Opening and closing days that are announced by ski areas are always ‘weather dependent’. The weather of the last few days has been at times close to early Summer-like on our mountaintops and at times rather wet. It was 76° on Friday afternoon at my office in Foscoe and that had me pulling out my golf clubs for some inner office, putting practice. The neighbors in the office next to ours were searching for lounge chairs to lay out and enjoy some sun behind our building.
Sharon Finkel, who was at Timberline Mountain on Wednesday shared, “I was at Timberline and saw more robins looking for worms than skiers. It was still lots of fun.”
After 1.38″ of rain in the West Virginia mountains and 0.50″ into the North Carolina mountains, conditions have certainly deteriorated quickly. The weather (clouds and early rain) is meant to clear off by midday and the images coming out of the LIVE CAMS will certainly offer a better perspective than they are this morning. If you’re thinking about getting one or two more days on the mountain, then we’d suggest taking a tour of the mountains at: https://www.resortcams.com/ski-cams/
It should be noted that Wisp Resort is calling the season “over” at 5pm today. Massanutten Resort, which IS open today is hinting that this could be their last day of the 2022-2023 season as well. Timberline Resort in West Virginia has announced that they will be open for play today and Sunday and they too will call it quits.
That would leave Sugar Mountain Resort in North Carolina and Snowshoe Mountain in West Virginia as the lone, two ski areas still standing. Honestly, I’ve seen Sugar remain open with a LOT less base and trail width than they have right now. They look pretty good considering and they night very well extend the season for one more week. Heck, you may see Gunther keep the lifts turning until April 2nd (as Snowshoe Mountain is planning to do).
I did not capture and share a photo at the top of Snowshoe this morning because the cloud/fog cover was blanking the screen out. Check back later with the sun breaks through to get a good look at their conditions.
The photo below shows ski patrol working to mark spots to avoid at Timberline this morning. I watch LIVE as these guys were sliding 15-20 yards on ice to get to the place where they could stand and mark.
In fact, this morning is one of the first mornings in a long time that I don’t actually HAVE a Photo of the Day to share, cause it is just kind of “meh” out there.
I imagine if you’re blessed to get ON THE SNOW today, your perspective would be different than mine this morning. Come to think of it, I WOULD LOVE to be skiing today. Instead, I will be hauling some junk off to the county landfill. Yay me.
Absent of a real Photo of the Day that includes a snowy photo of some marketing value, I am sharing another couple of awesome aurora borealis photos taken here in North Carolina and in Virginia. On Friday, my daughter, Lauren Style shared a snap from her iPhone while over in Deep Gap, looking back towards Wilkesboro. It was blurry but impressive. The Photos of the Day today are from various photographers around North Carolina and Virginia who snapped up these awesome shots.
The Photo of the Day up top and below is from a photographer with the last name “Reinhart”. This was emailed to me sharing the last name only and that it was from a NC photographer. If you are the photographer (or you guys know him) please email me so that we can give him proper credit.
Forister took to Shenandoah National Park near Big Meadows to photograph what he called “the most unexpected but remarkable experiences I’ve had living in Virginia.” According to Forister, the town in these photos is Stanley, Virginia just south of Luray. He took the photos between 10:45 and 11:45 p.m.
This last one is from a Boone, North Carolina Photographer.
Oh Yea, This is a Ski & Snowboarding Website! Per the individual resort reports:
Let’s START with Massanutten Resort
The late spring like temps and rain certainly took its toll on the snow but… thanks to our grooming team, we’ll be open today as planned. With highs in the mid 60s we’ll make the call for tomorrow later today. Come on out and enjoy the snow, ski it while you can!
Creekside Quad, Ridge Triple, and the SunKid Lifts will be open servicing Upper and Lower Showtime, Southern Comfort, and Paul’s Way. The Peak Quad will not be open this final weekend as we have started the removal process for its replacement lift.
The forecast for today is calling for mild temperatures and increasingly clear skies as the day goes on (after a little more rain early this morning). Spruce is open as a terrain park. Progression is open as a green ski trail.
The Spring Pass Sale is underway! Get your 23.24 Unlimited Season Pass now for less than the cost of a 3-day weekend lift ticket and start using it right away.
Snowshoe has 26 trails open today.
Sugar Mountain Resort has 9 trails open for day and night sessions. March Madness Rates are in effect.
Timberline Mountain – there is some question as to how many slopes they will play on today. Their website is reporting contradicting information. On one hand it is reporting (16) trails open, but right above that they posted:
We anticipate having the following terrain available for Saturday: Salamander, White Lightning, Whiteout, Mid-Mountain Crossroad, Lower Thunderstruck, Lower Dew Drop, and skier’s left side of First Flurries. You may also see a delayed opening for some trails in the morning as Mountain Ops works to restore conditions.
