6″ of Snow Has Fallen; It’s Official – It’s a White Christmas in the Mountains!

FeaturedFirst Trax

Merry Christmas Everyone! Check the SNOW REPORT for all the slopes open at each resort and ResortCams.com for all of the beautiful snow and snowmaking that is happening across the region.

(The video at the top of this story is from Wintergreen Resort and it was actually shot in 2015 but it shows the magic of winter and Christmas on display at each of our resorts.)

I’ll admit just a little bit that I used one of those “click bait”-esque titles to get your attention. However, 5.7″ of snow DID fall overnight in Wild & Wonderful West Virginia’s Tucker County – home to Canaan Valley Resort and Timberline Resort – AND at Snowshoe Mountain.

The coldest temps I found this morning was at the top of Beech Mountain’s 5506′ elevations where it was 5° at 8:30am. The “mildest” temperature I saw this morning was a 23° reading at Sapphire Valley (also within the state of North Carolina).

Those frigid temperatures are JUST what the doctor ordered and every ski area that wants to make snow CAN BE now throughout the entire week or more ahead. The fact that temperatures are going to be so awesome for the period ahead HAS prompted a few resorts to delay cranking up the snowguns a little later today to allow their snowmakers some quality time with their families. Appalachian, Wisp and Wolf Ridge are among the ski areas NOT making snow already. Trust me, they will crank them up in a bit.

[Editor’s Note: As of 9:56am, Wolf has the snowguns blasting.]

Wisp could be just allowing God to do His thing as 5″ of natural snow fell overnight and it is still BOMBING SNOW right now.

Click to Enlarge this Snowy shot from Wisp this morning! [As I write these posts, I am often checking in on LIVE updates and man as of 9:30am the snow is just hammering Wisp Resort! Check it out!

Snowing sideways and even upside down at Snowshoe at 2am. Click to Enlarge!

Other than those previously mentioned ski resorts, the rest of the ski mountain ops are making snow like crazy. It is more than just a bit windy, but the conditions are otherwise perfect for snowmaking. I was up at 2am, doing my “Santa gig” and it was snowing. I checked the cams and it was snowing sideways and upside down at times up at Snowshoe. Snow was falling quite gently and “snow-globe-like” at the magical resort known as The Homestead in Virginia.

Homestead at 2am. Click to Enlarge.

Some of the accummulated snow totals at various resorts may appear somewhat less than the official numbers as everything is quite wind blown. However –

We Officially Have a White Christmas!
Here are the “Snow Notables”:
Snowshoe Mountain saw 5″ of new snow and it’s still snowing pretty well this morning. Check out the LIVE CAM at Silver Creek.

Winterplace Resort is reporting 2″ of new, natural snow and they are making snow.

Beech and Sugar are reporting 1″ of snow.

As we reported/predicted the other day, Sugar was making snow on Oma’s and that is great news to owners and renters of Sugar Ski & Country Club units. Another 24-48 hours and they will be skiing in and skiing out.

Check the SNOW REPORT for all of the details and if you are planning to hit the slopes today, pay attention to special hours at some mountains.

Canaan Valley is open for Day Sessions Only today
Timberline Resort is Open Christmas Day noon until 4:30pm.
Sapphire Valley is Open noon til 8pm.
Oglebay is Open noon til 9pm.
Ober Gatlinburg is Open noon til 7pm.
Massanutten Resort is Open noon til 8pm.
Bryce Resort Open 11am til 7pm.
Appalachian Ski Mountain is Open 1pm til 10pm.

Wolf Ridge Resort – May be closed Christmas Day. No report. Also, surprisingly even the snowmakers have this morning off as the snowguns are not firing at Wolf despite the 9° temperatures. They previously reported that they will be making snow today.

Wisp Resort in Maryland is also reporting 5″ of new snow and they are not making snow despite 17° temps. They are open for night skiing tonight as well as tubing.

Sugar Mountain – saw about 1″ of new snow and they are making snow, however they have not updated their snow report either online or on the phone. So we’d suggest calling ahead. They are usually open on Christmas day, but call ahead. (Looking at their LIVE CAM shows that they are closed this morning. Our guess is that they will be OPEN around noon til 10pm.
Planning a Ski Getaway for this Week?!? Check out these suggestions for a great time on the slopes!
First, let’s cover the obvious. It will be one of the coldest Christmas-to-New-Year weeks in recent memory with highs in the 20s and lows near 10° several nights at several mountain tops. Snowshoe Mountain and the WV ski resorts are all looking at bursts of natural snowfall throughout the week and into next weekend. How much? That’s anyone guess this far out.

