Another Novel – more whining and some SNOW is falling! See where…

First Trax

Story by Mike Doble – [email protected]  

I’m sitting here typing at my kitchen table at 7am on Sunday morning. The elevation here at my table (according to my Suunto Altimeter watch) is 3362 feet. The elevation at Wisp Resort in McHenry, Maryland is 2415 feet at the base and 3115 feet at the peak of the mountain.

They’ve received 3" of natural snow in the last 24 hours and as of this morning and the live webcam at Taylor-Made Deep Creek Vacations, it is still pretty much PUKING SNOW!

I want a resolution passed by the feds in Washington. I want equal rights. Rights to the same snow that falls anywhere else for that matter. While we’re at it, I want live streaming webcams with BIG PICTURE capabilities posted at every sweet location (such as ski resorts and beaches) so that we can witness God’s gifts of snow and beautiful people from our kitchen tables if we so desire!

When I saw Wisp’s snow report this morning I had to have a look around to see if I could find a good webcam because those on the ski resort itself are simply terrible. Not quite worthless because you can at least SEE that there are ski slopes and snow or whatever, but beyond that they really are lacking in that department. Wisp has something like 726 live cams. Okay maybe 20 or so but they are all so small and blah that it isn’t enticing. The mountain is so high tech in everything, I am definately going to have to get up with Ms. Karen, Tim Prather, Lori Epp or someone up there.

As I said, I found a good one at Taylor-Made Vacations. It’s a small image shot, but pretty clear and has good control capabilities (enough to see the snow falling right now dammit!) Those goof balls in Washington have done enough damage to our economy and we’re 300 trillion, gazillion dollars in debt – so why not lets shoot for the moon and install streaming webcams everywhere! At least while we’re sitting a home not being able to afford to go anywhere, we could at least enjoy where we can’t visit.

No mom…I’m fine. No, really, I am!

I’m pretty darn blessed to be able to go and enjoy traveling pretty much wherever I wish to go. However I am hearing from a lot of people who are having a tough time of it financially and they’re really enjoying traveling virtually via the webcams that we and our sponsoring ski resorts and businesses provide.

Check out Taylor-Made’s shot at Deep Creek Lake, home to Wisp Resort at:

Taylor-Made’s website was boasting that the shot was one of the top ten webcams in the world…as chosen (I guess) by Earthcams. Not so much, but it’s cool nonetheless.

(Now if only it were LARGER – like those we’re doing.)

I seem to be stuck on Wisp Resort this morning…or Deep Creek Lake…or both.

<Ashley Forrest was on the mountain, riding, in concert and having some Deep Creek fun. I’ll bet she enjoyed some famous Maryland Crab Cakes!

But guys you missed it – or her. While I was searching for cams up there, I ran across this from last night. Lori – you could’ve/should’ve sent us this little tidbit of news and happenings.

Nashville recording artist Ashley Forrest was seen on the slopes and in a FREE CONCERT at Wisp Resort last night. Prior to concert she was seen on the slopes, tubing, and mountain coastering.

I’m moving on to write about other stuff now. By the way it is STILL PUKING SNOW at Wisp Resort. Now I’m on to see if it’s snowing anywhere else in the region.

Since I began this morning in Maryland, I think I will kick it on down from north to south this morning with some notables here and there. If you want the FULL snow report, click over to  

I’m pretty much just talking notables today.

When I wrote about no ski area in the entire region showing any less base depth after several days of no snowmaking, John Cossaboom – a longtime fixture in the ski scene around the region and current Winter Sports Director at Ober Gatlinburg in Tennessee) wrote:


You mentioned that no one was dropping their base depth. I can’t speak for any other areas, but here at Ober our number is not dropping because, as we lose a trail, we harvest the snow to put back on our open runs. Sometimes it’s a very long push with the groomer, but it is what keeps us going during this tough season.

…I guess if we were all being honest we would say that we have a zero to whatever base, but who would believe that either."

True dat, John. As Joe Stevens always says – you can’t ski or ride on 0" as that is not open terrain. So depths have to be at least a few inches.

John and I wrote back and forth a couple of times and we both are fans of the ski areas that report "packed powder" conditions when there’s been no natural snow or even manmade snow in a couple of days.

That’s a pet peeve of Joe’s as well.

I think you can tell that a LOT of ski management peeps read this column. A lot of ski areas dropped bases from yesterday – except where it snowed in the last 24 hours!


Wisp Resort – 28° – It’s fifteen degrees colder at Wisp than at Beech Mountain this morning. That is so unusual. They have seen 3" of snow in the last 24 hours and it is still bombing snow. They’ve actually seen 6" of snow this week and 56" of snow on the season. If Ashley is still on the mountain she will have some sweet conditions and a bunch of males following her!

Skipping down across the MD/WV state line and into West Virginia’s Davis County, home to both Canaan Valley and Timberline resorts shows more snow. Well not MORE snow but snow.

Canaan Valley is at 22° and reporting 1" of new snow and great conditions. (77" on the season now!)

Timberline Resort is a notch colder at 21° and snowing. They are reporting 1.5" of snow and 77" on the season. Tom’s resort is open for day sessions today on 26 trails (of 40).

David Lesher of Canaan Valley Weather hasn’t reported in a couple of days. If you’re wanting to watch the weather up there, check out: as it is our new weather content and it’s showing 23° from the resort. It’s also showing a great forecast for the week ahead with more snow and lots of cold temps to make snow.

…and it’s 43° at Sugar right now…

By the way, the LIVE CAM at Timberline Resort is already showing some sweet fun being had. Check it at:  

MAN! That LOOKS like more than 1.5" of new snow on those tables!

So unfair.

