Saturday is a Great Day to Ski or Ride – Sunday, not so much!

First Trax

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All of the resorts are in GREAT shape with plenty of snow and there’s even plenty of natural snow still on the ground around the resorts, so go enjoy today!

Get your turns in on Saturday if you have a chance. As I am typing up this report at 9:30am I’m watching the live cams around the region about every chair is full heading up Appalachian Ski Mountain. Things look foggy there this morning but very busy. Things are a little clearer at Beech at this time which is a clear indication that the weather should be nice today. It’s pretty foggy up top at Sugar.

There’s a bunch of great fun planned for today across the region. We’ve been promoting those all week, but you can check the tour today for some last minute mentions. The weather should be pretty nice across the entire region today with intervals of sun and clouds and temps in the 40-45° range. The weather for Sunday looks like anywhere from an inch to perhaps even three inches of rain with some freezing rain falling briefly in the pre-dawn hours and winds will be picking up to the 20-30 mph range with gusts popping up to 60 mph across the region.

Obviously that isn’t a pretty forecast, so get your turns in today and then enjoy the NFL Playoffs on Sunday and then Monday evening things should improve tons with some snow and much colder air in the forecast!

We’ve included a tour today with some specific forecast information for your convenience.

The regional summary for this weekend would be:

It’s a bit wet and foggy this morning around the region although it looks like we’ll see plenty of good windows of opportunity for making a bunch of turns today. The forecast for the southeast and mid Atlantic Resort Mountains is for a decent day on Saturday with intervals of sun and clouds throughout the day. We should see the rain hold off for most areas until a good portion or all of the night sessions are done Saturday night. Then anywhere from 1 to 2 inches of rain is forecasted. Some flooding is expected from this heavy rain tonight into Sunday. We might even hear some thunder.

Before we dive into the tour, we’ve received a bunch of emails from many of you who have been concerned about and commenting on the fact that some ski areas are doing a great job of updating their base depths while some others have not even reported ONE INCH of difference in the last ten days.

That’s all we can do is report what we know. It’s up to you guys to decide what to do with that information. We appreciate all the comments though!

In the last ten days since January 13th here’s what we can report about reported base depths across the region:

Resort 24hr / 10 day drop

Appalachian: – 6" / – 25"
Cataloochee: – 2" / – 28"
Beech Mountain: – 1" / – 18"
Sugar Mountain: – 2" / – 27.5"
Wolf Ridge: – 0" / – 9" (No drop in last four days)

Bryce Resort: – 0" / – 0"
Massanutten: – 0" / – 5" (dropped one day in the last ten)
Wintergreen: – 0" / – 10" (they made snow the last two nights)

Canaan Valley: – 0" / – 0"
Snowshoe Mountain: NA" / -10" (+ use of single digit reporting)
Timberline: 0" / – 4" (dropped one day in the last ten)
Winterplace: – 0" / – 0"

Wisp Resort: – 0" / – 0"

Ober Gatlinburg: 0" / – 23.5"

So while some ski areas have reported drops of up to 28" in the last ten days, FOUR ski areas have reported not one inch of difference. Obviously snow only melts at certain resorts.

Here’s the tour:

Wisp Resort – 27° – They haven’t dropped their reported base depth of 24-48" in the last ten days, but they have dropped two trails from those that were open on Friday. Devil’s Drop & The Face are closed for today. As with much of the region, Wisp should see plenty of nice weather today and tonight. The rains will move in a little later in the day on Sunday with .6 inches expected. An inch of snow is expected as the cold air filters in on Monday evening.

Canaan Valley Resort – 30° – They remain in good condition with 36 of 39 trails open and ice skating and airboarding open as well. The high for Saturday is forecasted to be around 42° at the resort with intervals of clouds and sun today. About .76 inches of rain are expected for Sunday with periods of heavy rain. Cold and snow return for Monday with a couple of inches of snow in the forecast along with temps near 20°! Make some great turns on Saturday – chill for Sunday and watch the NFL playoffs and then hit it again on Monday!

Snowshoe Mountain – 30° – They have not updated their report as of 9am this morning. Occasionally they have some IT issues on top of the mountain so we’ll speculate a little that SS has the same setup as Friday with 100% of their mountain open and an average base of 40". The forecast for the resort is for intervals of clouds and sun with a high of around 40°. Some ice may move in overnight and around dawn Sunday. Sunday’s forecast is for .94 inches of rain. Monday is looking snowy with a mixture of snow and rain early and then maybe a inch of snow Monday night. Snowmaking temps return Monday night as well.

Timberline Resort – 30° – They are 100% open with all 37 trails and groomed and frozen granular conditions for today. Freak Tent, JB Tenney, DJ Dub will provide live entertainment today. The high for Saturday is forecasted to be around 42° at the resort with intervals of clouds and sun today. About .76 inches of rain are expected for Sunday with periods of heavy rain. Cold and snow return for Monday with a couple of inches of snow in the forecast along with temps near 20°!

