It was a Mild Saturday; Today Will be Milder (and Dryer) at Southeast & mid-Atlantic Ski Resorts

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Photo of the Day Today is a LIVE capture this morning at Snowshoe Mountain

This morning’s (Sunday) Snow Report took me all of 20 minutes to compile. Other than the fact that the temperatures are/were a degree or three milder this morning – AND other than a tweak here and there, it was the same snow report as Saturday morning. I had to snap up a few photos to include for this post, but start-to-finish burned all of 20 minutes. That is NOT supposed to happen on a February morning during ski season.

In addition to the four southeastern ski areas that had ALREADY called it quits prior to this weekend (Homestead, Ober, Sapphire and Wolf Ridge) Wintergreen AND Winterplace are both ending their seasons prematurely after SUNDAY sessions.

Only Snowshoe Mountain Looks Winter-like this Morning…

I climbed aboard my personal time machine (called and toured the area and I was amazed (really) at how well things looked at Appalachian, Beech, Cataloochee, Sugar, Canaan, Timberline, Wisp and even Wintergreen. There’s plenty of base at those mountains and very nice side to side coverage. Massanutten and Bryce looks good as well, although they certainly have had a lot less winter-weather to work with.

The only trace or vestige of winter-like weather that I was able to see from my “USS ResortCams” craft was at Snowshoe Mountain where snowmaking icicles still hang from slopeside buildings and slopeside trees are frosted down the mountain. I watched the very moment that Snowshoe Mountain turned off their snowmakers at the top of Skidder this morning at 8:04am.

Check out the grooming and conditions that await you at “The Shoe” this morning.

Click to Enlarge

What Winter?

We always tout the amazing skill of our Southeastern snowmakers and grooming crews and the 2022-2023 Ski & Snowboarding season will go down as THE season that would have been totally nonexistent without them. This has NOT been a “normal” or “average” season. Typically, even during the BEST of seasons we will experience a mid-season thaw where trails narrow to the point that we’ve wondered how they were still open. That never really happened THIS season. Despite the fact that we have had very little, natural snowfall and very little in the way of consistently cold temperatures, our ski areas (not named Wolf Ridge) have been able to keep good, side-to-side coverage until JUST this last few days.

Even NOW, I am receiving emails from potential visitors who are SHOCKED when I inform them that there’s PLENTY of snow at many ski areas.

Check out Appalachian Ski Mountain RIGHT NOW…and CLICK ON the TIMELAPSE button after viewing the LIVE feed for a few. It is ASTONISHING just how nice they look TODAY!

Click to visit

How the Heck Did Our Mountain Ops Crews Make This Winter a Good One?

We’ve already shared the fact that natural snowfall is WELL below average for this winter with even the snowiest mountaintops in West Virginia only seeing 42″ of snow this winter – or 28% of average. Beech and Sugar, which normally see 80″ of snow annually, have only seen 29″ of snow – or 36% of average.

However, a more telling story of just how blessed we’ve been in terms of keeping MANMADE SNOW on our mountains can be seen by looking at snowmaking temperatures this season.

I looked back at the archived temperatures for Banner Elk, NC for several years and typically even with mid-season temperature THAWS we will see 50% or more of our mornings or overnight temperatures within the snowmaking range.

Using December, January, February and March days (121 days) as a full “winter season” at the ski areas, we’re happy when ski areas can make snow every day or every other day to keep the trails coated with new snow. That means if ski areas can make snow on 45%-50% or more of those days…the slopes will be pristine.

This winter? Banner Elk saw 15 snowmaking nights in December; 11 nights in January and only 6 nights in February. That is 32 nights or 36%. Compare that to the 2010-2011 winter when Banner Elk had snowmaking temps on 75 of those 121, same nights or 85%.

Yet we never had a thaw where trails dropped down to nothing mid-season AND for the ski resorts that are still open – things look remarkably good.

This WILL go down as a “good season” financially because, for the most part we never had a weekend completely rained out. We only had a few weekends where one day was a bit wet and all of the VERY important Holiday weeks and weekends were VERY successful in terms of huge crowds of ticket buyers.

However, The End is Near (This Season) For All But A Few Ski Resorts

Great minds think alike, but check out Joe Stevens “Snow News is Good News” column today. I already had this part of my Sunday “ramble” ready to go LIVE when Joe submitted his weekend post. So I’ll simply add my two cents to the sentiment he started.

The southeast has experienced two consecutive weeks of record warm temperatures far above the seasonal norms for February. In spite of a valiant effort to keep the ski season going by making snow at every opportunity, SEVERAL resorts are already closed for the season and two more will cease snow sports activities for the season after Sunday sessions.

Today will be the last day of the season at Silver Creek at Snowshoe, so no more night skiing there for the season.

They posted, “We’re in good shape on the Snowshoe side and we plan to keep it rolling as long as possible!”

