Anywhere from a Foot to 17″ of precious SNOW fell across the entire region beginning on Monday, January 3rd. Two rounds of snow this week dumped powder conditions at a lot of the Southeastern ski resorts. The lowest snow totals we saw from the week of snow came from over in Maggie Valley and Sapphire Valley where they picked up just 3.5″ of snow. Everywhere else got dumped on.
The photo of the day (up top) is from this morning atop Sugar Mountain’s Oma slope at Sugar Ski & Country Club
We’ve got lots of great snow news to share, but let’s get to the best of the best first. Shawn Cassell of Snowshoe Mountain sent me this broll clip of the powder skiing and snowboarding at Snowshoe on Friday. I cut it down to the best parts, but check THIS OUT….
Was THAT SICK!?!?!? or WHAT?!?!
Guests were reporting comments like this one from Weston Angel:
“So many people were crashing and tumbling today and laughing and loving it the whole time. I saw one dude disappear when he went down!”
That is what it is all about.
What a Difference five days can make!?!? A Winter Wonderland Awaits At Every Ski Resort in the Region
Thanks to Matt Laws for his yeoman’s work these last few days. When I handed the reporting duties off to him this past Sunday, January 2nd, there were only TWO ski resorts open and operating in the region with minimal trails available. We were in a snow drought of unparalleled proportions. Even usually snowier mountaintops like those of Canaan Valley had only seen 13.1″ of snow on the season. Beech Mountain Resort and Sugar Mountain had only received BARELY 1″ of natural snowfall and daytime temperatures on Saturday, January 1st were in the 60s and 70s.
Fast forward to today, and now Canaan Valley Resort is reporting 29.1″ on the season; Beech Mountain and Sugar are now at 14″ on the season and temperatures have been allowing for around-the-clock snowmaking at every resort in the region.
That mad turnaround had Matt and our SkiSoutheast team scrambling just to keep up with the worldwind of announcements and video & photo shares.
As I said, what a turnaround.
We went from TWO ski areas and 16 slopes open on Monday to every ski area with the lone exception of Sapphire Valley open (15) and 176 slopes open across the region – in a matter of five days!
North Carolina’s resorts are offering 50 trails open; West Virginia has 89 available; the Virginia ski areas are open with 25 slopes & trails and Wisp in Maryland is open with 7 slopes and Ober Gatlinburg in Tennessee is open today with half of the slopes (5).
By the way, TODAY is Ober’s opening day for the season. OBER GATLINBURG POSTED:
“Opening Day will be like none other! An idea born from BlackStrap’s mountain town roots, BlackStrap wants to amplify the stoke for winter. #F1RSRCHAIR PROJECT is partnering with Ober Gatlinburg to give away a free custom BlackStrap Single Layer Tube face covering to the first 50 skiers/boarders in line at the lift on Opening Day. Share your F1RSTCHAIR experience by tagging #F1RSTCHAIR on social”
With all this wintery goodness, there will be 35 trails open on the mountain today; 6 machine-groomed trails and 29 natural snow trails! These trail openings are subject to change, so we encourage you to check the Trail Report on our website at canaanresort.com/trail-report for more up-to-date trail conditions and openings.
Frozen Falls Tubing Park is open. Slopes to come soon? 3/5″ of snow.
WE ARE ALL ABOUT SNOW AND ACCURATE REPORTING
There are countless ski reporting websites on the internet. We look at them occasionally and I am always caught off guard when I see grossly inaccurate reporting of slope openings and particularly about reported snowfall totals. Some of my closest allies have often questioned WHY I am so protective of natural snow reporting. They’ve asked ‘why do you care about what a resort reports when it comes to natural snowfall numbers?’
My answer has always been, “For the same reason that some ski areas over-report the heck out of them. Snow excites the masses and it is the marketing card that trumps all others for ski resorts.”
However, it goes a little deeper than that honestly. For the most part, most ski resorts report snowfall very accurately. So when one, two or three over-report it, it just seems unfair. Consider this: SkiSoutheast.com and ResortCams.com average “X” visitors a day. When it SNOWS, the number of visitors can be TEN TIMES our daily average. Why? Because people want to see the snow. They want to know WHERE it snowed and they may very well make a decision as to WHERE to go ski, snowboard and spend their money on WHERE the most snow fell.
When one resort is honest and accurate and reports 6″ of snow, and another (which might have gotten 6″) reports 10″ – they do it because they KNOW it will pull more people to their ski area.
We’ve operated this website for 26 years now and we’ve implemented every resource possible to gain accurate snow totals. That includes NWS reporting stations (where possible), independent snow spotters and even some volunteer on-snow reporters who we recruited at various resort locations. Those volunteers email or text us, etc.
NOW, as technology continues to improve and weather stations and cameras are at just about every location, we can acquire even better (and more accurate) data.
Our crack team continues to provide the seasonal snow totals for every ski area. You can find those season-long totals on the SNOW REPORT. We also archive every season’s snow totals so you can look back a dozen years or more simply by clicking on ANY ski resort of your choice and then clicking on the MOUNTAIN STATS link.
Here are example links and you can find these for EVERY ski area in the region:
We will be adding more links per resort for all of the LIVE CAMS and WEATHER content soon. Also, for those of you who enjoy data, Kenny Griffin has provided us with this quick glance link to ALL of the ski mountaintop locations for RAW DATA for precip, snow and more. Check it Out.
So if you’re looking at a ski website other than SkiSoutheast.com and you see that they are reporting more snow than what WE are reporting…just know that the numbers we share are accurate.
Over the last three weeks we’ve been made aware of mishaps, accidents and incidents that have occurred at four ski areas within our coverage. We really appreciate those of you who have sent us links and more in an attempt to share news. The truth is, anytime someone straps two slats under them (or one if you are a snowboarder or on a sled) and purposely aim it down a steep slope – accidents will happen. Ski lifts will stop working at every ski area from time to time. Power outages happen in inclement weather. Some people, through no fault of their own – and too often through just being stupid – will get hurt and worse.
These kinds of things happen at EVERY SKI RESORT in the world. Hardly a day goes by at a ski resort that the ski patrol isn’t called in to rescue or assist someone in trouble.
I have been asked WHY we don’t report on those things. I have even been accused of hiding that kind of news. The fact is, if we started down that path our website would look like a police blotter, simply reporting each accident, dislocated knee or broken bone at every resort.
Here at SkiSoutheast, we are about the JOY and exhilaration of skiing and snowboarding. There’s plenty enough negative news in the world and plenty of resources to go find that news. If you’re into train wrecks and disparaging news…you can find that elsewhere.
That will do it for me today. Sunday will have more weather updates and we’ll do a video tour of the region once those snowmaking crews pull the trigger.
Email me at [email protected]
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