THIS is SO much more like it! Snow on the ground (and on the slopes) and temperatures in the teens across the region! The snowguns were working around the clock (and that means the snowmaking crews were as well!)
This morning at 7:45am we’re seeing:
Ober Gatlinburg – 24°
Beech Mountain 13°
Sugar Mountain’s base 17°
Sugar’s Summit 12°
Appalachian – 16°
Rich Mountain – 13°
Wolf Ridge – 17°
Cataloochee – 24°
Hawksnest – 12°
Massanutten – 15°
Wintergreen – 14°
Snowshoe – 7°
Timberline – 12°
Wisp – 14°
Today should be a stellar day on the slopes and a great day for photos and videos (hint, hint). Anytime you mix temps in the 30s to 40°, blue skies and snowy countryside and powder on the slopes, the cameras should be capturing those moments! The snowguns are running this morning but they will stop at some point on Friday and that will make for the best of all worlds. The snowmaking crews will go back to work tonight as the temperatures are forecasted to drop back into the mid 20s or so.
We heard from Meteorologist Brad Panovich on Thursday and he said that the next 7-10 days looks phenomenal for the ski areas with lots of cold and additional chances for snow on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of next week and even beyong that VERY COLD TEMPS. The ski areas should be able to make snow around-the-clock Sunday through all of next week (the longest prolonged snowmaking opportunity of the season) as temperatures are expected to stay in the 20s and low 30s for highs and teens at night. A couple of nights into mid week, next week are expected to be in the single digits!
LOOK FOR MORE AND MORE TERRAIN TO OPEN UP!!!
A LITTLE SNOWMAKING MAKES A HUGE DIFFERENCE!!!
<This is a portion of Ski Beech’s Lower Shawneehaw trail on Wednesday just before the snowguns cranked up!
We talk about the nearly miraculous transformation that can come from as little as 24 hours of snowmaking all the time. However, we HAD to show you what might be the best example of that which took place at Ski Beech from Wednesday evening with the snowguns cranked up through this morning. With 40 hours of snowmaking to this point this morning, Ski Beech went from very little snow on the Lower Shawneehaw trail and 2 slopes open to where they now have 5 trails open to the top of Upper Shawneehaw! They did that with "one had tied behind their backs" as they are still working with only two of their three pumps in service.
Here’s the EXACT same shot of Lower Shawneehaw just 40+ hours later after great snowmaking temps returned>
Beech is looking good this morning and reporting that they added 6-8" of base in the last 24 hours. That was aided by great snowmaking ops and 6" of natural snow, but trust me – nobody is going to complain from a little help from Ma Nature. SHE OWES US!!!
Since we’re bragging on Ski Beech, let’s lead with them on our quick trip around the ski areas:
Ski Beech – 14° and 6" of new snow and 5 of 15 slopes open and they will be night skiing as well! Ice Skating is open as far as we know. Charlie from up at Beech Mountain Realty and Rentals wrote yesterday; "Hey Mike, It looks like we got 4 -5 inches of new snow right now. Ski Beech is still blowing we are looking good."
<This is a nice shot from this morning atop Beech Mountain after 6" of snow fell!
Charlie hosts a live cam up there on the mountain and it’s getting bombed with visitors right now. If you’re looking for some great deals on rentals on Beech, look him up at www.MrBeech.com and you can check out the snow camera shot at (It’s pretty this morning!)
They ended up with six inches of natural snow and indeed look great for today. It is a safe bet that Beech will be able to open another trail or two early next week and possibly more by MLK weekend! Beech has now seen 30" of natural snow on the season and there is a LOT of season left (two-plus months!)
Let’s jump around some today…
Ober Gatlinburg – 24° – They reported no additional snowfall, but they did get 2" that was included on Thursday morning’s report. Ober added 6" of manmade and that has eliminated all the thin coverage and they offer 4 of 8 trails for today and tonight.
OH WHAT THE HECK…I DON’T KNOW WHY I’M DELAYING THE INEVITABLE! LET’s SEE HOW MUCH SNOW FELL AT SNOWSHOE!
Snowshoe Mountain – 7° and 11" of snow over the past 1.5 days of the storm. That extra 5" of snow since Thursday morning takes Snowshoe to 110" on the season. Snowshoe has 52 of 60 trails, tubing, snowmobiling and terrain parks all ready for your enjoyment today. Snowshoe has more snow in the forecast for today, Saturday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday – oh you get the picture 😉
They should have 700" of snow by mid week! Just kidding – you guys know I’m just a little jealous!
Sonny Gower from over on the Silver Creek side wrote me on Thursday, "This is CRAZY. They were not even calling for this. Drifts in some places that are 3 feet deep!"
Sonny’s favorite phrase that I’ll admit I’ve used a bunch this season is – "It’s PUKING SNOW UP HERE!"
