Ahhhh! This is much more like it! It’s nice to be able to use the phrase “Frozen Granular” and “Manmade Powder” in a report for a change! Temperatures at one point on Friday were in the 60s. At about 3pm in Boone we saw 68° and here we are this morning at 22°! Highs on Saturday will turn the snow guns off around North Carolina for a bit later today, but they will crank them back up this evening and then once Sunday night comes…look for the snowguns to stay on 24/7 for a while!
Talk about temperature differences – how about the 16° reading at Snowshoe Mountain in West Virginia this morning! After mild temps for the last week, Snowshoe and the other West Virginia and western Maryland ski areas are looking at some COLD temps ahead. Actually ALL of the Southeast and Mid Atlantic ski resorts are looking at around the clock snowmaking temps for the week ahead…it’s just going to be a bit colder the further north you go.
The quick summary for this morning is that Snowshoe Mountain in West Virginia, and Cataloochee & Sugar Mountains in North Carolina are skiing today! Most of the rest are making snow and getting ready to open any day now.
Now here’s the detailed version, resort by resort:
WISP in Maryland: We haven’t heard from Lori Epp at Wisp at Deep Creek, but we do see that they are making snow all over the mountain up there! That is ONE resort that can pour on more snow in one night than about anywhere. We’re thinking that they will make a ton of snow over the next couple of days and shoot for something prior to Friday, December 8th, but we’ll update you when we have more to share. Oh, Lori????
CANAAN VALLEY – Canaan is now in the snowmaking mode and will be opening asap. We tried to get with Ted Vance who is over Mountain Ops at Canaan and as soon as we have something more definitive we’ll share that with you guys.
SNOWSHOE MOUNTAIN – We can always count on Snowshoe to keep us informed! Andrea Smith reports, “The predictions rang true as temps have dropped dramatically and our snowmakers are out on the hill adding to our base on 12 different trails! All five open trails were groomed overnight and we have mostly packed frozen granular conditions. The Skidder and Grabhammer lifts will be running from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The terrain garden on Whistlepunk is closed today.”
Look for a lot more terrain to open every day or so as Snowshoe Mountain is looking at near perfect snowmaking ops throughout the long term forecast. Sunday should be in the mid 30s and lows around 13°! Monday and Tuesday will provide highs in the 20s and lows in the teens. (More trail openings???) The long range forecast is for more of the same. Snowshoe has the best snow and the most terrain open in the southeast and mid Atlantic right now and expect more of the same as we progress through the next several days!
TIMBERLINE RESORT – They are making snow now and are looking at a target date of December 7th to open with some great conditions with the perfect snowmaking ops ahead!
WINTERPLACE RESORT – As we reported earlier, Winterplace will open December 8th. They are making snow and building base to open with SWEET conditions!
BRYCE RESORT in Virginia – Bryce is now making snow at every opportunity and plans to open December 9th for the season.
MASSANUTTEN RESORT – They have begun making snow and while there’s no official word on the actual opening date, expect Mass to open any day now or at least by Friday, December 8th.
THE HOMESTEAD – Is making snow now and will be at every opportunity. They plan to open for the season in December 15th.
WINTERGREEN RESORT – They too began making snow last night and Sarah Lovejoy reports, “The snow is falling again at Wintergreen ! We began covering the trails at 2:00 this morning. Please check our snow report early next week for updates on how we are progressing and when we plan to open. Our snowmaking plan will include concentrating on Upper Dobie, Lower Dobie, and Eagles Swoop. In addition, we will be using the rest of our capacity to run some guns on the Highlands, the Terrain Park and in the Plunge.”
OBER GATLINBURG in Tennessee – Kathy Doyle reports, “We’re watching the thermometer and waiting for the temperatures to drop so we can begin snowmaking. Once that happens, the snowmakers at Ober Gatlinburg will continue working around the clock while temperatures allow, until there is enough base snow to provide a quality product for skiers and snowboarders. “
They should begin making snow at least by Sunday night!
Appalachian Ski Mountain has updated their snow report since Nov 27th, but they ARE making snow to beat the band! Their gameplan right now is to make tons of snow at every opportunity and to use the phenomenal weather forecast ahead to make the most productive snow base possible. They report, “Therefore we will not be re-opening on the first possible moment, but we will be making an intense effort to build up the most base possible during this cold front, and re-open with a deeper base than would be possible with snowmaking while skiing is in progress.”
HEY WE LIKE THAT! Look for Appalachian to open sometime around Friday, December 8th. One look at their live webcam will tell you they are making good progress already!
