February 26, 2013
Most of Central Virginia just saw rain on Tuesday, but once you started climbing the mountains conditions changed and became more foggy, icy and colder. Wintergreen Resort closed earlier than expected due to the ice build up.
Hank Thiess, Wintergreen Resort's General Manager, said, "We've gone from what was arguably one of our best days of the year with 100 percent of our terrain open to a really unusual weather pattern. We feel like this is very unusual."
The resort had low visibilities due to the fog, temperatures in the 20's throughout the entire day and ice build up on the roads, sidewalks, and ski lifts. Due to these conditions, the resort decided to shut down at 1:00 pm Tuesday afternoon.
Thiess said, "We opened this morning with high cloud cover and 18 degrees and by one o'clock we were having icing on our lifts, on the seats of our chair lifts on out walkways and roadways."
In the end, winter weather shut down a winter weather resort.
Thiess said he's never see a weather situation quite like this one, "In my five years here at Wintergreen, this is the first time that we've been faced with a weather pattern with icing during the day light hours that put us in a condition that we didn't think we should continue to operate."
For the few skiers who did brave the slopes, Thiess said the conditions weren't up to speed for them anyway.
"I'm not sure being covered in ice and frozen is," commented Thiess. "They weren't enjoying themselves. So, we refunded everyone's money and we told them that we were looking forward to them coming back another day."
Wintergreen officials are expecting the weather to shape up Tuesday night. They say they will have the slopes ready and reopened Wednesday morning.