I read on Social Media where a couple of ski resorts are posting some hints that March is forecasted to be colder and that they will make snow and stay open. Some are even predicting skiing through the end of March.

Man, I’m with them. We will be right here sharing the snow report until the last resort shuts it down this winter. However, I have to share that we are not seeing those cold temperatures in the mid-to-long-range forecast. We’ve reached out to our buddy, Meteorologist Brad Panovich to get HIS, educated view of what March may have in store for us. He QUICKLY texted me back this morning informing me that there IS a pattern change coming NEXT WEEKEND. I can’t wait to see his take on beyond NEXT weekend. According to the NWS feeds, there IS some snow and lows in the teens and 20s coming Friday night, March 3rd and Saturday’s temps look great, but beyond that?

Again, we’ll see what Brad tells us. Meteorologist Chad Merrill of WTOP News out of the Washington, D.C. market shared, “I’m a meteorologist who does forecast support for clients, including ski resorts, and I think Winter is not over by any means in the Alleghenies.”

We’ll see.


We’re thinking that MORE ski areas will have a look ahead at the forecasts for rainy/mild days and also call it quits on this season. They’ve made good money this season and remaining open may not make that much fiscal sense.

Again…we’ll see. We KNOW that Appalachian, Cataloochee, Sugar, Snowshoe and Timberline will “keep the lights on” until the last moment. Beech might as well. Not sure about others.

Last Ramblings for Today

Bill Nabers sent us this photo at Bryce Resort at the headwall on Bootlegger and you can see some of the new snow on the edges. Snow was made on Bootlegger and a little on tubing. Skiing was very good on Bootlegger. Lots of folks out. Bunch of lessons on the carpets and even the race team was training. Tubing was packed. Lots of laughter and smiles.

Click to Enlarge

More Wolf Howls…and Reader Comments

Matthew Losh shared (in response to our recent weather related posts).


Totally agree with you on your last few First Trax articles. This winter has sucked in terms of snowfall, but has not been a total bust. Took my first ever trip to Snowshoe this past weekend and had a great time!!! (l’ll be posting a trip report on the message board later this week). Part of the reason being that Friday night they got about 2 inches of natural snowfall and they were able to run the guns all afternoon, evening, and night. Conditions on Saturday and even Sunday were therefore excellent. During several of my on-lift conversations (or ramblings) with strangers, skiers and boarders from outside of WV praised the snow conditions. Several were surprised, even shocked, when I would mention that Snowshoe was about 100 inches under their season average. I was even more surprised that there were some people that didn’t realize that most of the snow there was “machine-made”—And yes, I did correct 2 people who called it fake/artificial snow. I made sure to use those opportunities to praise the snowmaking teams for their efforts not just this weekend, but throughout the season. They are the real stars of the Mid-Atlantic/Southeast ski resorts.

Oh and yes……I did promote SkiSoutheast as much as humanly possible. One guy didn’t believe that it was my first time at Snowshoe because I knew so much about it. I definitely gave praise for my knowledge of not just SS, but ski areas all across the area.

Thanks as always Mike! You and your team do a great job!


About Wolf Ridge

Mike, you’re absolutely correct about wolf ridge. I came to wolf in 1993 one year after orville bought the area, the place was packed with skiers, every level of the parking lots were full. Business was booming! Over the years orville did not like any negative comments about anything there, I found out over &over again. I finally quit at the end of the 2015-2016 season. For me, skiing &teaching was the most fun. He invested nothing on wolf anything he bought was used from another resorts, guns, skis & boards, boots etc… half wornout !! it’s a shame because when all the runs are open it offers some great terrain, iv’e skied all the resorts in wnc, wolf has the best runs no doubt. Negative comments are 100% correct – they do not care about their customers or their employees. They would not blow when everybody else did, killing the business over time, less open terrain equals less skiers . always the first to close also, drove me crazy!! Former P.S.I.A certified ski instructor with 23 years experience, Kenny Jordan.


Mike,I falied to mention anything about Breakaway, new terrain,new quad lift, lasted two or three years. Upper lodge burned down,end of breakaway! Quad was not damaged,I walked down there one day to look at it.
The slopes were left for dead!! They should have at least moved the quad to the otherside replacing the OLD original double chair. The quad is still there, rusting away, terrible sight to see,the runs have trees growing on them! I really love skiing, the reason I kept going back every season, for me WV is the place to go, either snowshoe or winterplace or timberline. Vermont has some great resorts as well. Skisoutheast is excellent, no wonder your number one,I’ve been around since it was Skinc. THANKS!! Kenny

That will do it for me today. Here are some closing photos taken from the “Starship ResortCams” this morning:

Beech Mountain looking good this morning. Clouds in the Valley. Click to Enlarge
Wisp looking good this morning.


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