Today is Sunday. It has been way, mild, right? We even had some rain on Saturday. Conditions are simply terrible, right?!
Perception is a bee-atch, because our resorts had a short snowmaking window earlier in the week, and then most made snow all last night. One night of snowmaking can make ALL the difference in the world these days. Check out this SAHWEET ride, top to bottom from our brother, @CBrookman who shared this video from White Lightning at Timberline Mountain on this past Thursday!
This video will get your juices flowing!
Let’s Dive Into My Sunday Ramble…
Let’s first talk about the great news. After some crappy weather moved across the region Saturday with anywhere from 0.32″ of rain at Canaan Valley and Snowshoe, to plus-or-minus 0.50″ around most of the mountaintops – the temperatures took a nosedive and that cranked up the snowmaking systems at all but three ski resorts in the Southeast and mid-Atlantic. One of those resorts, Bryce Resort in Virginia was experiencing lows that were just outside of snowmaking range. Winterplace Resort was not making snow this morning, but there were out pushing some of those massive snowmaking whales around. Wolf Ridge Resort was not making snow as well.
Temperatures are some 28°-36° colder this morning than at the same time Saturday morning.
Canaan Valley Resort was a bit of a surprise as they were at 20° this morning and not making snow. However, I spoke with Canaan Valley’s Sam England and he shared,
“Mike we had some significant rain in the area yesterday and our local Canaan weather guy reported that we had the warmest, December 11th on record yesterday and conditions don’t look great for this week, so we decided to wait until the next window of opportunity.”
Sam’s correct in that after a cold day today, we don’t have any cold, snowmaking temps in the forecast through at least next Saturday, December 18th. We’re in need of a pattern flip for certain.
The photo below is a capture from Canaan Valley this morning. Click to enlarge it as you can see we caught a deer in the photo this morning.
Despite the same forecast around the region, twelve of the sixteen resorts in our coverage area were still making snow this morning as of this posting (9:30am).
Let’s do a summary today, in alphabetical order.
23° Appalachian Ski Mountain – made snow and open today and tonight with 7 slopes and trails, as well as ice skating.
17° Beech Mountain Resort – made snow and is open today and tonight with 8 slopes. Upper and Lower Shawneehaw, Upper and Lower Robbins Run are among the longer trails open.
32° Bryce Resort – 4 slopes open and they did not make snow. Trails open for Sunday will be Red Eye, Bootlegger, Little Nip, and Bunny Slope. Tubing will also be open.
20° Canaan Valley Resort – Waiting on consistent and colder air. Not yet open.
28° Cataloochee Ski Area – made snow and open with 4 slopes. Day & Night sessions.
29° Massanutten Resort – They made snow and have 3 trails open as well as tubing today. They posted:
A little more winter like today, we got started making snow around 4:00am and will continue as temperatures allow. Mostly sunny with high temps in the lower 40s. We will be skiing and riding on Southern Comfort, Paul’s Way and Diamond Jim today. Early Season rates will be in effect. Snow tubing will be open from 9:00am – 5:00 pm today and 5:00pm – 9:00 pm on Monday and Tuesday. The current plan is to close for skiing / riding Monday – Friday, Dec 13-17 and re-open for the season on Dec 18th weather permitting.
26° Ober Gatlinburg – they are making snow and the temperature this morning is 27° and that is 36° colder than at this time on Saturday morning. That is a welcome sight for all Ober fans!
Check out the ice rink, bumper cars at Ober Gatlinburg. This photo is also our Photo of the Day today, compliments of Ober.
Zoom around and take a spin in our Ice Bumper Cars! If you like bumper cars, experience the thrill of driving them on ice! With the ability to spin 360 degrees, it is a fun way to provide excitement and entertainment for the whole family. So slide, spin, and bump around the ice.
31° Sapphire Valley – they made snow and hope to open December 18th, weather permitting.
17° Snowshoe Mountain – the made snow and will throughout the day when possible. They are offering a region leading 20 trails. Snowshoe posted:
It looks like the weather may get its act together today with clear skies, temperatures topping out just above freezing, and lessening wind as the day goes on. Our fantastic snowmaking team didn’t waste a minute getting the system cranked up as temperatures dropped overnight. Snowmaking will be in progress on some open terrain today as we give things a refresh, so don’t forget your goggles. We’re less than a week away from one of our favorite events of the season – Winter Brewfest!
17° Sugar Mountain Resort – they made snow and have 8 slopes open today and tonight as well as ice skating and tubing are open.
28° Omni Homestead Resort – they made snow and plan to open soon. More than a few of you have asked about when The Homestead will get their LIVE CAM back up and running for the season. That camera appears to have died. We are working with their team to get a new camera there asap.
20° Timberline Mountain – they made snow and have 12 trails open with includes six green trails, four of five blue trails – including Twister! They also have two of the three black trails open as both Thunderstruck and White Lightning are open! Man Timberline is killing it these days.
Timberline Mountain posted this operations update:
Timberline Mountain will temporarily suspend operations from Monday, December 13th through Thursday, December 16th. This will help us conserve snow through what is expected to be a very warm week. Preserving our current snow base will allow us to have plenty of terrain open for the holidays. We’ll see you again next weekend!
That operations move IS brilliant, but as is always the case, those kinds of moves are not always popular. Here is both sides to the equation.
Beckie Machonis Manzione
Thanks for keeping everyone posted and doing what is best/smartest for Christmas Holiday timeframe!!
Are you serious?? We’ve had our lodging booked already and can’t cancel that now. Can’t believe this call a week before Christmas.
We tell people all the time to prepare for the unexpected. Our mountain communities and resorts offer many other things to do besides downhill ski. Try out the XC Skiing and great food at Whitegrass, hike around Canaan Valley resort, explore the Valley on the multitude of trails in the area. Betting on a good base of snow before January is always a gamble.
Man I remember back in December of 2015, when we had one of the worst Christmas-to-New-Year’s weeks in terms of the weather. We had a Snowshoe Mountain trip planned and all of us (14 in our party) and we kept our plans and the slopes were open only on the first and last day of our trip. We still had a blast touring different things in the area.
24° Wintergreen Resort – made snow across the entire mountain. They only have two slopes open for today. No word yet on staying open, but we’re guessing they will suspend ops after today to preserve snow and try to get open again next weekend.
25° Winterplace Resort – as mentioned, they did not make snow but they were out early this morning, moving some of the huge whales around.
26° Wisp Resort – they made snow and they were 35° colder this morning than 24 hours prior. They are playing on 5 slopes today, including two greens, a blue and also Central Park and Squirrel Cage (black diamonds).
If you haven’t experienced the igloos at Mountain State Brewing Co. in Deep Creek, Wisp, McHenry, Maryland, then what are you waiting for? Reservations are needed and they are filling up fast! Enjoy a pizza and craft beers in the warmth of the igloo. Check out the video share below.
If you’re looking for Christmas gift ideas for that snow, ski & snowboarding person in your family or circle of friends, check out the Online Shop at SkiSoutheast. We have beanies, mugs, Snow News is Good News hoodies and more. Check it out: https://www.skisoutheast.com/shop/
We do hope that you will follow us on Facebook and Instagram as we are seeing HUGE growth is our reach on social media.
That will do it for me today. We are truly thankful for you, our readers. Check back tomorrow for more!
Email me at [email protected]
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