Happy New Year Everyone!

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The good news is that most of the ski areas made it through the very important, Holiday week successfully turning the skier visits needed to ensure good times ahead.

The bad news is that conditions are not awesome anywhere right now as every ski area is in need of some cold, snow-making temperatures. Wolf Ridge Resort has been forced to temporarily close awaiting those cold temps. Some ski areas have greatly lowered their open trail count. All will have some thin coverage and/or a few bare areas here and there with the lone exceptions of probably Appalachian and Cataloochee – which look pretty darn ‘pretty’ this morning.

No word as of 8:55am as to whether Timberline Resort will be open today.

Check the SNOW REPORT for details today. At LEAST one ski area has opted to CLOSE temporarily today as Wolf Ridge Resort will close awaiting cold, snowmaking temps to reopen. Winterplace dropped nine trails from Monday and now are playing on six open trails.

The photo of the day is a great one for Cat lovers. I’m not the greatest fan of cats, but in this particular case I love nothing more than to see a cat grooming itself!

Click to enlarge Cataloochee photo with Chris Bates combing the slopes for today’s visitors.

Video of the Day comes from Canaan Valley’s Justin Harris who takes us on a ride from the top of the mountain to the bottom (on Saturday).

December has come and gone, and now the all-important Christmas-to-New-Year Holiday is behind us and for most ski areas, it was a great success. For those of us who spent the week at a resort in the region…it could have been better. I mean we are all greedy, right? We want everyday to be pristine with light-to-moderate snowfall and every slope open. For the 16 of us who attended Snowshoe this last week, four of the six ski days were pretty darn awesome. Those first few days offered plenty of snow everywhere and slope conditions that were certainly mid-season form.

Sure, I could bemoan that the last two ski days weren’t perfect. But honestly I enjoyed several great runs down the mountain on Sunday despite dodging a few raindrops. Had I not made nearly fifty runs down the mountain over the past five days (with a couple of night sessions thrown in) I would have braved the elements Monday. Honestly, I was astonished at just how busy the slopes were on Monday with a steady, light rain/drizzle happening all day.

Here’s a video I posted yesterday:

Some of our crew did make it out. I chilled, spent some time in the hot tub and made it a lazy day.

Later on Monday, 14 of our group enjoyed a Razor Tour back to the Backcountry Hut for an amazing dinner with Carol and her peeps. We enjoyed great steaks, duck, salmon, wild rice, green beans and finished with an amazing desert (Chocolate Lava Cake)…all washed down with a variety of drinks.

The trek across the two mile Cheat Mountain Ridge Trail that runs along a towering Spruce forest was expectedly rugged and muddy (and great fun) and the meal, the service and the experience was as good as it gets. If you haven’t had the opportunity to book that trip…I highly recommend it. Mikey Valach and his crew run a great adventure program.

Thanks again to Mikey, Carol (the hut master), and our guides who made the experience fun and memorable.

Back to a Fun and Successful Holiday Ski & Snowboarding Getaway

As I looked around at all of the ski area webcams, I saw successful crowds enjoying most every ski area in the region. There were (unfortunately) a couple of exceptions I am sorry to say. But overall, things went well, which is important because resorts in the region receive 30-35% of their season revenue from this one week.

Those couple of resorts that had an “off Holiday week” have to hope that January, February and March will provide plentiful snows and cold temps to allow them to catch up. As long as the majority of the next 10-13 weekends are cold and snowy…they should be in great shape.

Guys…have an awesome New Years Day. It will be a travel day for yours truly.

In closing, I have to thank Joe Stevens, Shawn Cassell, Denise Chestnut, Heather Ransom, Mikey Valach, Kenny Griffin and everyone I was able to hang out with this week for making this getaway special.

Joe, I know you’re reading this and I want to say it was great seeing you two days of this trip. God Bless you man.

Closing Notables…

Appalachian Ski Mountain has not updated their own snow report since the 29th. Probably more to do with conditions have not changed much since….but keep that in mind. The webcams show great, side-to-side coverage.

Timberline Resort – As of 9:04am they had not updated their website. We would recommend calling ahead. We’ve been emailed a lot asking about the webcam not running. We have been in contact and arrangements have been extended to get it LIVE. We hope to remedy that soon.
That’s it for me…today

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