Merry Christmas Eve…Eve Everyone

All I want for Christmas is for it to get COLD!

We ALL know what our simple, Christmas wish would be for skiers and snowboarders, for the snowmaking crews of the area’s ski resorts, for the ski mountain executives, for all of those seasonal employees who have been out of a job at many ski resorts thus far, for all of the lodging and accommodations people located ON or close to all of the ski areas and for any ski and snowboard shop.

#ThinkSnow
#ThinkCold
#Think-LIGHT-Rain

Today is Christmas Eve and I’m not going to dwell on what isn’t. Today I am simply going to report “what is”.

I have been repeatedly amazed at the number of website visitors that we continue to receive despite the fact that we’re so heavily into “golf and tennis” season right now. One reader did send in what I THINK was a Freudian slip when he wrote,

“I have a rental that I own at Sapphire Valley and I am beginning to wander if they will even get the slops open this winter.”

2015-Dec-23-slipWell my troubled friend, you actually pulled off the rare “double Freudian” with that one question. Instead of “wonder” you “wandered” out onto the “slops” instead of slopes.

I’m usually not the grammar police because our readers can attest to the fact that I rarely write grammatically efficient posts. I’m more of a “write as if I’m sitting with you and simply talking” kind of guy myself.

Per the question about Sapphire, I’m surprised that the golf course there isn’t running specials. We’ve already heard from a few of our resorts (Snowshoe and Canaan to name two) who are now promoting the fact that their golf courses are open if you want to take in a round of golf while visiting Snowshoe over the Holidays.

Per the “slops” slip of the tongue…it IS what is IS. There are some slopes open today and some “slops” as well. Nick Macri who owns a home on Lower Flying Mile at Sugar, wrote me last night,

Hey Mike this is Nick, We have a house on the Lower Flying Mile and I walked out onto the slope and captured some disturbing pics. THINK SNOW please…

Out of fairness to Sugar I’m not going to post the images for two reasons. One – Sugar has since pushed some snow around and it isn’t quite as bad as the images portrayed. Every resort looks bad if you want to focus on a muddy stretch.

Sugar this morning.
Sugar this morning.

To be fair with Sugar, two things need to be shared. One, at least they have some snow as many resorts have none. Second, they’ve pushed a bunch of snow around this morning and things are not as bad as the photos that Nick sent in.

You know that we often report on HOW QUICKLY things can turn around in terms of ski conditions. One of our messageboard members “OldSchool” submitted a Sugar Mountain trip report for Sunday (JUST THREE DAYS AGO) and check out THESE photos of conditions at the bottom AND Lower Flying Mile.

Click to enlarge. Photo from SUNDAY!
Click to enlarge. Photo from SUNDAY!

 

Crazy how quickly things can go from awesome to bad to awesome again. Click to enlarge.
Crazy how quickly things can go from awesome to bad to awesome again. Click to enlarge.

Sugar is fighting the fight and it looks like they will offer a “skiable pass” from top to bottom today and just know that as quickly as it went from AWESOME on Sunday, to “slops” right now…it can and will go right back to AWESOME with a good day or two of snowmaking weather.

While I am writing this report, we are seeing light rain across most all of the region. Bear in mind that every ski area that is open, has thin coverage and bare spots.

Also – as if on cue – I just got my Colorado Snow Alert with Vail getting another 11″ of snow. Good grief Charlie Brown.

 

Here’s the GOOD NEWS…and we’re covering the open ski areas today ranked by the number of slopes and trails that are open:

Snowshoe Mountain – Open – Day and Night Sessions with 13 slopes open and tubing is open as well. Snowshoe posted, “Please proceed with caution as trails may be ungroomed. Terrain park features will be set on Powder Monkey for use today. Progression Park opened as a trail without features.”

Snowshoe’s Shavers Center and Boathouse cam were showing heavy fog and rain as of 9am. The Silvercreek cam showed a nice stretch of slope being groomed and we even caught a snowmobile out there early assessing the conditions. There was also a sizable crowd waiting to hit the slopes…gotta love die-hards!

