It is a GREAT DAY to ski or ride today – such as… (You’ll see…)

First Trax

We’re coming down to the final few days of the 2010 calendar year and that means double this year. It makes you think of what you’ve accomplished (or not) within the last year and because it is the closing of the first DECADE of the millennium it makes me think about all the things we’ve accomplished (and not) within the past ten years. I’ve also given some thought to things that we could’ve and should’ve accomplished during the decade (and didn’t) AND finally I’ve given some thought to things I hope we can accomplish in the next year (or ten).

As I thought of how I’d approach this storyline, I searched for inspiration. I found it in what HAD to be the quote of the decade from former Miss South Carolina, Aimee Teegarden. With all due respect to her, HERE is my Sunday lead in…

"I personally believe, that Southeast Americans that ski or are unable to do so, because uh, some, people out there, in our region don’t have trail maps. and uh…I believe that our ski or snowboarding educators such as in South Africa and the Iraq don’t have ski resorts and everywhere like such as…and I believe they should, uh, such as have ski areas here to help South Africa and the Iraq and Asian countries so we will be able to build up our future ski resorts for us."

Note: I’ll probably get around to a serious approach at this possibility of a storyline, however to be honest I couldn’t think of how I’d write this story without coming off a little negative. I’ll ponder on it some more and maybe give it a go later, in the next twelve days, such as, before the year is over, such as.

It seems at least one other reporting service used Aimee Teegarden as inspiration this morning. Their lead headline at the top of the page was, "XYZ Resort (not provided because this isn’t about the resort but the reporting service) is open from 9am to 10pm."

That’s it. No really, that is the big headline this morning. I just don’t know what else to say. It was worth a laugh to me; maybe it will be for you guys as well.


Our buddy Brad Panovich will get a "C+" for his forecast from this past Thursday evening that forecasted snow to begin this evening and carry through Tuesday and maybe into Wednesday for all of the ski areas of the Southeast and Mid Atlantic. To his defense HE DID say that the WV and Maryland areas would get more snow, but he felt pretty confident that so too would the NC ski areas and the resorts into Virginia.

If he were forecasting only for the West Virginia and Maryland ski resorts, he’d have nailed his Thurday-for-the-weekend forecast for the 3rd straight weekend. However according to the NWS as of this morning, the forecast for the North Carolina and perhaps the Virginia areas is looking a little sunny for today and through most of Monday. Then things look to be ICY Monday night through Tuesday night. We’ll stop there since his newest skier’s forecast video is due Monday. I will say that things look great for snowmaking and we’ve got another snow event looking our way for Friday and Christmas Day! Maybe a WHITE CHRISTMAS!

The "A" part of Brad’s forecast is for his West Virginia and Maryland side of the prediction. Snow is in the forecast up that way for today, tonight, Monday, Tuesday, Tuesday night and again next weekend. Temps around Snowshoe should allow for around-the-clock snowmaking ops if they choose to use it. Snowshoe and other ski areas have been choosing to make snow only on unopened terrain lately. That is how good conditions are right now. It could get a little dicey for the Southern tier ski resorts into Tuesday or so – so hit it today and Monday.


(I don’t know why Aimee’s on my mind today. I was thinking of what some of the most famous quotes and speeches of the last decade might be and she popped in my mind. That’s all. Such as…)

<Does this mean that it IS updated daily or that it’s kind of a pun that it is?

Okay, I promise to get all of the "such as" comments out of the rest of this story. However I can’t help myself I DO have a couple more. Look I can’t help it but I was looking for anything that would tell me how long Sapphire’s open for on Sunday and I had to chuckle when I came to their Sapphire Valley Resort page that has a cool graphic on it that says click the button for an "updated daily" snow report. They used quotes I assume to mean that it only says it’s updated daily, when it isn’t.

Their links go to a website that isn’t updated regularly, but I DID find another website that is thanking people for a great season last year and talking about extended hours in March…

Oh well.. Call ahead if you’re wanting to ride Sapphire after…say…4pm. Such as.

Okay, I’m done. Maybe. Here’s the rest.

