Merry Christmas Everyone! I hope that everyone out there in ski-land received new skis, boots, snowboards, gloves, boggans or whatever else it is that would make you smile this morning!
There were no "White Christmas" reports in the region this morning, but one fan emailed me this "SkiReport" from skireport.com that provided the following weather forecast for Bryce Resort up in Virginia. Check this forecast that ran for YESTERDAY:
Day Hi: 21° F – Snow likely, mainly after 11am. Cloudy, with a high near 21. North northeast wind 5 to 15 mph becoming east southeast. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.
Night Lo: 15° F
Snow. Low around 15. East southeast wind between 7 and 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of 7 to 11 inches possible.
(That 8-14" of snow was an obvious error.)
However, we thought we’d login and check out the forecast for today and here’s what we found:
There’s a 100% chance of a white Christmas according to SkiReport.com and another 5-9" of snow!
Day Hi: 0° F
Snow. Low around 0. Blustery, with a northwest wind between 15 and 23 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of 5 to 9 inches possible.
Night Lo: 27° F
Increasing clouds, with a low around 27. Light and variable wind.
It isn’t April Fool’s Day but evidently SkiReport.com has something screwy in their system! It would have been NICE AS HECK to play on 12-20" of new snow though!!!
Why do you guys even look at other reporting services!?!?!
MOVING ON TO REALITY!!!
We have been admittedly slow getting some of the newest content on the site this season. We’ll be posting a Vacation Giveaway for the January 9th and 10th weekend later today, so be sure to check back for that contest!
One bit of new content that we have begun to add is more and better weather and temperature readings for many of the ski areas within the region. Compliments of WeatherBug, WeatherUnderground and others, we have added some reporting stations from atop the highest elevations so that you can get a lot of weather information at one stop. Check out www.HighCountryWeather.com for some of the new pages. We’ll be adding more today!
SANTA AND OLD MAN WINTER ARE BEING A LITTLE NICER TO THE WEST VIRGINIA AND MARYLAND SKI RESORTS RIGHT NOW…
While resorts into Tennessee and North Carolina reported lows in the upper 30s to 40s, Snowshoe, Wisp, Canaan and other WV resorts saw temps in the 20s and that has allowed them to continue to make snow. However the snow is so good at Wisp, that they actually opted not to make snow this morning.
Ski Beech resort is fighting to keep a good product for their Holiday guests while others in North Carolina look pretty good for today. Resorts into West Virginia simply have more snow and even though there’s some thin coverage here and there – the quality of product is simply better at the northern tier of the Southeast and Mid Atlantic ski areas.
Here’s a quick tour for your Christmas Day!
Snowshoe Mountain reported 24° this morning and they are making snow on some open terrain. They added ANOTHER two trails to their open count and now have 53 trails open for skiing today and SilverCreek is open tonight! They have some snowmaking temps for every night past Saturday as well! Ed Schneider from Snowshoe sent us some cool video of Santa on the trails at Snowshoe and that is our video clip for the day. We’ll post that by noon! Thanks Ed!
Laura Parquette writes, "We must’ve done something right to get on Santa’s Nice List this year because we got the best present ever–the return of COLD air! Our snowmaking equipment was fired up late last night and we’ll continue making snow as long as possible. We will be making snow on some open terrain, so please be aware of equipment. There is PLENTY of open terrain that won’t have snowgun blazing today. We now have 53 open slopes, as Flying Eagle has been added to the Silver Creek area. Silver Creek is now 100% open, and with a few more days of snowmaking, we’ll be very close to 100% in the basin area as well. Snowmaking has begun on the top of Shay’s Revenge in the Western Territory, and we’ve had snowmaking on almost all of our closed terrain. Our long term forecasts show more cold weather moving in next week, so we could ring in 2009 with almost all of our 60 slopes open for your enjoyment."
Again, all we can say is WOW!
Wisp Resort is reporting 22° this morning and 23 trails open from 9am-9pm with tubing and mountain coastering available as well! We’re not sure why there’s no snowmaking happening. Perhaps they give those hard-working dudes Christmas off. The high today is expected to be 33° at Wisp today! Their forecast looks great with sunny skies all but Friday and some chances of snow next Wednesday!
Canaan Valley’s David Vance reported that conditions are looking quite nice at the Tucker County, WV resort for Christmas Day skiing and snowboarding! They remain open with 8 trails and temps in the 30s for today!
Timberline Resort is like us today (posting a little "Christmas Morning Late" this morning! They should have 20 trails for day skiing today and highs in the 30s. Timberline is looking quite nice for today! They are open 12-4:30pm today for skiing. Jessica Scowcroft updated us, "We now have 20 trails opens. We opened Lower Almost Heaven and Upper Dew Drop yesterday afternoon."
Winterplace Resort is slightly milder but still reporting 32° with a forecasted high of around 43° for Christmas Day and that should make for some awesome conditions for today on 18 trails and great snow tubing as well! Expect groomed conditions for today and night skiing tonight!
