Today’s Photo of the Day is from Cataloochee where they showed us that you could ski or ride in short sleeves today…Plenty snow and comfort as well.
I’m going to jump right in and tell you guys to check the SNOW REPORT for the details of operations for all of the ski resorts today as we do have some delayed openings to allow the ski area staffs some extra time to be with THEIR loved ones on this Christmas morning. Some ski areas are open already this morning, others are opening from 11am and noon for the day and Wolf Ridge Resort is actually closed for day and night sessions today.
You can also click HERE and see the complete Snow Report, or watch the video with LIVE VIEWS by clicking below:
One of the immediate things that came to mind this morning as I was updating the news for the day is how hard the ski mountain crews work. While I was enjoying a morning cup of coffee and egg casserole and opening gifts with the family – our mountain ops were still pushing snow around to prep a great product for us.
While many of the resorts have given some of their staff the morning off, various resort ops are still on the mountain working to get things ready for a Holiday of skiing and snowboarding. I watched as Chris Bates, Cataloochee Ski Area’s President, was out grooming the slopes at 8:30am. By the way, he’s usually out there before the sun comes up!
Chris was once asked to describe his best day in the last 35+ years and he answered by saying that he’s had so many great days and that 99% of them are…and they all include seeing smiling faces on the slopes enjoying themselves. These guys work hard to make our day on the slopes sweet.
Let’s Get to the Elephant in the Room…the weather
My inbox is full of emails asking about it, complaining about it and wondering if their planned ski trip would be a wash out with no snow. I will say that I get less of these kinds of emails than I used to. I suppose webcams are responsible for that. However, it is amazing how many people don’t even THINK about looking at the many ski area cameras that now cover the slopes better than ever.
One peek would put your fears to rest as the ski areas are holding up well with plenty of skiable terrain to play on for your Holiday getaway. I think we’d all love to order up 20° temperatures at night for great snowmaking and 40° days for comfort on the slopes. We’d probably special-order 4-6″ of natural powder every third or fourth day to add some POW to our fun.
However, it is what it is. I chuckled (and cringed at the same time) when I read on Massanutten Resort’s blog where they were tired of the relentless temperature inversions that have seemingly camped over their mountain recently.
The most frequent email that I have received over the last three days has been whether or not there would be natural snowfall, their favorite slope open or whether they should cancel their trip.
I always have to remind our newer readers/viewers that this website is an independent production, not tied to any resort or ski area association. Yes, we accept advertising dollars from them, but even the resort ops themselves understand and agree that we need to “tell it like it is”.
Well – what it is right now is pretty good. If you’re the kind of person that needs to qualify what “pretty good” is – then I’d say that things are REMARKABLY GOOD if you consider that in the last ten days we’ve seen:
Only (6) nights where we had snowmaking temperatures
(7) days where there was some “under-developed snow” (rain)
Here in the NC mountains it has been 6-7 nights since we’ve seen any real snowmaking.
So throw in that qualifier and we’re seeing some amazing conditions out there.
Most ski areas are reporting loose & frozen granular (variable) conditions and I would add in that the best time to hit the slopes is early. Once skier and snowboarder traffic loosen things up it can get more challenging as the day wears on.
However there is plenty of side-to-side coverage and no real thin or bare areas showing. That is a credit to all of the ski areas for stockpiling snow when the snowmaking was in full force and then for maintaining and grooming things perfectly.
Regarding the questions that some of our readers sent in pertaining to why this or that favorite trail wasn’t open – you just have to know and understand that every ski area has certain, core trails that they know have to be open to provide the best product for their visitors. During the Holidays things will get busy on the slopes and while it would be awesome to ensure that a couple of black diamonds were open here and there…the ski areas have to cater to their masses and those masses are going to ski or ride the greens and blues.
Saying that – it is amazing that Snowshoe Mountain has all of its Western Territory open (Cupp and Shays) but also trails like Camp 99 (my fav), Grabhammer and others.
As things look right now, we should see pretty nice conditions across the board at ski areas with the snow holding up with about the trail counts that each resort is showing today – for the next few days. We DO appear to have some rain coming in late in the weekend (Sunday) so if you’re doing a Holiday week getaway – use THAT day to hit the slopes when and if the weather allows OR go take in a day of shopping, chilling, a movie or go bowling.
The weather forecast looks to be turning colder Monday evening with some snowmaking temperatures returning and even some chances of natural snow over the subsequent few days. That is still 5-6 days out and could certainly change…but things are looking very favorable for some cold and snow as we get closer to New Year’s Eve and beyond.
Our Merry Christmas
Whatever the weather is, we want to express our genuine depth of the warmth we feel because of your trust in following SkiSoutheast all these years. It is hard to fathom that we’ve been doing this network of websites for 24+ years now and we are blessed to have tens of thousands of loyal visitors to this website daily with many of you guys and girls reading and following our content since our humble beginnings.
It is at this special time of year that I want to extend my own heartfelt gratitude for that trust.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays and Warm Wishes for a Blessed, Prosperous and Year Full of Joy and Great Health
That will do it for today.
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