All of the Ski Resorts Looking Ahead to Christmas Day, Weekend and the Days Ahead at 8-12" MORE SNOW!
Merry Christmas Eve – Eve my friends! Around my household several years back, the kids started counting down the eves before Christmas and you can imagine it’s pretty confusing when you’re still several days away from the magical day. However, we’re it’s only two days until Christmas and we’re only three days away from one of the most important days to all ski resort marketing and management staffs – December 26th. That’s the day that tens of thousands of snow-loviing people head to the resorts of the region to begin what for some is a weeklong Holiday getaway.
In some seasons past we’ve all had to "sweat it out" as to whether or not the weather would cooperate and bring enough snow – or at least enough cold temps to make snow – to make for good enough conditions to keep the throngs of people coming. I remember several years back when conditions were pretty tough around the region such that it made for a 30-40% decline in attendance for the Christmas to New Years ski break. It is always a "good thing" when the ski areas get in a great Holiday period and this year’s promises to be one of the best in several years…and for several reasons.
The most obvious reason is the fact that the region’s ski resorts have had a GREAT start to the season with 30-50" of natural snow, and plenty of cold days and nights to lay down some manmade powder and build bases that have ski areas offering most or all of the slopes and trails for us to play on.
The second is the promise of MORE SNOW in the forecast! Check out Meteorologist Brad Panovich’s newest Skier’s Forecast Video! He’s forecasting ANOTHER 8-12" of snow for Christmas weekend and into Monday and Tuesday of next week.
Another reason is that as crazy as our economy is, people have figured out that it isn’t going to get better anytime soon the way Washington is handing out money – so it appears that people are just going with the flow and going on with life as usual. For tens of thousands this week, that means a few days to a week at the ski areas of the Southeast and mid Atlantic.
That’s great for the local ski community economies and those that come will be rewarded with an awesome week of conditions ahead.
YOU’RE STUCK WITH ME FOR A FEW DAYS…
Thanks tons to Sarah Davis, our new Communications Director for doing a great job of handling our morning snow reports and posting up some news each morning. She and all of our team are now off until January 3rd so you guys are back to being stuck with me for a few days. Our team is kind of a small family and we have a lot of our staff that is from out of town and out of state so as kind of a small business benefit we’ve always given our guys and gals the Christmas to New Years week off (with pay) so they can travel and spend time with their families. Sarah’s going to handle things remotely on Monday for me as I’ll be driving to the airport at 4:30am Monday. However other than Monday I will be your tour guide for the week ahead. Fasten your seat belts and I’ll see if I can still deliver you guys safely to your ski destinations.
Let’s Crank This Thing Up and see where it takes us today…
Most of the ski areas saw at least some flurries of snow overnight! Snowshoe, Canaan and Timberline all saw 2" of new snow. The winner in the Snow Lottery overnight is Wisp Resort. They saw 5" of new snow in the last 24 hours and it’s still snowing up that way and into the WV ski areas. For the rest of the region, we’ll see some flurries today and then things are looking pretty sunny for today and Friday as we all await the big snows hoped for on Christmas Day.
I’m dreaming of a White Christmas…
Let’s start up the bus and you guys can sing along as we begin today’s run through the region where the most snow fell in the last 24 hours. Wisp…
Wisp Resort – 18° – They officially picked 5" of snow in the last 24 hours and that is the most we’ve seen anywhere in the region. That takes Wisp to 53" on the season. They will open day with 31 of 32 trails open on packed powder and powder conditions. Only "Loggers Way" is not open at this time. Snow tubing, terrain parks, ice skating and their crazy, great mountain coaster are ALL open. Wisp is another area that more of our readers from the more southern locations need to experience. We’re getting more and more viewer comments from there, and you guys really owe it to yourself to check ’em out.
Next we get Laura’s back…
Snowshoe Mountain – 8° – 2" of new snow and 47" on the season! Snowshoe’s having some tech issues with their online snow report right now, but Laura always does her thing making sure that the word gets out. Her raspy, morning voice enlightned me that they are open today for day and night sessions and with 46 of 60 trails for today. The groomer’s choice trail is "Ballhooter". There’s some terrain park features and snow tubing is open as well as snowmobiling, snocat tours, etc. Shays Revenge (my personal favorite trail at the Shoe) is slated to open Saturday! Good to hear your voice miss Laura! Laura said although the official snow total was 2" in the last 24 hours, it sure looks like more so expect a powder day of fun at Snowshoe.
