Massanutten, Wolf Ridge and Ober Gatlinburg Open for the first time this season today!

First Trax

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Due to Power Outage Winterplace delays opening day until December 18th.

It is COLD out there this morning people! The cold spot is at Snowshoe Mountain where they are reporting MINUS 1° at 7am this morning! I also spoke with David Lesher of Canaan Weather and he does an official weather station and snow & precip measuring service in Davis, West Virginia. He’s reporting 4° atop his 3700 foot elevations on top of Canaan Mountain which is 4 miles from Timberline Resort. David is a retired gentleman who simply enjoys doing the official weather reporting from his location and he told me that he was just happy to provide the service to Tucker County residents.

David is reporting another 3" + of snow this morning and we’ll detail more about that in a second.

I can’t tell you the last time that it took me nearly three hours just to gather all the news and updates we needed to post all of the reports and today’s news. I was on the phone quite a bit with marketing directors and GMs as well as confirming some reports that were conflicting, etc. All that said, THIS IS MORE LIKE IT! We have a lot going on, so let’s get to it.

I was picking up my usual breakfast biscuit and tea this morning when I overheard one of the Christmas tree workers say something to his friend that included, "viento horrible". Don’t ask me WHY I knew that phrase but I did and he was correct – we had some horrible wind again last night. But that is a thing of the past now as the winds are dying down and things should be quite nice today on the slopes around the southeast and mid Atlantic.

Let’s get to the tour this morning as we’ll be providing the accurate information across the board. There are several reporting services providing conflicting data than what we’re providing today. They’re all wrong – we’re correct – end of story. We’re also jumping around a bit, simply for effect. What effect, you ask? Man, I don’t know, but here goes.

I’m giving top billing today to Ober Gatlinburg in the beautiful Smoky Mountains.

16° – Ober Gatlinburg – They have 5 of 8 slopes open today. The Anders family has had a lot to deal with after the passing of the beloved Cy Anders up there in addition to the fact that ma nature hasn’t been fantastic in providing sufficient temps over the last year or two. However it is OPENING DAY TODAY for Ober. Marketing Director, Kathy Doyle reported, "We’ll be open from noon until 10pm with a $30 Lift Ticket. Friday Night 6pm – 10pm Lift Ticket Only $15! Join us for Opening Day! Upper Half of Bear Run Open!"

They also have Mogul Ridge (black diamond) open!

Let’s go to West Virginia…

-1° – Snowshoe Mountain is the cold spot this morning and they picked up another one-inch of snow and that makes for 20" on the season! Snowshoe is open with 14 trails for today and the Silvercreek side of the mountain is open for night skiing tonight. Some people have emailed us about Snowshoe’s Snowmobiling ops and they will begin snowmobile tours on December 14th.

Laura Parquette writes, "Snowmaking should continue into early tomorrow morning, which means there’s a possibility of opening additional terrain before the weekend is over."

(Several people have commented on the great Photo of the Day from this week at Snowshoe!)

11° – Canaan Valley is opening on Saturday! They write, "All preparations are under way to welcome this year’s winter ski season opening date, Saturday, December 12th. The ski area will open on Saturday with 4 trail (beginner and intermediate), and a base depth of 12" – 48". Take advantage of discount ski specials over the weekend – $20 lift tickets, $38 lift/ski rental or $48 lift/snowboard rental."

David Vance from Canaan wrote, "Welcome to another exciting ski season here at Canaan Valley Resort. We are opening Saturday with 4 Trails. The trails are: Sissy Schuss, Bunny Buster,Valley Vista, and the Face. Let’s keep this cold spell around all season and Think SNOW!!!! We are continuing to make snow around the clock. So here’s to a prosperous season for all."

David Lesher of Canaan Weather is officially reporting 3.2" of snow in the last 24 hours and 26.2" on the season thus far. They’ve had some measureable snow there on SEVEN of the last TEN days!

13° – Winterplace Resort – If you’ve been follow this report daily you’ll know that Winterplace was hit hard by the ice storm this week that left a lot of people without power. We received some reports that they began making snow again on Thursday afternoon but Joe Stevens, who is the spokesperson for the WV Ski Areas just confirmed a conversation I just had with Lori Lucas at Winterplace that they began making snow again THIS MORNING since they were without power prior to that. Due to these issues, Winterplace will NOT open this Saturday, but will now open up on December 18th.

