Merry Christmas – NOW THINK SNOW!!!

Merry Christmas One and All! We wish we could be reporting a foot of new snow for today. However, the expected rain is here. Thankfully the cold air and even some chances of snow is about 24 hours away. So today is a day to spend with family and celebrate the birth of the Son of Man. With the exception of a few diehards, most people will choose to chill out today and that has prompted Appalachian Ski Mountain and Hawksnest to close for today and spend some quality time with their families. Good for them.

The rest are open with some variances in opening times so check the Slope Conditions page.

I am traveling off the mountain today for a short time to spend some time with family as well, so hence this shortened and combined version that appears on both SkiNC and SkiSoutheast.

One lone resort made snow last night, and that was Snowshoe for the second night in a row. They actually increased their base a couple of inches in the last 24-48 hours with that additional snowmaking, so it’s safe to say that the resort with the most terrain available today also has the best conditions today. FYI, it’s raining all across the Southeast and Mid Atlantic this morning…so wet conditions are everywhere…but Snowshoe will be pretty sweet on Tuesday with the colder temps coming in tonight and Tuesday.

So let’s highlight the best conditions first – Andrea Smith wrote, “Merry Christmas! Twenty nine of our 30 open trails were groomed overnight and we expect the early frozen granular surface to become a more loose granular by afternoon. We are also looking for conditions to change over to snow overnight. The Skidder, Powder Monkey, Ballhooter, Grabhammer and Powderidge lifts will be running today from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Snowshoe Area. The Cascade, Mountaineer and Magic Carpet Lifts will be running today at the Silver Creek Ski Area from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and tubing and night skiing will be open until 9 p.m. Please use caution and be aware of possible bare spots. Snowmobiling and Snow Cat Tours have been cancelled for this evening, but are expected to start back up on Dec. 26.”

The pick for the North Carolina mountains today would have to go to Cataloochee or Sugar Mountain. They have pretty good, side-to-side coverage and one look at the live cameras will tell you that their conditions are not bad at all. Expect some thin coverage and/or bare spots if you venture out today.


The local weathermen and women have had a difficult time this season. Systems and temps have been so unpredictable that forecasts even two days out have been almost non-existent. Yesterday, several forecasters were predicting 2-4” of snow for the Western North Carolina mountains and maybe more in the Alleghany hills. Now today, the cold IS still coming in, but forecasters have pushed back the snow totals a bit. Now we’re hoping for 1-2” of snow in the Western North Carolina mountains and about the same to maybe another inch or so around Wisp, Snowshoe, Timberline and Canaan Valley.

The GREAT news is the cold temps that are being forecasted. Areas around Snowshoe will see highs in the low 30s Tuesday, mid 20s Wednesday, mid 30s Thursday and maybe 40 degrees on Friday. Overnight temps should be in the low to mid 20s and snow is in the forecast there for Tuesday and Wednesday.

Further south we’re seeing snow for Tuesday and highs in the mid 30s with overnight lows Tuesday night a perfect 25 degrees. Wednesday should be nice and sunny but cold with highs in the 30s and lows around 20. So conditions will be improving each of the next couple of days.

SO KEEP THINKING SNOW AND COLD and maybe we can squeeze a bit more out of this system!


I will be traveling for our annual ski trip to Snowshoe Mountain on Tuesday. If any of you guys plan on being up there, drop me an email and we’ll try to meet up and make a few turns together. We have a small group of local friends and family that are making the trip with us so it should be a great week.

We are taking along a LIVE CAMERA and we’ll either be broadcasting the snow and the Village atmosphere…or some slopeside live images. So stay tuned for that to go live sometime Tuesday evening. Thanks to Andrea Smith and the Snowshoe staff for having us up there again this Holiday season.

Welcome aboard to Henri Deschamps and The Mast Farm Inn. Henri has taken the wonderful qualities of the “old” Mast Farm Inn and added some new qualities and we want to invite you guys to make reservations for their great New Year’s Eve celebration. Check out the business spotlight article on them.

We have a great vacation getaway planned for one lucky couple or family for a bit later in the season so stay tuned for that. To read the Business Spotlight, CLICK HERE


Karen B of Boca Raton, Florida wrote yesterday, “Hi, I am taking my three sons ages 10,12 13 to Boone, NC to go snowboarding. They are beginners and do not have equipment. Please suggest to me where to go… Grandfather Mountain? Sugar? I assume I can rent them equipment… please send me info. Thanks.”

We answered Karen…and of course any of the resorts would make great choices to start beginners. The addition of conveyors on beginning terrain at Sugar, Hawksnest and Appalachian would make them the obvious choices. However, we’d HIGHLY recommend AGAINST going snowboarding at Grandfather Mountain! That is ONE BIT OF VERTICAL that few experts would want to try!

My mom sent this nice snow story to me…enjoy!

It was snowing heavily and blowing to the point that visibility was almost zero when Lena got off work. She made her way to her car and wondered how she was going to make it home.

She sat in her car while it warmed up and thought about her situation. She remembered a friend’s advice that if she got caught in a blizzard, she should wait for a snowplow to come by and follow it. That way she would not get stuck in a snow drift. This made Lena feel much better and sure enough in a little while, a snow plow went by, and she started to follow it. As she followed the snowplow, she was feeling very smug as they continued, and she was not having any problem with the blizzard conditions.

After quite sometime had passed, she was somewhat surprised when the snowplow stopped and the driver got out and came back to her car and signaled her to roll down her window. The snowplow driver wanted to know if she was all right, as she had been following him for a long time.

She said that she was fine and told him of the advice she’d received to follow a snowplow when caught in a blizzard.

The driver replied that it was OK with him, and she could continue if she wanted…but he was done with the Wal-Mart parking lot and was going over to Kmart next.

Until Next Time…


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Mike Doble
Mike is the Editor and founder of, and 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.