First Trax

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Alright people. The snow is calling out my name. Unfortunately I have not made it out to stick my toes in the sand yet this season, but you bet your you know whats I’m making every effort humanly possible to get out there this weekend.  I know some of y’all have big weekends planned and want to get in as much snow time as possible, so while you’re out there, take a picture or better yet, make a video and send it to us! We want to see what you and your crew are up to!!!!

My first couple of trip reports came in yesterday, so I thought I would share with y’all some of the good schwag people are sending my way. BIG Thanks to Kevin McNamara, referred to henceforth as "jamsandwich" for sending us some pretty sweet pics and for submitting some great first reports! Mr. Jamsandwich hit up Appalachian on Tuesday December 14th…

<<<<< Awesome view of Appalachian from the top of Big Appal, if you look reaaaal close you can spy the lodge at the bottom of the hill perfectly framed by the Blue Ridge Mountains!

Jamsandwich says, "So I left my house on Tuesday after calling off work on Monday. It was clear, but it was still very windy, so I didnt expect much from my post work session. I was right. Even though it snowed for 36 hours straight, most of it had been groomed/blown off the runs at App Ski. No worries though, the snow was fast and easy to tear up!! I was going to head up to Beech for freshies, but the wind was crazy, so I thought better of it."

Here’s  what 36 hours of freshies and ’round the clock snowmaking will do…it’s hard to even tell this is the Instructor Hut used by French-Swiss Ski School Instructors at Appalachian                >>>>>>

Jamsandwich made the trek up to Sugar Mountain the following day for to shred the night sesh. Yes, I said sesh.  Mr. Sandwich said….

"I had a good day at work down in
Hickory today so I decided to cut out a little early and head up to Sugar for a night sesh. Biggest weeknight crowd I’ve seen this year, but still never waited for a chair except for the first one at 6. Snow was great. Corduroy was fresh and there

was almost no ice on the open runs. Big Red was open too! First Time this season on big red for me and it was nice. It was a clear night early but there were some small flakes falling at 10 when I left."

<<< The lodge at the base of Sugar looks pretty good when it’s all lit up at night!

Alright, folks…it’s that simple. Send me yo’ stuff! It’s easy, you go out and have fun, take some pictures, send ’em to me, tell me about how sick the snow was, and then I’ll share it!! Again, super huge thank you to Kevin for sending me a great batch of photos! I only picked a few, but there were several pretty sweet ones. WE WANT YOU, and you can be famous, too!!!

Also, be sure to check out the new messageboard, or SNO! FORUM!! You can find it on the front page of both and It’s fun, it’s free, and it’s
a super easy way to get to know your fellow
shred enthusiasts!!! 

Lots to report for today…so bear with me!!

Appalachian Ski Mountain – 27°- Wide open! Tonight Appalachian Kicks off Fresh Fridays. What is it? Here’s what they say. "ATP’s first Fresh Friday is right around the corner – and what better way to start the series right than with a little Christmas Spirit? That’s right, Fresh Friday 1 will be Christmas Themed, so bring your tacky Christmas sweaters & Santa suits, and be ready to shred some new, never before seen features with all your friends at ATP. No, but really, Christmas costumes are encouraged and the best dressed will walk away with some prizes as well. We have tons of presents to give standouts during the session, and as always, the event is completely free with purchase of a ski ticket." Registration is from 5-6:30 and the shred sesh starts at 7.

Beech Mountain – 23°- Open today with 14 trails for skiing and riding on packed powder…we’re just waiting on OZ! On Saturday Munchies Snack Bar, the Village Ice Rink, and the Beech Tree Bar will open for the season! Beech Tree Bar will be serving up grub and tunes with music from The Red County Gospel!

Cataloochee – 31° – The entire mountain is open ahead of Saturday’s scheduled date. Conditions are excellent today and more cold air is on the way! Open for day, night, and twilight skiing and riding–a half day rate is available!! Tube World in Maggie Valley opens back up tomorrow. Next Week on Christmas day Santa himself will be hitting the slopes at Cataloochee.

