The Best Day of the Season So Far…today.

A little snow, a lot of cold, more slopes open! Enjoy! This photo of Wisp Resort shows great conditions.
Sugar was making snow on Oma's this morning.
Sugar was making snow on Oma’s this morning.

As I was compiling the region’s ski resort snow reports this morning, only Sugar Mountain in North Carolina was making snow. The forecast for some of the higher elevations is for temps to actually fall throughout the day so you’ll probably see some other ski areas making snow whenever possible as those temps allow.

Snowshoe Mountain’s official NWS station atop the mountain reported 1″ of new snow overnight and the only other measurable snowfall was atop Canaan Valley, Timberline and a little at Wisp Resort in Maryland.

By the way – as of this posting at 9:30am it is snowing at Snowshoe Mountain…again.

Kenny Griffin just sent me this nice shot looking down Appalachian Ski Mountain’s main terrain park. Pretty sweet. Click Image to enlarge

Kenny Griffin just sent this awesome shot from App this morning. Click to enlarge
Kenny Griffin just sent this awesome shot from App this morning. Click Image to enlarge


Some Rain Did Fall…

Was that expected? I have to admit that I was out of the loop for a few days fighting whatever the newest mutation of cold virus is going around. All I know is that it poured rain for a good part of Friday at our offices on Hwy 105 between Boone and Banner Elk.

Some reporting stations:

1.13″ of rain at Appalachian Ski Mountain

.41″ of rain at Beech and Sugar Mountain

.36″ of rain at Snowshoe. They also received 1″ of new snow. There IS 2″ of snow on the ground still after the rain. Remember they had 7-9″ in the last week.

That rain probably held some people back from heading to the mountains on Friday, but I was up at Beech Mountain around 6pm and the rain had stopped and snow was everywhere. I was admittedly surprised to see snow still laying around on the ground. The town sledding hill was in full swing and of course Beech Mountain Resort’s slopes looked awesome.

Ready for Some Snow?

As usual my cell phone alerts informed me that Vail had another 11″ of snow in the last 48 hours with 9″ of it falling overnight last night and Friday afternoon. Gracious!

Thankfully we’re now experiencing some consistently cold temps that have allowed for some remarkable snowmaking by our mountain operations people. The resorts are in great shape and that will only continue to improve with the next ten days providing LOTS OF COLD and some ambiance natural snow as well. We’re looking at another round of around-the-clock snowmaking ops beginning later today and lasting ALL WEEK LONG so more and more trails will open and conditions will be the best they’ve been all season at your favorite ski hill. So make plans to attend any day from now through the next 10 days or more.

As I said, we should also see a little natural snow…but perhaps only an inch or two at some of the more snow-prone mountains like Snowshoe, Canaan, Timberline and Wisp Resorts. Beech and Sugar could see about an inch or so as well.

Cold is REALLY the big news items of the day as we’re looking at MINUS 2° to MINUS 6° temps Sunday and Monday nights around Snowshoe Mountain with highs in the single digits Monday!

But where is all of the snow? We may see 1-2″ over this weekend in some of the higher elevations. There’s another chance for 1-3″ of so later in the coming week. Maybe.

It seems like this winter is doomed to be a really, really, REALLY strange one for us. All of December we get bombed with moisture and no cold. Yesterday we get from one-half to over an inch of rain and the temps were 5-10° too mild for it to be snow.

Now we have all of the cold temps we could ask for and where is the moisture? Yesterdays 1″ of rain at Blowing Rock would have made for 8-10″ of beautiful snow…if only.

I was looking at David Lesher’s Canaan Valley Weather station data and this season – thus far – Canaan and Timberline have seen 13″ of natural snowfall compared to nearly 70″ of snowfall to this point in the season LAST YEAR. 2014-2015’s snow total of 152.1″ was below their normal of around 180″ +/-.

I logged into the NWS data for Snowshoe Mountain and that reporting station is showing 3″ of natural snow now in the last 24 hours with 2″ of snow on the ground. (Remember there was rain as well.)

Anyway – Snowshoe has seen 20.5″ of snow thus far on the season and that leads the region, but they are a far cry from the 180″ of snow that they usually see.

I guess we just need to be thankful for all of the cold air and the fact that we have the best snow ops teams in the entire world.

Here’s the tour for today with some random comments sprinkled in.
I was watching some natural snow falling on the basin camera at Snowshoe. Check it out.

Snowshoe Mountain Basin Webcam

Shavers Lake at the bottom of the mountain is half frozen over, the snow is falling and it looks so …like it’s supposed to this time of year.

Snowshoe Mountain Resort – They are just showing off now! 1″ of new snow fell overnight to take to 9″ in the last 7 days and now over 20″ on the season. They also 31 trails open with night skiing on the Silvercreek side of the mountain. Snow tubing and snow mobiling are open as well. Snowshoe is looking at some wintry precip today and this weekend as well.

