Merry Christmas Eve Eve…A Beautiful Day Awaits Us on the Slopes…

Before I dive into today’s post, let me invite you to check out all of the details for trails open via the SNOW REPORT today.

I’m going to do my ‘normal’ Sunday morning shared ‘stream of thought’ as things come to me.

On Saturday I received a couple of emails asking me why I always share a Merry Christmas Eve Eve Eve. One questioned by masculinity – which seems to only happen via unsigned email. Another suggested that there’s no such thing as Christmas Eve Eve Eve or now Christmas Eve Eve.

In short, I love Christmas. I get excited about it. It stems mostly from watching four daughters vibrate with excitement as the big day approaches. I don’t much like receiving gifts and it isn’t a humility thing. I’m better giving gifts, but I’m really not even all that crazy about that. It’s more about the season itself. The Christmas Eve Eve Eve thing got started mostly because of a Christmas movie where a little kid named ‘Eloise’ talked about how much she loved music and my kids loved the Christmas Eve Eve thing. I took it one more step. So it exists in my little world…and now you guys are stuck with it. Haha.

Christmas time is also a special time to be in the mountains. Snow certainly helps to add to the excitement. Every mountain community does a fabulous job of lighting things up and decorating as well. Santa somehow makes an appearance at every resort…or at least most every resort and seemingly at the same time.

I’ve been fortunate to spend every single one of the last 23 Christmas weeks at a ski resort. I’ve done Vail twice, Beaver Creek, Tremblant and I’ve woven 19 other Christmas weeks at Snowshoe Mountain into my travels. All of those resorts have really sweet villages that light up with Christmas trees, twinkling lights and traditional music. With only two exceptions in all those 23 seasons – we have had lots of snow. The Colorado trips delivered waste-to-armpit deep snow; Tremblant delivered frigid temps and lots of coverage, although a lot of it was refrigerator ice…and it has snowed generously at all but two or three of the West Virginia trips.

However, even three seasons ago when there were no slopes open except on day ONE and day SIX, we had a blast and enjoyed everything ELSE that goes with being on your favorite mountain.

THAT season is upon us…so Merry Christmas Eve Eve.

Speaking of Snow…Do You Guys Have Snow Already?

Around 1100 +/- emails make their way to my SkiMail inbox every day. 80% of them are spam, but every day I receive emails from people wanting to know various things like ‘which ski resort offers the best XYZ’ and I do my best to address those that ask specific questions. I don’t answer things like ‘how do I make reservations for snowmobiling’. I don’t answer weather related queries, per se, like, ‘What is the temperature for next weekend?’

I figure there are other websites for that and I am nobody’s concierge.

However, at least once every other day I get ones like these two…especially as popular, Holiday weeks or weekends approach. Here are two from yesterday. Nothing at all has been edited – except that I won’t share their last names out of fairness.

Maria F. wrote:

Hi we have plans to go on jan 2 ..for the 1 time … do you have snow already??

Answer: Great. Glad to see new peeps enjoy skiing, and yes. (Do we have snow already!?!?!) In this age of LIVE webcams…

Anicia S. wrote:

We are going to be there Dec. 28. Are u going to be open? How many slope? Is there snow for us?

Answer: Where? No, my offices are closed while we are out of town. Pretty sure you don’t care about my business and are actually asking about a ski area, but don’t know which one. Doesn’t matter, yes they will be open unless you’re headed to Oglebay and on that one I am not certain. How many slope(s)? Don’t know…can you be more specific?

(Okay I REALLY didn’t answer her that way…but part of me wanted to.)

Additionally I worked all day yesterday, catching up on some things before I leave town. My office phone rang at least two dozen times. My support staff is manned by five people who share taking turns answering the phone on weekdays when we are open – expecting to support web design or email questions. However as big ski weekends approach, about 25% of the calls are from people asking:

– Are you guys open for tubing today?
– Can I make snowmobile reservations?
– How many slopes do you have open today?

Yesterday the phone rang back-to-back-to-back a few times so I considered that one of our clients might have an actual emergency need. So I answered only to be asked:

Yes sir. We are headed to your place Wednesday and I want to know if we could cancel those plans at this late date because we know there’s not going to be any snow. Is that possible?

I WANTED to say:
Does my wife know you’re coming? Are you coming to have us build a website? What does snow have to do with needing a website?

Of course, I REALLY SAID –

Which ski area are you headed to? Have you looked at the webcams?

 

SPEAKING OF SNOW….

