The majority of talk around our office over the last 2-3 days has been about the winter storm that is slowly approaching from the west. It looks like it will be bringing some really significant snowfall Saturday evening through Tuesday AM.

However, this morning we’re all seeing the after-effects of 1-2″ of snowfall that fell overnight and (mostly) this morning.

 

Most everyone who reads this website frequently loves snow. I suppose that is a given. This morning has been a snow-lovers dream in terms of every webcam I went on this morning with the lone exception of Sapphire Valley, the southernmost ski area in our coverage area, was getting moderate to heavy snowfall.

You can take your own virtual tour of the mountains here> Ski Cameras

By the way, we’re glad to see Wolf Ridge was able to either get a new camera OR they got the old one running. We’re hosting the LIVE feed and it was snowing there this morning!

Also a lot of the MOUNTAIN CAMS are showing off some of mother nature’s finest. Places like Blowing Rock and downtown Boone are white this morning. The Photo of the Day up top and right here are from Beech Mountain’s 5506′ elevations this morning. That camera has been displaying some sweet shots at all hours of the day – except when the snowguns are blasting it to the point that it ices over!

Click to Enlarge

This particular round of snowfall has deposited anywhere from about one-inch of snow in places like Blowing Rock, Massanutten, Winterplace, etc… to 2″ at Snowshoe, Wintergreen and Beech Mountain. Click on any of the images below to Enlarge!

1.3″ of snow fell at Wisp Resort. Click to Enlarge
A nice shot of a TRACE of snow atop Cataloochee’s Lift cam this morning! Click to Enlarge
So nice to see Massanutten getting in some serious snowmaking!
Canaan Valley got the base camera running again and they are looking awesome!
Wintergreen received a surprise 2″ of snow and looks like a winter wonderland!

BE SURE TO CHECK the SNOW REPORT for slopes open, snowfall amounts and more across all of the region.

Some Quick Notables …

It was REALLY great seeing some serious snowmaking going on at every ski area in the region as I looked around the region. The kind of snowmaking I was witnessing this morning will get more slopes open at the ski areas that are already operating and it will also open up those resorts that have not opened as yet.

The natural snow we’ve all seen today is definitely triggering the webcam views again today. These last two bursts of 1-2″ have pushed a ton of new users to our network. We saw nearly 250,000 users on November 28th and so far this morning we’re already seen over 11,000 users and that was as of 9:30am! Crazy stuff!

When I looked at our analytics at 8:30am we were seeing 2400+ active users LIVE on the webcam server! Can’t wait to see what Sunday-Tuesday are going to do!

Those cameras are catching some sweet photos – especially the new 1080pm versions.

Here’s a bit of inside info – when and if the big snow hits this weekend, you’ll want to save this link to check out the Eagle’s Nest camera once the snow has cleared. The view will be amazing!

Welcome to the Network…

It is always great to hear from new contacts at television stations within our area. Welcome to Shelby Heary of WLTX News 19 out of Columbia, South Carolina who just called in.

She started the conversation by saying, “We are seeing your webcameras all over the place and just wanted to get in on all of the great streams.”

So nice to be noticed…

Resort Mentions…

Cataloochee Ski Area – Tammy Brown is reporting a TRACE of natural snow, but good GRACIOUS they made a ton of snow yesterday and last night. One look at their base cam showed a guy shoveling the steps this morning just to get people to the lift. They are open with 6 trails again today and they are making snow on additional trails as well.

Tammy shared, “Waiting to see what the storm will bring but in the meantime making an incredible amount of our own!”

Today is Family Day and a child 17 and under receives a free lift ticket when accompanied by a paying parent for day or half day skiing today.

Snowshoe Mountain leads the way with 20 trails open today and another 2″ of natural snowfall over the last 24 hours…taking them to 21″ on the early season snow tally.

