The sun is now shining across the state 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 in the North Carolina mountains. Todd Mingus sent us some amazing photos of Wolf Ridge from this weekend and you can see those on the front page and also via Wolf Ridge Ski Resort Photos

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:

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!

They 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. Be sure to click over to  to see who else had snow and how much from MONDAY! You can check the snow reports for all of the ski resorts of West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Tennessee and North Carolina via  as well as videos, photos and more.

Send your comments, videos, photos, trip reports and questions to: [email protected]