Note: Man I’m really missing not heading up to Snowshoe for the Holiday break. We’ll see you guys up there sometime in January. Getting the Joneses for some Snowshoe! If there are readers out there who have not made the trek to Snowshoe, you need to make that happen this season. You know who you are! Tell ’em we sent you and they’ll take great care of you. We know that because they take great care of everyone!
Canaan Valley Resort – 15° – 1.8" of new snow and 59.6" on the season with 54" of that coming since December 1st! Yikes! Canaan will offer three more trails opening today to give them 18 of 39 trails. They are open for day sessions only today and offer tubing as well. Ice rink is open too! Awesome conditions!
Timberline Resort – 15° – Not sure why they’re snow report reflects 28°. They and all of the West Virginia ski resorts are experiencing some light snow this morning! Timberline will play on 20 of 37 trails for day sessions only today. Night skiing starts December 26th.
Winterplace Resort – 17° – 1" of new snow and they are reporting no snowmaking. That’s how great things are today with 24 of 28 trails open, terrain parks and snow tubing all in operation. Expect groomed and packed powder conditions today! Missy posted, "Ridgerunner, Buttermilk, Milkshake and Snowfield will open later today! The Hickory terrain park will be closed for snowmaking." She adds, "Open to the Top of the Mountain with something for everyone from beginner to expert!! Check out West Virginia’s Largest Snowtubing Park at Winterplace!!!!"
Next we’ll look at the Virginia ski areas
Massanutten Resort – 28° or so this morning at "The Nut" as we like to call it. okay WE didn’t give it that name but most fans of the resort lovingly call it the ‘Nut. We’re fans and we know several of our readers are so the ‘Nut is looking good for day and night sessions today. They made some snow in the last day or so and should be making more now that temps have chilled a bit. It isn’t quite as cold at the Virginia ski areas as it is both north and south of them. However they WILL be looking great on all 14 trails, terrain parks, snow tubing and everything else you can find at Massanutten!
The Homestead Resort – 18° – WOW! We found a cold spot in Virginia! Not sure how, why or whatever but it is cold at Homestead and they are making snow and open today for day sessions on 8 of 10 trails and snow tubing is open as well.
Wintergreen Resort – 16.8° – It JUST got colder as we found another cold spot. Wintergreen is making snow with their awesome snowmaking plant and will offer 23 of 26 trails and REGULAR SEASON RATES ARE IN EFFECT! How cool is that? Tubing and the terrain parks are open as well. I don’t know about you guys but I like the way Anne Marie Jones turns a phrase. She posts, "We plan to open additional slopes daily with a goal of being 100% OPEN BY CHRISTMAS. Over the next couple of days, we hope to put The Advanced Terrain Park AND Outer Limits on the OPEN list. Opening HIGHLANDS this early is a real treat. Pack up your gear and start heading this way!"
Let’s head to Tennessee. I don’t care if they aren’t next…I have plenty of gas in my tank!
Ober Gatlinburg – 19° – They will be making snow but stop the guns once the slopes open this morning! That’s ALWAYS a nice Christmas present! Ober is playing on 7 of 9 trails, snow tubing and ice skating for today and tonight! They were having some technical difficulties with their webcam but they seem to have ironed those out and things look AWESOME at Ober today!
Since Maggie Valley is a short 45 minute (30 mile) drive from Gatlinburg let’s hit Cat next.
Cataloochee Ski Area – 17° – Trace of new snow and they made snow as well. Expect awesome conditions for your Thursday sessions on all 16 trails and terrain park. The tubing park is open as well!
Might as well head south a bit to Mars Hill.
Wolf Ridge Ski Resort – 23° – a TRACE of new snow – Conditions are awesome at Wolf right now! Expect 15 of 20 trails to be available today. We’re assuming the connector trails are open and Wolf says they will only be making snow part of the day today. Tubing is open today. No on the terrain park. Expect groomed conditions on a base of 75" according to their morning update.
