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First Trax :: Daily News

Merry Christmas Eve!

12.24.12 08:32 AM

I always begin posting the snow report and this daily BLOG with an idea of what I'd be yapping about. This morning I woke up to rain hitting my bedroom window and instantly I thought that I'd be alluding to the marketing essence of base depths reporting - as I figured some ski areas would actually be standing PAT on whatever they reported on Sunday. Since rain melts snow, I figured things HAD to drop some, but that resorts would hold steady at where they were.

I had myself all setup to bitch and moan about that today. RAIN does that to me. I didn't need to look at reports to know that we'd had about a half-inch of rain.

...Notice the weather map currently (as of 8am) showing rain falling from just around Winterplace and south.

Actually I was WRONG for a number of reasons. The MAIN reason I was wrong is because it hasn't rained for the most part around much of West Virginia and Maryland. Davis, WV (home to both Canaan Valley and Timberline) is reporting clear skies and 28°. Ummm, there's snowmaking happening up there.  Snowshoe is getting a light drizzle as of this post. A FREEZING drizzle that is at 24° at 8:30am.

McHenry, Maryland which is home to WISP Resort is reporting 28° and clear skies.

Okay, so the good snow and weather is north of Winterplace Resort this morning. Terry and his crew at Winterplace are reporting 15 trails open today (that's up from Sunday) and a forecast of off and on drizzle today. That is happening now as .27" of rain has fallen there since midnight last night. Things look pretty amazing up that way though as highs north of Ghent, WV are forecasted to be in the mid 30s all day with a wintry mix.

SNOW is in the forecasted for Snowshoe on Christmas Day (White Christmas anyone?) and then a mix of winter precip on Wednesday and then snow showers every day through Sunday with highs in the 20s and lows in the 20s.


THE OTHER REASON I WAS WRONG...

I was wrong about my prediction of base depths standing pat into Virginia, Tennessee and North Carolina as well. Partially because Sugar Mountain DID drop their base depths by two inches. Hats off to Gunther and his crew.

The rest either DID hold steady at the bases they were reporting on Sunday morning OR THEY INCREASED THEM!

I'm in a warm and fuzzy mood this morning since it's Christmas Eve and I'm feeling kind of giving. So I won't call anybody out this morning but to increase base depths this morning after anywhere from .25 to .61 inch of rain fell all night either means that they don't care or they were correcting from the day before when they SHOULD have reported more. While I hope the latter is true, I really don't think that's the case.

You kind of get the feeling that some resorts simply look at what the other resorts are reporting and post something reflective of about the same number.


MORE INEQUALITY OF WEATHER...

Again there's an inequality of weather happening across our coverage area. Relatively moderate to sometimes heavy RAIN has been falling since early in the overnight hours across Virginia, Tennessee and North Carolina. Only Winterplace Resort in West Virginia is in the line of fire from this rain-producing front where about .23" of rain has fallen thus far this AM.  Snowshoe, Timberline, Canaan Valley and Wisp may get a sprinkle or two but for the most part the rain is staying south of those ski areas.

So far about one-half inch of rain has fallen since midnight last night around Beech Mountain, Sugar Mountain and Blowing Rock. .55" of rain has fallen over at Maggie Valley as of 7:15am. .36" at Blowing Rock. It gets even wetter around Ober Gatlinburg where .72" of rain has fallen thus far this morning. .61" have fallen at Wolf Ridge Ski Area so far. No wonder they haven't updated their ski report this morning.


CHECK WITH YOUR FAVORITE SKI AREA FOR THEIR CHRISTMAS EVE AND CHRISTMAS DAY OPERATING HOURS...

I received 112 emails in my personal SkiMail INBOX this morning from people wanting to know:

"Is it snowing?"

"Will this or that resort be open tonight, tomorrow morning?"

"Can my car make it in all that snow?" (Oh brother?!?!)


So I've done your job for you this morning. Here's a quick glance at who's doing what and when. You're welcome.

APPALACHIAN SKI MOUNTAIN: Has 6 trails open for DAY sessions today and CLOSED CHRISTMAS. Ski with Santa today from 1-4pm. Then CLOSED tonight and ALL DAY AND NIGHT on Christmas Day.


BEECH MOUNTAIN RESORT - 7 trails open from 9am-4:30pm today.  Will open Christmas Day at 12:30pm and will be open til 10pm Christmas evening. Today, at 4:30pm a Christmas Eve Service will be held at the ice rink.  Participants can enjoy a free hot chocolate to celebrate the holiday.


CATALOOCHEE - 10 trails - Christmas Eve open from 8:30am-4:30pm and Christmas Day will operate from 1pm until 10pm.


SUGAR MOUNTAIN - 9 trails (showing a bit of thin coverage) - Open today until 4:30pm and then opens Christmas Day at NOON. Will be open for night sessions Christmas evening with tubing and ice skating as well.


BRYCE RESORT - 3 trails - Open Christmas Eve from 9am-5pm and then Christmas Day from 11am until 7pm.


MASSANUTTEN RESORT - 2 trails - Hours today are 9am-4:30pm.  We will be skiing and snowboarding on Nutten-To-It and Southern Comfort. Early Season rates will be in effect for skiing and snowboarding until more slopes open. 

Holiday Hours: The Ski Slopes will be open on Dec. 24th 9am-4:30pm, Dec 25th 12:30pm-8pm and Dec. 26th - Jan. 1st 9am-10pm. The Tubing Park will be open on Dec. 24th 9am-5pm, Dec. 25th 1pm-8pm and Dec. 26th - Jan. 1st 9am-10pm.


THE HOMESTEAD - 2 trails - Open TODAY from 9am-4:30pm and then the Homestead Snowsports Area will open at 11AM on Christmas Day until 4:30pm.


WINTERGREEN RESORT - 1 trail - Open today from 9am-8pm. Christmas Day from 10am-10pm.

CANAAN VALLEY RESORT - Not open today or Christmas Day. Plans to open Wednesday. Stay tuned for more information.


SNOWSHOE MOUNTAIN RESORT - 30 trails - The Snowshoe Basin area will be open from 9am- 4:30 pm. Silver Creek will be open from 9am - 9pm. The Coca-Cola Tube Park will be open from 1pm - 7pm. That applies to Christmas Day and evening as well. That's 112 acres of open terrain and SNOW is on the way again!

*** Did you guys watch the videos from up at Winterplace and Snowshoe from this past weekend? Check them out at: http://www.skisoutheast.com/videos.php


TIMBERLINE RESORT - 2 trails - Open today til 4:30pm and then Christmas Day the open at 12:30 and will ride til 4:30pm. Night sessions begin December 26th.


WINTERPLACE RESORT - 15 trails - Open both today and Christmas from 9am-10pm.


WISP RESORT - 7 trails - Wisp Resort is open today from 9am - 9pm and again on Christmas Day.

OBER GATLINBURG - 3 trails - Open today from 9am til 4pm. Call ahead for Christmas Day.


You're welcome.

God Bless you guys and my hope is that you all have an amazingly beautiful, healthy, wonderful Christmas Eve and we'll chat with you mid morning on Christmas Day. Remember that SNOW is in the forecast so check back early for updates as we get them.

 


Email me your thoughts and reactions at: mike@skisoutheast.com

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