Timberline Resort – 16° and 13.3" of snow (officially) and that takes the Tucker County ski area to 90.8" of snow on the season. (I LOVE their official reporting station up there! Well not really LOVE but that service is cool as heck!)
Timberline will be EPIC today as well with 20 of 37 trails open, snow tubing, terrain parks, you name it. (It obviously PUKED SNOW up there as well!)
Canaan Valley – 14° and much the same 13" of snow that Timberline saw. (They are one ridge over.) and they have reopened some trails today and now have 10 of 39 trails open with ice skating, tubing and great, great, great conditions!
Wisp Resort – 15° at the summit and 6" of snow fell to get Wisp to the 55" snowfall tally for the season! Wisp is in near EPIC shape for today with 24 of 35 trails open, terrain park, snow tubing, mountain coastering and more! If you guys have not tripped up to the Garrett County areas of Western Maryland, you really should make it a must visit soon! They have a great product up there!
Winterplace Resort – 17° and 4" of snow. That’s another 1" from 24 hours ago and 38" on the season. Terry and those guys need to have a talk with Snowshoe, Timberline and Canaan about hogging all that snow! Winterplace looks GREAT today though with 19 of 28 trails and packed powder conditions. They have tubing open as well! The terrain park is closed for today for snowmaking. It should open on Saturday!
Wintergreen Resort – 14° – Their theme should be "what a diffence a day makes" as they were able to kick their amazing snowmaking system into gear yesterday and crank out a ton of new snow. They only reported a TRACE of natural snow (they’ve been snow starved this season) but they are looking tons better today!
Anne Marie Jones writes, "THE HIGHLANDS OPENS TOMORROW! 14 glorious degrees at 7AM! Snowmaking weather is back and the weather experts are telling us that we should be making snow through the MLK Holiday with only an occasional mid-day warm up. YES, we will bury this place with snow! All of the trails currently open have a fresh layer of snow and we are working hard on Tyro, The Highlands and in our Terrain Park. The Highlands will re-open tomorrow and Tyro should open Sunday."
Wintergreen will offer 9 of 26 trails for today and more will open soon. Tubing is open as well.
Massanutten Resort – 17° – No new snow (they too have been snow starved this season with only 1" of record natural snow this season). They did (and are) making snow and should offer very nice conditions on 9 of 14 trails for today and tonight. Diamond Jim will be closed for a SARA race Sunday Jan.11th 9am-1pm.
Bryce Resort – After not being able to make snow Wednesday night – they DID make snow last night and still are. They will have great conditions with 7 of 8 trails and tubing today and tonight. The only trail not open is their lone black diamond, "Hangover".
Cataloochee Ski Area – 24° and 3" of snow! Tammy Brown updated us at around 10:30pm last night and they are looking as good as they looked all season for Friday with 9 of 14 trails open and packed powder conditions. The 3" of snow takes "the Looch" (as Tammy calls it) to 19" on the season thus far. They will be in GREAT shape for weekend snowboarding and skiing. Tubing is open as well!
Since we’re on "tubing" (I’m decent with segways. huh?) Hawksnest Tubing Park is showing a chilly 12° and they reported 4" of snow which takes the tubing-only resort to 28" on the season. We watched as they were grooming the hill this morning and they will be offering a lot of sliding fun today and this weekend.
Appalachian Ski Mountain – 16° and 3" of snow. That takes App to 19" of natural snow on the season. They have been BLASTING the mountain with snow as well and are open with 8 of 10 slopes, both terrain parks and ice skating to boot! Eric Heitman (our cabin winner) and crew should have a great getaway at App this weekend.
Sugar Mountain is showing a low of 11° and 5" of snow from this storm! That takes Sugar to 29" of snow on the season and they have been blasting a virtual CLOUD of snow on that mountain and that has already allowed them to move to 12 of 20 trails open. They have tubing open and ice skating today as well! Sugar is definately looking s-w-e-e-t today!
Sapphire Valley reported in with 2" of snow (taking them to 5" on the season) and they will be open today and this weekend with their fun "Frozen Falls Tubing Park" and 2 slopes of skiing and snowboarding.
Wolf Ridge received the most snow from Thursday’s storm with 6-7" of snow but we’re mentioning them last simply because they are not even reporting it yet on any reporting service. GUYS! IT SNOWED A TON OVER THERE! BRAG ABOUT IT! The 6" of snow takes them to 19" on the season and they have tubing open and WE THINK 4 slopes. Someone over there has got to start reporting more regularly. Anyone at Wolf (skier, snowboarder, real estate dude, anyone want to tell anyone what’s going on daily!?!?!)
CONDITIONS WILL BE WONDERFUL TODAY! What a change from just Tuesday, right!?!?! Go enjoy the day!
Send your comments, photos, videos, and trip reports to: [email protected]