Wolf Ridge Resort – 28° – I’m LIKING the job Wolf is doing this season. They’ve really stepped up their game and that’s great for all of us and certainly for fans of the Wolf. They’re reporting .05" of new snow and groomed/frozen gran conditions on a (single digit) 75" base. They’ll offer 15 of 20 slopes and trails for day and night sessions on Sunday and tubing is open as well. They made snow and report a growth of 5" on the base overnight.

Appalachian Ski Mountain – 29° – 100% open with all 12 slopes and trails, all three terrain parks and ice skating. Groomed 55-83" base. Riding the snow for day and night sessions.

Beech Mountain Ski Resort – 16° – Trace of new snow, although they aren’t reporting it and CoCoRaHs hasn’t been updated as of this report. 14 of 15 trails open for day and night sessions on a Frozen Granular base of 34-60". No ice skating yet and they say that Oz Run will be opening soon. Beech has seen 42.7" of snow in DECEMBER ALONE and 49.5" on the season. We’re not certain but that could be a record for December and this early in the season. (…and Winter hasn’t arrived yet…)

Cataloochee Ski Area – 24.8° – 100% open with all 16 trails, terrain park features and tubing is open as well. Groomed 42-80" base. Open 9am-10pm.

Sapphire Valley – 26.8° – 100% open with both trails and snow tubing. Not sure on the session offerings. Call ahead.

Sugar Mountain Resort – 15° (Has anyone else noticed that their temps is ALWAYS 1° colder than Beech’s and yet Beech’s is higher elevation. Just saying.) – They are reporting a dusting of snow and they are making snow this AM. Sugar has added another trail opening and now have 18 of 20 trails, tubing and ice skating all open. They’re open for day and night sessions and have a base of 40-72". They also opened their terrain park.


Wintergreen Resort – 14° – They are open on 21 of 26 trails and made a ton of snow. They offer day and night sessions on a groomed 24-36" base and they have terrain parks, tubing and more. Anne Marie talks and we listen, "Great snowmaking weather means more terrain opening just about every day. Today we will ski and ride on all 3 sections of our mountain. Opening HIGHLANDS this early is a real treat. Pack up your gear and start heading this way!

We plan to open additional slopes daily with a goal of being 100% OPEN BY CHRISTMAS. Over the next couple of days, we hope to put Lower Cliffhanger and Big Acorn on the OPEN list. Keep checking this report for progress updates.

Skiing and Riding: Today we have 21 slopes and trails open and 4 lifts. We will be open for DAY AND NIGHT SESSIONS skiing and riding from 9AM-9PM. The average snow base depth throughout the resort is 24”-36”. REGULAR SEASON RATES ARE IN EFFECT.

Tubing: The Plunge Tubing Park will be open today 10am – 9pm. Buy tickets on the web ahead of time if you want to take advantage of this great winter activity. Tickets for The Plunge or Ridgely’s Fun Park can be purchased over the web right now Click here. Ridgely’s Fun Park will be open today 10am – 6pm. Bring your little ones up here for some great family fun.

Terrain Park: The Progression Park is open with: 20 ft box, 10 ft box, 20 ft rail, 20 ft fun box, small and large propane tank rails, 2 small jumps, medium jump, 2 progression tables and a battleship rail. Keep checking this report for updates."

Massanutten Resort – 20° – They are open on 11 of 14 trails, 8 lanes of tubing and both terrain parks for day and night sessions today. They are reporting Groomed conditions on a base of 20-36" and they made snow on Yee Ha and Mass Transit.

Bryce Resort – 14° – 7 of 8 trails open for day sessions only today. No to the terrain park; YES to tubing; NO to snowmaking although it shows it’s 14° up there. No to natural snow. They’re reporting a 20-55" base of Groomed conditions for today.

The Homestead – 16° – We can tell you that it’s cold. …and they’re open. That’s all we can tell ya! Like Sapphire they’re kind of resort that happens to have some skiing going on and that’s basically the sentiment. There’s no effort to actively report to any service.


Before we get to the WV report, David Lesher from up at Davis, WV has the best weather and snow reporting service that we’ve seen. Yes, I talk about him a lot, but the guy doesn’t get any other publicity and we think he deserves and "atta boy" for doing a great service to us, the industry and Davis, WV in particular.

