Merry Christmas Everyone – now GO SKI – Check Out Who’s Open

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 North Carolina 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!

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. Even so, 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 for 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.

<Beech this morning at 8am! Looks plenty good!

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 is what 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!

HOW ABOUT MY RESORT???

<Wolf has a LOT of snow at the bottom of the mountain and things should be good for this weekend.  (They are closed Christmas Day!)

While most of the emails asked about Beech for the reasons stated above – we did get a few questioning about conditions elsewhere.

The truth is that things look remarkable at Appalachian; Sugar looks darn good; Wolf has a LOT of snow in the webcam shot (check out the hut at the bottom as there’s a couple of inches of snow on the roof!) and we’re thinking that Cataloochee should be in pretty good shape for today through the Holiday period.

Simply put (and this is where we earn our stripes), there’s just more snow base at most of the other resorts and if we’re rating Beech as pretty good for the Holidays – then the rest will rate slightly higher, with Appalachian and Sugar Mountain getting the "nod" for the best conditions and most terrain open. (We were not able to see Cataloochee’s conditions for today as their camera appears to be down. They made a LOT of snow just 24-48 hours ago, so we’ll say that they are good to go until more cold temperatures enter the forecast next week.

Appalachian SHINES today despite being closed until Friday for skiing!>

CHRISTMAS DAY…

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.)

As always, be sure to click over to www.SkiSoutheast.com  for more news about ALL of the ski resorts of the Southeast and Mid Atlantic including more photos of the day, more snow news, more videos…and just MORE!

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