Some measurable natural snow is falling as well. Read on
I did a quick video, live stream tour this morning at 7:15am of the ski areas and with the exception of one or two ski areas, they all had a snow-globe effect going on with snowmaking equipment fired up and blasting the slopes.
The forecasted cold air is arriving in two surges. One hit overnight and this morning and this one is delivering cold enough air for our talented snowmaking crews to fire up the guns and begin to rebuilding base depths across each ski mountain. It’s been a challenging week or so and this cold air is perfectly timed and very welcome to resort ops and those of us who have ski and snowboarding trips planned for the coming days and week ahead.
Another cold surge is scheduled to hit the area tonight and THAT cold blast is colder. We could see some around-the-clock snowmaking even today and tonight at many ski resorts and then every resort in the region should get in on the act tonight and really through most of the week ahead.
The next sure bet of arctic air is arriving Thursday night and beyond that, we have a decent shot at a White Christmas! The BEST news is that we’re getting a blast of consistent and cold temps that is in place from now through Christmas and THAT means more slopes and trails opening at YOUR favorite ski resort.
Here is the video I captured this morning. Some decent, natural snow was falling at Canaan Valley!
Be sure to check the SNOW REPORT for all of the details on how many slopes are open at each resort.
Omni Homestead Resort – they should be making snow today and getting the LIVE camera back up. I just wanted to share these great photos this morning from Omni Homestead Resort. Do THEY know how to “Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly?” or what?”
That place is magical.
They have a pretty SWEET Santa as well! (The real deal…) see below!
Wintergreen Resort – sharing the sweet deal. Get it now!
Cataloochee Ski Area – They get the Photo of the Day treatment with that sweet sunrise shot from the Cataloochee Hemphill camera. I spoke with Chris Bates on Friday and shared that getting that camera at that location was a chore and one that didn’t come cheap. We’re so grateful to host and partner that view.
TUBE WORLD – Cataloochee will reopen TUBE WORLD tomorrow
Canaan Valley Resort – I mentioned that we saw pretty decent, natural snow falling this morning atop Canaan Valley. That is nature’s way of saying “Congratulations for opening day today!”
Canaan Valley picked up 0.9″ (almost an inch) of new snow over the last 36 hours or so. That “one inch” of snowfall is ALL the snow we’ve seen at the WV resort area for the month of December, which is VERY rare. Compare that to 35″ of snow seen during December of 2020! It does look like more snow is headed our way.
Canaan Valley Resort’s OPENING DAY will consist of 4 trails open on the mountain today, specifically in their beginner area. So if you are looking to dip your toes in skiing or snowboarding, this is a perfect way to do so. The staff at our snow sports school are ready and excited to get out there with you, and get you skiing and riding. To make this opening weekend even better, they are offering a 20% discount on all lift tickets and rentals when you ski or ride this weekend!
Speaking of Snowfall Totals…
David Lesher of Canaan Weather does an amazing job of providing even more details about snowfall than we do here at SkiSoutheast…and that is saying a lot. We’ve archived snowfall totals for every ski resort in the region for the last 15+ years.
As I was looking at some of David’s deeper snow-data, I noticed something that is pretty interesting and it kind of speaks to snow and cold coming in cycles throughout the years. David has documented the ebb and flow of the 5-YEAR MEAN snow totals since the 2005 ski season.
The West Virginia ski area has long boasted an annual snowfall total of 180″ of snow. However, that 180″ tally has only been reached or surpassed on seven of the last twenty-two seasons. The five-year-mean average was 170″ back during the 2005-2006 season. It ROSE to a mean of 201″ over the next five seasons during 2010-2011. (The 2009-2010 season boasted 251.4″ of snowfall!)
Over the next few years, through the 2015-2016 season, it fell to 163″ and with the “snow-challenged” period of from 2016-2021, we are now seeing a 5-year mean of 123″ of snowfall.
I am certain that I speak for all snow-lovers, I am ready to see these La Niña winters go to Hell (that’s city in the Bahamas) for a while and cycle back to some good snowfall seasons!
