Happy New Year Everyone!

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I wish we had VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR ski & snowboarding news, but it is what it is…and right now it isn’t pretty.

Check the SNOW REPORT for details on which resorts are open/closed and with what slopes.

Check the LIVE SKI CAMS for your own quick view of conditions. (WARNING: The view won’t be pretty either.)

Editor’s Note: As I was updating snow reports, either a lot of ski area, mountain-ops partied too late last night, bringing in the New Year or they are simply scrambling to see what kind of snow maintaining they can do to offer some slopes to play on today. Of course, some ski areas have already previously announced they were temporarily closed for this weekend. Additionally, as much as one inch of rain has fallen across some mountaintops in the last 24 hours and that is making for some scrambling as well.

As of this moment, these are the ski areas temporarily CLOSED for this weekend:

Cataloochee Ski Area
Massanutten Resort
Ober Gatlinburg
Omni Homestead Resort
Sapphire Valley Resort
Wintergreen Resort
Winterplace Resort
Wisp Resort
Wolf Ridge Resort

As of 8:20am, these resorts had not yet updated a snow report of their own:

Bryce Resort – we’d advise calling ahead.
Canaan Valley Resort – they were operating with 2 slopes on Friday

Of those that we KNOW are open, here is a quick glance summary.

Appalachian Ski Mountain is down to 2 slopes open and ice skating.

Beech Mountain Resort is still operating with 7 trails for Saturday and closing for Sunday sessions.

Snowshoe Mountain is still open (remarkably) with 29 trails and Silver Creek for night sessions.

Sugar Mountain Resort is open with 4 slopes for today and tonight.

Coverage is already thin in many areas and this rain is going to take its toll so expect a few trail closures at some point today. If you’re going to hit up one of the open resorts, we’d advise calling ahead, checking out the webcams, etc.

Some Notables:

David Lesher of Canaan Valley Weather reported this morning:

The total snowfall of 13 inches so far this winter is 30 inches below normal for this date based on 21 years of record-keeping here. Only January 2016 had less total snowfall on this date.

Bear in mind that the Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee ski resorts have all seen just 0.5″ to 1″ of snow on the season.

Today is kind of a travel/transition day for many skiers and snowboarders visiting the ski mountains of the Southeast and mid-Atlantic. On this particular travel day, you are either heading home after what was a good week or you’re headed to your favorite mountain hoping that the cold forecast will allow for snowmaking enough to get reopened and/or more slopes open.

Admittedly, I was close to being shocked at how good the conditions were at Snowshoe Mountain on Friday. SOMEHOW, the snow (and the slopes) was better than on Thursday. Overnight temperatures made the surface actually crusty early and as skier traffic hit it, things turned more granular, but there was better coverage on most slopes than on Thursday. Sunny skies dominated the day until some late afternoon, intermittent (and light) rain. However, it wasn’t enough to get people off the slopes.

That was the day at Snowshoe.

From what we could determine via all of the alerts, reports and social media shares, some resorts maintained enough slopes to provide skiable terrain (Appalachian, Beech and Sugar in North Carolina; Canaan, Snowshoe, Timberline and Winterplace in West Virginia; and Bryce in Virginia).

The rest had to temporarily close and Winterplace has made the call to temporarily close for this weekend and reopen January 4th.

Unlike last year’s Christmas-to-New-Year’s Holiday week, there won’t be record skier-visit numbers from this week. This week can generate 35+/- percent of the entire season’s revenue and some ski areas were not able to open; others had very limited slopes open and ALL of the ski resorts in the region were battling to get the most out of the weather and conditions they were dealt.

I remember when I started this website – I was always impressed by the resilient nature of all of the ski resort owners and managers of our region. They all have a “so-what-now-what” attitude and they all know how to pivot strategies during challenging times to make the most out of a bad situation. Early on, someone described ski resort owners as having the soul of P.T. Barnum, the heart of a riverboat gambler and the stubbornness of a consummate survivor.

December definitely brought out those characteristics in all of us.

December is Now Gone. January WILL be Better…

I watched Meteorologist Brad Panovich’s Skiers Forecast and the good news is that at least the next couple of weeks will offer cold, snowmaking temperatures and some ambience snow. In fact, the WV mountains may see 3-4″ this week and the rest of the region could see some measurable snow. Nothing blizzard-like, but snow.

This weekend will be more of the same of what we’ve experienced over the last week and there will be some resorts that are able to maintain and remain open – AND there will be some additional, temporary closures.

Then THANKFULLY Sunday evening you may be able to hear the ROAR of those snowmaking systems cranking back up across the region AND the joyful screams coming from fans as well as ski area managers as they blanket the slopes with fresh, manmade powder.

Check the SNOW REPORT for today and visit www.ResortCams.com as the snowguns fire and cover the slopes again.

That will do it for me today. Sunday will have more weather updates and we’ll do a video tour of the region once those snowmaking crews pull the trigger.

Email me at [email protected]

#ThinkSnow
#ThinkWinter
#Winter
#ThankASnowMaker

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