6 to 8 Inches of SNOW is in the Forecast!

First Trax


Lots of emails asking about conditions; more asking about weather. Many asked for updates about Wolf Ridge's sale/no sale. Some readers even asked how late into APRIL there will be skiing this season.

You ARE an inquisitive bunch…

Let's talk current conditions; what we expect for the weekend and the weather first and then we'll ramble some.

Here's the trail count at each resort as of this AM: Every ski resort has thin coverage and bare spots and every ski resort has PLENTY of side-to-side skiable terrain.

42 of 60 @ SNOWSHOE – How about an 11° forecasted temp for Thursday night and around-the-clock snowmaking ops beginning later today through the entire weekend.

24 of 32 @ WISP RESORT – Icicles on the webcamsand 29° this AM. Slopes looks pretty decent.

19 of 27 @ WINTERPLACE – Open terrain looks decent and they are talking up the cold temps headed in tonight and early on Thursday.

13 of 42 @ CANAAN VALLEY – Getting some light snow already this morning and conditions are pretty decent today. Will be mucher better with the cold temps coming tonight. 22° low expected.

13 of 40 @ TIMBERLINE – Some light snow is falling and cold temps will allow for around-the-clock snowmaking later today through the weekend to open more terrain.

9 of 15 @ BEECH MOUNTAIN – The resort says, "We will continue to aggressively produce snow in preparation for the holiday.  Our customers can expect great snow conditions this weekend."
6 of 10 @ APPALACHIAN – Haven't seen Upper Big Appal closed in January before.

6 of 14 @ MASSANUTTEN – No night skiing til Friday. Some slopes look decent, some not so much. They are doing great considering the weather.

6 of 26 @ WINTERGREEN – They are thinking positive and chattering about a possible 10" snowfall Thursday.

6 of 20 @ SUGAR MOUNTAIN – One look at their base cam and our Sugar Mountain Cam will tell the story. I've seen it worse.

5 of 17 @ CATALOOCHEE – Skiing from the mid-station down.
4 of 8 @ BRYCE RESORT – The Bryce Cam stream is down for some reason.

3 of 22 @ WOLF RIDGE – They were closed on Tuesday. The snow at the bottom of the lift house cam looks good, but you don't ski there. The viewfinder cam hasn't worked since Fido was a pup.

2 of 9 @ OBER GATLINBURG – There's a little snow out there to play on.

2 of 10 @ THE HOMESTEAD – Open to mid station and talking about the 1-3" of snow in the forecast. Likes the 15° temperature forecast for Thursday night even more!

0 of 2 @ SAPPHIRE VALLEY – Closed til Friday.


As you'd expect, the best current conditions and available slopes are up and into the WV ski areas. Beech Mountain has the most open in North Carolina but they too are hurting after all of the rain in the last couple of days. Crossover over to Freestyle is thin, but Powder Bowl looks decent to get to the bottom at Beech. The Virginia resorts are doing the best with what they've got and ready for this cold stretch.

FORECAST FOR THIS WEEKEND…not just the weather but for slope openings…

It probably isn't a surprise to note that every ski area rep is staring at the thermometer and the web bulb temps awaiting that moment when the snowguns can be cranked up. For some ski resorts into WV, Maryland and parts of Virginia that will or could happen tonight. For certain the West Virginia resorts will get the guns on later this evening. For the rest that should happen on Thursday.  We're looking at some of the coldest temps of the season coming in and you will be AMAZED at the conditions turnaround by Friday AM.

…Brad is out in Breckenridge, Colorado this week but still took the time to forecast for us. SNOW IS COMING! So are cold temps.

Brad Panovich is out in Colorado skiing but he's doing his Ski and Snowboarders Forecast from their and he's calling for lots of snow and cold temps for these next few days. The BULK of the heavier snow in the forecast is for those areas that most NEED the snow. Beech, Sugar and the highest elevations of the NC Mountains could see perhaps 6" of so or more of natural snow beginning Thursday early and into Friday morning. Areas of Virginia that have been snow-starved in the last couple of seasons may see 6-8" of snow as well.

See that forecast here: https://www.skisoutheast.com/video-forecast.php

That along with cold temps for Thursday into Friday should make for some nice conditions and lots of fun in the natural snow for the NC, TN and VA mountains and of course the cold temps should make for more slope openings there as well as in West Virginia and Maryland.

Temperatures should be cold enough to make snow each night at the ski areas through the weekend which sure insure more trails opening and vastly improved conditions!

So make those reservations for SNOW FUN at your favorite ski area for this long weekend.



Oh well…at least we know they are paying attention.

