Conditions at our Ski Areas are Among THE BEST EVER for December!

That is AWESOME NEWS for those of us headed to our favorite ski areas for the Holidays!

Remember a few weeks ago when all of you guys were emailing us about whether or not you should keep those Christmas reservations?!?! Now aren’t you GLAD you listened to us???

Too cool!!!

There was a little left over snow showers and flurries at some locations in the Southeast and Mid Atlantic with a few ski areas picking up anywhere from a TRACE to another inch or so snow of natural snow! More importantly for the base depth building that is going on – particularly on unopen terrain – a WEALTH of snow making was happening all day Monday and last night!

The sun is now shining across several portions of the region (with some light snow still possible into WV) and there should be some AWESOME photo opportunities no matter where you head as conditions simply could not be much better for this date in December! Todd Mingus sent us some amazing photos of Wolf Ridge from this weekend and you can see those by visiting ANY specific ski area page via SkiSoutheast.com and simply click on "PHOTOS" or "VIDEOS".

"Eastcoaster" from the messageboard also posted an amazing powder shot from Massanutten from this past weekend.

If you’re out and about at YOUR favorite resort today, snap a couple of videos or photos and send them to us at [email protected]  

We’ll be initiating a season-long photo and reporter contest on January 1st and we’ll be rewarding the best with a season pass to the resort of their choice for next season as well as some other gifts. So if you’re out on the slopes, why not get "paid" for it!?!?! Send us those photos!

Paul Huffman of our IT staff implemented yet another camera to LIVE-STREAMING status on Monday. Check out the Sugar Mountain Big Red Cam

You’ll need to download a quick active-x file to view it but the results are awesome!!!

We’re working to get more of those cams LIVE and we should be opening up more right after the Holidays!

THE CHRISTMAS WEEKEND and following week are looking great weather-wise. It looks like the entire region could see a little under-developed snow (freezing rain in this case) on Thursday and into Christmas Day, but cold temps and snow are in the forecast for the weekend and into the first of next week at least! That means that the great conditions will continue and we’ll see resort crews making snow and opening even more terrain!

Here’s the tour today:

Snowshoe Mountain keeps inching closer to 100% open! They offer a region-leading 37 of 60 trails for today. They have their popular tubing park, terrain parks and snowmobiling open as well!

Cupp Run, in the Famed Western Territory, is projected to open by Friday – The longest run in the Mid-Atlantic and SE Region is nearly open for all that want to ski or ride the most vertical! Laura Parquette also posted, "Snowshoe plans to open several new trails in the coming days! Snowshoe has the most slopes open in the region and we’re also hard at work in the Sawmill trail system and hope to have this expert terrain available soon as well."

Snowshoe invites you guys to, "…get up here and enjoy the great conditions! The Holiday season will be more festive than ever, with the winter wonderland that our mountain Village has become. All of our adventure activities, including the new horse-drawn sleigh rides and x-country skiing and snowshoeing are available, and our tubing hill is now open daily. Some Holiday availability still remains, so why not start a new family tradition and start off the New Year enjoying the region’s best conditions on the region’s most open terrain! Call 877-441-4FUN or visit snowshoemtn.com today!"

Winterplace Resort is open with 17 of 28 trails and they now have their popular tubing park open as well! Missy posts, "Trails we are working on to open soon are Wood’s Run, Plunge, NoseDive, Last Chance, Last Run, Buttermilk and Milkshake!"

Winterplace is open for night sessions as well!

Canaan Valley is open with 31 of 39 trails for day sessions only until Friday. They do have ice skating open as well. Tube Park to open before Christmas!

Timberline Resort is open for day sessions with 22 of 37 trails open with GREAT conditions!

Wisp Resort is open with 15 of 32 trails until 5pm. They also offer ice skating, snow tubing and terrain parks open. Their VERY COOL mountain coaster is open as is 10km of Nordic trails with a 6-12" natural snow base. (They groom those trails as well!)

Massanutten Resort is 100% open! One of our friends on the messageboard (marzski) AKA Meimei Ma wrote me on Monday, "Mike, FYI, Massanutten had all trails open by noon today. They added Upper and Lower MakAttack, Main Street, and Yee Ha. I don’t remember when was the last time everything was open before Christmas."