Sapphire Valley – 31° – OPEN TODAY!! With brand new moving carpet on the bunny hill, cold temps, a little natural snowfall mixed with major snowmaking, it will be a great opening day at Sapphire Valley!

Sugar Mountain – 24°- Sugar Mountain is open today for skiing and boarding on 17 of 20 trails, Ice Skating, and Tubing on 5 lanes. Santa is on hand to ski and ride with all the good boys and girls through Christmas Eve.

Wolf Ridge – 34°- OPEN this morning at 9 am for Day AND night sessions on 11 of 20 slopes, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The Wolf plans to open Upper Lodge and four more slopes for the night session–"SLOPES Groomed and in Great shape. Upper Mountain (Old Breakaway slopes) have good snow base and will open this evening!!" Snowmaking is projected for late tonight."

Bryce Resort – 19°- OPEN TODAY with 1.9 inches of FRESH SNOW!!! New natural snow and major snowmaking make for a morning with killer conditions!! Bryce is open on 7 trails today and snowmaking will continue as the temperture gods will allow!!

Massanutten – 27°- OPEN TODAY, and we know by yesterday’s POD that Mass got some of that natural powdah! Mass pulled down 4 inches of snow from the last storm and is now open for day AND night sessions. Today you’ll have 11 slopes to play on with all lifts running! The tubing park is also open if you’re looking for another thrill!

Wintergreen – 23°- OPEN TODAY for day and night skiing and boarding! The Plunge Tubing Park opens up this afternoon at 4 pm. The PROGRESSION PARK is open today with: 20 ft box, 10 ft box, 20 ft rail, small and large propane tank rails, 2 small jumps, medium jump and a battleship rail!! Great snowmaking weather means more terrain opening just about everyday!!

Canaan Valley – 21°- Reopening tomorrow with major snowmaking and another 3.8 inches of natural snow, that’s 53.9 inches on the season!!! Conditions are going to be AMAZING for tomorrow morning’s re-opening!!! 

Snowshoe Mountain – 18° – TOMORROW AT NOON IS ONE OF THE EARLIEST OPENINGS OF….WAIT FOR IT….CUPP RUN!!! Only 10 days into the season and Snowshoe is open on 70% of its terrain. "We’ve significantly expanded terrain today with new slope openings in the basin area, including Skip Jack and Knot Bumper. And to make the weekend even sweeter, Silver Creek opens for the season today with an additional 11 slopes. The tubing hill debuts at 1pm today and night skiing and riding will now be available daily through March!" AND On top of all that… Snowshoe got another 7 inches of snow over the last day, that’s 45 inches on the season!!! I’m jealous of all you peeps headed up there, and I’d for sure be in the line to make precious first tracks down CUPP RUN!

Timberline Resort – 21°- OPEN, and add another 3.8 inches of the freshness to their season total…almost 54 inches at this point!! This weekend at Timberline it’s Christmas Warm-Up with Christmas carol favorites and late night up tempo entertainment. Mix killer slope conditions with live music and it’s a heck of a recipe for a good time!

Winterplace – 24°- OPEN With AMAZING conditions. Winterplace will open TO THE TOP tomorrow. Also on the chalkboard to open tomorrow is the tubing park! Snow flurries are in the forecast!

Wisp Resort – 18°- OPEN today with even more terrain! Skiing and boarding on 29 of 32 trails for both day and night sessions!! Wisp contines to have awesome early season conditions!! Also open is the Nordic Center, the Mountain Coaster and ice skating!!

Ober Gatlinburg – 35°- Open today with continued GREAT conditions. Terrain features added as often as possible. Ober is open on 6 trails for day and night sessions and also for tubing and ice skating!!

It’s safe to say that for this "early" in the season, our ski areas are in absolutely amazing shape. An obscene amount of snow has fallen across the area. Canaan and Timberline have ALREADY gotten 53.9 inches of snow. It’s INSANE. Beech has pulled down 49.5 inches and Snowshoe follows closely behind with 45 inches. If you’re playing with the idea of hopping in the car and heading somewhere to ski or board, quit thinking about it, just do it. You won’t regret it. I’ll see YOU out there. HAVE FUN and see y’all on Monday!!


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