David’s reporting NO SNOW for the first time in eight days for that part of WV. You know that they’ve only had THREE DAYS of the NINETEEN DAYS in December without snowfall?!?! They’ve seen 48.9" in December alone and 54.6" on the season.

Let’s get to the WV resort tour:

Snowshoe Mountain – 11° – They are packing a couple of 45s today! They have 45 trails open with an average base of 45"! They are making snow but not on open terrain and Snowshoe has more to do on and off the snow right now than anyone in the region. Check it – Snow tubing (open), Snow mobiling (open), Terrain Park (open), Snowshoeing (open). Great dining, pubs, shops, etc (you guessed it).

Laura Parquette posts, "It should be an absolutely gorgeous day on the mountain today. With the addition of Camp 4 in the basin area, Snowshoe now has 100% of beginner terrain open across our two areas. Cupp Run is now open top to bottom and is looking SWEET! With 45 trails, or 75% of our available terrain, Snowshoe is offering the MOST open terrain in the region and we continue to add to our trail counts almost daily. We have moved the guns over to Shay’s Revenge, and we’ll be concentrating snowmaking on that area for the next week or so. With some cooperation from Mother Nature, we may have Shay’s ready by the Christmas Holiday. Regardless, our expert snowmaking team will continue to be as aggressive as possible, working around the clock as we aim to be 100% open just after the first of the year (or sooner if possible!). We’ll continue to keep daytime snowmaking efforts OFF of open terrain for our guests’ enjoyment. Our terrain park team will be back at work building this week as we add to our 20+ available features. We’ll hopefully add the Timberjack Medium Park in the coming week. All in all, things continue to get better every day around here, so get in your car and get up here!"

You heard her! What are you still doing here reading this stuff!

Winterplace Resort – 17° – They are open to the top of the mountain with 20 of 28 trails available. I know they’re website says they have 27 trails and I know their report states that as well. Missy emailed us earlier in the week to request that we match up our snow reporting with theirs. But I counted them! I also opened their great new trail map, blew it up and marked the trails. Unless I’m going a little batty (and that entirely in the realm of possibility) there ARE 28 trails at Winterplace.

Almost Heaven
Drop Off
Nose Dive
Country Roads
Easy Street
Turkey Chute
Glades Open
Highland Run 
No Problem 
Over Easy
Ridge Runner
Last Chance
Last Run
Look at Me!
Rendezvous Too
Snow Bowl
Wood’s Run 

Canaan Valley – 14° – No report of new snow and a wind chill of 7° this morning. I’m REALLY liking Canaan’s new website and I’ve bragged about it to anyone who would listen lately – BUT they’re obviously having some major issues with it this weekend because there’s no report showing. That’s okay I own a couple of phones. Let’s see – 9 trails are open for DAY SESSIONS only today. That’s 9 of 39 trails open. They do offer tubing, ice skating and some killer cross country terrain for playing on. David Lesher is reporting a natural snow base for the cross country skiers out there of 11".

Timberline Resort – 14° – They are open with 20 of 37 trails for day sessions Sunday on a base of 40-58" of packed powder. Snowmaking is happening.


The other two Southeast ski areas are singular ski areas located in Tennessee and Maryland. We give Wisp top billing (alphabetically) on our snow report so we’ll pop them here today.

Wisp Resort – 13° – No new snow and no snowmaking. They’ll be open for day sessions only on Sunday with 31 of 32 trails open, one of three terrain parks open, snow tubing open, ice skating open, and their crazy-cool mountain coaster is open! They’re reporting a great 18-48" base of groomed conditions and trust me Wisp can lay down some corduroy!

Ober Gatlinburg – 25° – They saw a nice dusting of new snow and made snow as well! They are open on a groomed base of 20-45" with 6 of 9 trails open til 7pm. They have their terrain park, tubing and ice skating open as well!


I invite your comments to [email protected] . If you’re heading to the slopes, take your camera and send us some photos, videos and a comment or two about your day at YOUR favorite ski area.

We also invite you to visit:

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