Shawn Cassell shared:

“Not only did we get another inch and a half from Mother Nature, but the cold temperatures and little to no wind have made for a productive night of snowmaking. It’s going to be another awesome day on the mountain with upslope snow showers expected to continue into tomorrow. We’re still shooting to open the Western Territory sometime this weekend if all goes well. Please use caution as snowmaking may be in progress on some open slopes today.

Snowmobile tours will be running this Friday-Sunday, and then daily starting December 14th.

 

Massanutten Resort – 28° and snowing HARD there. So nice to see the temps dive and some serious snowmaking happening. The reports from nearby are reflecting 1″ of new snow. Kenny Hess and his team are sharing:

Our snow makers have been hard at work covering the Ski Slopes and Snow Tubing hill in snow! It is warm and sunny today, but the forecast throughout the rest of the week looks cold! Our tentative plan is to open the Ski Slopes and Snow Tubing on Saturday, December 8 from 9 am – 5 pm.

Canaan Valley Resort – is looking VERY pretty this morning and it looks like their IT peeps figured out the cam issues as both are running. They are reporting about 1″ of new snow and MAN they are creating some whales. 18.9″ of natural snow on the season.

A Resort With Too Many Mentions….Timberline Resort

I have to preface this bit of “information share” by saying that I have heard nothing except that Timberline Resort WILL OPEN and that they are making snow. They are obviously dealing with a lot of issues…but I will tell those of you who have not been around the ski industry for a long time – ‘issues happen’.

I have read many recent news articles about the issues surrounding Timberline and I will share that we have received MANY emails from people who live at Timberline and they are not happy.

I will admit that I have personally been slow to make contact with the owners – because quite frankly they have their hands full enough, without having to answer to questions that we might have. I HAVE HEARD from one of the owners personally and they informed me that they will open and that they want to get their webcam LIVE, etc. We expect that to happen shortly.

Timberline’s lodge area looks great

By the way, there are OTHER ski areas in the region that are not even making snow yet and they are not catching ‘hell’ from the masses.

However I can tell you that the residents and fans of Timberline are restless and there are many clamoring that Timberline needs new owners and management.

Some of the more vocal residents are taking to social media with their message.

I have received many negative emails (and photos) and to be honest, I just don’t support throwing anyone under a bus or kicking someone when they are down.

Ouch….click to enlarge photo taken Saturday after a local placed a ‘Sell Tline” sign.

I will also share that over the years I have heard many of the same complaints about ‘this or that resort is always the last to open and the first to close’. I’ve heard about how ‘XYZ resort should sell and allow a good management team to step in’.

Residents recently posted the sign above on the snow at Timberline to send their own message of dissatisfaction. I get it. We all want our favorite ski hill to be open first, with every slope open with tons of snow; and we want the provide perfectly groomed conditions every day; and we want them to be the last ski area to close. We want the best food services – maybe serving prime rib at $2 a plate – and we want, we want, we want.

I say unless and until you are ready to cough up the bread to buy a mountain, you should just chill and “rent it” one day at a time with a lift pass.

I will also admit that (in the past) I have been a pretty harsh critic of a ski resort or two. Passion gets in the way when you love a place and see it struggling. However, as fans of a ski area we really on have a few choices. Either:

  1. Find a way to contribute to whatever remedies are needed to make your favorite mountain a better place. Maybe volunteer to help clean up, paint, build, etc.
  2. Offer to buy the place or assist in finding a buyer. (Everything in life is for sale and deep pockets will make any ski area better.)
  3. Find another favorite ski hill. Sometimes hard when you own property right next to the one you’re troubled over.
  4. Buy your own ski mountain. Be ready to hear complaints. It’s a thankless position to be in.

 

Welcome Rudy Ryback

Rudy begins his run at handling the snow reporting and FirsTrax duties tomorrow. I’ll be back with you each weekend and Holidays. Looks like Saturday and Sunday I’ll be talking about more pleasant things like SNOW and a lot more resort openings.

 

 

 

Until next time.

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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 close to 14,000 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.