A Colder Snowcast for WV Ski Resorts compared to Further South

Winds, Cold Temps, Snowmaking, Power Outages – We’ve Got it All! Read on.

The winds are probably the biggest story for today as resorts have reported anywhere from 25-45 mph winds in the last 24 hours.  The forecast for today is for a bit more gusty winds. Areas around places like Snowshoe and the WV ski areas are expecting 28-32 mph winds today. Combine that with highs that are not expected to get out of the teens up that way and we’re bound to hear about some crazy wind chill readings! We’ve already heard of one MINUS 9° wind chill in Pocahontas County, WV!

Snowshoe, Canaan Valley, Timberline and Wisp Resorts are all expecting some lingering moisture that should provide another dusting of snow. The overnight lows up that way will be in the ZERO to 2° range! On Friday things are expected to SOAR to a balmy high of 18° with another single digit low on Friday night.  That will make for around the clock snowmaking ops for those ski areas.

Saturday and Sunday looks pretty snowy for those ski areas into WV and Maryland with highs in the 20s and lows in the teens. Snowmaking will continue at all of the resorts up that way throughout that entire period as the mildest nighttime temp we’re seeing in the forecast is a 24° reading Monday night!

Things won’t be quite so cold (nor cooperative for snowmakers) for the Virginia ski resorts but they should be able to make on and off throughout the period and lay down plenty enough snow to open and make for very nice riding conditions.

Further South into the NC Mountains things look great for today through sometime on Saturday when temps are expected to rise to around 38°. The snowguns will be on until perhaps Monday or Tuesday night when things are looking a bit borderline as to whether or not snowmaking crews will be able to make snow.  Regardless, there’s plenty of snow being made right now and around the clock for the next 60 hours or so.

Only Sapphire Valley in North Carolina is not making snow this morning. It is 27° and plenty cold enough to be making snow at Sapphire but they are not. According to Wendy over there, the wind was blowing so hard that it just wouldn’t have been productive.

NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED DURING THE WRITING OF TODAY’S STORY

Word has it that Wolf Laurel/Wolf Ridge is making snow…ON Cataloochee’s slopes; Cataloochee Ski Area is making snow on Beech Mountain Resort; Beech is making snow for Sugar… you get the picture!

It is WINDY out there! I looked around at the 6,325 weather stations that Dr. Ray and other weather gurus have dotted all across the Southeast and the highest wind speed that I could find overnight was up on Linville Ridge’s peak where they recorded a 33 mph wind. Sugar’s summit station recorded a 30 mph top wind. I’d love to know what the top wind speed was atop Grandfather Mountain. The back side of my home faces Grandfather and we have a wind tunnel effect that blasts us everytime there’s a wind event like we experienced overnight and all I know is that I woke up with my bed facing in the wrong direction this morning!

I’d almost swear that I saw "Auntie Em" biking in the night sky last night. Come to think of it I’m almost certain I saw my four wheeler, my dog "Dakota" (a Husky/Shepherd mix) who is prone to flying under NORMAL circumstances all flying in the howling winds.

Regardless, most all of the ski areas are all making snow and most should be able to make snow around the clock from now through at least sometime on Saturday. That is GREAT news here on December 10th as we need all the snowmaking ops we can get.

WE’VE HAD A WILD RIDE OF TEMPS IN THE LAST 24-48 HOURS!

On Wednesday at about lunchtime I found myself roasting in my own office so I got up and checked the central air/heat and although it was set on 69° it was 76° in the office. I opened the window in my own office and it stayed open all day. That’s how nice it was outside around the higher elevations of North Carolina. I personally saw a high temp of 56°.

Now here we are this morning experiencing temperatures like 13° at Sugar and Beech Mountain. It is anywhere from 13-20° colder this morning that it was this time 24 hours ago! At 8am Wednesday morning, John Huffman on Beech Mountain was reporting a 41° temperature. That is TWENTY EIGHT DEGREES warmer than we’re experiencing right now!

This weekend will look a whole lot more like a traditional ski season with more terrain and more resorts open and operating.

POWER OUTAGE AT WINTERPLACE!

Winterplace is plenty cold enough to make snow but they can’t. They really suffered from the ice storm that came through on Tuesday night and Wednesday AM and they’ve been without power all day Wednesday and thus far this morning. I spoke with Michelle up there at 8:30am and you could hear her teeth chattering she was so cold.

Wisp is making snow AND is now OPEN today from 10am til 7pm with $10 lift passes. You can tell they were itching to open because they open today but with only one lift and that is the ski carpet "lift" and only one trail – the Beginner "Belly Flop" slope. (Someone was really wanting to get open!)

Snowshoe Mountain – Laura Parquette sent us some nice photos to share with you guys from the last couple of days and we’ll post those today. She warns guests to bundle up, "Bsure to grab an extra layer before you head out to enjoy some of the best conditions on the entire East Coast! With all of snowmaking expected to occur in the next couple days, as well as some natural snow in the forecast, conditions should be absolutely fantastic this weekend. We expect to open more terrain in both the Silver Creek and Snowshoe Basin areas, and night skiing will also return for Friday and Saturday. It’s the perfect time to get in those early season turns, and there’s no better place to do it than Snowshoe! Think Snow!"

We also hear that Snowshoe plans to open the Mountaineer, Halfpipe and Spruce Glades Terrain Parks soon.