Winterplace Resort – 34° – 100% open with all 28 trails, 9 lift and snow tubing all in great shape for Saturday. Today will start of cloudy but clear up nicely with highs around 45°. Sunday looks like a high near 50° with nearly an inch of rain forecasted (.81 inches). Some snow moves in Monday night with maybe an inch forecasted. Winterplace is another resort that has not changed their reported base depth one inch in the last ten days. They are reporting the same 36-76" base that they did back on January 13th.

<Bryce this AM via webcam!

Bryce Resort – 33° – 100% open with tubing open as well. The forecast is for sunny skies today and a high near 46°. They may see some ice towards dawn Sunday and an inch of rain on Sunday. Bryce has not changed their reported base depth of 48-76" not one inch in the last ten days of mild temps and rain. As you can see via one of their webcams from this morning, things look great there. They just need to tweak their base a bit.

Massanutten Resort – 26° – 100% open with all 14 trails, 8 lanes of tubing and groomed conditions on the entire mountain. Even though they are reporting 26° this morning at 7am, there was no snowmaking.

The Homestead – 28° – They are 100% open with all 9 trails. They only do day skiing and snowboarding there. Ice skating, tubing and snowmobiling are all open as well. Saturday should be nice with a high around 40° and then a little less than an inch of rain is expected on Sunday.

Wintergreen Resort – 24° – They are open with 25 of 26 trails and snow tubing as well. All trails except "Turkey Shoot" are open and they made snow again overnight (the only ski area in the region to do so each of the last two nights). Wintergreen made snow on 13 of the trails and have groomed things to near perfection for a great Saturday of skiing and snowboarding.

Anne Marie Jones writes, "CLEAR SKIES, LOTS OF SUN AND A GREAT WOUNDED WARRIORS WEEKEND! Our Wounded Warrior Weekend is all about saying thanks to those who serve and protect and to give back to our wounded warriors through friendship and learning a snowsport. Come visit us this weekend and learn about this exciting program."

Wintergreen is expecting a nice day today with highs in the 40s and then perhaps as much as 1.12 inches of rain on Sunday.

Ober Gatlinburg – 34° – They remain 100% open with all 8 trails and snow tubing. Their indoor ice arena and shops are open and offering great eateries, etc. Ober is hosting their first ever rail jam on Sunday but that could change as 1.27 inches of rain is forecasted. Saturday should be great with clouds and sun and highs around 54° in Gatlinburg. Rain moves in tonight and there could be some strong thunderstorms Sunday morning. The system could move out and leave mostly cloudy conditions with only a shower later on Sunday. We’ll keep our fingers crossed. If the weather isn’t great, take the aerial tram down to the streets of Gatlinburg and enjoy the best apres ski environment in the region as Gatlinburg has everything a getaway needs to be fun.

Appalachian Ski Mountain – 31° – 100% open with ice skating and all three terrain parks open as well. Appalachain is offering a special that coincides with Learn a Snowsport Month. App and the French Swiss Ski College is offering a special Learn to Ski Package Offer that is designed to make your first time on the slopes an experience that’s easy, fun, and inexpensive.

Learn to Ski Package: $42
Learn to Snowboard Package: $54 (Ages 6 & Up)

Cost Includes:
Slope Ticket
Rental Equipment
1 Hour Group Lesson

Date: January 27, 2010

Reservations are required at least one day in advance. No deposit necessary. Call (828) 295-9311 to reserve your space.

<Beech getting a groom job this AM

Beech Mountain Resort – 32° – 100% with only their dedicated terrain park not open. Oz run, White Lightning…all your favorites are running and Beech hosts the 3rd Rail event today starting at 11am. Tubing is not running today.

Cataloochee Ski Area – 34° – 100% open with terrain park and tubing open as well. It’s foggy this morning but the forecast is for sun and clouds today and this afternoon in beautiful Maggie Valley! We did just receive a weather alert for Maggie Valley that 1.2 inches of rain is forecasted for them for tonight and Sunday. Get your turns in today! Monday looks to be offering some snow and plenty of great snowmaking ops!

Sugar Mountain – 31° – 100% open with all 20 trails looking nice and tubing and skating are looking great as well. I was talking with Louise Anderson of Resort Rentals on the mountain on Friday and she was telling me that Sugar was strongly considering to have to turn people away last weekend they were so busy. MLK Weekend was a huge success and cars were parked out on the highway. Sugar’s transit busses were busy. We were over at Sugar Friday evening and I have to tell you that Sugar and Banner Elk was as busy as we’ve seen it so this weather isn’t holding people back from enjoying the mountain! Looks like Saturday will be another busy, busy day!

Wolf Ridge Resort – 34° – They reopened a couple of trails for today. They now have 16 of 20 trails open. Rick Bussey writes, "We will have 16 runs open today with 4 lifts in full operation. These will include the Ridge connector slope and the one of a kind Breakaway ski through tunnel slope."

We were looking at several of the webcams in the state this morning and conditions look darn nice for Saturday.

Sunday may be a wash out so get some turns in today!

That’s it for today. Check out the Snow Report at and please send us your favorite ski photos, ski videos, trip reports and comments to [email protected]

SSAA: 1 for 57//self 55/57

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