On Tuesday morning we commented that the countdown clock on WolfNC.com was fast approaching "ZERO HOUR" when the website claimed that they would be "back". That self-imposed time was midnight Tuesday night or thereabouts.

THEN at 3:35pm, Tuesday, January 15, 2013 the clock has disappeared. It has now been replaced with:

"Our site is currently on maintenance. Please, be patient."


There are TONS of "wolf lovers" out there in SkiSoutheast land. I guess that makes us a part of the "pack" or "rout". Did you know that a group of wolves is a "rout"? Me neither, but they are when the pack is in movement. Movement might be SLOW in this particular pack, but if we are expected to read between the lines then the above request for patience seems to suggest that there is still some expectation that something is still "going down" in "wolf country".

We have received a BUNCH of emails asking us about Wolf over the last week. I received a dozen more today. We really know nothing, because nobody is talking and since the last verbal from Mars Hill informed me that I'd better "cool it" there's been NADA. However you guys are "hungry like a wolf" for information. Here's some of your emails: (I have names and more, but since I've been informed to cool it, I'll just share a minimum and the emails are in my INBOX for anyone to see.)

Annette from Winter Springs, FL asked, "Any news from Ski the Wolf in Mars Hill, NC?"


Carl from North Carolina wrote, "the experience you got on the phone call with English is reason enough to NEVER visit them again…like you, and more many other, we are done with Wolf Ridge."

Gracious I really hope not.

Dr. X from Charleston, SC got lengthy, "Thanks Mike, Finally someone will stand up to Orville.  I am a regular at the Wolf, and this new info makes me seriously reconsider ever going there again.  I like the runs there, and there is so much potential for great expansions, better service, etc.  In fact I learned to ski at the Wolf when I was 2 yrs old, on the bunny hill.  I have been going ever since.  I am now 28 which gives me 26 yrs of experience at the Wolf. Thanks for all you guys do for us Southeastern snow lovers, and happy shredding."

Editor's note: The good doctor went into much more and even got a little personal. Suffice to say he has some insider information.

Doc – I thought Low Country peeps were more laid back than that!

Dean from Atlanta wrote, "I don't think Wolf gives a flip about what you, me or anyone else thinks about their resort. If they did, they'd work with you and others to better get their message out. However the real problem is that there is so much potential there that has always gone unrealized. Since they "expanded" they have only had the entire mountain open maybe 10% of the time since. Weather can be blamed last season and so far this one, but not for the entire period. By the way, I don't think we'll be going back there until we hear from you guys that it's worth giving them another chance."

Dean, Dean, Dean…that is/was not our intention. Every ski area in the region including this pack of wolves deserves your business. The mountain is great when there's snow on it. We all want more out of every ski area we visit. We're selfish that way.

Nancy from Kingsport wrote, "Having been a Wolf fan all of my life with family and friends travelling there for years, I must say that their small minded response to you doesn't surprise me. They're like one of those people that you have to say you'll really like 'once you get to know them'. We've learned to overlook their many faults because we simply love the place. That said, I love your website and have to say that your commentaries on Wolf are unfortunately spot on."


Here's the thing. I don't think we really much commented on much of anything. All we/I did was report what was sent to us. We shared a press release that was posted BY someone at/on the resort. Whether THEY should have posted the press release or not, is not related to this story. We simply reported on what was "out there" and attempted to inquire about it to share that message with our readers who all consider themselves to be "part of the pack".

It's unfortunate that Wolf's management doesn't like or support our right to simply share a message that was sent out from people connected to the ski area. It seems that Mr. English is both frustrated with those who have been sharing the message that they are attempting to purchase the resort AND he's frustrated that the message got to us.

All that is or was needed to put a stop to the rumor-mill is/was to simply call or email us and say something like – Yea, these guys are a bit premature about saying they are the new owners or that they are attempting to purchase the resort. At this time no deal has been struck and we don't know that it ever will.

The problem is that we are being treated as if we are the enemy when ALL we have done is posted the press release and asked about it. When the only response we received was a rude, "You better cool it", then we were left to speculate right along with all other members of this "pack" and wait and see…which is what we and about anyone on that mountain is now doing.

At this time we're going to consider this "just another rumor" – on steroids. Of course THIS rumor was started by someone located ON Wolf Ridge, who posted a website AND a message announcing themselves as the new owner. I'd say that was probably very premature based on what we're seeing at this time.

So the countdown has run its course. The WolfNC.com website asks for patience. The "real Wolf website" mentions NOTHING of this. We'll say that this endeth the mini-series for the foreseeable future and other than sharing the snow report with our readers, Wolf's management has NO INTEREST in our little "pack" here at SkiSoutheast.com so we'll show little interest in them.

Email me your thoughts and reactions at: [email protected]

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