Driving North to South today, we can kind of trek a little east and we come to Bryce Resort in Virginia next. Yes, that’s correct.

Bryce is reflecting some light snow falling at 34° and they are 100% for day sessions. They dropped 5" of base. Watch the snow falling at  

I think you can tell where the frontal boundary is by this BLOG this morning. Wisp, Timberline, Canaan and Bryce all are seeing snow while just to the west and south…it isn’t happening.

Snowshoe is NEXT in WV…

Snowshoe Mountain is showing a current temp of 36° on their website. We’re showing 32° on NO NEW SNOW – which is very unusual. Usually when Canaan Valley gets snow, Snowshoe does. Not this go around but SNOW is in the forecast a few times this week with lots of cold temps forecasted as well.

Snowshoe is hosting their legendary Cupp Run Challenge on Monday!

If it starts snowing at The Shoe you can watch it here:  

(We’ll try to get a LIVE STREAM here soon!)

Massanutten Resort is next (if we’re talking North to South).

Mass is at 30°and 10 of 14 trails open. Kenny Hess posted, "The Ski Area is open 9am-9pm Sunday-Thursday and 9am-10pm on Fridays and Saturdays. Watch a movie at Regal Cinema in Harrisonburg and save $10 off a 4 or 8 hour lift ticket bring your 2012 ticket stub. Anniversary Special Today 4hr lift 4hr rental, $40."

The Homestead Resort is next at 35° and 4 of 10 trails open for day sessions. Thanks for updating us Matt! We can’t wait to see that LIVE CAM streaming from this great Virginia four season resort!

The crow would have to fly a little east and south but Wintergreen Resort comes next.

Wintergreen Resort is fogged in but at 28° this morning. They didn’t make snow but expect to tonight. They dropped one trail and now offer 13 of 26 and tubing.

West and south we come to…

Winterplace with 42° at 8:30am after a low of 31°. They look GREAT with lots of good snow and 25 of 27 trails open.

Heading south…we next would come to…

Hawksnest, but they aren’t a ski area anymore. There’s rumors going around for about the same number of times that Wisp has cameras (432 or 20 or whatever) that someone is looking into buying out Hawksnest. Lenny is my buddy so I’ll try to make a call when I get the time. These rumors crop up at least twice a season. I have to admit that it would be very cool to see Hawksnest open again.

A little south but 5506′ in elevation high is…

Beech Mountain which is showing 43° and they dropped 4" of base being reported and are now showing 14-38". They’ve got plenty of side-to-side coverage, but things are looking a bit worn in places.

Beech IS promoting the Super Bowl tonight. They posted, "At 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, February 5, the New York Giants and the New England Patriots will kick-off Super Bowl XLVI in Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind. These teams met in 2008 in Super Bowl XLII, the Giants won to become the first NFC wild card team to win the super bowl. Will the Giants be victorious or will the Patriots get their revenge? Come watch the game (or the commercials) with Beech Mountain Resort in the Beech Tree Bar & Grille on one of the brand-new plasma TVs. Drink specials will be offered all evening.

Remember, college week ticket specials will continue through the coming week and next weekend. Advance reservations are required, please call the Group Sales office at (828)-387-2011ext. 205 to secure your discount. Don’t forget to bring your college ID!"

WAIT! (Simulating screeching on the brakes!) It’s 43° at Beech and PUKING SNOW AT WISP? That just ain’t right! (Yep I said "ain’t".)

If you’re a crow you’d have to zig zag a bit east and south to come to…(Hey that’s the way it appears on Google maps!)

Appalachian Ski Mountain dropped to 31-63" base and they are playing on two fewer trails today (10 of 12). It’s 47° at Appalachian.

Next is…

Sugar Mountain – They are not reporting anything as for the first time on a long time their website is down. I tried hopping over to the website that goes all out to send people to our website via some pretty sweet television commercials that tell people to "Ski North Carolina" – but it is down as well. We called and they dropped two slopes and 3" of base depth. They are now open with 14 of 20 trails and a base that includes some thin and bare spots and of 15-37".

You guys can send me the $.25 I saved you. The address is…

Two hours later…the website is still down. …and it is still puking snow at Wisp. So unfair!

West and south comes…

Wolf Ridge is showing 46.2° and 2" less base at 20-30" now. They have 10 of 22 trails open for day sessions only today.

Way west and south (on the map) is…

Ober Gatlinburg in the Great Smoky Mountains. I just like this place and they’re having such a damn fight with the weather this season! They’ve dropped another trail and snow tubing. They are now at 3 of 9 trails and 50° this morning. The webcam looks…well…nevermind!

John…I’m feelin’ ya man! We’ll pray for some cold and snow for you guys!

South and east comes…

Cataloochee at 47° as well – They dropped 2" as well. The mountain looks pretty decent via their live cam…which is freakishly better than any of the 47 million cameras at Wisp.

Last but not leas— well actually they ARE LEAST is…

Sapphire Valley is showing 52° F-R-E-A-K-I-N-G degrees and they’re still closed. Go figure.

So the cold spot in the North Carolina Mountains this morning is at Beech Mountain Resort with 43°.

…and it is TWENTY-EIGHT (28°) and PUKING SNOW at McHenry, Maryland!

COLD WEATHER for everyone…is coming our way…

If you’ve been holding out for winter to arrive in some kind of equitable and full force, this week things could fit the bill. We’re looking at some snow and colder temps (at least overnight) heading in for the entire region and Kenny Griffin will keep you guys posted.

It was nice being with you guys yesterday and today. Remember Kenny has the controls Monday-Friday and I get the honors of chatting with you on the weekends.

I guess that will do it for today.

SkiMail me if you feel the need at [email protected]  or [email protected]

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