More Slopes and Trails Are Open Today Despite the “Mild-Up”

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(The photo above is from December 7th. Canaan Valley Resort opened 3 more trails today! Click to Enlarge!)

Despite the fact that there is news being shared about a fire going on atop Sugar Mountain, I want to start today’s morning BLOG off with the fact that we have several more slopes and trails available to those who are able to ski or ride today.

Wisp Resort went from 12 to 15 open trails today AND they are now open for night sessions. Snowshoe Mountain added 4 newly open trails to their open count today and now are boasting 37 slopes and trails for your skiing or riding enjoyment.

I was able to speak with Canaan Valley Resort’s General Manager, Steve Drumheller late on Wednesday and he was noticeably excited when he shared, “Mike, I think we are going to have a GREAT Christmas to New Year period. We’re loving our product and the conditions here and really looking forward to a great weekend and week ahead.”

Canaan Valley Resort is ALSO among the resorts that are playing on more terrain open today as they went from 14 to 17 open slopes and trails.

We have been reporting all along that some of you were going to be surprised to hear that resorts would be opening more terrain despite the “confusing” temperatures. We think we MAY see a few more trails open as we get to the weekend and then we COULD see resorts “stand pat” with what is being reported in terms of slopes open until more snowmaking can happen. There are some chances for additional snowmaking tonight – particularly across the recently, more-favored, northern tier of our coverage area.

As of 9am we were already seeing a HUGE range of temperatures such as 30° at Snowshoe to 40° at Sugar and Beech, to 46° at Ober Gatlinburg to upper 30s pretty much all across the region’s mountaintops.

As things look right now, the next round of cold enough temps to make snow may be around Tuesday of next week. There are some good chances of natural snow into next week as well – but we’ll have to see how those all play out. Obviously, thus far we’ve been pretty “natural snow-deprived”.


For those who might email me about being “heartless” in my beginning comments to this morning’s report – as if I care LESS about the fact that there IS a fire going on than reporting on additional slope openings – nothing is further from the truth. The reason that I chose to post SKI NEWS first is because contrary to some of the emails I am getting – the fire occurred at a vacation condominium complex and not technically part of the ski resort itself.

Most people coming to this website TODAY and everyday are doing so looking for any and all of the GOOD NEWS that they can get pertaining to the weather and WHETHER or not their favorite ski area is going to be in good-to-great shape for the coming weekend and week ahead. Plus there are 17 ski communities who are all looking for as much positive news and sharing of content as possible to get the message out that things actually look pretty darn good.

Photo sent by a buddy of mine, Ron Kent. Click to Enlarge.
Main Offices at Sugar Ski & Country Club on fire

That all said – yes, there has been a HORRIBLE FIRE that looks to have completely gutted the management offices for Sugar Ski & Country Club, which is the awesome, ski-in-ski-out complex that wraps around the top of the ski resort and particularly Oma’s Meadow (formerly the Big Red slope).

We know several of the office staffers and Hope Harvey, who is the Property Manager at Sugar Ski & CC and, of course we are concerned for their safety. There’s been no word yet on what started the fire or about any injuries. We are aware that Hope and her staff do work early and late at those offices and we’ll be hoping to hear the good news that nobody was in the building when it erupted.

Aerial photo of Sugar Ski & CC (top LEFT portion of photo) from a couple of seasons ago. Click to Enlarge

I personally spoke with Ms Harvey earlier in the week and she shared that they had been heavily involved in a huge makeover of the buildings with new siding and more. This all comes at possibly the worst time possible with many guests planning on staying there for the weekend and week ahead. Some people have emailed us asking WHY Sugar Resort had not yet made snow on Oma’s Meadow as that is the only way that those guests have true access to the ski slopes. Sugar Mountain Resort makes snow at their own pace and schedule and with their limited “windows of cold and snowmaking ops” they simply chose to focus on the main mountain and Gunther’s Way. I’m sure that is disappointing to guests of the Sugar Ski & CC condos but it is what it is…

By the way, we DO have a LIVE CAM atop Sugar AT Sugar Ski & CC and it IS still working, and none of the patrolled positions provide us with a shot at the main office building that was destoyed.


Kenny Griffin Will Be With You Guys on Friday morning…

Kenny has agreed to handle the FirsTrax news in the morning as I will be skiing AT SUGAR MOUNTAIN on Friday morning with a “Sugar Mountain friend”. I’m also planning to hit up App or Beech (not sure yet) – but I’ll get some good photos and vids to share with you guys when we meet again on Saturday morning.


That’s going to do it for me. Email me as you prefer at: [email protected]

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