More Trails Open for Sunday, January 3rd. Click for the Story.

Click to enlarge to see one of the SMALLER piles of snow around the region. This one was at the top of Powder Monkey at Snowshoe.

We’re happy to report that there are now EIGHT of SEVENTEEN ski areas open today, Sunday, January 3rd. Five of those eight ski resorts are North Carolina based. We could be picky and say that there are REALLY only SEVEN ski areas open as Wisp is only operating the KID’S SLOPE today.

It is AMAZING how much snowmaking has transitioned conditions at most of the ski resorts over the last 24-36 hours. Unfortunately the Virginia ski areas are still suffering a bit from temperatures that are borderline. However they also made snow at least some of the last 24 hours or so. Temps should allow for snowmaking everywhere tonight.

As I left Snowshoe on Saturday I stopped by and snapped the photo at the top of this story and I did so for a couple of reasons. One of those reasons is that some ski areas are reporting a ridiculous top number on base depths this morning after 24-36 hours of snowmaking. I’ll admit that this is one of my personal pet peeves. I will say that I REALLY like the ski resorts who only report ONE NUMBER AVERAGE BASE DEPTHS…and especially those who don’t count 48″ or ten foot swells like the one shown in the photo above.

As I looked around at reported base depths this morning it was very cool to see three of the eight open ski areas reporting a “ONE-NUMBER” average base. One ski area ballooned a base depth report (no it was not Sugar) and we’re just not going to report it. They had little to no snow on their slopes two days ago; have not been able to make snow as long as some of the ski areas in the region who are reporting 6-18″ of base; and yet they are reporting 10-50″ of base. (I exaggerate for effect, but not by much.)

So from here on out, we are going to average the highs and lows, consider the “B.S. level” and report a one-number base depth average. I want to thank those who already do that in advance. A two-number base depth isn’t an average anyway.

 

The “Complainers” Are Still Out There…

Four things were apparent on Saturday morning skiing at Snowshoe.

1. It was WONDERFULLY COLD!

Click to enlarge. Where there was awesome coverage Sunday AM, there was NO SNOW 36 hours before.
Click to enlarge. Where there was awesome coverage Sunday AM, there was almost NO SNOW 36 hours before at the top of Snowshoe.

2. The 5 slopes that were open were in amazing shape. (Snowshoe has ten trails open today.) They were perfectly groomed as Snowshoe always does and it was equally amazing to see the amount of snow and the transition from 24 hours earlier when you could walk across much of the top of the mountain where there was NO SNOW…to the awesome surface that we had on Saturday morning.

3. The message got out that Snowshoe was reopened as the slopes and the top of the mountain were PACKED to near-madhouse proportions. With so few trails open and so many people out early…the trails were dotted (HEAVILY) with people nearly top to bottom.

4. The “complainers” were still out in force. While waiting to get on the lift at the bottom of Ball Hooter I overheard one guy say, “Well THAT sucked.”

I cringed because I knew that he was talking NOT about the slopes but about the fact that there were dozens of snowguns powdering the trails from top to bottom with very few intervals of open space to ski without the manmade snowstorm.

Merely 30 seconds later I heard another guy say, “I’m sure that they will turn them off sometime later during the day to make it easier to see.”

Um…NO! I can promise you that right now – if the temperature at ANY ski resort is within the limits for them to be making snow…they will be doing so with full force. There will be NO turning the snowguns off during ski sessions for the most part. You may see that at Appalachian in a couple of days…but right now…resorts will be powdering the trails- top to bottom – every chance they get.

 

Let’s Get to the Good Stuff for Sunday…

We’re going to talk about PERCENTAGES of mountain’s open today and list this tour by that standard:

Appalachian Ski Mountain – 67% OPEN with 8 of 12 trails. Day and night sessions. Ice Skating and terrain park features as well. 24° and making snow. Click for webcam!

Beech Mountain Resort – 34% OPEN with 5 of 15 trails. Day and night sessions. 19° and making snow. Click for webcam!

Cataloochee Ski Area – 33% OPEN with 6 of 18 trails. Day and night sessions. Tubing will probably open Monday. 26° and making snow. Click for webcam!

Sugar's Gunther's Way looks ready to ride! Click to enlarge!
Sugar Mountain Resort’s Gunther’s Way looks ready to ride! Click to enlarge!

Sugar Mountain Resort – 29% OPEN with 6 of 21 trails. Day and night sessions. 19° and making snow. Tubing and ice skating are open.

Snowshoe Mountain Resort – 17% OPEN with 10 of 60 trails. Day sessions although they are opening Silver Creek at noon. 22° and making snow. Snowshoe DOUBLED their open terrain from Saturday. Click for webcam!

Wolf Ridge Resort – 13% OPEN with 2 of 15 trails. Day and night sessions. Tubing is open as well. 25° and making snow as long as temps allow. Click for webcam!

Timberline Resort – 10% OPEN with 4 of 39 trails. Day sessions Sunday. 25° and making snow. Click for webcam!

Wisp Resort – 2% OPEN with technically only their KIDS AREA open of 34 trails. They do have ice skating and mountain coaster open. Click for webcam!

Wintergreen Resort – NOT OPEN. They made good progress in snowmaking overnight and will be able to make more snow today and tonight. Re-Opening day still looks like Wednesday or Thursday. Click for webcam!

Massanutten Resort – NOT OPEN. They are making snow this morning on portions of the mountain and hope to open Monday. Click for webcam!

Winterplace Resort – NOT OPEN. 27° and making snow to reopen soon. Click for webcam!

Bryce Resort – NOT OPEN. Bryce made snow on upper bootlegger overnight two nights ago and thanks to Bill Naber for reporting that to us. It appears to be 35° and no snowmaking this morning at 9am. Click for webcam!

Omni Homestead Resort – NO REPORT. They are NOT OPEN, but their webcam isn’t working right now. We are working to replace that next week. It IS 30° there this morning and they MAY be making snow.

Ober Gatlinburg – NOT OPEN for skiing or snowboarding. Tubing IS OPEN. 32° and they made snow last night. Click for webcam!

Ober posted,

“Things are certainly starting to look like winter again. We were able to make snow both Friday and Saturday nights, but unfortunately we could not get enough snow down with the marginal temperatures to open today. It is really going to take a one more night. So, we anticipate being able to re-open our ski and snowboard season on Monday, January 4. Please check back here for more information.

There are several other activities happening on the mountain, including our new Ski Mountain Coaster, scenic chairlift, alpine slide, and indoor ice skating, just to name a few. Add in some great shopping and dining, and you’ve got a full day of fun at Ober Gatlinburg.”

Well said…

Sapphire Valley Ski Area – NOT OPEN. They made snow but as of this morning it appears that the temperature is too mild although we are seeing reports of 29°, but the snowguns are off. They are reporting a chance of opening the Snow Tubing hill. Click for webcam!

Canaan Valley Resort – NOT OPEN. 23° and making snow to reopen January 6th. Click for webcam!

#THINKCOLD
#THINKSNOW

Until next time…

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

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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 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.