El Niño Finally Brave Enough To Show Its Face In The Southeast; A Chairlift Run In Every State Possible

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I hope you’re enjoying the powder out there this morning.

Wintergreen is the recipient of 10-inches of the fresh stuff this morning. Snowshoe has 9 inches, and Beech Mountain is the recipient of a foot, while Sugar has gotten about 9 inches in the last 24 hours. Appalachian Ski Mountain has gotten 8 inches.

Canaan Valley Resort also got nearly 14 inches overnight, and has had a massive opening of its terrain. A whopping 38 trails are open for skiing and riding today. It was only days ago that number hovered around 16.

It’s a cold one out there. Don’t leave any skin exposed to the elements for too long. It’s a great day to take breaks, and run into the lodge to stay hydrated. Actually hydrated, with water, not just beer.

Ski Goals

Allow me to introduce you to Chad Christensen.

He has a really notable ski goal: to ski every state that has a chairlift. If you know me, you know I love ski goals. He and his wife came to the southeast from Minnesota for Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend, and hit Tennessee and North Carolina.

“Neither of these disappointed,” he wrote to me in an email. “We had planned to hit Ober Saturday late afternoon but being Ober is maybe 50% open I thought about skipping it this time.  My wife asked if I wanted to make a special trip back sometime or just do it now, so I bit the bullet and paid nearly $90 for a few hours.”

Aside from the mass of bodies that accumulated at the base (like we said, it was the holiday weekend), Chad was a huge fan of Ober. “It was $90 well spent,” he said.

Sunday, he and his wife his Beech, and got to experience firsthand what it’s like to use skiers as slalom gates. Those Sunday crowds were crazy, but a last-minute decision to stay at Beech for another day paid off. Chad was rewarded with that massive snowstorm that hit Beech, and rode fresh powder under far less-crowded circumstances.

“All that said, we had a great time,” he said. “We had no idea what to expect but both places exceeded expectations. If we were to come back, we’ll make sure it’s not a holiday weekend.”

Talkin’ Weather

I could sit here and try to describe the weather, but meteorologist Brad Panovich already did that, and dropped his analysis in our Discord channel. I’ll just let him do the talking:

I talked about this in my latest video, but I thought I’d post a follow-up here. The set-up (Friday) through Saturday is a classic over-producing northwest flow event. The perfect trajectory and mostly still wide-open Great Lakes, coupled with arctic cold air, will fluff up the snow quite a bit. Looking at 20:1 or even 30:1 liquid-to-snowfall ratios with this one. So, this is another epic powder set-up for many ski areas in the Southeast. The resorts all see snow but a few are more favored in this set-up. They are Beech, Sugar, Winterplace, Snowshoe, Timberline, and Wisp. I really think we might see a few areas get a foot or more from this one.”


Alright. Let’s get into what you need to know to ski and ride the southeast today.


When Bill Nabers emailed me around noon yesterday, it looked like Bryce had about 2 inches of snowfall, which looked great atop all of the snowmaking they’ve done. That turned into about 5 inches.

Bryce is 100% open, with four lifts spinning and eight trails open. A small terrain park might even open soon.

If you are traveling to Bryce, please do not take Straton Way into the resort. GPS apps tend to route people this way but it is not the safest route when it snows and Sky Bryce will likely close it. Stay on 263 until Resort Drive.


The ‘Shoe has 9 inches of snow this morning. From the snow reporting team:

POW DAY ON DECK! This storm has delivered big time here at the ‘Shoe. We’ve picked up another 9″ bringing us to 11″ total, and it is about as light and dry as it gets. Pow with a capital P. Our operations team has really made hay with this cooperative weather and today we’ll be opening Choker, Skip Jack, Grabhook, and Stemwinder! Snowmaking will be in progress on some open trails today. Safety Tip: For your safety and the safety of others, please steer clear of any closed terrain. It is closed for a reason. We are under a Wind Chill Warning through tomorrow morning. Please be sure to layer up, leave no skin exposed, and take plenty of breaks.”


Another 12 inches for folks shredding at Beech today.

Discord user britches5478 put it simply:

Got up to Beech late Friday night. THE POWDER. It’s almost like Tahoe out here.”


Discord user J.Overcash hit Sugar yesterday:

Made the call to ride at Sugar rather than trying to get all the way to Beech. Probably one of the better NC days I’ve ever had. Deep powder turns to be had on the sides of Oma and Gunther’s.”

The Kendog, aka SkiSoutheast’s Kenny Griffin is at Sugar today, looking like the Abominable Snowman.

Hatley Pointe

Snowmaking alert!

Discord user trippn0583 pointed out that it looks like Hatley Pointe is testing its snowguns, and making its own snow among the natural snowfall. Stay tuned for more announcements: I’ll let you know once I know.

Appalachian Ski Mountain

We’ve got eight inches of the good stuff at App Ski.

Appalachian State ride night is tonight. For just $16, students can ride from 4 p.m. to midnight with an online reservation.

Girls Go Shred’s first ladies park night of the season is tonight from 7 to 9 p.m. at App Ski. The event is free with the purchase of a lift ticket, and is open to women of all age and ability level, both skiers and snowboarders.

The Arbor Shred for the Cup Big Air Competition is scheduled for Sunday, January 21. There are three categories – beginner, intermediate, and advanced, and you can register here.


The ‘Nutt is 100% open!Skiing and snowboarding capacity limits may be reached today, and dynamic pricing is in effect. Make sure to buy lift tickets and rentals online to ensure the same price.

Once online capacities are met, slope-use tickets and rentals may NOT be available at the ticket window. Property Owners, Gold Card, Military, and 6 & Under slope-use tickets will be available at the ticket window.

Laax Open 2024

Jules Marino won the women’s slopestyle final this morning in Switzerland, with Annika Morgan and Anna Gasser taking home bronze and silver.

Liam Brearley took gold in men’s slopestyle, with Ryoma Kimata taking silver and Cameron Spalding winning bronze.

You can still catch the halfpipe finals for both men and women at noon. That is over on Red Bull TV for free. Watch here.

Video Of The Day

I leave you on this powder-filled Saturday with Shane McConkey’s part from the Matchstick Productions film “CLAIM.”

This one is dedicated to the young’uns that feel washed up surrounded by these younger whippersnappers putting us to shame.

It ain’t over until the fat lady sings.

RIP Shane. Gone too soon.

The Rest

Don’t forget: Clear your calendar from February 9-11. That’s when Massanutten and SkiSoutheast will host team up to host our summit. It’s a great way to meet like-minded, snow-loving people, and possibly make some lifelong friends in the process.

Thanks to everyone that has already joined us on Discord.

Think snow!

Think cold!

Click here to join us on our new SkiSoutheast Discord channel. It is a great way to meet new snow loving friends and shares experiences, ask questions, and more!

And as always, email me at [email protected] with your thoughts and photos.

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