The NC ski areas are looking at slightly milder temps – with “milder” being lows in the low 20s and upper teens. There are strong chances of at least some “ambiance snow” for all of our ski communities over the next week, so the first suggestion would be to bring your smiles.

Obviously bring several layers of ski clothing, hand warmers, hats or boggins and face masks. Googles will be a premium this week. We kind of think that some ski areas may be making snow during open sessions at least early in the week. You can thank me later.

If you don’t have thinsulate glove liners, get some. They are great for adding that extra layer of warmth for the fingers…when combined with a loose fitting outer shell/glove. I know a lot of people will recommend mitten-style gloves but I’m not a fan. Regardless, keeping your hands and face warm will add tons of enjoyment to your getaway. Those guys running around with ice covered, red faces might look like they are tough or having fun, but trust me, they’re hurting or will be when they get back inside and the blood starts getting to their ears again. A good balaclava ski mask is well worth even the high prices at the ski areas.

Frozen toes are another “buzz kill” if you’re trying to have an awesome time on the slopes. When the temperatures nosedive into the teens like we’re expecting this week – those hard-plastic ski boots won’t do much to feet your feet warm. I’ve seen many people make one or two trips down a mountain and have to call it quits because of painfully, frozen toes. Don’t allow cold toes to keep you a prisoner to the lodge.

The most common mistake that newbie skiers make when it comes to ski boots is they get them fitted too tight. Many people think “tight” means more stable on the skis.


Your boot needs to be sturdy enough to withstand the forward-press of your shins throughout your turns, but that support needs to come primarily from the boot fit, not from tight buckles. Tightly clamped boots cuts off circulation, restricting blood flow and resulting in cold feet. When blood is flowing, your feet stay warm.


This might just be the most important strategy to prevent cold feet. Don’t even think about wearing a pair of cotton socks pulled blindly from your dresser drawer. If you want your feet to stay warm and dry, you really need a pair of socks that are specially designed for ski boots. Look for socks that are knee-high, breathable, moisture-wicking, and of thin or medium weight. A thin pair of socks that fit well and up your shin (well above the boot top and into your ski pants or leggings) will often do the trick.

I know some people insert footwarmers (like handwarmers for your feet) into their boots but be careful as they can get too hot and hurt you or cause your foot to sweat – which makes your feet colder. Some ski shops might carry heated socks from “Heat Factory” that feature a pocket for the warmer.


I’ve never had my legs get cold when skiing – even when making turns top-to-bottom at Beech Mountain Resort when the wind-chill was MINUS 30°. Everything ELSE was frozen, but my legs were just fine. In recent seasons, I’ve begun to wear a pair “Hot Chillys” under my ski pants just for those colder days when snow is on the chairlift, etc. Keeping your legs warm will help to keep blood flowing to your toes.

If you’re lucky enough to be staying at a lodge or unit with a fireplace, place your socks and boots close to the heat – enough to get them warm and dry. (Not too close though for obvious reasons.) Starting your morning with warm and dry socks and boots will get you further into the ski day.
So you want to know the next, most common “mistake” that most Holiday week skiers and snowboarders make?

Two words…sleeping in. I know that many of our regular readers will cringe to see me sharing this tidbit of news. However, longtime skiers and snowboarders will tell you that even on the busiest Holiday weekends of skiing, if you get out on the snow by the moment they drop the ropes (9am on the dot) you can usually ski or ride top-to-bottom and never have a wait to get back on the chair and do it again…until everyone else begins to hit the slopes in masses by around 10:45am or so. Trust me, you can make four or five runs down the mountain by 11am while everyone else fights long lifts lines trying to get four or five runs down all day long.

This morning at 10am at the bottom of Snowshoe’s Ballhooter lift. No wait this early! Click to Enlarge!


That will do it for me today. I want to say “thank you” for making this website a daily stop in your day. Pass the word or email a friend to pay us a visit. Also if you haven’t done so already, check out the messageboard. We have lots of industry insiders, ski patrol and instructors and lots of fellow skiers and snowboarders who are on there every day. Click over, join in on the conversation. It’s fun and it’s free.

Also check out all the Ski Resort Live Webcams and our Skier’s Weather

Email me anything, anytime at [email protected]

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