Speaking of SNOW totals…of the Manmade Kind…
Snowshoe Mountain – they made snow and still are on portions of their mountain. They boast 23 open slopes and trails including some over on the Soaring Eagle side of the mountain AND Silver Creek. Snowshoe picked up their first measurable snowfall 48 hours ago and they are reporting 1″ on the season even though we have them at 5″ since we begin reporting November 1st.
Snowshoe should pick up a few inches of natural snowfall tonight and again later in the week. I spoke with Shawn Cassell earlier in the week and their snow-plan is to jump on Cupp Run now that the frigid temps are coming in.
Winterplace Resort – We’ve been hearing a lot of great comments coming at the Winterplace already this season. New General Manager, Josh Faber’s exuberance is being felt all over the mountain and it is infectious. I spoke with Josh briefly when they added a new webcam to the mountain a few weeks back and I look forward to making some turns with him soon. I have spoken with a few people on the mountain and to a person they describe Josh as “driven” and “highly motivated”. It is definitely showing.
I found a couple of shots of Josh that I thought I’d share. Man, I hope the fuller beard is the more recent “look”! Awesome beard, Josh!
Appalachian Ski Mountain, with their capabilities to “snow-globe” the entire mountain at once, added 12″ of manmade snow to the base over the last 24 hours. They went from 14-36″ of base to 26-48″ overnight. That will bode well for skiers and snowboarders who take part in all day sessions and up through mid-night tonight at App.
The Virginia Ski Resorts have definately caught the short end of the stick a bit with cold temps and snowmaking opportunities. Right now the only Virginia ski area open is Bryce Resort with 4 slopes and trails. The rest have MADE snow on a few occasions, only to see milder temps and rain wash most of it away. The good news is that this next wave of cold and snow will blanket our brothers in Virginia as well – all the way through Christmas and allow for focused and dedicated snowmaking efforts to get reopened (in the case of Massanutten Resort) and open for the first time this season by Wintergreen and Omni Homestead.
I heard from Lynn Swann at The Homestead and they are sitting armed and ready to crank up the snowmaking equipment at the historic resort in Hot Springs, VA today! She also shared that they hoped to get the live cam up and running today as well.
While Massanutten and Bryce were not quite at snowmaking temperatures this morning (yet), Wintergreen Resort IS blasting away.
Ober Mountain is making snow on their tubing hill with that amazing snowmaking system that allows them to do so at 70°! Snow TUBING is open, as well as their great ice rink, etc. They are waiting on this next wave of cold air to begin making snow (again) on the main mountain and will reopen ASAP. The forecast is for snowmaking temps (around 23°) to hit Saturday night. As we get closer to the 22nd, it looks like Gatlinburg is in for some single digit and teens for lows and THAT will allow them to open quickly. Stay tuned and think COLD and SNOW!
Wisp Resort – at 26° and with 1″ of light snow falling as of 9:17am this morning, WISP gets out Photo of the Day treatment. They are open with 8 slopes from 9am to 9pm today with what should be awesome conditions. Maybe we can get another video from our new friend, Kristen Skeweris of Railey Realty!?!?
Editor’s Note: While posting this, I did get a couple of photos from Kristen and will share those in a bit. Thanks Kristen!
Sugar Mountain Resort – Gunther and his crew can make snow at 35° or so. Give him 20° and they can blanket the entire mountain very quickly. Sugar added a few inches to their reported base overnight and increased their open trail count to (8) for today and tonight. Ice skating is open as well.
Additional great news is that they are blasting away at Oma’s Meadow (at Sugar Ski & Country Club) and they will open that pretty soon!
Editor’s note: We got a lot of reports and emails about Sugar’s website being hacked on Friday. Some sicko did have it down for a short time, but thankfully Sugar was able to get it fixed promptly. That is the second time in about three weeks that the website has been down. Hopefully they can catch the culprit who messed with it on Friday. We’ll just leave it at that.
Sapphire Valley Resort
We haven’t shown them any love this season (as yet) because nothing’s been happening per anything to do with skiing or tubing. However, surprisingly it is 30° there this morning at the southernmost ski area in the southeast and mid-Atlantic (our area of coverage) and they are making snow. They say they will open around December 21st.
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