It mainly depends on how cold the temps stay. Snowshoe puts down more man-made snow than Mother Nature does with the natural, but as long as the temps are cold you should be fine to ski there mid-January
Envy, I am a longtime Snowshoe skier and totally agree that without the Western territory open Snowshoe is not really worth it. They claim a resort vertical of 1500 but the basin side is lucky if they have 800. In recent years the resort seems to have really dragged their feet on opening this more "advanced" terrain. The average level of skier at SS is more than happy with the front side and I guess this is what sells the tickets. Lower Shays (the hardest run on the Western terr.] never even opens. Very disappointing. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.
Upper Shays and lower Cupp should be open for sure, barring any real warm weather. Upper Cupp also likely. Lower Shays probably 50/50.
Lower Shays has been open most years that I can remember. The recent exception being during the 07-08 season.
BTW, if it's a powder day, the best snow will be on the Basin side. I've skied 10-20" of powder on the basin side many times, then crossed the street to find only 2-4" of windpacked garbage in the Western territory. It just doesn't collect or retain powder like the basin side, not even close.
Powder jackpots are skier's left on Spruce Glades (it's typically a terrain park, so the skier traffic is low and nobody goes after the powder), the line directly under the Soaring Eagle lift on Widowmaker (non groomed base -- beware), and Camp 99 / Sawmill. Here's a little bit of Soaring Eagle/Widowmaker stokage from last February:
skier219, that's some good quality video. Is that an Alta sticker on left ski tip? Snowshoe on a lonely weekday with some fresh snow is a mighty fine substitute until you can get back to Utah for a sticker for your right ski.
I think that day at SS was my best powder day of the season last year, despite three weeks out West with several other powder opportunities. Sometimes the conditions and the location and the timing all come together for the magic moment, even at little old SS. It helped that nobody skis that section under the lift, and the lack of grooming there makes it a lot of fun.
I always put a sticker on one ski so I can tell them apart easily, and have been starting the day with the sticker on the left (then rotate after lunch/breaks etc). This new ritual appears to be working out well with the powder gods.....