The Message is Getting Bleak…

No matter how talented our snowmaking and resort maintenance crews are – and they ARE VERY TALENTED – they cannot work miracles.

As I am updating this report at 1:40pm on Christmas Eve, I am watching as streams of water come down my driveway from the continuing rain. I can imagine the same is happening at ski resorts across the region.

I have received more updates FROM ski areas…and here are those messages:

Tammy Brown of Cataloochee Ski Area emailed me,

The ski area is open and operating today until 4:30pm.  We are asking folks to call and check to get updated information prior to coming each day.  (The snow tubing park is now CLOSED until snowmaking can resume.)


David Dekema of Snowshoe just emailed me,

Once again we’ve got a good, bad and better news situation.

First the good news. Despite that rain last night Mtn. Ops has been able to hold the line to keep the current skiable acreage open, including Silver Creek, through tomorrow (Christmas) night. The consensus for the few people out experiencing it is that the conditions are better than what they expected.

The bad news. The slopes are going fast. Silver Creek will not last longer than through tomorrow night–so we will anticipate and plan for the trails to close over there after night skiing on the 25th. The basin trails should be fine through 4:30pm Sunday, the 27th, but even that’s not a certainty. We will anticipate and plan for closing the Basin slopes 4:30pm on Sunday. Saturday’s rain could knock us out sooner. It appears certain, given the forecast, that we will not be able make snow to re-open any time before the start of January.

The better news is that the end of the weird winter is in sight. Starting approximately the 31st, we see signs of a clear weather and change that could result in consistent cold temperatures, with opportunities for snow storms finally showing up to help. If the long range forecasts are accurate, when we open back up, it should be with more normal winter conditions leading to us opening more terrain for happy skiers and snowboarders.


Update: 2:59pm: Just got word from Joe Stevens that Winterplace will suspend operations today at 4:30pm until cold air returns.


We are not happy to report this…but it is more than likely that by Monday, December 28th (if not sooner) there will be NO skiing or snowboarding available at any of the Southeast or mid-Atlantic resorts.

Bear in mind that Snowshoe had been able to make snow a number of times and for longer periods than Canaan, Timberline or Winterplace. Ditto that for Sugar Mountain and Cataloochee. For Sugar to already be closed and for the tentative message coming out of Cataloochee…and now the statement from Snowshoe …we’re thinking that it is more than likely that every ski area will be closed for snow ops.


Every ski area has alternative activities planned. We’d advise you to check out those activities available online via their websites. We just checked with Snowshoe and it may be hard to believe but those activities are all but booked up…so we’d suggest that if you are considering something other than skiing to look and book now.


Until next time…

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


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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.