Sunday is always my day to simply ramble. So let’s jump in.
We’re seeing a mix of very light snow falling, with some reports of a mix of sleet and even some freezing rain across really our entire coverage area. All of the resorts made snow over the last 24 hours, however only Sugar Mountain was in the process of making snow as of 5am-6am this morning. (Yes, I was up looking around…)
Only Wisp Resort in Maryland is sharing significant snow (1″) overnight. Sugar Mountain is reporting 1″ as well, but we’re thinking that was an adjustment from not reporting it the day before.
I saw light snowfall happening at Wolf Ridge Resort, Cataloochee and Snowshoe as I looked in on the LIVE cams, but nothing really is expected in the way of accumulation anywhere in the region.
While there are some significant clouds in the region, precipitation is pretty light, whether it is slightly under-developed snow (rain) or sleet and snow. Sunday looks like one of those days where for the most part you can hit the slopes and stay pretty dry. However, depending on where you are riding the snow today, you could be dodging some rain-drops or wet snow, etc.
I’ll leave the real weather share to the pros and our own Meteorologist Brad Panovich, but from the looks of the radar this morning and from the looks of this system of moisture moving out of the region, our Sunday should be relatively dry after 11am or so.
Highs will range from the upper 30s to low 40s across the mountain communities today and that means NO snowmaking while you are skiing or riding. Conditions should be nice for playing on the snow.
BE SURE TO CHECK THE SNOW REPORT FOR ALL THE DETAILS as more slopes are opening daily now. Snowmaking has been ongoing more often than not over the last 2-3 weeks at about every resort in the region – with few exceptions. So base depths are in great shape and the temperatures for the next few days are looking to be very seasonable for this time of year with highs in the upper 30s and low 40s, and lows in the mid-to-upper 20s at night (allowing for more snowmaking at most resorts).
As we get closer to Christmas Day, things are STILL looking quite cold, with chances of a mix to Snow on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and quite cold the following week. That is a GREAT setup for a quite prosperous Christmas-to-New-Year week for all of the ski areas in the region. We’ve mentioned this many times in the past, but for those of you who are new to this website, the approaching Holiday week can provide up to 35% of a ski resort’s revenue for an entire season. It should be a quite busy and successful week this season!
I’m certain Brad Panovich will update us for what to expect for the approaching week, but things do look pretty great weather-wise. There does appear to be a couple of days in the long-range forecast that could bring snow, a snow/rain mix, and also lots of sunny skies. So all in all, pretty great.
Again, I’m jumping around…
Darren Prasinos – shared via YouTube on Saturday.
“Great report Mike. We’re at Snowshoe today looking forward to great conditions for our first days of riding.”
One of our long-time readers, Debora Rainey shared, “Hey guys, I didn’t see where you have mentioned that Appalachian Ski Mountain is celebrating its 59th season this year. Thought you might want to share that news.”
She is correct. We let that accomplishment go unshared. When App opened for the season on December 3rd, that marked the beginning of this, their 59th season. They were the second ski area to open in North Carolina and did so on December 4, 1968 when owner/President, Brad Moretz’s father, Grady Moretz opened the resorts with the aid of four partners.
So thanks Debora and congrats to the App team!
Speaking of App…did you guys know that they provide private ice skating instruction Thursday-Sundays noon-9pm. Check it out. That’s Cassidy twirling around!
Shout Out to Beech Mountain Parks Crew
They’ve been upping their game this year. Their terrain park is built with beginners, intermediate, and advanced skiers and riders in mind. The Park is located on its own slope off Lower – Powder Bowl, with a fast handle-pull tow to give you all the access with none of the wait.
Thanks to a dedicated crew, the Beech Mountain Terrain Park is constantly changing. With a library of more than 50 features, the Beech Mountain Park Crew is always re-shaping, re-inventing and re-vamping to ensure you always have a fresh set up to check out.
Speaking of checking it out – Here is a link to their Park Report
Winterplace Resort Adding Open Terrain
Hats off to the Winterplace crew for upping their open slope count to 19 for your Sunday Funday pleasure! Conditions will be primo at the Ghent, WV ski resort today and all through the Holidays! They want us to remind you to purchase your lift tickets and rentals in advance for the best deals.
Check out the sweet shot of the slopes from the Mountain House on Saturday!
We reported that they had opened their Snow Tubing and Ice Rink, however at the last minute they had to push that back a bit. Those winter activities will be available real soon! Thanks to “Steven” from Washington D.C. for emailing me about that. (Did you guys know that Bryce Resort is located just TWO hours from D.C.? Steven, I hope you didn’t make that two hour trek to Bryce to go tubing! We owe you one if you did!)
Canaan Valley Resort
Mark Moody was up early this morning as well! He shared, “Opening Weekend continues for a second day out here at the resort. We had such an incredible first day of the season yesterday with an amazing turnout. Friends and families alike took to the slopes and Tube Park to ride down our freshly-groomed mountain. Conditions are looking great, so we can’t wait to continue the fun for a second day. See you on the mountain!”
If you’re reading this and are interested in working at a GREAT ski area, Canaan Valley Resort is still looking to fill several positions for the season. They are looking for Cashiers, help in the Ski Rental Shop, Nature Center, Ice Skating Rink, Ski Gift Shop and many other positions are available.