Appalachian Ski Mountain – Open – Day and Night Sessions with 8 of 12 slopes open. They are pretty much telling mother nature that she can kiss their…. okay the Moretz family wouldn’t use that language, but you get the idea. App is ignoring the bad weather and pressing on. App was very foggy this morning so no webcam shot. However with an 18-30″ base and 8 trails open (most of the mountain) App gets our “Blessed of the Best” today. (No Freudian slip there.)

Canaan Valley has the fire pit running, despite light rain.
Canaan Valley has the fire pit running, despite light rain.

Canaan Valley Resort – Open – Day sessions today and 6 slopes open to the top of their mountain. General Manager Steve Drumheller and I have spoken a fair amount lately and I can tell you that these guys are passionate snow lovers and this weather is punching him in the gut, but he and all of their crew are punching back as Lenora Testerman posted earlier, “Colder air in the forecast mid next week – keep up the positive thoughts – Think Snow!”

Canaan is also opening their golf course today through January 3rd so we could see an unprecedented number of rounds of golf-followed by turns on the slopes photos. Canaan will also open their “Sporting Clay Range on Saturday by appointment.

Winterplace Resort – Open – Day sessions today. 6 slopes and they look decent from this shot of the webcam.

Beech Mountain Resort – Open – Day and Night Sessions, 5 slopes, tubing and ice skating. They are “hanging in there” and there IS skiable terrain from top to bottom. Upper and Lower Shawneehaw are open.

Cat a-c-t-u-a-l-l-y looks pretty good, right?
Cataloochee Ski Area a-c-t-u-a-l-l-y looks pretty good, right? Click to enlarge.

Cataloochee Ski Area – Open – Day Sessions – 5 slopes and tubing open. They too are ignoring the bad weather…so much so that they have not updated their 20-30″ base depth since “Fido was a pup” or since around the same time that they opened, reopened, etc. They too are among our “Blessed of the Best” today. Things look pretty decent via their webcam don’t they?

Sugar Mountain Resort – Open – Day Sessions AND they will make a decision later today about night sessions tonight. They have ice skating and tubing open as well. Sugar is not in as good of shape as Appalachian and Cataloochee are, but they do have about 5-18″ of base yet to push around. So we’ll see how long they can go. Kudos to their talented, passionate crew for working hard to offer a good product for their guests.

Wolf Ridge Resort is fighting to stay open.
Wolf Ridge Resort is fighting to stay open.

Wolf Ridge Resort – Open – Day and Night Sessions with 3 slopes and tubing open as well. They got their webcam back up and running and you know that everything is relative when I say this, but the conditions “don’t suck”. I mean they HAVE skiable terrain which is more than many can say. Kudos to Orville, Rick and their crew.

Timberline Resort – Open – Day Sessions – 2 slopes – Their base area actually looks pretty decent.

Wintergreen Resort – Open – Day Sessions – 2 slopes and tubing open. HOWEVER – Wintergreen has posted this announcement,

“The Ski Area will close at 5pm today and will not re-open until cold weather returns and we can make snow.  Thanks to all of our guests who came out to ski, ride and tube over the last few days.  Having an opportunity to slide for a few days was worth every bit of effort we put into making it happen.”

(I REALLY like their Mountain Blog. They do the best job of providing good content for their readers/guests.)

These Ski Areas are CLOSED FOR SNOW OPERATIONS, but all of them have something to offer in terms of fun activities for a great getaway. There’s a couple of Mountain Coasters in this group, some great pools, aerial trams, snow tubing and maybe even a round of golf or two.

Bryce Resort – CLOSED
Massanutten Resort – CLOSED
Wisp Resort – CLOSED
OBER GATLINBURG – CLOSED
THE HOMESTEAD RESORT – CLOSED
SAPPHIRE VALLEY – CLOSED

 

#THINK-DRY TODAY…

Keep the faith my friends…

Until next time…

Enjoy your day and THINK SNOW! THINK COLD! Email me anytime and about anything at: [email protected]

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