Snowshoe Mountain is showing 35° this morning, which is 10° colder than resorts further south into Virginia and North Carolina…but still too mild to make snow. Laura Parquette reported that their surface today, after some heavy, wind-blown rain most all yesterday evening is "skier-packed, frozen granular with some wet snow".
I have to tell you that Snowshoe’s Mountain Manager, Ed Galford (who is a real snowman if ever there was one) and his snowmakers at "The Shoe" have had to have been going nuts watching the temps hover so close to snowmaking ops for most of the last couple of days. They did make snow Wednesday and Thursday nights but not in the massive doses that they’s like. It also even dusted the mountain with a bit of natural snow mixed in on Thursday. The rains last night will certainly make for some wet conditions on Saturday but I can tell you that there is plenty of good snow and more skiable terrain at Snowshoe than anywhere else in the Southeast and Mid Atlantic so this is definately one of the places to be today!
Laura Parquette also reported, "The Cupp is expected to open by Friday, January 4th. Temperatures should return to the freezing mark tonight, allowing snowmaking to restart, as we continue to add to our great base and look to further expand our open terrain. There is also the possibility that we may see some new natural snow this weekend. Today there’s only a 20% chance of precipitation, but that increases for Sunday, and temperatures should be cold enough for white flakes to be falling instead of rain drops. Snowshoe continues to have the most open terrain in the region, with 37 slopes open today–that’s 62% of our trails open for skiing and riding. That includes Sawmill trial, which is open in the South Mountain area. Sawmill is one of three brand new trails Snowshoe has introduced for this season. Night skiing and riding, as well as our awesome 5-lane tubing hill, are available at Silver Creek. The tubing hill is open early during this holiday period, beginning at 11am each day."
If you have been wavering on whether or not to head somewhere to rock in the New Years and do some great skiing, then pack your gear, and get your rear to Snowshoe. They have some great parties planned and the snow should be great beginning on Sunday/Monday.
Timberline Resort – Jessica Scowcroft has been doing a great job of keeping us informed and we’ll have some nice things to share with you guys from Timberline later today. They have Salamander, their most popular trail, open as well as well as eight others giving Timberline 9 trails to play on today. Their webcam is showing very nice coverage for today.
Canaan Valley is reporting 37° this morning and 5 trails for your pleasure today. They are looking forward to the snow and cold temps on the way! Hey Coop get me some info and pics!
Winterplace Resort is reporting loose granular conditions for today on 14 trails.
Wisp Resort in Maryland HAS A NEW WEBSITE! I have given Lori Epp some grief about their website and BOOM they now have a sweet looking new website with some very nice features, including all the web cams. conditions look pretty decent for today even though there’s still some rain hanging around. They offer 20 slopes for today and of course snow and cold is in the forecast. Hey Lori, one small tweak would make the website great. On the slope report page…instead of making people count the open trails…put a number by the base report.
Great site though!
Moving down to the Virginia resorts…
Bryce Resort – The snow still looks PRETTY decent via the live webcams that Horst and Ryan Locher have setup at Bryce. They still offer 5 ski trails, terrain park goodies and tubing for your Holiday fun.
Massanutten Resort is reporting 45° and is hurting as they have 2 trails open with thin, narrow coverage. They are now not offering night skiing and will day ski only on Saturday. Their popular tubing hill will operate during the day and until 10pm this evening. They are chomping at the bit to make some snow and that won’t come for another day or two.
Wintergreen is reporting 44° and they are hanging in there with 6 trails today. Sara Lovejoy writes, "Clearing Skies and cold air on the way! Snowmaking temperatures are forecasted to return tonight. Eagles Swoop, the Lower Cross Trail, Potato Patch, Discovery Ridge and Dobie are all open. For those guests that want to tube, the Plunge and the Slide will be open starting at 10am. Tubing tickets are on sale now over the web and in person. Rain overnight will require a delay in opening Eagles Swoop this morning. Eagles Swoop should open at around 9:30am."
Guest dodging the rain at Wintergreen have told us about the new "DOME" that opened on December 14th. It’s a lot like the Big Top at Snowshoe (for guests that have been there) and it offers a great place to hang out with Xbox games, Nintendo, Wii, plasma television, foosball and more.
With some added snowmaking and natural snow on the way, Wintergreen should be looking good over the next few days.
OBER GATLINBURG FORCED TO TEMPORARILY CLOSE
We’re sad to have to report that the yucky weather pattern has forced one ski area to temporarily close. That is Ober Gatlinburg in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. They have been fighting the fight, but are now closed until the cold and snow hits. They hope to reopen January 2nd.
THE NORTH CAROLINA SKI RESORT UPDATE
Appalachian – 45° – They still have seven trails for today, but the bigger news is that they now have their second Terrain Park open! Drew Stanley writes, "The Appal Jam Terrain Park opened Thursday morning, December 27th. This marks the earliest date in the season that both of Appalachian’s parks are open. Although Appal Jam is known for its signature Stairset feature, this park also now offers a 30 foot Tabletop, Hip Jump, 20 ft Rainbow Box, 16 ft Flat Box, and a 20 ft. C-Box. The current setup gives riders a choice of 13 features between the two parks.
The upcoming weather forecast projects low temperatures around 10 degrees Tuesday, January 1st through Thursday, January 3rd. Look for a complete redesign in both terrain parks by the weekend of January 5th."
Cataloochee is showing 49° this morning. Tammy Brown reports, "On Saturday, we will be skiing on six slopes with 2 aerial lifts and 2 surface lift operating on a base of 16-30 inches and a loose granular surface. Rock Island Run, our intermediate run serviced by the quad will not be open on Saturday."
Hawksnest – It’s 47° this morning and as far as we know Hawksnest will go with the same 6 slopes plus their popular tubing park for Saturday. They have not updated their website since the 27th.
Ski Beech is showing 44° and fog this morning. They still have 4 trails going and are now reporting thin coverage and bare spots.
Sugar Mountain is at 44° and they are also reporting thin cover and there are some bare spots as well…but plenty of good skiable terrain on nine trails today. They also have their new 10,000 sf ice rink operating for your Holiday fun.
Wolf Ridge Ski Resort is offering Skiing, Snowboarding, Terrain Park fun and Tubing today. They still offer 6 trails for today and there is some thin coverage areas…and a bare area or two.
SO WHEN CAN WE EXPECT SOME HELP FROM OLD MAN WINTER???
For SOME ski areas like those in West Virginia, Maryland and perhaps Wintergreen, snowmaking temps return tonight! SNOW is in the forecast within the same area on Sunday and through the next few days, which will no doubt excite all Holiday skiers and snowboarders!
For those further South into most of Virginia, Tennessee and North Carolina, the cold and snow won’t hit for another day or two. Monday evening the temps should be cold enough to make snow into NC and Tennessee. Natural snow is the big story as substantial snowfall (up to a foot) should be making its way into the region. NC is expecting good snows Tuesday-Thursday. Snowshoe and the West Virginia resorts should pick up some earlier.
The ski resort snowmaking crews have not had any support from Mother Nature of late and the North Carolina and Virginia crews (Ober Gatlinburg too) has had it particularly hard in respect to snowmaking ops and any KIND of semblance of consistent temperatures. The last two seasons have simply provided a roller coaster of conditions and weather that has both brought out the best efforts of our snowmaking crews at all of the resorts…AND made for some frustrating times as well.
Thankfully will see some great snowmaking weather over the next few days and Holiday skiers and riders will end up with a great trip.
Enjoy your day…
Until Next time…
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