“Bring your smiles and energy to the team. Enjoy free use of the recreation area at the park, discounts on food and retail areas for you and your immediate family. Plus a bi-weekly paycheck of course!”
Today’s Photo of the Day comes to us from Canaan Valley Resort. Sweet huh?!?!
Cataloochee Ski Area
Several people have asked us about “Tube World” at Cataloochee and whether or not it is open. I wish we had a LIVE cam over there, but yes Cataloochee opened the popular tubing hill yesterday. Tube World is located four miles from the ski area in the town of Maggie Valley, across from Ghost Town in the Sky. (It is NOT located at the ski area.)
We have a new webcam at Massanutten for this season! Heard from Kenny Hess on Saturday that they may be moving it. I love where it’s at, so I can only imagine where their crew wants to move it will be even better!
They did want us to share that – “Capacity limits are in place, so buy in advance to guarantee your spot. We are expecting to sell out today, available remaining tickets can be purchased online.”
Editor’s Note: We’ve been telling you guys that more and more resorts will be doing this. Also, be patient with resorts when you are attempting to book online or through reservations phone banks as they are being inundated.
By the way, Massanutten Resort is ALSO hiring right now. Employment COMES with FREE SKIING AND MORE!
Patience People! Patience!
I told you guys that I’m rambling today. Over the last week I have received an increasing number of emails from potential visitors to various resorts where they have had troubles with online reservations or even getting phone support at various resorts to assist in plans for upcoming trips.
Several things are at play here. One, we are in the midst of a Covid-19 crisis and things are certainly more hectic than usual. Various activities such as lessons, etc. are being limited and they are selling out quickly. Second, ski areas are having some issues with hiring. While that is true early in every ski season, that situation is amplified this season as international help is limited or non-existent. Third, travelers are ready to hit the mountains in HUGE numbers already this season. So there will be delays and glitches. Be patient.
We’ve already heard from many who “drove two hours to find that tubing was closed, sold out, etc.”
We’ve heard from a dozen or more people who have attempted to book lessons at several ski areas only to find out that there ARE no lessons available for December 28th or (insert your own date) because they are already sold out.”
We’ve heard, “I was only on hold for 2 hrs 15 mins to discover this on Thursday and have also received NO response to my emails sent to central reservations. We have paid for housing, lift-tickets, equipment rentals and insurance. Continuing to sit hold again today and was expecting a call back yesterday after Thursday’s call.”
I keep telling you guys – DON’T WAIT TIL THE LAST MINUTE TO MAKE PLANS FOR A SKI GETAWAY THIS SEASON.
Ober Gatlinburg Is Giving Away a GRAND PRIZE!
Rules on how to enter the daily giveaway:
1.) Like this post and our Facebook Page
2.) Share this post (make sure to set your share to “public” so we can see your entry)
3.) Tag a friend who might also be interested in winning!
The Grand Prize is a Ski Vacation for 4! Package includes:
* A Stony Brook Cabin Rentals for a family of 4 (2 adults, 2 children) for 2 nights! (Subject to cabin’s availability- some blackout dates may apply)
* 4 Full Day Ski Area Passes
* Aerial Tramway tickets for 4
* Any clothing and equipment rentals needed
* Lessons in one of our group classes at the Ober Gatlinburg Ski & Snowboard School
*Bonus Prize- 4 Passes to the Gatlinburg SkyLift Park just down the road from Ober. Experience their spectacular new Gatlinburg SkyBridge at the Gatlinburg SkyLift Park – the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in North America – and the expansive new SkyDeck overlooking Gatlinburg and the Great Smoky Mountains. We are thankful for our neighbors!
Snowshoe Mountain Resort
Snowshoe’s rocking right now and up to 31 slopes and trails, snow tubing and terrain parks are sweet.
Omni Homestead Resort
We’ve been getting a fair number of emails asking WHY The Homestead Resort in Virginia is not making snow and WHEN are they going to open.
The answer is pretty simple really. The Homestead ski area is only planning to open for skiing and snowboarding this season Thursday – Sundays and Holidays.
They HAVE made snow and they’ve received 5-6″ of natural snowfall recently. They resort looks beautiful (as usual). In fact, Omni Homestead Resort is arguably the most luxurious and beautiful resort and hotel in the region.
They ARE planning to open for the season on Christmas Eve. With enhancements in snowmaking systems, they can make enough snow to open their core trails very quickly. The forecast at The Homestead Resort is for nightime temps in the 20s beginning Tuesday night and into the teens Christmas night with some chances of snow as well. So by Christmas or the next few days after, they will be ready for prime-time.
We’re All Going To Keep Reminding You!
Wintergreen Ski Patrol would like to remind everyone that masks must be worn at all times when indoors around the resort as well as in lift lines, while loading lifts, riding lifts, and unloading lifts.
Thank you for doing your part to keep ski season safe and all of guests/staff safe while enjoying our beautiful mountain.
Ditto that message from ALL ski resorts!
That’s it for ME for now. You can check out this short video below from 5am or so this morning. I and about six or seven of our crew are planning on skiing and snowboarding at Beech Mountain Resort on Monday if you’d like to join us. We’re just going to be chilling and enjoying some turns – and maybe a fewn brews. Come join us and get in on some videos and photos ops.
Email me if you like at [email protected]