A Dry New Year’s Eve; Wet New Year’s Day and then Cold and Snow Returns!

Happy New Year’s Eve! It doesn’t feel like just four or five days ago that we were in the midst of a huge snowstorm that dumped as much as 19" of snow on the resorts of the region. Beech saw 19" and some of the resorts over near Asheville picked up as much as 21"!

The last day of the year will be the mildest day of what has been a cold December as we’ll start the day in the 40s pretty much everywhere and it should stay dry til later when around midnight we’ll see some light rain developing. The first day of 2011 may be a little wet.

Right behind the one day of wet (under developed snow) is cold and more snow!

A lot of people have emailed me asking about snow totals thus far on the season and bear in mind that you can get that information all in one place at the click of a mouse button on our snow reports page. However since it’s the last day of the year, here’s where the December snows have fallen so far on the season.

Note that Beech has already seen 84% of their normal/average snowfall on the entire season and yet we’ve still got 2.5-3 months of season to go!

Canaan Valley Resort – 76.7" (71" in December!)
Timberline Resort – 76.7"
Beech Mountain Resort – 67.1"
Snowshoe Mountain – 66"
Wisp Resort – 66"
Sugar Mountain – 58.4"
Wolf Ridge Resort – 56"
Appalachian Ski Mountain – 45"
Cataloochee Ski Area – 42"
Winterplace Resort – 40"
Ober Gatlinburg – 24"
Sapphire Valley Ski Area – 12.5"
The Homestead – 7.5"
Massanutten Resort – 6"
Wintergreen REsort – 4"
Bryce Resort – 2"

As you can tell, the Virginia ski resorts have been snow starved during December while some of the North Carolina ski areas picked up more snow than the West Virginia areas. How many times can we report that Beech ended December with more snow than Snowshoe? Not many times…and it’s the first time since I’ve been covering the region these 15 plus seasons.

Here the tour for today:

Ober Gatlinburg – 40° – Open with 7 of 9 trails open and terrain park and snow tubing as well as the largest ice skating rink in the region.

Wisp Resort in Maryland – 34° – They are 100% open with all 32 trails, snow tubing, ice skating and mountain coastering as well as some good cross country terrain available. Wisp is reporting 73" on the season but they’ve had 66". We’re thinking Bob or someone missed something along the last week. CoCoRaHs is reporting only 56" on the season officially in McHenry, but we have a new friend up atop Wisp’s resort that is showing 66".

West Virginia Snow Reports:

Although the North Carolina resorts saw a bit more snow out of the last snowstorm of the season, the WV resorts were bombed with snow with as much as 71" in December is some places.

Snowshoe Mountain – 33° – Open with 54 of 60 trails for today and snow tubing, terrain parks and snowmobiling as well. Laura writes, "Everything was groomed overnight with the exception of Lower Shay’s Revenge and there is some pretty corduroy waiting for you this morning. The sun should make an appearance, making today feel more like April than the last day in December. But after we get through some daytime showers tomorrow, cold and snow return to the forecast."

Always the educator! Great stuff.

Winterplace Resort – 35° – 27 of 28 trails open with terrain parks and snow tubing open as well! Several people have emailed me about the fact that Winterplace is reporting that they only have 27 trails, but go count them. Their own trail map and report page lists 28. We counted 27 of them showing as OPEN.

Canaan Valley Resort – 30° was the low temp this morning although it’s 40° already at 8:19am. – They are open with 38 of 39 trails, snow tubing and ice skating as well as cross country skiing.

Timberline Resort – 30° – 34 of 39 trails open with terrain parks and cross country skiing terrain open as well.

Virginia Snow Reports:

Virginia is posting some temps that are 10-12° colder than those seen in North Carolina this morning. That’s unusual, but here are the details:

Massanutten Resort – 32° – 100% open with all 14 trails and snow tubing on 8 lanes. Groomed conditions.

Wintergreen Resort – 45° – 100% open with all 26 trails, snow tubing and terrain parks. Anne Marie writes, "TODAY WE ARE 100% OPEN AND HAVE FREESTYLE DEMO DAYS AT THE TOP OF BIG ACORN. FOR THOSE OF US WHO LOVE WINTER, 2010 WILL BE A YEAR TO REMEMBER! THANKS FOR SPENDING TIME WITH US IN 2010 AND WE LOOK FORWARD TO BEING YOUR FAVORITE PLACE TO SKI, RIDE AND TUBE IN 2011!

SKIING AND RIDING: Today we have 26 slopes and trails open and 5 lifts. We will be open for DAY AND NIGHT SESSIONS skiing and riding from 9AM-10PM. The average snow base depth throughout the resort is 30”-60”. HOLIDAY RATES ARE IN EFFECT."

Bryce Resort – 32° – Open with 7 of 8 trails and snow tubing

The Homestead – 43° – NO REPORT but at last look they have 8 of 10 trails open and ice skating and tubing as well.

North Carolina Snow Report:

Appalachian Ski Mountain – 36° – 100% open with all 12 trails and groomed conditions with all three terrain parks and ice skating.

Beech Mountain Resort – 40° – 100% open with all 15 trails, terrain park and snow tubing as well as ice skating on an accurate "wet snow and packed" surface.

Cataloochee ski Area – 40° – 100% open with all 16 trails and groomed conditions with terrain park and snow tubing open.

Sapphire Valley Ski Area – 41° – 100% open with both trails and snow tubing on groomed conditions.

Sugar Mountain Ski Resort – 41° – 100% open with all 20 trails, ice skating, terrain park and snow tubing. They are reporting loose and frozen granular conditions.

Wolf Ridge Resort – 44° – Open with 17 of 20 trails and snow tubing. They posted, "Its Friday December 31st and another great day to experience the Wolf. The weather is perfect at 44 degrees and 17 runs and 4 lifts are open all day until 10.00 PM. THE LODGE STEAK & RIB RESTAURANT at the Upper Lodge is now open."

Be sure to check back often for more photos being posted as well as our video blog. If you have not yet visited our Ski Messageboard Forum you should do so.

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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.