Note: We had a couple of people email us that Wolf is reporting an 80" base elsewhere and they are also reporting 42" of snow on the season and one-inch in the last 24 hours. We’re not sure where you guys are getting that information and we DID see the 1" of snow over the last 24 hours. Unfortunately that is a little inflated as is the seasonal snowfall thus far. We’re certain it’s a oversight. CoCoRaHs actually has an official snow measurer who lives near the top of the slopes and he’s officially reported 23.7" of natural snowfall since November 1st. Those guys have the official, boy scout devices to do all that good stuff. However a second fan of the site actually bought a house from another client of ours who also lives up there and he’s reported 36" on the season to date. Both of those guys reported a TRACE of snow in the last 24 hours. See, that’s where you guys are sooooo valuable! We’ll have to recruit Todd and Matt from up there to give us some triangulation on snowfall!
This was a long way to state that Wolf’s peeps are snowloving people as well and so they a litle overly excited and exaggerate a little. No need to shoot anyone! By the way, we’re going with our fans up there and the 36" of snow on the season. It HAS been a great December and more snow is on the way!
…a little further south…
Sapphire Valley – 25° – OHG! I think this is the first time in my fifteen seasons that RJ and the guys over at Sapphire beat me to the snow reporting this morning! Way to go Sapphire! I’m certain their fans appreciate the early bird reporting! Sapphire is probably making snow now as temps are in the 20s for the first time in a few days. They have both trails open and their popular Frozen Falls Tubing Park.
Driving North and to the higher elevations…
Appalachian Ski Mountain – 18° – They made 2" or so of new, manmade powder on top of a five to seven FOOT base and offer 100% of their terrain for day and night sessions. The ice rink is open as well as 12 slopes including all 3 terrain parks.
Drew Stanley from over at App posted, "Ample cold temperatures coupled with some substantial natural snowfall this December has given Appalachian the opportunity to offer amazing conditions this Holiday season. All slopes, 3 terrain parks, and all lifts are open, and have been since December 10th."
Appalachian offers the only late-night skiing in the region and Appalachian’s new Midnight Blast Holiday Week will feature skiing & snowboarding until Midnight every night from December 26-30. These extended hours are offered at no additional cost.
Beech Mountain Ski Resort – 12° – Beech is making snow right now, however conditions are so good right now that they will not be making snow during day sessions during the Holidays! That’s a nice Christmas present! Beech is 100% with the Oz Run, White Lightning, Southern Star and all my favorite trails – all 15 of them. Ice skating is also open as well as Munchies Snack Bar and the Beech Tree grill, etc. No tubing just yet.
NOTE: I and several of my rowdy friends, staffers and family will be taking it to the slopes of Beech today. We’ll hit the mountain around lunchtime so if any of our readers are up this way, come hang with us some. We’ll doing some photos and videos to share, so come take part.
Sugar Mountain – 11° – Have you guys noticed that Sugar’s temp is ALWAYS 1° colder than Beech’s? Always. Did I say always? Calling Dr. Ray. Dr. Ray to the Sugar weather stations. Oh well, it seems Ray ain’t messing with that station anymore. Hmmmm. A-n-y-w-a-y, Sugar’s looking VERY sweet today with 19 of 20 trails available for your skiing and snowboarding pleasure. The terrain park is now open as well as their amazing ice rink. FYI, the only trail NOT open at Sugar right now is that little trail that comes off of Big Red that connects up to Zoom Yang. I’m not certain I’ve ever skied that one. Most people probably "zoom yang" right past it and take the little connector over to Big Birch on their way down to Lower Flying Mile. Conditions should be awesome at Sugar today.
That’s it for today. Oh wait,,, Bryce Resort…
Bryce Resort – 36° – No snowmaking, night sessions and no terrain parks just yet. They DO offer 7 of 8 trails for day sessions today.
That’s it for today. We’ll be filming some turns at Beech Mountain today and into this evening so if you’re up there look us up! Send us some photos, videos and more to [email protected] or [email protected] – help us spread the word!