We’ll take a tour around the region here in a moment but I have to tell you that I am expecting to see some additional drops in base depths at the ski resorts of the area. As I drove around on Thursday I witnessed the streams roaring roadside and the Watauga River (under my neighborhood covered bridge) was full and pushing a massive amount of water. I saw some heavier rain on Thursday that I had during the wet days prior. According to some of the weather experts, some areas saw an inch or so of rain, while some had closer to 2" of rain on Thursday.
Portions of West Virginia and Maryland also saw a lot of rain but more in the way of snow is falling today in those areas this morning, so let’s jump right to it and take a tour and see what we find…
Wisp Resort – 27° – They have 18 trails open for today and night skiing tonight. They have their terrain park operating but not so for the mountain coaster or tubing hill. 2-4" of snow is forecast for the Garrett County ski resort for today and great weather for the weekend! So enjoy!
Canaan Valley – 28° – They officially open for the season today after offering a FREE day of skiing yesterday. They received 1" of new snow and are expecting 1-3" more today. They are open with 8 trails for day skiing today until 4:30pm.
Timberline Resort – 26° – They have 15 trails open for today for day skiing only. They too saw 1" of snow and it is snowing with 1-3" more expected.
Snowshoe Mountain – 22° – They picked up 1" of new snow and they have 27 trails open. They are bragging today, but if you got it – flaunt it! They write, "The mountain picked up 1” of fresh snow overnight and could pick up as much as 6 inches by Saturday morning! Even with the rain, Snowshoe was able to post more open slopes than Virginia and North Carolina resorts combined! Our snowmaking crew has been busy all night and into the morning doing patchwork on several slopes. Today Camp 4, Log Slide, Upper Ball Hooter and Grab Hook will be closed for snow maintenance, however, we are debuting Knot Bumper Glades as well as re-opening Lower Hootenanny, Camp 99 and the Soaring Eagle Lift. Going into the weekend it looks like we will be able to debut even more terrain. Saturday’s probable openings including: Moonshine, Single tree, Stemwinder, and Yew Pine as well as the Tubing Hill. Silver Creek will be dropping the rope on Dec. 19th, and we are planning to open with 16 out of 18 slopes. By the holiday season we will have near 100% of the entire mountain’s terrain open, so there is no better place to visit than Snowshoe for your Holiday escape. There is still limited availability during our Christmas and New Year’s Eve periods, as well as our fantastic Smart Ski Escape packages. Hurry, because these packages expire on Dec. 15th, so book your vacation today."
Winterplace Resort reopens Saturday.
Bryce Resort did not make snow but they look pretty good via the live cams. They have 6 trails open for today.
Massanutten is reporting 28° and 6 trails open with tubing as well – both until 10pm.
Wintergreen is reporting 30° and 5 trails open (and tubing) until 10pm! They write, "Night Skiing and Riding begins! Temperatures continued to fall overnight providing 29 degrees at 7am. Potato Patch, Tequila, Upper and Lower Sunrise will open tomorrow increasing our trail count to 9 and our lift count to 3. Our snowmaking plan for the next few days will include: resurfacing our open trails, increasing base snow depths on these trails and trying to open The Highlands on Sunday. Cross your fingers and toes for a little luck and cooperation from Mother Nature. Look at this report tomorrow for a Highlands progress update. The Plunge will be open for tubing tonight from 4PM – 11PM. Tickets for tubing are available for purchase over the web right now Click here. If you have trouble buying over the web, call us in the Ski Services Office at (434) 325-2100."
Appalachian Ski Mountain – 27° – They look GREAT this morning with snowmaking going on and 100% of the trails and both terrain parks going strong. That is DESPITE the fact that they are reporting another 8-11" drop in base depth. Of course they have 36-60" so they are in great shape for this weekend.
APP OFFERING TERRAIN PARK FOR THE LADIES!
App Terrain Park’s first Ladies’ Park Night will premier this Friday, December 12. In response to popular interest, the ATP staff has planned three Ladies Park Nights for the 2008-09 ski season.
