The Photo of the Day is from Bryce Resort in Virginia, thanks to Brody Martin (@brodymartin_22)
Before I get going, let me quickly remind everyone that some ski areas close early on Christmas Eve, and schedules may be a bit different for Christmas Day as well. Check the SNOW REPORT as we have tried to include that information in the remarks section of today’s report.
The Best Day Left in the Year?!?!
Today is Friday, December 24th, 2021 and today just might very well be the best snow conditions and the best weather day that we will see for the rest of this year. There are only eight days left in 2021 and unless the forecast changes, our ski resorts may not see any further opportunities to make snow until after the new year.
I can tell you that conditions today are pretty darn nice and if you have a chance to get out on the snow, you should make it happen. As of 8am this morning I watched a young mother do just that and while you probably can’t make it out in the photograph below – the mother thought the conditions and the brilliant sunlit morning made for a photo op as she was snapping a picture of her young daughter making turns at the top of Upper Shawneehaw at Beech Mountain Resort this morning.
It IS that kind of morning across the entire region as this Christmas Eve will provide brilliant, sunny skies and highs in the mid-40s to mid-50 degree temperatures at every mountain top. All of our ski areas have nice snow base depths at this time and – again – today and most of Christmas Day are meant to be p-r-e-t-t-y nice for skiing, snowboarding and anything else you may want to do outdoors.
After that? W–e–l–l, not so good, as some rather wet conditions seem to be headed our way for most of this next week.
…and, my friends THAT leads me to a question that I started getting via SkiMail last night.
Angie D’anatard of Maitland, FL emailed me:
mike, I enjoy the website and notice over the years you tend to post answers to some of the funnier questions that your reader have. I’m from tropical and rainy maitland florida and we have a ski trip planned for north carolina next week and i noticed rain is in the forecast. can you ski in the rain? (you’re welcome to use my name as my friends will be impressed!)
Haha, Angie, your question actually provided me with a source of inspiration for what to write about today. So THANK YOU for not only posing a really appropriate question, but for being my muse for the morning.
Can you ski on a rainy day?
First, let me share that I am NOT a professional skier nor ski instructor, nor do I claim to be. I may ski pretty well, and God knows I have taught dozens of friends and family how to enjoy themselves on skis. However, I am not a professional. The advice that I share here should not be considered a substitute for whatever differing opinions or instructions that a professional ski instructor might render. With that said, you guys can’t hold me responsible for what I am about to post here.
Now that I’ve gotten the legal requirements out of the way – HELL YES you can ski on a rainy day. Some of my most memorable and favorite days on the slopes have been on rainy days. Of course, those rainy day runs will never replace the days of plowing through armpit-deep snow in Colorado or even 14″ deep freshies here in the Southeast and mid-Atlantic – but they CAN be a ton of fun. It’s all about what you’re wearing and your own, personal mindset.
Some family friends texted me last night after evidently checking out the weather forecast for several days and nights of potential YUCK for the week ahead. I shared that while the forecast does include rain, that doesn’t mean that it will be raining all day, every day. There will likely be “open windows” of opportunities to hit the slopes when it isn’t raining AND there will be opportunities to simply “sing in the rain”.
One friend asked me, “Why would you ever go skiing when it’s raining?”
My knee-jerk reaction was, “Why not?”
Another thought was that I water ski and get wet doing that.
The best answer might simply be – sometimes you just have to make do, if you don’t want to spend the entire trip inside your room. Also, there ARE actually some perks to skiing in the rain.
When the rain starts, the other skiers and riders usually leave, which means you’ll have the slopes all to yourself. Empty slopes mean no lift lines. Often you can ski right onto the next chair.
About the only advice I would offer if you are going to venture out when rain is falling is to be aware that the snow will either be icy and slippery or slushy and heavy depending on the temperature and condition of the snow on the slopes. Your legs will likely get tired quicker due to using different muscles when skiing on heavy snow. Be mindful that accidents tend to happen more often WHEN you are tired, so be smart; know your body and know when to call it quits.
The other advice is:
Use waterproof ski clothes if possible. A long rain coat might be nice.
Consider wearing rain gear instead of a shell.
Wear a helmet and be aware of the gap between your helmet and goggles.
…and one more thing – SMILE. Embrace the “meh”. It will go a long way to making an otherwise not pristine snow day and awesome day.