That sounds like (8) trails open. Call ahead if you like.
One thing Timberline was clear about is that this is the last weekend of skiing & snowboarding for the 22/23 season. They posted:
Mother Nature has spoken, and this will be the final weekend of skiing and snowboarding for the 22/23 season here at Timberline Mountain. Despite a record low snowfall and a winter of very non-wintery temperatures, our team and our guests have made the best of this season. Our focus this year has been providing consistently high quality conditions, and your extremely vocal and passionate support of our efforts has been much appreciated.
You’ll be seeing some more Mountain Ops magic tomorrow morning as they work to piece our base back together after two days of warm temps and rain. While you can expect much less coverage and available terrain for Saturday, we’ll be grooming to the absolute best of our ability to provide one last weekend of great skiing and snowboarding.
WISP RESORT is open today for ONE MORE DAY of play on 4 slopes and a Spring Conditions base. They will closed for the 2022-2023 Ski & Snowboarding season at 5pm today.
Weather. Climate Change. No More Natural Snowfall…Ever.
As the season is coming to a close in the next few days, I will definitely post the final numbers for the natural snowfall totals for each ski area as we do every year. Even prior to doing that, it is obvious that this ski & snowboarding season’s success was NOT tied to how much snowfall we had. I have received countless emails labeling this season as a disaster, poor, a failure and other sad adjectives. (Those ARE adjectives, right?)
However, but ANY other measure other than natural snowfall numbers, the 2023-2024 Ski & Snowboarding season has been a VERY, VERY successful season. Natural snowfall is like “white gold” in terms of exciting the masses to “head towards the snow”, but even without that excitement, our ski areas have done quite well. Most industry insiders that I have spoken with are claiming great numbers. Every important Holiday week and weekend was a success.
However, a down year of snowfall really brought out the climate alarmist this season. I won’t devote space here to support or offer rebuttals to those claims. However, I have read so many articles about how by the year 2100 we will see snow season beginning later and ending sooner. I’ve read where the Southeast and mid-Atlantic will be relatively snowless by the year 2050.[There goes our need for this website.]
…and I have also read where “climate change” can INCREASE snowfall totals. The claim states that a warmer planet evaporates more water into the atmosphere and that added moisture means more precipitation in the form of heavy snowfall or downpours – during the winter.
Regardless of what side you fall on this subject, I think this question bares answering:
If meteorologists and weather/climate experts cannot correctly forecast the weather THREE MONTHS in advance, how the heck are we to believe they can get it right 25 years to 70 years into our future?
If you guys and gals will just research this website for the preseason weather predictions from several meteorologists, you will find that all of them predicted a season that would be slightly less snow than normal. Most predicted 70″ of snow for Beech and Sugar – like Ray Russell of AveryWeather.com did.
Most claimed that Snowshoe, Canaan and Timberline would see about 25% less snow than their long-term average, but near normal for the 10-year average – or 150″.
All were wrong. Beech and Sugar saw 36.5″ of snow, compared to their average of near 80″. Snowshoe saw 55.5″ compared to their marketing number of 180″ or their 10-year average of 150″. Canaan Valley and Timberline were both nearly 90″ below average this season with a tally of 62.4″ of snowfall, compared to the 10-year average of 150″.
All of the experts were wrong and those predictions were made in October, in advance of a winter season just ahead of that. So how is anyone to put a lot of stock in the gloom and doom predictions for 25 YEARS and more from now?
It isn’t logical.
There is no question that every mountaintop climate station in the region has seen slightly warmer winters and less snowfall over the last few years. However, because we keep data on every ski resort’s snowfall in the region, I can tell you (for example) that Beech Mountain has seen average snowfall, near or greater than their 80″ average in FIVE of the last ELEVEN seasons. If you look back to the years of 2005-2009 (five years) the average snowfall was only 53″ compared to 80″. In fact, in 2007-2008 there was only 38″ of snow. The next two seasons? 122″ and 130.5″.
So stay tuned to a ski season ahead of us that WILL bring more snow and cold.
In closing – the earth is unquestionably warming. It just isn’t “OVER”…not yet anyway.
A Sad Closing Statement
Our Hearts and Prayers are with the families and citizens of Mississippi this morning as at least 23 people died as a “destructive” tornado and strong thunderstorms swept across Mississippi late Friday, leaving a trail of damage for more than 100 miles, local and federal authorities said.
“Many in the MS Delta need your prayer and God’s protection tonight,” Gov. Tate Reeves said on Twitter.
That is just horrible.
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