Varying Cold – Varying Conditions Across the Southeast and Mid Atlantic Ski Resorts

Good Morning All! Due to Old Man Winter’s horrible attitude thus far this season, we’re still in a bit of an “early-season” mode ourselves. Yours truly has been fighting various plagues such as strep, stomach bug, head cold and now a chest cold – all in the last three weeks, so bear with me as I combine this morning’s report on SkiNC and

We posted a ton of photos last night and some of my office staff will be helping to upload the rest today, so be sure to check out the photo galleries on each of the resort’s pages of

…and a GOOD MORNING IT IS – at least for most of the ski areas. That roar that you might be hearing across the region (just above the roar of applause from ski and snowboard enthusiasts) is the snowguns that are blasting the slopes of most of your favorite ski areas. We’re going to look at this as a “glass half full” scenario, but we have to report that five of the seventeen ski areas across the Southeast and Mid Atlantic were not able to make snow due to temperatures slightly out of range. Those that were not able to make snow were, Appalachian, Cataloochee, Sapphire Valley, Wolf Laurel and Ober Gatlinburg. As you can see, all of those resort are in North Carolina and Tennessee.

Ski Beech, Sugar and Hawksnest Resorts in North Carolina ARE STILL MAKING SNOW as of this writing (9:28am) and that is great news to all concerned. All of the ski areas north into Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland ALL made and/or are making snow and you can expect those guns to continue blasting away as long as temps allow!

While I am writing this update I am touring the live cams and it looks p-r-e-t-t-y nice out this morning. A handful of riders are enjoying Ski Beech this morning and its making me fairly jealous.

Enjoy the nice conditions today. We have some under-developed snow coming our way for Thursday through Saturday. There is some chances that some of the higher elevations may see some snow mixed in. Some better chances of natural snow come in Sunday evening and again on Christmas Day. The temps will be borderline for some areas and perfect for others – regarding snowmaking. Depending on your travel plans, check the forecast and slope conditions.

The bottom line is that we’re going to ride a bit of a weather, roller-coaster for the next few days, but the end result should be some decent Holiday Skiing. Hopefully some sustained cold air will come in with Santa’s visit!

Various Notes In Random Order —

David Harrison, a long time friend to SkiNC / SkiSoutheast and an old Gainesville, Florida ABC TV guy, wrote us this morning. He said, “Hey Mike! The local weather guesser from FOX 35 here in Otown (Orlando) has been saying you can only ski out west right now. He’s been saying it for a few days. I emailed him tonight (I’ve enjoyed a few holiday cocktails) and told him he’s wrong and to check He did, replied, said sorry, and then said on air that he’s wrong and told people there’s manmade snow on the hills in NC and to check SKINC.COM! Have a Merry Christmas! I’m thinking snow for everyone near a mountain!”

Thanks tons David…we’ll have to get that XXL Hoodie ordered and to you for that one!

Wolf Ridge not Updating – Several people have written us about Wolf Ridge Resort having not updated their website since December 12th. They’re still going through some growing pains over there. They really have a good group over there, but YES they do have to make updating the conditions a better priority. We’re pushing them a bit on that end. They are still reporting more trails open than they actually have. As mentioned before, they did not make snow last night, and they are only open from the Mid Station down with 3 trails for day and night skiing.

Snowshoe Mountain – Andrea Smith writes, “Over 100 snow guns are helping to blast out future terrain and add to the current base this morning. Only Grabhammer in the Snowshoe Basin Area was not groomed overnight. The Skidder, Powder Monkey, Ballhooter, Grabhammer and Powderidge lifts will be running today from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Snowshoe Area. The Cascade, Mountaineer and Magic Carpet Lifts will be running today at the Silver Creek Ski Area from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Stay tuned to as we expect the new Soaring Eagle Express lift to begin flying soon! The first 100 people to ride the lift that morning will enter a raffle to win several gifts including ipods!

Wisp and Canaan Valley Photos – For those of you who don’t get a lot of looks at Wisp Resort in Maryland or Canaan Valley in West Virginia, we posted quite a few photos into their Photos of the Day directories. Remember that you can click on any resort link on the front page of the website and then click on the Photo of the Day graphic to see all that we have posted this season. It’s a GREAT way to see what the conditions are like throughout the season.

The Canaan Valley images were from their Jeep Rail Jam that took place December 9 and 10th. Thanks to David Cooper for those!

Speaking of Photos of the Day: We have been uploading all of your early season submissions and even though they have been showing on the front of the site as well as the main Photo of the Day pages…we didn’t realize until last night that our photo of the day link on each resort page was still showing all of last season’s photos! You can still get to those but NOW all of the newest resort photo submissions can be seen! Such is life with a website that contains more than 1200 pages!

Which Resort Has the BEST Terrain Park – It’s really too early to ask that question since so many resorts don’t have all of their terrain open, etc. Additionally, that decision should be decided by those of you who are true terrain park aficionados. However, IF there is a better park right now in the Southeast than that which is at Appalachian Ski Mountain…I want to see it. Top photographer, Mark McKelvy sent us some amazing shots and you’ll want to check those out!

Ski Beech Tweaks their Freebies – Numerous people have emailed us about the fact that Ski Beech is no longer offering their freebie days…at night. In previous seasons, for example, Thursday was Men Ski Free Day. They could ski any session, day or night for free. Now, Beech has tweaked that to only be available during day skiing hours. To be clearer, actually none of the freebies are available during this Holiday period…so the freebie and discounted ski days are not available again until January 2nd. However, at that point Ladies Day, Men’s Day, Two for Tuesdays and Retro Wednesdays, etc are only available during the day sessions. A few people asked us to question Beech as to “WHY” they would do that. One young, Appalachian State student wrote, “We have classes during the day and that was so great to be able to hit the slopes at night. What gives?”

Well, my young economics major, we’re not going to trouble Beech with that question because after all ANY FREE SKIING is more than any or most of the other resorts are doing. Ski Beech obviously looked at their data from the last few years and figured out that the freebie days made sense during daytime hours…but not so much so at night. Perhaps more day skiers were bringing ladies on men’s day and vice versa, but the nighttime skiers and riders were not. Maybe the daytime skiers and riders spent money in the shoppes, cafeteria and restaurants, and the night skiers and riders didn’t. Regardless, Beech is STILL offering a lot of freebies and discounted ski days that most other ski areas don’t so we’re here to say “thanks Beech”.

That’s going to do it for this morning. Be sure to check back for more photos and news throughout the day.

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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.