Answering Some Frustrated Emailers Today!

First Trax

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Okay guys and gals…NOBODY likes the current state of affairs across the region right now. The emails that poured in since yesterday morning range from distraught to disappointed to downright threatening towards whatever entity you could get your hands on! Mother Nature was in trouble yesterday if you guys could have found her. Old Man Winter was in hiding – which is where he’s been a lot this winter. Good thing for him as one post wrote, "If I could get my hands around the neck of that old codger I’d wring it quicker than the chickens I killed yesterday!"


A couple of mountain managers were threatened via my inbox as numerous of you thought that this or that ski area should not have been open. In my 11 seasons of writing for this website I have not seen the kind of reaction to the conditions that we’re experiencing right now.

I think that it stems from the fact that it’s been two seasons in a row that we’ve seen our Holiday ski plans "messed with". Last Christmas to New Years was a tough one and from the emails that we received on Saturday you guys are tired of it.

Trust me when I say that ALL skiers, snowboarders and mountain management share in your frustrations and pain.

With this is mind, I have compiled the morning reports from all of the ski areas of the Southeast and Mid Atlantic into ONE story for both and our sister site Many wrote us yesterday ASKING for alternatives to skiing at XYZ resort. Numerous people wrote that they had trips planned at Ski Beech (several were there now) and wanted us to share suggestions as to where to head as an alternative.

Since we are here to help our visitors find the best conditions…we’re going to take a stab at it.

First, know that conditions are not GREAT anywhere in the southeast or Mid Atlantic. However I have broken it down in a way that should provide some insight to help you guys formulate the best situation for YOU.

The BEST conditions by STATE are:

In North Carolina…head to Appalachian Ski Mountain, Cataloochee or Wolf Ridge. All three looks pretty good today…although rain is in the forecast for later today. All three have good side to side coverage with very little in the way of bare spots. Sugar would come next with the most terrain open…but looking pretty worn.

In Virginia…head to Bryce or Wintergreen. Both have good skiable terrain and perhaps Bryce is in a bit better shape.

The West Virginia resorts all are OKAY…but certainly with 37 trails Snowshoe has the most and best terrain open. Timberline, Winterplace and Canaan all look decent though with rare bare areas…though some thin coverage.

Wisp Resort is looking pretty decent as well.

By Region…

Head to West Virginia or Maryland…and if you want something closer South…hit Appalachian, Cataloochee or Wolf Resort.

COLD AIR and SNOW invades the region beginning Monday…so look for improved conditions everywhere beginning Monday night and into the middle portions of the week ahead.

Here’s a slightly different order of update for today:

Wisp Resort – 25° – Making Snow and looking pretty darn nice.

Winterplace Resort – 37° – They were not able to make snow, but will this evening and with snow and snowmaking temps in the forecast things look great for a nice New Years at Winterplace. They have 14 trails open today with Groomed / Granular conditions and their snow tubing park is open as well.

Timberline is making snow at 32° this morning. They have 9 trails open today with groomed conditions.

Snowshoe Mountain – 34° – They were making snow last night and according to Laura Parquette they were able to make snow in a limited capacity over night – mostly on one trail in the basin (Camp 99) and a handful of Silver Creek’s trails. Temps are forecasted to drop all day and snowmaking will resume in earnest.

I plan on meeting up with Mountain Manager, Ed Galford this morning and will get you guys some cool inside information on how one of the original snowmen and his team makes snow at Snowshoe. Look for that later today!

Laura Parquette writes, "2007 is going out in a good way at Snowshoe.Natural snow is forecasted for the next several days, so conditions at the region’s biggest and best resort look to get even better as we welcome 2008. Snowshoe continues to have the most open terrain in the region, with 37 slopes open today–that’s 62% of our trails open for skiing and riding."

Canaan Valley – No Report Available. I’ll try to get an update later today.

As of 7:13am Wintergreen had not updated their report, but it is 30° there this morning so we have to believe that Wintergreen’s amazing, automated snowmaking plant has kicked in and they are making snow. They have six trails open at last count and tubing as well.

Massanutten had also not updated as of 7:17am but at 5pm Saturday they wrote, "For Dec. 30th, If open, we will have 2 trails, 2 lifts.Open 9:00am-4:30 pm for skiing, snowboarding .Tubing will be open 9am-10pm. Thin cover, narrow trails. Regular season rates in effect for skiing and snowboarding; Holiday rates for tubing. All season passes good at the waterpark if the ski area is closed. Will be up-dated 7:20 am. tomorrow."

We’d suggest calling ahead if you planned to ski at Massanutten today. They will begin making snow later this evening and reopen soon…if they do close up for today.

Bryce Resort was not able to make snow but still has 5 slopes open as well as terrain park and tubing operation.

Ober Gatlinburg in Tennessee is still temporarily closed and waiting for the cold temps forecasted to invade the Smokies within the next day.

Appalachian Ski Mountain still looks pretty darn nice with no bare spots nor thin coverage to worry about. They did not make snow as temps fell to 35° and now at 7:24am they are at 40°. They will offer 7 trails today as well as both terrain parks. Even we’ve been reporting about Apps two parks being open OUR slope report has not toggled it as open. That was an oversight and has been corrected. App has both of the parks available for fun!

Cataloochee still is looking pretty nice. We watched some of the HUGE crowd skiing on Saturday and they had nice side to side coverage. They will offer more of the same today with 5 trails available. Tammy Brown wrote, "Rain is in the forecast for the area for Sunday morning but colder temperatures are on the way as soon as this front moves through and we will begin making snow as quickly as temperatures permit and open additional terrain in the next few days. Please note Tube World located in Maggie Valley not reopen until Thursday morning at 10am. Once again Tube World located in Maggie Valley will be closed from Sunday through Wednesday and will reopen on Thursday morning at 10am.’

Hawksnest dropped to 40° but as of 7:31am it is 48°. Hawksnest was showing some frequent thin coverage and a lot of bare spots on Saturday…but they DO have some good skiable terrain as well. Expect more of the same for Sunday with 6 slopes open and the tubing park.

<Ski Beech this morning.

Ski Beech – They are reporting 4 slopes open with "some bare spots". We received MORE emails on Saturday about Ski Beech than any other resort mainly because in many eyes they should not be open. Instead of reporting some thin and bare spots…it’s more like some skiable terrain. Beech looks horrible. To defend them though, they have lots of people who planned to ski and Ski Beech is trying to give them that chance. Many emailers complained that Beech should not be open, but I guarantee you that Beech is telling people to go and have a look before purchasing a lift pass. There were quite a few people skiing it yesterday despite the fact that the mountain looks terrible. I personally don’t think I’ve seen Beech BE OPEN with the terrain as poor as it was on Saturday.

They are STILL OPEN for skiing on Sunday. We’d recommend trying Ice Skating.

Sugar Mountain is reporting thin coverage and 40° this morning. They dropped one trail from the nine they had open yesterday. They now offer 8 slopes and skating as well. Although Sugar looks pretty worn from the road, you CAN tell the difference in all of the earlier snowmaking that Sugar has done…as they have plenty of good skiable terrain open. They are showing pretty thin, with some bare spots…but guests will have some good terrain as well.

Sugar has a New Year’s Celebration Mountain Style happening tomorrow. The general public is invited, free of charge, to the torch light parade and fireworks at midnight.

Wolf Ridge Resort looks surprisingly decent for Sunday. They have very little in the way of thin coverage or any bare spots. Looks like a decent day at Wolf with 6 trails, tubing and terrain park features as well.

Enjoy your day…

Until Next time…

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