A Mixed Bag of Weather Across the Southeast and Mid Atlantic Ski Resorts for January 2nd, 2007

None of the Virginia Resorts were able to make snow overnight. Bryce dropped another trail and is now skiing on three slopes. Massanutten reported 43° and they are day skiing only today with some thin spots and three slopes open. Wintergreen is reporting four trails and three lifts open and as far as we can tell they did not make snow.

The West Virginia resorts are reporting some snow and snowmaking.

Canaan Valley reported 28° and ½” of snow overnight. They have seven trails open.

Snowshoe picked up an inch of new snow (that’s 13” on the season now) and they also made snow and will as long as temps allow. They have the most terrain open in the Southeast and Mid Atlantic with 33 trails.

Timberline Resort made snow, has 11 trails open and they too saw a bit of natural snow (1/2”). That has them with some nice conditions this morning. They are reporting 6” of snow on the season now when actually we’ve been keeping up and they have had 7.5”.

Winterplace saw a trace of new snow, they are making snow and have seven trails open.

Ober Gatlinburg is still closed.

Wisp Resort saw a trace of new snow, but they are not reporting any snowmaking and actually are reporting “Up to 14” trails open. Not sure what that means, but evidently they are fighting the fight against Old Man Winter every way they can!

The North Carolina Resorts picked up a trace to a ½” of snow, and more importantly they all made snow. Ski Beech needed it the most, and as of this post (10:14am) they are STILL making snow. There’s 29 trails to play on today in NC. Check the slope conditions for all of the details, or visit SkiNC.com for more info.

Supporting YOUR SkiNC and SkiSoutheast.com –

Boy, you guys really LIKE US! Thanks to all who wrote us yesterday alluding to the young man who wrote us about how “misleading” we are in our reporting. We won’t rehash the details here (you can read the last few articles and catch up!). However, we received 105 emails in the last 24 hours and every one of the them supported our reporting as being dead on…and we really appreciated you guys taking the time to tell us how you feel. It’s always nice to get a pat on the back!

Special thanks to Tony Wohlgemuth of High Point, NC and James Klostermeyer of Hickory who were a couple of the more in-depth emails. You guys and gals rock and we appreciate you guys as well!

More Misinformation Out There?!?

I was watching a newscast last night wherein the weather-lady stated, “There’s no snow at the North Carolina ski resorts. The rains of yesterday really killed the slopes and we received a report of a number of resort closures. I don’t know when they’ll get the temperatures needed to blow snow.”

I called the station and set her straight, because there were numerous errors in her comments. First, there IS snow on numerous slopes in the state. Second, only ONE North Carolina resort is closed (Sapphire) and three, they ALL made snow last night and look amazingly better today. NO, not one resort is 100% open, but most resorts have five or six trails to ride.

Another person went on the messageboard and posted a message that ski season in the Southeast was over. We deleted the message. Still another person emailed me (I won’t use his name because I haven’t had time to get his permission) and wrote, “Dear SkiNC, It’s over for now in the SE. Why should folks want to ski slush and stay in a $200 per night condo with a fireplace and turn up the A/C. I hate it too, I live in Gatlinburg and Ober just closed. I’m off to Taos, NM in January. Perhaps you should provide a page on your site for great deals to Denver in the event these sorts of things happen…and it’s happening for sure. No place in the southeast is good enough to advertise at this time. I love your website and reporting, yet, consider providing alternatives to the west, outside of our region when the alarm goes off. Thanks, Gary F. Gatlinburg, TN”

Jeesh! Nothing is further from the truth! Take ONE look at the live cameras this morning and tell me that you don’t want to ski that sweet looking terrain!

Look, it is a New Year and I don’t want to beat a dead horse this early in 2007. However, whether you are a television personality or a concerned visitor to the ski resorts of the region…you guys have to do your homework a bit better! Just because it rains or is 80° in your neck of the woods, that doesn’t mean that there is no snow at the higher elevations. Additionally, just because ONE resort closes or has terrible conditions, that doesn’t mean that another resort isn’t pretty decent. One perfect illustration of that was Monday morning. Ski Beech looked horrible. The only reason that they were probably open was to give the New Year’s Day visitors SOMETHING to slide down since they were there. The slopes were in terrible shape. Yet just fifteen minutes away and maybe a mile and a half as the Hawk flies, Sugar Mountain was in decent shape. While Sugar had to close a couple of trails, they still had pretty good coverage for their guests to play on.

As per Gary’s email (and others like it), there is plenty of good skiable to terrain to “advertise” around the Southeast this morning. There are 29 trails open in North Carolina this morning and I can assure you that the people that ride it today will attest to the fact that conditions on those trails are pretty sweet this morning. (I wish I didn’t have to work today so that I could do some product evaluation of my own!)

There are 12 trails to ski on in Virginia and although they have had the toughest time of any state thus far this winter…they are still hanging in there.

West Virginia is leading the way with 58 trails available this morning and I can personally attest to the fact that Snowshoe is looking SWEET! 33 trails to ride, with some natural snow and lots of snowmaking to add to the mix. Timberline and Canaan look nice this morning as well.

“Playing Devil’s Advocate for the other side…”

We all admittedly frustrated with the lack of natural snow and cold temps. (We’ve documented that numerous times lately so if you want to catch up read the archived articles.) Resort management, marketing gurus, and owners are all hoping and praying that things turn around pretty quick. Maybe we need to work out some deal with whoever this El Nino character is! Maybe we could work out something with Denver. They don’t want the kinds of heavy snows that have been shutting down the airports out there! Maybe we should invent some economical way to refrigerator truck in some of that snow to the mountains of the Southeast.

Now this morning we learn of Kansas being dumped on with a freakish, THREE FOOT snowfall that according to news reports will have people without power for a week or more! News broadcasts this morning are showing 15-16 foot drifts of snow! FIFTEEN TO SIXTEEN FOOT DRIFTS! …and all we can wring out of Old Man Winter is a dusting or two!

Here we are more than 35 days or so into the season and most areas have only seen from two to thirteen inches of natural snow. Even worse is the fact that there have been more days during the month of December wherein the low temps were above freezing than below.

So things certainly haven’t been wonderful, pristine, winter-wonderland-like for sure. However, is ski season OVER for the Southeast? Absolutely not. In fact, if you guys will take a moment and look at this from a “glass half full” perspective it should be noted that it is amazing how decent the conditions are with the kind of weather we’ve had. So with ANY kind of weather pattern change into January, we should begin seeing some sweet conditions coming to fruition.

All resort operators and snow enthusiasts are hanging our hopes on the forecast that many meteorologists are saying that things appear to be changing around mid-January. Maybe we can begin getting some of the freak snow dumps! I can hear the resort operators screaming at this column saying, “No we don’t want that!” However beggars can’t be choosers. Right now, we snow-lovers will take anything…but I guess we should be careful what we wish for!

So let’s get through this together. We have some continued roller coaster weather to get through. Many resorts made snow last night; some even received a dusting of snow. All will continue to make snow as long as temps allow today.

Most resorts in the region should be able to make snow tonight as lows drop into the mid 20s, so expect a nice Tuesday and Wednesday of skiing and riding the snow. Thursday and Friday bring more dreaded rain and mild temps. Saturday looks good to ski whatever we have on the slopes. Sunday looks okay for the first half of the day. Monday of next week is forecasted to be COLD with highs in the 30s to 40°, with lows in the mid 20s.

If we can get through these next several days then maybe, just maybe we can get into a more normal winter shift that will produce some nice snows and cold such that December will become a bad memory.

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Until Next Time…


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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.