Beech Mountain Resort is operating with THREE slopes open for today. (Some reports are incorrectly reflecting 4 trails open.) Talia Freeman, Beech’s Marketing Director, reports, "Upper Shawneehaw and the High-Speed Quad will be making their season debut this Friday, 12/11/09. Beech Mountain Resort will start night skiing this Saturday with the Ice Skating Rink and the Beech Tree Restaurant also opening. The Beech Tree will jump start the season with Standard Films 2009 video premier of Black Winter, a snowboarding film highlighting some of the most progressive riders in the industry. The showing starts at 8:00pm and will feature music and fun for all ages. Slope tickets will be $30.00 for all-day and twilight tickets and $20.00 for half-day and night tickets. We look forward to seeing everyone here this weekend!"

You heard her people! Get up to Beech and enjoy the fun and what should be very nice conditions.

TOWER CAM BEING TWEAKED AT BEECH

We installed a quad lift tower cam at Beech last week and after just a few days the wireless transmitter stopped working. A couple of members of our team (Paul Huffman and Chase Hendley) were up there on top of the quad tower with the winds howling – trying to get that working on Wednesday. We were not happy with the supposed, super powered Canon camera so we replaced that with a newer Panasonic pan, tilt and zoom cam. Paul and Chase are planning on heading back up in these frigid temps and winds today and if they don’t get blown off the tower we should have some big screen live shots of people riding the quad up the mountain for you guys.

Stay tuned.

Don’t forget that Sugar Mountain is celebrating SugarFest this weekend, December 12th and 13th. Both Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 am until 3:30 pm 2009 ski & snowboard equipment will be available for demo from Salomon, Volkl, Nordica, Burton, Head, Never Summer, K2, Atomic, Dynastar, Rossignol, Ride, Line, Fisher and Forum. You must have a valid driver’s license or credit card in order to demo the equipment.

Watch 1992 Olympic Figure Skating Silver Medalist, Paul Wylie dazzle us with his amazing talent followed by an on ice skating clinic and a meet and greet session Saturday 10 am and 1 pm on Sugar’s ice rink located next to the Dave Nixon Pro Shop adjacent to parking lot D.

More information and a schedule of events is forthcoming. 

<The Signage reads "Wolf Ridge"…

Wolf Laurel IS Wolf Ridge Resort. We’ve had more than our fair share of emailers either asking us "what happened to Wolf Laurel", "Is Wolf Laurel, Wolf Ridge" or advising us that WE are wrong in calling Wolf Laurel, Wolf Ridge. Anyone else confused?!?!

The ski area was called Wolf Laurel for years, but two seasons ago they channged their name to Wolf Ridge Ski Resort which coincided with some growth up top, etc. The area is still known as Wolf Laurel, but the ski area IS called Wolf Ridge. Even one of our own clients who operates a real estate business there told me that nobody in the area calls it Wolf Ridge, because it is called Wolf Laurel. (Does it seem that I’m trying to use the word "wolf" as many times as possible?)

Anyway, I heard from Marketing Director, Rick Bussey on Wednesday and I plan on speaking with him about "What’s New at Wolf" later today but he did inform me that they have a number of beautifully designed rustic log homes include picturesque mountain views from wraparound decks, full kitchens, large living spaces with fireplaces and three or four bedrooms located at the top of the mountain. You can also swim in the sky-high, glass-enclosed, heated pool year-round. They have added 8 new furnished townhomes that will sleep up to 16 people overlooking the Breakaway ski slope. These units are great for groups and large family gatherings!

For more information or to make a reservation, please contact Scenic Wolf Resort at 877-828-9653 or www.scenicwolfresort.com  

Bryce Resort was at 33° and not making snow yet but plans to open Saturday and they will be making snow later today.

Massanutten is considerably colder this morning at 21° and they are making snow.

Ditto THE HOMESTEAD and WINTERGREEN

Canaan Valley is reporting 1-4 FEET of base as they prepare for Saturday’s opening! David Lecher from Canaan Weather is reporting another two-tenths of an inch of snow this AM and that makes three straight days that Canaan’s had a dusting of snow.

Timberline Resort welcomes you to visit their first slopeside chalet, the only slopeside hotel in the area. This charming hotel and its european feel has 20 rooms available, each offering guests the cozy comforts of home. All rooms have two Queen beds, refrigerator, microwave, coffee pot, luxurious bathrooms, with the latest technologies of internet access and flat screen tv’s in each room. This cozy hotel sits at the base of Timberline mountain, just steps from our longest running triple chair lift and the main lodge, on the trails of Winterset. The hotel also offers conference center facilities for private or corporate events.

We have a lot to get to today…so we’ll wrap it up and invite you to check back later for new photos of the day and more!

You can check the snow reports for all of the ski resorts of West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Tennessee and North Carolina via http://www.skisoutheast.com/skireports.php  as well as videos, photos and more.

Send your comments, videos, photos, trip reports and questions to: [email protected]

SSAA: 0 for 14 Beech4/was3/Appslopes9/wolf1.5/0/obersnoNO

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Mike Doble
Mike is the Editor and founder of SkiSoutheast.com, SkiNC.com and ResortCams.com. Since September 1996 he has posted more than 13,000 posts, articles, photos and videos promoting all of the ski areas of North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland.Mike is the father of four daughters, is an avid skier and enjoys golf, tennis, kayaking and hiking in the mountains. Winter snowsports and Summer boating on Watauga Lake are among his favorite pastimes.