First Trax

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If a person was to simply awake from a coma in the midst of the West Virginia mountains over the last two weeks they would have to believe that they were out west somewhere. The West Virginia ski areas have been HAMMERED with snow again and again for the last couple of weeks. AGAIN, on Tuesday – they were HAMMERED with 16" of snow. SIXTEEN INCHES OF SNOW ON TUESDAY!!! That takes their totals over the last two weeks to around 55-56" and 65.5" of snow on the season. I know that I have been repeating myself a lot lately, but it bears mentioning (again) that Snowshoe had a subpar 134.7" of snow last season and with this latest dumping of snow means that they have already received nearly ONE-HALF of their total 2007-2008 snowfall – and it is N-O-V-E-M-B-E-R!!!!

Canaan Valley and Timberline also got another 13" of snow, taking them to 54.7" on this season.

Contrast all of these numbers with NUMEROUS resorts out west that have seen a snow drought so far! Crazy, crazy, c-r-a-z-y GREAT!!!

Here’s a comment from our snow-country, communications gal, Laura Parquette from up at Snowshoe. "It’s hard to believe that today was supposed to be Opening Day, but we’ve already been skiing and riding for 5 terrific days. The amazing early season conditions continue today with 16" of fresh snow on the ground, including 10" that fell overnight last night. We’ve opened several new slopes today, and now have 14 trails and 4 lifts open, as well as the Wonder Carpet. Open trails are: Skidder, Crosscut, Heisler Way, Whistle punk, Whiffletree, Spruce Glades, Tail tree, Gandy, Log slide, Cut off, Powder monkey, Powder ridge, Gangway and Skid way. We now have over 50 acres of skiable terrain open, and will open additional slopes both tomorrow and Saturday, bringing our weekend total to more than 80 acres of open terrain."

She adds, "There are also 5 features open in the Powder Monkey Terrain Garden. They are: Flat Box, Down Rail, Flat Down Box, Triangle Box and a Wall Ride."

Snowshoe’s having a historic start to the season, so don’t miss out on these amazing conditions. There is still time to take advantage of their Smart Ski Escapes. Check out the Hot Deals section of the website, or call 877-441-4FUN Today! Visit

David Cooper sent some nice photos from up at Canaan Valley and we’ll post those and others today.


If not for the crazy snowfall in West Virginia, Wolf Ridge would have received top billing for today as they moved up their opening day plans. They were planning to wait until next week, but instead have opted to open for day and night skiing today. They will be closed for Thanksgiving Day and then re-opening on Friday. They have 3 trails open for today.

Wolf’s opening today leaves only Sapphire Valley in the southernmost part of North Carolina as the lone NC Ski area not operating just yet. This has been a great start to say the least. Sapphire Valley IS open for tubing today, but the ski ops are not planned to begin until December 19th.

Snow Storms are being a bit "un-balanced" across the region…

Meteorologist, Brad Panovich provided his Winter Forecast a couple of weeks ago (sorry Brad that we have not shared that as yet), but his forecast called for something like this – albeit not 56" of snow in November! (Nobody could have forecasted that!) However, his full, winter forecast is for the West Virginia mountains to get an inordinant amount of snow from each storm this season, while the rest of the region should see about normal snowfall.

The GREAT news is that even though the snow totals have been "unbalanced" so far, the North Carolina ski resorts are also seeing above average snowfalls so far! Beech Mountain has already received 17.5" of snow in November (far more than normal) and nearly HALF of what they received all of last winter. Beech typically gets about 80" of snow per season and the 17.5" has them well on their way!

While Beech and Sugar have received 17-18" of snow, other NC ski areas have only seen 6-8" so far. Appalachian has received 11", Cataloochee 6" and Wolf about 8".

Then as we look at the Tennessee and Virginia ski areas it jumps off the page to see that all of those ski areas are only reporting DUSTINGS to 2" on the season. What makes this even more interesting is when we then skip over the WV ski resorts and look at the snow totals for Wisp Resort, which is just north of Canaan and Timberline in NW Maryland. Wisp has seen 18" on the season.


Base depths have become a relative figure for most of us who keep an eye on things of that nature and we don’t put a lot of focus on them much anymore. However it should be noted that the reported base depths at ALL resorts are at mid-season levels! Anytime you’re seeing FIVE FOOT BASES being reported – YOU KNOW you’re in for a great day on the slopes!

Check the slope conditions links for all of the snow totals and some new opening day schedules. Also, we are finishing up compiling all of our data for the "What’s New for 2008-2009 posts for all of the ski areas and we will post those pages and more than a DOZEN Log Cabin Vacations and contests so that we’ll have all of that info ready for you guys by Monday!

So let’s see:

The weather will be PERFECT!

The snow is PERFECT!

Gas prices are at an amazingly low number!

You have your health…

Get off your rear, pack your gear…and get up here!

Send your comments, photos and videos to: [email protected]

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This shot was captured from the live cam alongside of Ski Beech – Click to enlarge the image as it shows that they received another two inches of snow
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David Cooper sent this photo yesterday just BEFORE more heavy snow hit up at Canaan Valley in West Virginia! 13" of snow hit there and 16" m
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