When you’re done for the day, get those wet clothes, gloves and gear in a dryer. Set your boots near a fireplace or heater and try to get them dry. Many ski area locker rooms have boot and glove dryers. Use them!
I suppose one more thing should be mentioned here…
It MIGHT NOT be all that rainy over the week ahead. 40%-70% chance of rain, means that there will likely be many times when it isn’t raining. Also, weather patterns change. Let’s say a prayer for that.
Some Notables…Photos and More.
Thanks to Mike Stinneford of WTOP in Washington DC for his recent weather contributions. On Thursday, he wrote:
I just watched Brad’s excellent update, and I really can’t add anything to it. A tough week coming up, but colder air is eventually going to move in during the month of January. I see temperatures are all over the place this morning. This will be the last time any of our ski areas will be below freezing for about a week.
Well thanks for rubbing that in, Mike. Haha. Just kidding. It IS what it IS.
CANAAN VALLEY RESORT:
Today is Canaan Valley Resort’s OPENING DAY for the 2021-2022 season.
With a newly remodeled rental shop, you can now order your ski, snowboard and boot rentals in advance and skip those lines upon arrival. Canaan Valley Resort also launched a new RFID (Radio Frequency ID) lift ticket and lift gate system as well. With this new system, you will be able to purchase passes online and receive a plastic RFID card that allows you to reload lift tickets or season passes via your mobile phone or computer. Preorder rentals and purchase your ski pass by visiting ski.canaanresort.com.
Mike Moody posted:
Ski Season is Here!
Good morning and welcome to the first day of ski season at Canaan Resort. We invite you to celebrate our 50th ski season on the mountain, and share in the debut of some our latest additions to the ski area.
Quenchers Pub will be open from 11am – 5pm for all your food and beverage needs. Conditions on the mountain are looking great for a day of holiday skiing. We are looking forward to another great ski season at Canaan Resort! Merry Christmas Eve and Happy Holidays! See you on the mountain! For reservation assistance or resort information, call (304) 866-4121.
Snowshoe Mountain Resort Offers Us a Nice Gift For Christmas!
The legendary Cupp Run opens today! Snowshoe’s crew made the most of every single second of cold temperatures this week, and got the job done. Nothing short of a Christmas miracle if you ask us. They plan on having Cupp open around midday Friday!
Silver Creek is open 9-9 daily through the holidays! Head that way for wide, mellow slopes and minimal lift lines. (And a super fun terrain park!)
Kurtis Schachner filmed this awesome video:
Look, nobody likes sharing or promoting less than pristine news when it comes to ski resort news. However, we really think that all of the Virginia ski areas deserve the “Charlie Hustle Award” for how hard they’ve had to work against all odds with the weather and staffing issues. However, Wintergreen Resort might deserve the biggest “atta boys” this early in the season.
Jay Gamble was named the general manager of Wintergreen Resort in Virginia back in the fall and I’m sure he could not have foreseen the challenges of the kind of December weather pattern that the Virginia ski areas have been faced with.
On top of that, his crew has recently been devastated with outages due to testing positive for Covid. Despite all of that, Wintergreen is resilient and fighting to maintain some semblance of offering a wonderful experience for their guests, and the awesome news is that fans of the resort are showing their appreciation with wonderful and supportive comments on Twitter and Facebook.
Way to go Jay and way to go Wintergreen!
Slope hours will be from 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM today, December 24, and December 25 in observance of the Christmas holiday.
CHRISTMAS EVE 12/24: 9AM-2PM; CHRISTMAS DAY 12/25: 12PM-4PM
Man, they have made a LOT of snow over the last few days! Open from 9a-5pm Christmas Eve. Open NOON until 8pm Christmas Day. Snow tubing open with 6 lanes! Ice Skating is Open as well!
Check out the awesome ice rink that Massanutten Resort offers guests!
Tubing is open! Ice skating, Ice Bumper Cars and More.
APPALACHIAN SKI MOUNTAIN:
In addition to closing at 5pm today. The slopes will be open from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, December 25. The day will serve as a fundraiser for Appalachian Ski Mtn’s ski patrol. Customers who purchase their tickets online before noon on Dec. 24 will receive a 50 percent discount!
Here are a few additional photo shares:
That will do it for me today. Merry Christmas and Check back tomorrow for more!
Email me at [email protected]
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