Saturday’s Weather to be a SUNday. Lot’s of Sun. Sunday’s Weather, not so Much.

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Lots of 1st Chair Photos Lately!

I had to go off the mountain on Friday morning and as I was leaving, we were experiencing some light, misty rain. At about the spot where you start down the hill on Hwy 321, leaving Blowing Rock (heading south), the skies cleared and it was sunny all day long. I checked the cams here in the mountains a couple of times and it was nice to see the sun peeking through most everywhere. It appears that (for the most part) we were spared the slope-traffic-slowing kind of rains on Friday. Here’s what we saw:

Beech Mountain: 0.02″
Sugar Mountain: 0.04″
Wolf Ridge: 0.00″
Massanutten: 0.00″
Snowshoe Mtn: 0.02″
Canaan Valley: 0.00″ on Friday, but 0.24″ overnight last night

So those of you who were able to get away to YOUR favorite mountain on the day AFTER Thanksgiving were treated with a pretty nice day, despite what was forecasted earlier in the week. That is how it is here in the mountains. If you don’t like the weather one minute, wait an hour and it will change and sometimes just by simply driving a mile or two difference in elevation.

I don’t know of any better examples of the elevations affecting the weather than the short drive up from the bottom of Snowshoe Mountain to the top. Another would be the drive up from Elkins, WV to Canaan Valley and Timberline. Yet another would be the five mile trek up Beech Mountain Parkway between Banner Elk and Beech Mountain. I’ve seen it raining many times at the bottom of each of those locations and SNOWING up top.

Photo of the Day up top is Courtesy of Wisp Resort, showing some of those early, smiling faces that got in THEIR first chair and first treks down Wisp Resort. Editor’s Note: I am p-r-e-t-t-y certain the guy in that POD is Wisp Resort GM, Ron Hawkes.

SATURDAY (TODAY) SHOULD BE GREAT FOR THOSE FAMILY DIGITALS

We should see nothing but abundant sunshine on Saturday with high temperatures in the mid-to-upper 40s at most locations. Sunday, will be more like RAINday, with a 100% chance of rain at most mountaintop locations. Sunday’s rain MIGHT be more of a morning thing, so stay tuned to weather forecasts here.

Last comment on the weather and then we’ll move on. Every snowmaker has their eyes on Wednesday evening and the end of the week as cold air looks to be coming back in. That may be perfectly timed to build up bases, etc.

OPENING DATES KEEP COMING IN…

Thanks to our buddy and SkiSoutheast columnist, Joe Stevens for emailing me on Friday that the WV SKi Areas met up last week and the latest word on opening dates for Canaan Valley Resort and Winterplace Resort is that Winterplace plans to open December 10th and Canaan Valley Resort will allow their fans to climb the hill to the lifts on December 17th. Of course, all of that is weather dependent.

NOTABLES…

WISP RESORT OPENS FOR THE 2022-23 WINTER SEASON THIS WEEKEND
Maryland’s only ski resort opens with 8 runs, learning terrain, snow tubing, and more. (Editor’s Note: We actually counted (9) slopes open.)

Click to Enlarge photo courtesy of Wisp Resort

You can check out the full press release here, but suffice it to say that fans of the Garrett County, Four Season resort are happy to see the early opening.

Maryland’s only ski resort began snowmaking on Sunday, November 13. Wisp Resort’s General Manager, Ron Hawkes said, “We are excited to be opening so early this season, and it’s all thanks to our Mountain Operations team who took full advantage of the optimal snowmaking conditions and a little help from Mother Nature. We look forward to welcoming guests to the resort for a fun season.” Eight slopes will open Friday including Squirrel Cage, Wisp Trail, Grouse Way, Bear Paw, Happy Camper, Backbone Pass, Sunset Boulevard, and Central Park Terrain Park. Multiple chairlifts and conveyor carpets will access the terrain for skiers and snowboarders of all ability levels.

Hawkes also commented, “ Eager skiers and riders were lined up at the chairlift starting at 7am to get first chair and start the season.”

Appalachian Ski Mountain has now opened their popular ice rink for the season. They also have 8 slopes open for day and night sessions.

Photo Courtesy of Blowing Rocket and Watauga Democrat. Click to Enlarge!

Bryce Resort – I want to thank our buddy, Bill Nabers for this, first-hand report from the Basye, Virginia ski mountain on Friday. Bill wrote:

“Black Friday Vertical Deals” – Friday, November 25th, was my first day on skis this season and my first patrol day of the season at Bryce. My favorite way to enjoy ‘Black Friday.’ Good conditions. Skiing was good. A little soft in the afternoon, but never very ‘sticky’ which is good for early season and a high in the 50’s. Both Bootlegger (Blue) and Redeye (Green) were open from the top with decent coverage. Lift #1 (Quad) never had a lift line all day. (Our new lift #2 -Quad – should open in the next couple of weeks.) The beginner carpet was open and beginners were out taking lessons. The tubing hill was busy with the sounds of happy ‘tubers’ drifting across the area. Lots of smiles and folks happy to be out on the snow. A good way to start the season. Hopefully many more good days ahead. Bill

Editor’s Note: Bill I had mentioned that one of yours might be a Photo of the Day, however, it’s hard to beat beautiful, smiling faces like the POD this morning.

Nevertheless, here are some nice photo shares from Bill.

Bootlegger to the left redeye to the right. Click to Enlarge.
View from the headwall of Bootlegger looking toward the base. Click to Enlarge!
Bottom of Bootlegger looking back up. Click to Enlarge!

Snowshoe Mountain – They have 16 trails open today and I enjoyed their post and thought I’d share it:

Our team of expert groomers have combed out some pristine corduroy this morning. Trust us, it’s going to be worth getting out there at rope drop for. Progression Park is fun and flowy right now with a variety of jumps and jibs available for your shredding needs.

Our “Gobble Up The Village” Scavenger Hunt is from 11-3 today – stop by the Snowshoe tent in the Village to get started. Be sure to come back at 5:30 to help Santa light our Christmas Tree!

Snowshoe’s sunrise was gorgeous this morning! Click to Enlarge!

 

Beech Mountain Resort – They’ve got great conditions today, but we did want to share this post with you guys.

Here are some nice, closing shots:

From the top of Beech Mountain Summit cam. Click to Enlarge!

The capture above really LOOKS like there is a rather wide, snaking river in the valley below Beech Mountain. That is actually the clouds hanging down in the lower elevations. Pretty cool though, right?

Look closely at the bottom right of the photo. Click to Enlarge!

There were MANY deer grazing at 7am or so this morning atop Beech Mountain. One had a nice rack on him. I watched this camera for a while and had a good time watching people creep up as close as they could for a photo moment.

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