(You heard it here first!)

Ditto the temps and snowfall that we reported for Canaan Valley – for Timberline Resort. However, we could not get an answer at Timberline for any specific to update you guys on today. We can tell you that they open on Saturday for the season.

Since we’re up that way, let’s hop over to Wisp Resort in Maryland

12° – Wisp Resort – We spoke with Marketing Director, Lori Epp at the Garrett County resort this morning and they now have two trails open and are making snow and will open more terrain soon. They had 40-60 people on the mountain on Thursday which isn’t bad for only having one beginner trail open yesterday. Wisp is reporting 1" of new snow and 11" on the season. They have their popular Mountain Coaster open for business today and they are making snow on the tubing hill and should have that ready for prime time soon!


12° – Massanutten Resort OPENS TODAY with 5 of 14 slopes and their tubing park is open as well! They are open for DAY SKIING and SNOWBOARDING. Night sessions begin December 18th. They are making snow on the terrain parks and those should open very soon! We know some of our messageboard guys who are headed to Mass today and we spoke with GM Steve Showalter on Thursday and he was ready to see the rope drop this morning!

12° – Wintergreen Resort is happy about the fact that opening Day is tomorrow, Saturday December 12th. Anne Marie Jones writes, "9 glorious degrees at 7AM and very little wind, in the snowmaking world, the current conditions are considered superb! . Slopes opening tomorrow will include Upper and Lower Dobie, both the Upper and Lower Cross Trails and Eagles Swoop. Weather cooperating, we plan to add The Plunge, Ridgely’s Fun Park, Potato Patch, Tequila, Sunrise and a few more trails for the weekend of the 19th. Keep checking this report regularly for updates and cross your fingers and toes for cold weather."

20° – Bryce Resort is making snow and opening on Saturday!

10° – The Homestead – Matt Fussell is the new guy in charge of recreation at the resort and we spoke with him this morning and he told me that they had pushed 1.4 MILLION GALLONS of water through their snowmaking system since 4pm on Thursday! They plan on opening Saturday, December 19th! They have their popular ice rink open now!



More terrain opens and the fun begins!

I spoke with Wolf Ridge Resort’s Rick Bussey this morning and you could tell he was excited to get the season started today and he informed us that Wolf is open for NIGHT SKIING tonight as well!

16° – Wolf Ridge Resort opens today at 9am! Rick Bussey writes, "We are excited to announce that we will be OPENING today, Friday the 11th with 5 incredible ski runs, two lifts and lots of freshly manmade snow. Be the first to run the slopes and kick off our 2009/2010 Ski The Wolf Season. See you today on the slopes."

It’s great to see Wolf open today.

5° – Beech Mountain Resort – Ryan Costin, Bob Webb and their crew have really been blasting the main terrain with snowmaking over the last 30+ hours and they are now open to the TOP with the Quad lift moving people to Upper Shawneehaw and down now. Talia Freeman writes, "Upper Shawneehaw and the High-Speed Quad make their season debut this today! Beech Mountain Resort will start night skiing this Saturday with the Ice Skating Rink and the Beech Tree Restaurant also opening. The Beech Tree will jump start the season with Standard Films 2009 video premier of Black Winter, a snowboarding film highlighting some of the most progressive riders in the industry. The showing starts at 8:00pm and will feature music and fun for all ages. Slope tickets will be $30.00 for all-day and twilight tickets and $20.00 for half-day and night tickets. We look forward to seeing everyone here this weekend!"

Beech will be open for day skiing and snowboarding only on Friday with Upper Shawneehaw, down left to Lower Shawneehaw and then you’ll be directed to the left down Freestyle to the bottom. The Play Yard is also open for newbies.

10° – Appalachian Ski Mountain – They look GREAT this morning! They will operate with 7 of 11 trails today that includes two of their three terrain parks. They also have ice skating open and they are open for day and night skiing as well. We’re reporting the 28" minimum base depth as App’s not including their base depth on their own website. We put in a call to Brad or Drew over there and we’ll get you guys the numbers when we can. They were confirming a base of 16-25" on Thursday morning and one report is reflecting a base of 28-48". Regardless, things look REALLY sweet at App today.

