Welcome to 2018!

Skip Jack was amazing first thing yesterday morning!

Happy New Year to everyone out there reading this!  I hope you all partook in some fun celebrations last night.  Here was the scene from the Snowshoe Mountain Village as the clock struck midnight…

I lasted about 5 minutes outside as it was COLD.  Brutally cold.  Yesterday’s temperatures here at Snowshoe didn’t get above 3 degrees all day long.  It only took about 20-30 seconds of taking your hand out of your glove for it to start hurting.  The only saving grace was that the wind wasn’t blowing like the previous day.  That and the fact that the snow was EXCELLENT.

A little bit of powder could be found on the sides of trails yesterday at Snowshoe.

The new year is beginning just like the previous one ended.  Another Arctic blast is creating frigid conditions across the region.  I must say, I have been doing this morning report for 7 years or so now and I am finding it hard to remember a time when we saw bone chilling temps that were this widespread.  Outside of Sapphire Valley where it was 13 degrees this morning, every ski area is in the single digits or has a negative reading.  Even in Virginia, where it is usually a bit warmer, the ski resorts there are seeing some ridiculously cold temps this AM.  This is definitely one of the most intense cold blasts we’ve had in recent memory.

The snowfall at App Ski Mountain yesterday.

The better part of the story this morning is that we also have a little bit of snow to talk about!  The resorts down in North Carolina picked up several inches of snow yesterday afternoon and evening.  Here are the numbers…

  • App Ski Mtn: 2.5″
  • Beech Mountain: 4″
  • Cataloochee: Dusting
  • Sapphire Valley: Trace
  • Sugar Mountain: 4″
  • Canaan Valley: 1.2″
  • Timberline: 1.2″
  • Winterplace: Trace
  • Ober Gatlinburg: 0.5″

There was hardly any moisture in the air, but it was so cold that the snow that did fall was extremely light and fluffy.  The CoCoRaHS stations around the Boone and Banner Elk area of North Carolina were all showing some very impressive snow to liquid ratios.  If only we could have gotten more moisture to work with…

If you are like me, then today might be the final day of your holiday vacation and it’s time to head home.  I don’t want to call it an epic week, but it sure has been amazing for all of the ski areas in the Southeast and mid-Atlantic.  We have a handful of resorts that are 100% open currently and several others are just about there as well.  Given the forecast, the upcoming MLK Holiday is looking like it could provide some of the best conditions we’ve seen in several years.

As for that forecast, it’s pretty incredible to look at.  Once again, it doesn’t look like much in the way of natural snow.  I say that, but then I remember that Canaan and Timberline just saw a foot of snow the other day.  Anyways, the cold is the big story for the week ahead.  Another Arctic surge in a few days will keep us in the freezer.  I am doing my usual look at the NWS forecasts for the ski areas and it is insane to see that all of the resorts won’t get above freezing this week.  You read that right.  We’ve had a week now of basically around the clock snowmaking temps and it’s going to continue for another week at least.

The forecast for Wintergreen…brrrr.

If you didn’t get any skiing or snowboarding in this past week, don’t fret too much.  All indications are that these fantastic conditions will continue.  Another week of around the clock snowmaking just boggles my mind.  Some of the snow piles I’ve seen here at Snowshoe are crazy and I imagine there are similar scenes at other resorts.  We are going to have some seriously deep base depths a week from now after another week or continuous snowmaking.  That and the trail counts are going to be way up there.  I suspect we’ll have more than just a handful of resorts that are 100% open in the coming week.  It’s a good time to be a skier or snowboarder in the Southeast!

Everyone enjoy the first day of 2018!  I wish I was snowboarding or watching college football all day but I’ll be driving 6 hours back home.  It’s been a fun week here at The Shoe but all good things come to an end.  After being away from home for 12 days I’m looking forward to getting back though.  Time to start planning on where to ride this weekend!

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Kenny Griffin
Kenny grew up in Concord, NC, which is right outside of Charlotte. He graduated from UNC Charlotte in December 2010 with a degree in meteorology and joined Ski Southeast immediately thereafter. In addition to his Appnet duties, he helps with day to day operations of Ski Southeast and is also in charge of our sister site, ResortCams.com. In his own words... "I discovered this website a few years back and visit it on a daily basis. I lurked on the messageboard for a while before becoming actively involved and have met some very cool people because of it. Needless to say, I am VERY stoked to be a part of the team and I think I have a unique insight into what people want from the site seeing as I used to be on the outside looking in. I'm sure some people who are reading this have seen me on the mountain before. I am frequently at Beech Mountain and it’s not hard to spot me, as I usually have a camera on my head. I love to document my days on snow and have posted some videos on the messageboard before. If you ever see me out there, feel free to say hey!" You can email Kenny directly at [email protected]