These nights will introduce the park scene to women by offering gentle, low to the ground features in a supportive, women-only setting. “For a couple of years now, we have seen a growing interest in an introductory park setting for women who want to join their friends in the park.” said Terrain Park Director Drew Stanley. “We feel this girls-only environment coupled with the right terrain and features will be the perfect scenario for women to progress their park skills.”
On these three select Saturday evenings throughout the season, ATP will construct a terrain park area with features specifically designed for learning and progression that will be open to girls only. Women of all ages and abilities, both ski and snowboard, can get together and ride in a laid-back, non-intimidating environment among friends.
The event is free to enter with the purchase of a ski ticket.
Leave it App. That is pretty cool. NOW, they need to do the same for us older, slightly "more careful" skiers and snowboarders. Hmmmm.
Cataloochee Ski Area – 24° – They are making snow and in great shape on 9 trails for day and night skiing. Cat is reporting a drop of 5" in base depth over the last 24 hours.
Hawksnest Tubing Park will be CLOSED FRIDAY, but will reopen on Saturday. Lenny Cottom said that they are pushing big piles of snow around and configuring for Saturday sessions. They are making snow as well.
Ski Beech – 21° – They began making snow around midnight last night and they are actually looking pretty good on the same 5 trails that they have had open thus far. They are open to the top AND they are night skiing this weekend. Beech received a dusting of snow overnight to add to the ambience. They are reflecting a 12" drop in base depth but are reporting a 10-30" base and more snow is being made!
Ryan Costin, Beech’s VP and Director of Operations, shared some good news from atop their 5506′ elevations. He writes, "We will continue making snow around the clock as long as conditions allow. Snowmaking will be on all open trails, Upper/Lower Shawneehaw, Powder Bowl, Freestyle and The Play Yard. We are continuing to make snow on the Tubing Hill, the Advanced Terrain Park and White Lighting. Ice Skating will be open this weekend and night skiing will also continue starting today, but only operating through the weekend, Friday-Sunday."
Ryan also mentioned that there are several freestyle terrain features set-up on Lower Shawneehaw for all the park enthusiasts. The Beech Tree Restaurant will be open today and will feature live music Saturday night from 9:00pm-12:00am.
Ryan adds, "We are expecting good weather through the weekend, which will make for some great conditions. Let your visitors know to check back with updates because as soon as conditions allow we will continue to open new terrain: Tubing Hill, Terrain Parks, etc."
Sugar Mountain – 19° – They are making snow and look good for today. They have 12 trails open and the ice skating rink. They are open for night skiing as well. Don’t forget that SugarFest is Saturday! Sugarfest kick starts the winter season with a weekend of pure winter fun! Sponsored by the Village of Sugar Mountain Tourism Development Authority (TDA) and hosted by Sugar Mountain Resort, SugarFest will be held December 13th and 14th, 2008. The two-day festival is packed with a long list of winter activities.
Sugar looks great for the weekend, but they are reporting the following on their website, "…and the forecast is calling for great weather this weekend! Expect snow showers to end later this morning, with a total accumulation of 2-3 inches expected. Temperatures today will be in the upper 20s, with lows in the upper teens. More snow flurries are expected for this evening. Snowmaking will continue throughout the day."
We’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and say that they got ahold of a bad weather forecast, but to be clear – there is not 2-3" of snow expected at Sugar today. Not sure where they got that report. A dusting took place overnight and that has now ended and yes we will see some flurries later. Just not 2-3"
Sugarfest should be fun and conditions should be great. Go enjoy!
Wolf Ridge Resort reopened today and will be open with 3 slopes for day and night skiing and they have their tubing hill open as well. Wolf is not making snow right now but they look pretty this morning!
Hats off to ALL of the resorts for accurately reporting base depth drops that averaged in the 10" range. Conditions are nevertheless very nice out and some snow is falling as well. So go enjoy!
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