which combines cross-country and downhill skiing. Races and tours begin at 10 a.m.
If there is enough snow -- and that is a big if at midweek -- there will be ski movies, cross-country races, dog sled demonstrations, a snow sculpture contest and sleigh rides Sunday at a Winter Carnival in Catoctin Mountain National Park in Thurmont, Maryland. Activities for children and refreshments are planned. The park is off U.S. 15 in Thurmont. For information on the snow conditions, call 301/663-9330 before you go.
Giant slalom and super giant slalom races, with prizes valued as much as $5,000, will be held this weekend at Ski Liberty in Fairfield, Pennsylvania. The races are open to anyone. Sign up at the Ski Office.
Blue Knob in Claysburg, Pennsylvania, will hold a fireworks display at 10:30 p.m. Saturday, followed by skiing until 7 a.m. the next morning.
The American Express MoneyGram Regional Handicapped Ski Qualifying Race will be held Friday at Ski Roundtop, Lewisberry, Pennsylvania. For more information, call 543-2877.
Here is a look at ski resorts within a six-hour drive of Washington: BIG BOULDER, 225 miles.
LAKE HARMONY, PA. 717/722-0101.
Base of 30 to 44 inches, with a granular surface. Eleven runs open and seven lifts operating. Reciprocal lift tickets with Jack Frost Mountain, 6 miles away. Snow report: 717/722-0104. BLUE KNOB, 150 miles.
CLAYSBURG, PA. 814/239-5111.
Base up to 36 inches, with a packed-powder surface. Fourteen to 18 slopes open and seven lifts operating. Fireworks at 10:30 Saturday, followed by all-night skiing for $18 from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. CAMELBACK, 230 miles.
TANNERSVILLE, PA. 717/629-1661.
Base of 24 to 60 inches, with a packed-powder surface. Natural snow is expected and snowmaking is in progress. Twenty-five trails open and 11 lifts operating. Snow report: 800/233-8100. CANAAN VALLEY, 180 miles.
DAVIS, W.VA. 304/866-4121 or 800/225-5982.
Base of 21 to 41 inches, with a loose granular surface. Sixteen trails open and three lifts operating. ELK MOUNTAIN, 260 miles.
UNIONDALE, PA. 717/679-2611.
Base from 12 to 30 inches, with a surface of granular and packed powder. Ten runs open and four lifts operating. Rossignol, K2 and Fisher skis will be demonstrated Saturday. Snow report, 800/233-4131. HIDDEN VALLEY, 191 miles.
SOMERSET, PA. 814/443-6454 or 800/458-0175.
Base up to 24 inches, with a groomed surface. Ten trails open and all lifts operating. THE HOMESTEAD, 200 miles.
HOT SPRINGS, VA. 703/839-5079.
Base of 15 to 50 inches, with a surface of corn snow. Seven slopes open and four lifts operating. JACK FROST MOUNTAIN, 225 miles.
WHITE HAVEN, PA. 717/443-8425.
Base of 25 to 60 inches, with a granular surface. Nineteen runs open and seven lifts operating. Reciprocal lift tickets with Big Boulder, 6 miles away. MASSANUTTEN, 125 miles.
HARRISONBURG, VA. 703/289-9441.
Base of 14 to 50 inches, with a surface of wet granular. Five runs open and three lifts operating. Snow sculpture will be built this weekend. MONTAGE, 210 miles.
SCRANTON, PA. 717/969-7669.
Base of 10 to 30 inches, with a granular surface. Eleven runs open and five lifts operating. SEVEN SPRINGS, 190 miles.
CHAMPION, PA. 814/352-7777 or 800/458-2313.
Base of 6 to 34 inches with a surface of packed powder. Twenty-two to 28 trails and slopes open and 14 lifts operating. SHAWNEE MOUNTAIN, 210 miles.
SHAWNEE ON DELAWARE, PA. 717/421-7231.
Base of 25 to 55 inches, with a granular surface. Twenty-two trails open and five lifts operating. Snow report: 800/742-9633. SKI LIBERTY, 65 miles
FAIRFIELD, PA. 717/642-8282.
Base up to 38 inches, with a surface of frozen granular. Fourteen runs open and four lifts operating. The Kofoach, Blizzard, Marker and Bolle
slalom and giant slalom Triple Crown Series races will be held Saturday and Sunday, with prizes up to a value of $5,000. Anyone can race; sign up at 8 a.m. at the Ski Office. The races begin at 10 a.m. Snow report: 800/233-1134. SKI ROUNDTOP, 121 miles.
LEWISBERRY, PA. 717/432-9631.
Base of 40 to 50 inches, with a surface of wet granular. Eleven runs open and eight lifts operating. Snow report: 800/233-1134. SNOWSHOE, 245 miles.
SLATYFORK, W.VA. 304/572-1000.
Base of 24 to 60 inches, with a surface of loose, wet granular. Twenty-eight runs open and seven lifts operating. Snow report: 800/225-5982. WHITE GRASS TOURING CENTER, 188 miles.
CANAAN VALLEY, W.VA. 304/866-4114.
No trails open. Telemark festival set this weekend, weather permitting. (See details at top of this story.) WINTERGREEN, 168 miles.
WINTERGREEN, VA. 800/325-2200.
Base of 24 to 72 inches, with a groomed surface. Twelve slopes open and four lifts operating. WISP RESORT, 185 miles.
OAKLAND, Md. 301/387-5503.
Base of 6 to 26 inches, with a few bare spots. Surface of wet granular. Fifteen slopes open and seven lifts operating.