Conditions at ALL North Carolina Ski Areas WILL BE PERFECT for Today!

First Trax

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It’s the day before – the day before Christmas (or Christmas Eve – eve for kids of all ages). Pulse rates are already starting to rise amongst the Santa Claus set. That is such a cool time, isn’t it? If we could only harness that energy, we could power a snowmaking mechanism large enough to bring a White Christmas to every household in America – or at least the Southeast and Mid Atlantic, right?

As I get started with compiling all of my notes to write about for the day, I can’t help but notice that it is at least twenty degrees "warmer" than 24 hours ago. The GOOD NEWS is that I am seeing temperatures that are all in the teens and 20s.

Here’s a quick look around the area at 7am:

Beech Mountain – 20°
Banner Elk – 26°
Sugar Mountain – 22° and 14.8° at the top of their mountain.

Appalachian Ski Mountain – 19.5°
Rich Mountain – 20°
Wolf Laurel (Home to Wolf Ridge Resort) – 21°
Cataloochee Ski Area – 24°

As you can see, the cold spot in the state this morning is at Appalachian Ski Mountain. That means that snowguns are still cranking out snow and most resorts have been doing so for nearly 48 hours straight as of the post. That means that conditions will be AT THE OPTIMUM today. Once the temps warm above snowmaking capability (and they will at some point today, the snow guns will be off until sometime Sunday.

Wednesday simply looks wet across the entire region. Get your skiing and snowboarding in TODAY and then take Christmas Eve to be with family and friends. Christmas Day looks good. Then we’re hit and miss with some showers possible for this weekend. Things get back to more seasonable temps Sunday night and beyond as far as we can tell. So if you have a ski getaway planned for this weekend and into next week, it looks like you’re going to get a little wet in the beginning and then the week after is looking pretty good!

(You didn’t expect it to be perfect EVERY DAY, did you? Of course not.)

If you were hoping for frigid temps and snow for your Christmas / New Year Ski Getaway, forecasters are saying that the Holiday week will be seasonable with some good ski days, but the more-winter-like temps and weather are still a week away. According to most, they are not expecting a true return to consistent cold temps until the week AFTER January 1st.

It IS what it IS, go enjoy the great manmade snow that all of the resorts have blasted the slopes with and make the best of it. There’s plenty of good snow right now to be carved up.

On THAT note, Appalachian Ski Mountain writes, "After seven consecutive days of sporadic warm weather, drizzle, and rain, round-the-clock snowmaking began at 9:58 pm (Sunday, December 21). Temperatures dipped into the single digits for over 12 hours earlier on Monday. By mid-morning Tuesday, the average base depth should range from 40 to 84 inches. This 48 hour snowmaking window of opportunity has allowed our recently improved snowmaking system to convert approximately 10 million gallons of water to snow. Snowmaking is expected to end mid-morning Tuesday, leaving all our guests a fresh, packed powder surface over 8 of our 10 slopes. Both of our Terrain Parks will continue to be open. Appalachian Ski Mtn. has the largest snowmaking pumping capacity per acre of any ski resort in the Southeastern United States."

Appalachian is reporting that they have ADDED 28" of new, manmade snow across all of their open terrain in the last 36 hours!

Cataloochee Ski Areas reports an added 20" of new, manmade snow over the last two days and they have reopened three more trails to give them 7 of 14 open for Tuesday fun!

Hawksnest’s Tubing Park is OPEN for Tuesday. The low last night atop Seven Devils was 18°.

Sapphire Valley OPENS FOR THE 2008-2009 SEASON! Perhaps the biggest news and testament to the effectiveness of great snowmaking capabilities within optimum weather is the fact that Sapphire Valley was able to blanket their two trails (they are kind of a family resort that happens to have two ski slopes – rather than a traditional ski area) with a reported 50-74" of snow! They are 100% open with both slopes and snow tubing. RJ writes, "The ski area will open Tuesday, December 23rd, Noon to 9:00 pm. Frozen Falls tube park will open 12/23 at 10:00 am to 8:00 pm for snow tubing fun!"

Scaly Mountain is now OPEN for tubing as well!

Ski Beech reopened Upper Shawneehaw to get them back open to the top. They now offer 5 trails on their wide expanse. They are still reporting some "areas of thin coverage" but they look REALLY NICE this morning.

Sugar Mountain reopens their tubing park today and though they are holding steady with the same 11 trails as were open on Monday, they are reporting an added 14" of snow in the last 24 hours and 17" in the last two reporting periods. They will no doubt open more terrain for Wednesday. They have ice skating open for today as well!

Wolf Ridge Resort – We’re beginning to get concerned about these guys. They have not updated any report with any service – nor their own website, etc. HOWEVER, that’s why you guys depend on us – we got the scoop right from the horse’s mouth (where the heck did that term come from?). Anyway, Wolf really looks good this morning and they have opened another trail to give them 4 open for skiing and snowboarding today and tonight. Tubing is open as well.

As always, be sure to click over to  for more news about ALL of the ski resorts of the Southeast and Mid Atlantic including more photos of the day, more snow news, more videos…and just MORE!

Send your comments, photos, videos, and trip reports to: [email protected]


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