The photo of the day up top and here is compliments of Appalachian Ski Mountain

Another .5″ or so of snow fell early on Saturday morning across the Western NC Mountains. 1.2″ more fell at Canaan Valley, bringing them to 5.3″ of the same storm system that dropped 6″ atop Beech Mountain and 3″ or so at Appalachian Ski Mountain. Snowshoe also saw another 2″ of new snow to take them to 5″ from this most recent storm.

I’ve mentioned this a couple of times because it is so unusual this deep into December, but Beech Mountain leads the way in terms of natural snow so far this early season with 40.5″.

40.5″ Beech Mountain Resort (NC)
34″ Snowshoe Mountain (WV)
31.5″ Cataloochee Ski Area (NC)
31.1″ Canaan Valley Resort (WV)
31.1″ Timberline Resort (WV)
26.8″ App Ski Mountain (NC)
24.3 Wintergreen Resort (VA)
24″ Wisp Resort (MD)
24″ Wolf Ridge Resort (NC)
22.5″ Omni Homestead (VA)
22″ Winterplace Resort (WV)
15″ Sapphire Valley (NC)
10.5″ Massanutten Resort (VA)
7.5″ Bryce Resort (VA)
4″ Ober Gatlinburg (TN)
Last night I was over in Blowing Rock enjoying dinner at Six Pence Pub on Main Street. I tested the terrible cell connectivity over there and went LIVE via Facebook…while driving down the Christmas light lit, downtown strip.

The roads were slick last night – especially atop App Ski Mountain. I drove up there and was planning on streaming some of that, but a vacationing family from Florida was stuck on a slick hill that they couldn’t make it up. So instead of filming…we hooked up and pulled them up the hill to safety.

I DO look forward to streaming more than a few times during the next week in West Virginia. Don’t be surprised if we share on snow adventures and some après-ski fun with friends and family. At last count we have sixteen hearty souls headed to the “by God state” for some fun times. Don’t be too hard on us on social media if some of those broadcast shares are a more than a little ‘awkward’.

Noteworthy Shares…

Massanutten wrote:

The temperatures didn’t quite drop to the magic number for snowmaking last night but the groomers were out doing their thing and the hill is looking good this morning. We’ll be skiing and riding on all 1,110′ of vertical drop with 6 trails for all levels of ability. We open from 9:00 am – 9:00 pm throughout the holidays (excluding December 24 & 25). Terrain park features set up on lower Nutten-To-It. SNOW TUBING IS SOLD OUT TODAY!

Ober posted:

Good Morning! The Slopes are open from 9am-10pm today. We will open Cub Way, Lower Castle Run, and Ski school will be open with Lessons available starting at 9am.

We were able to make snow last night for about 3 hours– the temperature started increasing around 4 am and we had to stop snow production. Our conditions remain steady from yesterday after receiving 2″ of new natural snow on Friday. With a base of 18-20″ the primary surface is machine groomed granular.

The Ober Gatlinburg Freestyle Terrain Park is open with 4 features on the Skier’s right of Castle Run. We have officially entered our Holiday period which will continue through January 1, 2019. Only two days until Christmas!

Snowshoe Mountain posted:

We’ve got a bluebird Sunday on tap here on the mountain! Another 2″ of snow yesterday brought us to 4.5″ total on that round, and our groomers have combed it out real nice. The corduroy today is going to be sweeter than a Christmas cookie so be sure to get your fill. It looks like we may see a couple more inches of snow tonight into tomorrow morning so conditions are good and getting even better. Our snowmakers have been working harder than Santa’s elves and we anticipate opening more terrain in the next couple of days.

We’ve got a full slate of holiday activities for you and the family! Check out This Week On The Mountain for all the details.(Available online or at any front desk)

Wintergreen Resort wrote:

Snowmaking Returns
Good Morning Snow Fans! Our Snowmaking Team was back in action last night and produced snow on all opened terrain. Then our groomers took the stage and has put out a superb product just waiting for all you skiers and riders. We continue to work on Highlands and there’s a possibility we’ll be able to re-open Sunrise later today – we’ve seen these Christmas miracles happen before! Morning sun will give way to some clouds this evening but remember, any day you can hit the slopes is a great day – enjoy the fresh snow and corduro.

Timberline Resort

I had the pleasure of speaking briefly with owner, Fred Herz late on Saturday. They are making arrangements to get the LIVE webcam running. We hope to see that come together any day now.

 

That will do it for today.

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Final Thoughts

 

 

Give me a little ‘hash’ with that.

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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 close to 14,000 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.