If there’s one word to describe conditions this morning, it would be LESS THAN IDEAL. That’s actually more than one word but you get the point. The first weekend of meteorological winter is starting off with some rather dreary conditions as light rain and foggy conditions are prevalent across all the ski areas in the region. A lot of times we like to show you some screenshots of the webcams, but this morning that wouldn’t accomplish much as they are all mostly just shrouded in thick fog and you can’t hardly see anything.
It doesn’t happen much, but temperatures across the entire region are pretty uniform. Every resort is generally in the mid to upper 40’s this morning. As a result, we didn’t see any snowmaking last night BUT we did see colder temps on Thursday night which helped to refresh things a bit. Things have definitely been a little slow this week in terms of cold and snowmaking, but thankfully that 10 day-ish cold snap in November really helped to jumpstart things.
The rain should taper off as the day wears on, but if you are making some turns this morning make sure to bust out the waterproof jackets. As Wisp said this morning, “there is no such thing as bad weather when you have the proper gear”. That statement and the fact that it’s the holiday season makes it a perfect time to mention my holiday gift guide from a few years ago. Most of the stuff in there is still applicable today, even seven (what?!) years later. The only changes I would mention is that I don’t think Trace is a thing anymore. I highly, highly recommend the Slopes app. Maybe gift it to someone with a Play Store/iTunes card? That and of course GoPro has newer model cameras. The cameras and technology they produce nowadays is truly mind blowing.
Once the rain tapers off today we MIGHT see a bit of snowmaking tonight. Temperatures look borderline at best, but the WV ski areas and Wisp up in Maryland appear to have a much better chance at making some snow tonight (and tomorrow night). Tomorrow will be cooler and much improved over today. Hopefully we can eek out some manmade snow this weekend because in general next week looks kind of blah. Myself and other weather geeks/snow lovers are already looking ahead a week as that looks like the next chance at seeing colder air return. Brad Panovich talks about it in his latest video.
Cross your fingers.
A Quick Summary of Things
Here’s a quick look at things on a state by state basis. As always, check the snow report page for all the deets.
App Ski Mountain, Sugar, Beech, Cataloochee, and Wolf Ridge are all open for business today. There’s a decent amount of terrain available right now if you are in the Tar Heel state and even some park features if that’s your thing. I almost went to Beech today with my buddy and I am regretting it a bit, even with the weather being what it is. Instead, I’m off to cheer on our prince Christian Pulisic and the US Men’s National Team as they take on the Netherlands.
A notable from NC, Appalachian Ski Mountain is offering $10 lift tickets this weekend as part of their 60th anniversary.
Snowshoe and Timberline are your options this weekend in the Mountain state. Timberline continues to operate on an early season schedule. They are open today and Sunday for day sessions only. Meanwhile, Snowshoe continues to offer the most terrain in the region. Their most recent video has me feening to get up there.
Winterplace will be opening up next weekend and Canaan Valley will follow suit the next weekend, on December 17th.
Bryce Resort is the lone option for skiers of the Old Dominion state this weekend and are now open 7 days a week as well. They also continue to offer early season rates for the time being. Unfortunately, Massanutten had to temporarily suspend operations due to the weather. It is what it is. I am really wanting to get up there this season to try out their new trails and can’t wait for all the other lift/trail expansions in the coming couple of years.
Elsewhere, Wintergreen is planning on opening next weekend. There’s no word from The Omni Homestead. I really need to get in touch with their IT guy about the new webcam installation…
Wisp Resort continues to offer skiing and snowboarding on a daily basis, day sessions only for now. Their tubing lanes are open this weekend as well and you can watch all the tubular fun on the Mountain Park cam.
Ober Gatlinburg is doing what they can with the weather and will be skiing and snowboarding this weekend, albeit on only the Ski School slope. But, if you are a noobie and still learning how to make turns than it’s not a bad opportunity as the snow will be nice and soft(ish) when you fall. Ober is also offering tubing sessions (as they always do) and I’m sure there will be plenty of people out there sliding.
So there you have it. We’re still in the midst of early season conditions and operating hours, but it is only the first weekend of December after all. The crowds will be low but the stoke will be high!