Wintergreen Resort in Virginia is OPEN from 10am-10pm today and Anne Marie Jones writes, "Merry Christmas! Tequila, Sunrise and Upper Sunrise are open! Our mini terrain park will begin to take shape over the next few days with about 6 features open on 12/26. Ridgely’s Fun Park grand opening is Saturday, bring your little ones up here for some on the snow fun. Our slopes are in great shape, we made lots of snow over the last 3 days. Bouncing back quickly after a thaw is something we do very well. Thanks to fully automated snowmaking, we can cover our trails with a fresh layer of dry snow overnight. This is something our loyal customers know they can count on and often rave about."
She adds, "Tubing: The Plunge will be open today from 10AM-10PM. Buy tickets on the web ahead of time if you want to take advantage of this great winter activity."
Ober Gatlinburg is open from Noon to 7pm with 5 trails including Mogul Ridge!
Bryce Resort in Virginia is OPEN Christmas Day from 12:30-8pm with all slopes open except for the black diamond "Hangover". Expect groomed corduroy from Horst and Ryan.
Massanutten Resort is OPEN today from 12:30pm-8pm with 8 trails and snow tubing on 8 lanes.
Appalachian Ski Mtn – CLOSED for skiing today. Ice skating is open. (There are some reporting services claiming that App is open. That is inaccurate.) Someone needs to have the Southeastern Ski Areas Association to simply start using our data 😉
Cataloochee Ski Area is open from 1pm-10pm today with 8 trails and tubing!
Sapphire Valley is OPEN today from noon until 9pm with tubing, their bunny hill and the lone ski trail!
Ski Beech is OPEN today at 12:30pm and will night ski tonight until 10pm on 5 trails. They are reporting a base of 8-28" with some thin coverage, but as we reported up top – don’t let that fool you – things are looking really decent for today. Go have some fun!
Sugar Mountain has resorted to only reporting a one-number-average-base again and they are reporting 30". (We actually like that practice and wish that it was one that all resorts would adopt. Maybe a one-number AVERAGE MINIMUM BASE so that all resorts would simply ignore the seven foot piles of snow.) Anyway, Sugar OPENS today at noon and we’ll ski, snowboard, ice skate and tube today and they will night ski and ride til 10pm. Conditions look darn nice at Sugar right now with only some possible thin areas at heavy trafficked, trail merges, etc.
Wolf Ridge Resort is CLOSED for Christmas Day and Night and will resume operations on Friday. (Again – some resources are reporting them as open today with 4 trails…and again that is inaccurate.)
ISOLATED HEAVY RAIN HIT LAST NIGHT…
The family was sitting around watching "It’s a Wonderful Life" (we force our kids to watch it every year!) and at some point around 9pm, a downpour of rain hit. I couldn’t help but think that if Beech was getting the same rainfall, that they would look a little sketchy for today. According to RaysWeather.com, Beech received 0.47" of rain yesterday and the average winds were 24.4 mph. They saw a top wind gust of 49 mph early Christmas Eve.
The temperature at Fred’s General Store on top of Ski Beech is 30° but at Ski Beech it is 33° so no snowguns are running. They actually look pretty decent for today. There are some thin coverage areas and bare spots showing on both webcams, but they actually have decent coverage from side to side, so it looks like things will hold up for some fun Beech Mountain Holiday skiing and snowboarding. (We had a lot of people emailing our advice on Ski Beech for the weekend and into next week and we can tell you that what you see on the webcams is what you’re going to get. Honestly I think they will be able to "hold onto what they’ve got" and this weekend will be pretty good on the 5 open trails. There ARE some bare areas and thin coverage here and there, but not too bad really. Just look at the cameras and go enjoy yourself and stop fretting over the fact that we don’t have a foot of new powder like SkiReports.com reported for Bryce! 🙂
As per NEXT week, it looks like we’ll all see some spotty light rain on Friday, Saturday and maybe Sunday – but there will be plenty of opportunities for playing on the snow as these shouldn’t be consistent rains.
THEN INTO NEXT WEEK, things are looking up! While there’s no strong snowmaking chances until Wednesday night at Beech, there MAY be some slight chances Sunday, Monday and Tuesday nights as temps dip close to freezing. Wednesday looks great with highs in the mid 30s and lows in the 20s. That cold looks to be sticking around and that means that conditions will vastly improve Thursday, Friday and into New Years weekend!
The fact that Beech is fighting to keep good conditions prompted the most questions via email over the last 24 hours, but they are holding their own against a much larger opponent (Ma Nature’s got some size and reach to her!) and as mentioned – we think that they’ll be able to keep a decent product for their Holiday guests and things will get better the middle of next week. So if you’re up there you should have a good time!
We’re posting a new Vacation Giveaway today and we’ll reward a winner this evening! We are also posting some SANTA VIDEO from Snowshoe on Wednesday as Santa was having some pre-delivery fun!
Send your comments, photos, videos, and trip reports to: [email protected]