When I sit down to do these FirsTrax reports, one of the first things I do is obviously look out my window as I live within 20 minutes or so of three ski resorts. The next is to do a quick check of temperatures, usually first in West Virginia and then I spot check around. It is never a great thing when the first things I see are foggy conditions and temperatures in the 37.4° to 43° range at some of the highest elevations in the region.

So we’ve got THAT going for us…

Lots of snow is still on the ground everywhere, so the rains have not washed away much of the natural snowfall we had a weekend ago.

Might We See More Snow and Great Cold Temperatures On the Way Again?

Let’s Begin with Meteorologist, Brad Panovich’s Skier’s Forecast for the weekend. I always find it interesting with 70-80 of our readers see his videos before I do these days. If YOU want to be the first to see Brad’s Videos, just SUBSCRIBE TO OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL!

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Brad’s talking a little snow Sunday and Monday! Also NEXT WEEKEND is already looking COLD and that bodes well for Holiday, Christmas-to-New Year skiers and resort travelers.

 

Let’s take a tour of all resorts today…this time alphabetically.

Appalachian Ski Mountain – They are 100% Open and the Appal Jack, Appal Jam, and Appal Top Terrain Parks are open with features for all abilities including a small jump, table top, og rail and medium jump. Ice skating is open as well. Ice Skating sessions: 12-2pm; 2:30-4:30pm; 7:00-9:00pm

In fact, if you’re not yet in the Christmas spirit and in need of a nice boost to your Christmas season – simply take a drive into downtown Blowing Rock with all the Christmas lights and snow everywhere and then head up to Appalachian Ski Mountain (not even 10 minutes away) and take in the ice rink or the mountain. That will get you going.

Beech Mountain Resort – They were playing on 14 of 17 trails Friday, but have pared back to 12 for today – HOWEVER, Beech is NOW open for night sessions as well. Ice skating is open and so is Tubing!

You may also want to visit Beech at 7pm as they host Live music w/ Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band from 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm. Tomorrow…Santa will be at Beech!

(I was particularly happy to see Upper and Lower Robbin’s Run open.)

Bryce Resort – They are open from 9am-5pm (as far as we can tell) with 7 slopes (of 8) open and tubing as well.

Canaan Valley Resort – OPENS TODAY! They are not reflecting that on their website yet, but they ARE open from 9am-4:30pm with 13 trails, serviced by 2 lifts. They are reporting a groomed base of 24-48″.

The trails open include Timber Trail, Valley Vista, and Upper Spruce from the top of the mountain. XC skiing and snowshoeing will now be based out of our cross country pro shop with skiing on the golf course available when weather permits.

The video below is from Justin Harris of Canaan Valley. Take a ride with Justin and Ski Patroller Haze as they get their first turns of the year. The groom looks great, the mountain has tons of snow, and he reports that they started making snow on Meadows 1!

 

Cataloochee Ski Area – They are playing on 16 of 19 trails for day and night sessions. Tubing is open as well. I really liked Tammy Brown’s post about the long run of Meadow skiing. She posted, “It Was a Nice Run but No More Meadow til the Next Big Snow. We knew it wasn’t going to last (all season) and today we say goodbye to the Meadow until the next big snow!”

Tube World, located in Maggie Valley across from Ghost Town in the Sky, four miles from the ski area will be open today for the season and tubing will be from 10am until 10pm with 1 hour and forty five minute sessions available beginning at 10, 12, 2, 4, 6, and 8pm. Cost for tubing is $25 and you must be 42″ tall to tube alone.

Massanutten Resort – They are playing through 9pm this evening with 6 trails and 8 lanes of snow tubing as well. TERRAIN PARKS OPEN
7 FREESTYLE FEATURES ON LOWER NUTTEN-TO-IT.

The video below was shot vertically…so forgive that, but this is a cool new vibe for snow tubing. I see this catching on everywhere.

 

Ober Gatlinburg – Open from NOON until 10pm today with 3 of 10 slopes. Those looking at the SNOW REPORT might think that we made a mistake including the fact that they made snow. That is not a typo…they made snow with their warm weather snowmaking machines. They wrote, “We were able to keep up with our warm temperatures yesterday! We will be watching the weather models closely and waiting for the moment we can turn the guns back on! Cold temperatures are on our Christmas wish list!”

They will open Cub Way, Lower Castle Run, and Ski school will be open with Lessons available starting at Noon. Conditions remain steady from yesterday. The base remains at a 16″-20″.

Sapphire Valley – They will ALSO open today at noon with both slopes and snow tubing.

Snowshoe Mountain – It might be wet today, but these guys are living a charmed life, predicated on all of the advancements that they’ve put in place for snowmaking, etc. They are playing for day and night sessions. 39 trails are open for day skiing and snowboarding and night skiing is open at Silvercreek. Upper and Lower Cupp are open. Upper Shay’s is open. Widowmaker is open. Merry Christmas everyone.

Wintergreen Resort – They are open today with 9 slopes and 3 lifts pon a base of 42″ from 9am-5pm. Tubing is open as well!

I’m really loving this program – 3 For FREE Learn to Ski or Ride This December. Wintergreen makes it easy for you to learn to ski or snowboard this December. As part of Wintergreen Resort’s on-going mission to make skiing and snowboarding more affordable and more accessible, we are introducing a program like no other – 3 Free Learn To Ski or Snowboard!

Winterplace Resort – man they jump right into their opening day with 14 of 27 trails open for day and night sessions AND snow tubing is open as well.

Wisp Resort – 9 of 34 trails open for day and night sessions. They also have their awesome tubing park open.

This video below was shot by Railey Vacations, one of the best rental company’s in the area, but it shows Wisp.

 

LEARN TO SKI COMPLETELY FREE AT WISP RESORT!!

3-Free Learn to Ski or Snowboard Program is back by popular demand. Are you a first-time skier or snowboarder 8 years old or older? Want to get out there with your friends, but don’t want to be a burden? This promotion is for you! 100% Free Includes: Learning Area Lift Ticket, Ski or Snowboard Equipment Rental, and Group Lesson. Valid only: Saturday, December 15 thru Friday, December 21, 2018 9am – 3pm so make sure to register at least 48 hours in advance and get more info at: https://bit.ly/2SQAXPV

After Graduating from your 3rd class: We will offer a $299 18.19 Winter Season Pass as well as a $119 seasonal equipment rental. Graduate products must be purchased by end of business on Monday, December 24, 2018.

Wolf Ridge Resort – open for day and night sessions with a 20-40″ base and 4 of 15 trails open.

Omni Homestead Resort – Scheduled to open December 21st.
Timberline Resort – Scheduled to open December 21st.

Here are some random photos from the last couple of days.

Cataloochee looking great this morning!
Click to Enlarge nice shot of Snowshoe’s Village this morning. Even though it was wet, it’s so pretty!

The images below were sent to us by Bill Nabers of Bryce Resort. Thanks Bill!

Click to Enlarge photo of Locher!

 

That will do it for today.

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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.