Canaan Valley Resort – They have 11 of 47 trails open as well as terrain park and snow tubing, ice skating and more! They also have about 5KM of cross country skiing terrain open with about 2″ of coverage! Canaan’s website is saying that they are only open for day sessions today, but I think that is a mistake. Pretty sure they are open for day and night sessions.

Omni Homestead Resort – They are looking pretty nice today with 4 of 9 trails open for day and night sessions. Snow tubing is open as well! They are Night Skiing – Tonight from 6:00-9:00 pm – Special rate of $17.66 honoring our founding year!

The ski area will be closed each Wednesday for maintenance. We’re loving the new webcam these days! Omni Homestead Webcam

Timberline Resort – Word has it that Timberline’s Off the Wall slope is opening this weekend. Bet a lot of you guys don’t know that the longest trail in the Southeast or mid-Atlantic is located at Timberline Resort. At over two miles long, it dwarfs most of the trails elsewhere. Timberline has 17 of 39 trail open for day and night sessions. Terrain parks are open as well.

Winterplace Resort – 24 of 27 trails open and looking pretty sweet. Tubing is open as well. Some great acoustical music by Eric Robbins can be enjoyed from 5pm-7pm in the Snowdrift Lounge today and Karaoke at The Winterplace Stage Saturday/Sunday (1/16 & 1/17) from 1pm – 5pm.

Beech Mountain Resort – 12 of 15 trails, terrain parks, ice skating and tubing all open. Snow is in the forecast and conditions are prime.  The resort is currently open with twelve slopes and six lifts. The only slopes not open are the Meadows, Upper Southern Star and Oz Run. On Monday, January 18th, Beech Mountain Resort will offer weekday pricing!!

Wintergreen Resort – 16 trails open, snow tubing and more. Here’s their complete mountain blog:

WOW – From 6 to 16 Slopes!

Open trail count jumps dramatically today with the addition of:  Upper Cliffhanger, Lower Wild Turkey, Hydraulic, Loggers Alley, Lower Diamond Hill, Terrain Park, Upper Sunrise and Tyro.  The Snowmaking and Grooming crew did a fantastic job this week.

Looking ahead cold temps return Saturday night allowing us to re-fire our Snowpower System, refresh our slopes each night and keep working on opening more trails.  Check this blog for updates, there is a chance we could be 100% open by next weekend.  WOW!

Highlights for the weekend include:

Fabulous live music at The Edge on Friday and Saturday
The first Wintergreen Rail Jam
Demo Days with Freestyle
Warren Miller family movie
Plus tubing, ice skating, swimming, hot tubs, great dining, time at the spa, and time with friends!

We are looking forward to a GREAT MLK Weekend, we just need you!

Check out Wintergreen Resort’s Webcam

Massanutten Resort – 12 of 14 trails open today and 14 lanes of snow tubing on their awesome snow tubing park as well. Massanutten has done an amazing job of snow making and maintenance to get the quality product that they have open this weekend. If you haven’t yet visited Massanutten you really should and be sure to check out their amazing water park!

Wisp Resort – They are now open with 17 trails, snow tubing, ice skating, mountain coastering and tons of other fun.  Still loving Wisp’s New Webcam

Bryce Resort – 100% open for day and night sessions with snow tubing open as well! Awesome conditions.

Appalachian Ski Mountain – 100% open, multiple terrain parks, ice skating and don’t forget that App is open til Midnight tonight. We can promise you that there won’t be lift lines at 10pm-midnight!

Wolf Ridge Mountain – They are open with 13 of 15 trails open. That is nearly 100% of the original trails that are now open. Terrain park reopens today as well as tubing!

Cataloochee Ski Area – 100% open on all 18 trails. Terrain parks and tubing are open as well.

Sapphire Valley Ski Area – 100% open with both trails (2 of 2) and tubing. From 11am to 3pm meet Sapphire’s new Bear Mascot! Also take in the Zip Lining Bear in action.

Ober Gatlinburg – 6 of 10 slopes open, snow tubing and ice skating all open. They report, Mogul Ridge, Upper Bear, Lower Bear, Cub Way, Castle Run, and Ski School are open today.  Lower Bear is open with 6 Ober Gatlinburg Freestyle Terrain Park features:  Small Jump, Flat Box, Lift Tower Rail, Smooth Pipe, Dance Pad & C- Box.  Snowmaking will resume as temps allow, hoping to open more terrain as the week progresses. All slopes are machine groomed except for Mogul Ridge.

Sugar Mountain Resort – Open with 12 of 21 slopes and trails b ut of those Oma’s (the old Big Red trail) is open as well as Tom Terrific, Gunther’s Way, etc. So there’s lots of great terrain to play on. Tubing and ice skating are open as well. It isn’t pretty on top of Oma’s right now, but snowmaking has begun there this morning as temps are now falling to some of the coldest temps on the season.


Until next time…

Enjoy your day and THINK SNOW! THINK COLD! Email me anytime and about anything at: [email protected]


Also visit all of our Ski Resort WebCams.

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Mike Doble
Mike is the Editor and founder of, and Since September 1996 he has posted more than 13,000 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.