7.5° – Cataloochee Ski Area – This is straight from Tammy Brown, "On Friday, we will be skiing from the top of the quad down on nine slopes with two aerial lifts and one conveyor lift operating on a base of 14-40” and a machine worked packed powder surface. Please note that some of our terrain features will be available for you to ride on Upper Over Easy, right down from the Snack Shack, accessed by the Easy Way Triple Chairlift. On Friday we will offer two sessions of skiing, twilight skiing from 1pm until 10pm and night skiing from 6pm until 10pm with an afternoon half day rate also available. Please remember we are now on our early season operating schedule of 1pm until 10pm Monday through Friday and 8:30am – 4:30pm on Saturdays and Sundays and that midweek season passholders can ski everyday even on the weekends through December 18. Tube World located in Maggie Valley across from Ghost Town in the Sky, four miles from the ski area, has already begun snowmaking but will not open for the season until December 19."

10° – Sugar Mountain has now got 9 trails open and they are also open for night skiing. Ice skating is also open. They are also announcing that their regular prices are now in effect. Sugar charges $39 for a full day liftie today ($64 for Saturday and Sunday). The better deal for more skiing for your dollar is to do the Twilight sessions for $43 today and $64 on Saturday.

Also remember that SugarFest starts on Saturday!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

• 8:30am – 7:00pm
Preseason Adult Ski Clinic featuring 1994 Olympic Gold & 1992 Olympic Silver medalist Diann Roffe and two-time (1992 & 1994) Olympian, Krista Schmidinger

• 9:00am – 3:30pm
Consumer Demo

• 10:00am & 1:00pm
Skate with 1992 Olympic Silver Medalist Paul Wylie

• 10:00am
Ice Skating and Tubing sessions every two hours through 10:00pm

• 3:00pm
Snowball Eating Contest

• 4:00pm – 7:00pm
After Ski Party featuring Boss Hawg

• 5:00pm
Happy 40th Anniversary Sugar Mountain Resort (cake, ice cream & refreshments)

• 5:45pm
Fireworks Display

7° – Hawksnest Tubing and Zip Line – They are open today. Lenny Cottom writes, "We will be open Friday, December 11 at 12pm for snow tubing. On Friday we will have snow tubing sessions at 12pm, 2pm, 4pm and 6pm. Snow tubing sessions are 1 hour and 45 minutes with a cost of $22 per person. Our snow tubing lanes will also be open on Saturday with sessions at 10am, 12pm, 2pm, 4pm and 6pm. Please check our calendar page for more dates and times. Please keep in mind some sessions may sell out. You can go to our "Buy Tickets" link at the top of this page to buy tickets for any session before it is sold out. We will also have our zip line course open this Friday and during the weekend. Please call ahead for reservations for our zip line course. Hope to see you soon."

19° – Sapphire Valley – Word is that they are making snow and opening as soon as possible "weather permitting". We have a call in to Ann Scully over at Sapphire and we’ll update you Sapphire fans ASAP.

18° – Scaly Mountain Tubing – They are making snow and you’re in that area and want to go tubing at the Scaly Mountain Outdoor Center we’d suggest to call ahead. They have a great little operation going on there and some great food to boot at The Lodge BBQ and Trout House. We don’t talk about these guys a lot but they’ve really stepped up the fun there from a couple of years ago when they only did tubing.

Located between Sky Valley Georgia and Highlands North Carolina, The Scaly Mountain Outdoor Center is the place to enjoy both summer and winter fun. Come visit and experience, or rediscover, the fun of Trout Fishing in NC, ice skating, summer tubing, and snow Tubing in NC.

There is something for the entire family at the Scaly Mountain Outdoor Center. Parents can enjoy the shade of our terrace while the kids fish, skate or tube. When its time to feed the gang, The Lodge BBQ and Trout House is sure to satisfy all taste buds.

Scaly Mountain Outdoor Center is fun for the entire family, young and old alike. Come for a school field trip, company fishing party, church group activity, birthday party, family reunion, or just for a fun afternoon getaway.

Be sure to click over to  to see who else had snow and how much! You can check the snow reports for all of the ski resorts of West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Tennessee and North Carolina via as well as videos, photos and more.

Send your comments, videos, photos, trip reports and questions to: [email protected]

SSAA: 0 for 15 Beech5/was4/Sug 8was9/wolf1.5/0/ober1"/wolfnotopen

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