We’ll share Meimei’s full trip report on the front page in a bit, however that means that Steve Showalter and his crew are 100% open with all 14 trails and 6 lanes of snow tubing just in time for Christmas!

Wintergreen Resort is open with 16 of 26 trails for day and night sessions. They open their tubing park today! Anne Marie Jones posts, "Superb Snowmaking Conditions has us focused on being 100% open this coming weekend!"

Devils Elbow and the Gap should open tomorrow, Big Acorn and Upper Wild Turkey should open Thursday. She adds, "This could very well be the best Christmas ever!"

Bryce Resort is 100% open with tubing open as well. No snowmaking happening today! Bryce is not yet open for night skiing.

The Homestead has 6 of 8 slopes open today for day sessions. Their tubing is closed as the lift is broken but they are working to get it open by Christmas. They also are offering SNOWMOBILE tours in the evenings.

Ober Gatlinburg is open with 5 of 8 trails and Kathy Doyle posted, "Wednesday Sessions 9am – 4pm or 3pm – 10pm with $47 Lift Ticket. Upper Half of Bear Run Open; Mogul Ridge is not groomed. Tubing opens at 11am. Terrain Features Available!"

Appalachian Ski Mountain is now open with 9 of 11 trails including all three black diamond trails. Only Candied Appal and Appaltop, their newest Freestyle Terrain park is not open.

App posted, "As of Wednesday December 23, we expect to debut our new AppalTop Terrain Park, and 100% of our terrain will be open for day and night skiing."

App skiers will be happy to know that since they have a deep base more typical of mid-season, snowmaking will not be in progress during skiing hours for the foreseeable future.

Beech Mountain Resort is open with 9 of 15 trails and more will open very soon! They are making snow and preparing upopened trails for the Holidays. We heard from Talia Freeman on Monday and they invite you to bring in the New Year with Beech Mountain Resort on Thursday, Dec 31 2009!

There will be Ice Skating from 10pm til Midnight; there will be a 10:30pm Fireworks display!

From 9pm to 1am there’s Live Music @ Beech Tree Bar and Grille with Chasing Edison ($10.00 – cover) Call 828 387 2011 ext 208 to make your reservation now!!!

Here’s more on the band

Recently reformed in 2009, Chasing Edison is a groove based rock band from charlotte, N.C. Members Justin Babcock, Greg Dalton, Alex Giles, and Jeff Lewis draw from styles as diverse as progressive metal to improvised jazz fusion. They provide an ever-evolving unique experience through gut wrenching grooves, turn on a dime changes, and an awe-inspiring kaleidoscopic light show. Chasing Edison is an intense experience not to be missed!

Cataloochee is 100% open with 16 trails, terrain park and tubing as well.

Wolf Ridge Resort is open with 18 of 20 trails open and tubing as well and what visitors are saying is the best conditions in years at The Wolf!

Sugar Mountain Resort is open with 16 of 20 trails, tubing and ice skating as well. You may run into Santa at Sugar until the 24th as he’s out showing his skills on the mountain. Sugar also has a New Year’s Celebration – Mountain style featuring the Terry Batson Band. The general public is invited, free of charge, to the torch light parade and fireworks at midnight. A fee as well as reservations for the indoor festivities are required and can be made by calling 828-898-4521 x233.

Note: We’ve had a few people email us about the fact that Sugar is posting that they received 25.5" of snow from the storm this past weekend and that they are still running it on the front of the site.

All we can tell you is that Dr. Ray Russell, the Cocorahs team and several others are reporting 19.2" of snow for Sugar and Beech Mountains. Why do we care? We just want an even playing field marketing-wise.

To date, using Sugar’s postings thus far on the season they report that they’ve received 30.5" on the season to Beech’s self-reporting of 23". They’ve both seen 23" officially. Nice job Beech (Gil).

That’s it for today peeps!

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 25 app9not8/saphopen/homestwrg/timbclosed/self 24/25
Sug 30.5bech 23/12/21
be 14+4+1 su 20+4+1.5

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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.