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snowshoe mountain west virginia

To be honest, last evening’s snowmaking ops were a bit of a surprise to me and I think that is was to most of the mountain crews that were able to make snow. I was sitting around in a hospital waiting room, looking for something to do, and I began to click around the many web cams that we have operating at various ski areas and I immediately was taken by surprise when I saw that Beech Mountain was making snow.

snowshoe mountain making snow
Snowshoe Mountain’s Friday Night Snowmaking Ops

I then snapped some captures of that and Snowshoe’s snowmaking and posted a late report. However as late as Thursday the forecast was so borderline for cold air filtering in that I was thinking that we’d not see ANY snowmaking until Saturday NIGHT.

So the bit of snowmaking that took place was a bit of a “bonus” and surprise. Since so much snowmaking was happening late on Friday I expected more “results” this morning, but as it turns out – the ski areas were VERY LIMITED in terms of how much snow they were able to lay down on the slopes.

Cat was not able to make snow overnight. They had previously announced that they would be open today, but Mother Nature wouldn't allow it.
Cat was not able to make snow overnight. They had previously announced that they would be open today, but Mother Nature wouldn’t allow it.

I woke a bit later than usual this morning and was fully expecting to see Cataloochee open and others with quite a good head-start for snowmaking that would allow FURTHER blasting of snow Saturday night for a potential re-opening of Sugar Mountain on Sunday – with an outside shot of seeing Beech do a surprise opening (on Sunday).

HOWEVER we’re seeing those pesky temperature inversions this morning with temps at 35° this morning at my house in Sleepy Hollow and 46° atop Beech Mountain’s 5506′ LIVE CAM.

There IS a thin blanket of snow from top to bottom on the  Shawneehaw trails, but with highs expected of 48°-50° today…there’s no guarantee of how much of that snow will be around when things dive back into the mid TWENTIES for tonight.

Regardless TONIGHT is when we will see OPTIMAL snowmaking and Sunday’s HIGH may not make it out of the upper 20s at Beech, Sugar and Snowshoe, with highs in the low 30s expected at Cataloochee as well.

Sugar Mountain has no snow showing at the base or approaching their new Summit Express lift
Sugar Mountain has no snow showing at the base or approaching their new Summit Express lift

A good friend of my challenged me to go skiing tomorrow at Sugar Mountain and I bet him that Sugar would not be able to re-open on Sunday. HOWEVER I could be wrong. We’ll see.

Snowmaking will be of the around-the-clock variety tonight, Sunday and Sunday night – so we’ll certainly see some skiing and snowboarding happening on Monday – if not tomorrow (Sunday).

It will be a challenge of epic proportions for the area’s snowmaking crews to make more snow Tuesday and Wednesday nights now as the forecast NOW is for lows AGAIN hovering around 32-34°. So we THINK we’ll see a bit more snowmaking atop Snowshoe, Sugar and Beech on those evenings but it will be a close call.


Snowshoe Mountain Resort had planned to be open for skiing and snowboarding prior to Thanksgiving, but they had to push their opening back a few days and as of right now they WILL OPEN for dining, shopping, off-road RZR tours…and a Thanksgiving celebration with plenty of great family activities – but no skiing or snowboarding just yet.

snowshoe mountain west virginia
This sweet shot shows “near ready” conditions atop Snowshoe Mountain after some nice snowmaking last night.

They plan to wait until they can provide a bit more of a true on-snow experience before opening. We’ll update you as they get closer to an opening day announcement.

As of right now – today, Saturday, we’re thinking that Cataloochee and Sugar will reopen for perhaps a day or so. We’re thinking Monday skiing and snowboarding is realistic…but we COULD see an opening or two Sunday. We’ll keep you posted.

However IF and when they get open on Sunday or Monday, we’re seeing a real challenge for all of the ski areas to STAY open through this week and offer skiing and snowboarding on Thanksgiving Day or next weekend.

One look at the forecast for Sugar Mountain shows:

Nov 21 – tonight – 24°
Nov 22 – Hi 30° Lo 17°
Nov 23 – Hi 38° Lo 27°
Nov 24 – Hi 46° Lo 30°
Nov 25 – Hi 45° Lo 32° (this is Wednesday)
Nov 26 – Hi 47° Lo 40° (Thanksgiving Day)
Nov 27 – Hi 53° Lo 43°
Nov 28 – Hi 48° Lo 33° (Saturday)

Then we’re seeing very borderline temps through December 5th.

There was some snow in the forecast for our mountains on Sunday (tomorrow) but now those look to have disipated. The crazy thing is looking at the forecast for typically colder and snowier West Virginia, things actually look a notch more borderline in terms of snowmaking temperature opportunities. In fact out of the NEXT FIFTEEN DAYS, we’re seeing 10 of the 15 with some snowmaking opportunities – so that’s good – HOWEVER only FOUR of the next FIFTEEN days and nights look like guaranteed, optimal snowmaking nights.

So things look to be pretty spotty from NOW through December 5th.

As always – we will keep you up-to-date and informed as to the who, what, when and where as it applies to snowmaking, openings, reopenings and more…so keep checking back early and often.

As of right now – we think some skiing and snowboarding will be happening Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and maybe a day or so mid-week. We might see some Turkey day skiing at Sugar and Cataloochee…and maybe a surprise ski area that rhymes with peach…but right now it’s too early to tell.

So it’s more important than ever to check back with us daily.

Until tomorrow – THINK SNOW! THINK COLD!

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