Cataloochee Ski Area will be skiing on two slopes, Beginners Easy Way and Beginners Rabbit Hill serviced by the Easy Way Triple Chairlift on a base of 0-30" and a machine worked surface. Cat will be making snow on these slopes to work on thin coverage and encroaching edges.
Tammy Brown reported, “On Saturday we will offer one session of skiing, day skiing only from 8:30am-4:30pm with a morning or afternoon half day rate also available. Because we are skiing only two slopes only, weekday and student rates will be in effect. Please listen carefully to our hours of operation for this weekend: Cataloochee will day ski only from 8:30am – 4:30pm on both Saturday and Sunday and there will be no night skiing on Saturday evening.”
Hawksnest Ski Resort – A lot of people have emailed us asking, “Why isn’t making snow?” Others haven’t been as nice, choosing to make negative remarks regarding the fact that their snowguns are not running this morning.
We spoke with Lenny Cottom on Friday and simply put Lenny stated, “We had so much rain Thursday night and Friday that we’re going to let this cold do some freezing of all the water we have on the hill and we will crank up the snowmaking on Sunday night.”
The temps that are heading in from Sunday through the week will allow for 24/7 snowmaking and Hawksnest looks to be opening on Friday, December 8th. It’s 24° up there this morning so lots of freezing is going on!
A lot has been happening up at Hawksnest. It hasn’t been as quite as some of you guys think. We will be running a story on some of the moves that Lenny Cottom and his staff have made preparing for the 2006-2007 season later in the weekend, so be sure to check that out on the “Business Spotlight” column on the front page.
Sapphire Valley is making snow and they are expecting to be able to open their Frozen Falls Tubing Areas on December 9th and they will open for skiing around December 16th.
Ski Beech – Lots of you emailed things like, “The snowguns are running at Beech” late last night. They cranked them up the moment the temps dropped. Gil Adams of Ski Beech reports, “The forecast for next week looks good for snowmaking and we anticipate being able to open sometime next week. These extra days of warm weather have allowed us to continue working on our night lighting, stock inventory in our shops, and get things ready for opening day.”
After reading reports that Ski Beech would start out making snow on The Oz Run, we’re not seeing evidence of that just yet. A few of you guys emailed us about that. We’ll try to get you word on Beech’s plans regarding snowmaking on the back side of the hill. Our guess is after the slow start to snowmaking, they will focus on getting the front blanketed. Of course with the arctic cold coming in Monday, we may see some guns running on Oz.
Sugar Mountain is open to their ¾ station for Day Skiing only on Saturday. That is remarkable really after only one evening of snowmaking! We were speaking with one of our clients who had spoken with Gunther Jochl of Sugar and he had hinted to her that Sugar might open today. He was hedging only slightly saying that they would definitely be ready to open by Sunday. Gunther IS a skier and he’s going to drop those ropes whenever possible and he did it this morning! Good for Sugar lovers! Don’t be surprised if Sugar isn’t open to the TOP by Sunday AM.
We are LOVING what we’re seeing in terms of snow reporting up there this early. We have never seen the kind of clarity in their reporting that they have already exhibited this early. Last season Sugar really began to nail the daily reports and this season they have taken things up a peg further. This morning Sugar is reporting 2-10” of base and thin coverage. We’ve been covering the snow scene around here every day for the last eleven years and there’s never been that kind of frank reporting in the past. We love it…and are just saying, “Great Job Sugar!”
Wolf Ridge Ski Resort – There’s no word yet coming out of the camp over at Wolf Ridge. No snowmaking quite yet. They had previously reported that they would not be opening until December 8th, so we’re thinking that they are waiting on Saturday night’s or Sunday night’s colder air to crank up the snowguns. We’ll get you word when we hear from Tim Bryant or any of his staffers from Wolf.
So that’s it for today! What a difference ONE DAY can make in these gorgeous mountains of Western North Carolina! Cold temps are creating some skiing fever and more terrain and resorts will be opening any day now!
Before I go, I want to mention that we have been adding new content and making tweaks to SkiSoutheast.com in a huge way over the last couple of days. We are adding more to SkiNC as well. We had a record number of contest entries in the last 24 hours so you guys really WERE waiting for us to debut the giveaways weren’t you? Keep looking around as we are adding more and more content in the next few days and we invite you to look around. If something looks a little out of whack…chances are it’s only a momentary thing because we are adding more and more information to both SkiNC and SkiSoutheast daily.
If you have any suggestions or comments please drop us a line.
Until Next Time…
THINK COLD – THINK SNOW!
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For more information about the ski resorts of the Southeast and Mid Atlantic visit www.SkiSoutheast.com
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