Photo of the Day: Courtesy of Snowshoe Mountain. This view at 10am shows the President’s Day Weekend crowd already out in force. This is what a busy Holiday weekend is supposed to look like.
One quick tour of all of the ski resort webcams earlier this morning will have shown you lots and lots of snowmaking happening at every ski area with the exception of Wolf Ridge Resort. A tour as of 10am this morning would show you crowds of people who have made the trek to their favorite ski mountain…and already crowded the slopes…well except for one.
More about that at the end of today’s FirsTrax. But first…
Wow What a Difference ONE EVENING of SNOWMAKING Can Make
I really loved Wintergreen Resort’s Mountain Blog comment this morning, so let’s share it as a blanket comment for all of our ski areas this morning.
“Nice try Mother Nature, but we’ve got SNOWPOWER on our side this holiday weekend. Snowguns started producing that white gold at 5PM this evening. Our resilient teams will continue to blanket the mountain as long as conditions permit. Remember the only way to guarantee a spot on the mountain is with an advance sale or Season Pass, Mission: Four’dable ticket, or lodging with Wintergreen resort. ❄️ “
Here is a nice, quick video shared by Wintergreen
It HAS Been a Good Season So Far. No REALLY, it HAS.
For many fans of our Southeastern Ski Areas, the PERCEPTION of this winter’s weather is that this has been a winter NOT to remember. If you’re gauging it by the amount of natural snowfall, you’d be correct. However, if you are gauging it by skier visits, it has been a “pretty good one” according to most of the resort managers that we have conversed with lately. One of the reasons that can be said is that now that President’s Day Weekend has arrived – right behind yet ANOTHER perfectly timed cold front – it appears that the weather for all of the “big-ticket”, Holiday weeks and weekends allowed for great attendance.
Appalachian Ski Mountain had already SOLD OUT of day session lift passes for Saturday…on Friday.
Cataloochee Ski Mountain has already SOLD OUT today’s DAY SESSIONS.
Massanutten Resort is SOLD OUT in their Waterpark through Monday! They also have SNOW TUBING SOLD OUT through Monday. LIFT PASSES ARE LIMITED AS WELL!
We’ve shared this many times, but for our new readers and followers, the Christmas-to-New-Year’s Week and Weekends; MLK Weekend; and President’s Day 4-Day Weekend make up as much as 30%-50% of skier visits for an entire season at most of our Southeast and mid-Atlantic ski resorts.
Things were looking p-r-e-t-t-y sketchy on the slopes as late as Friday morning across the region. I took a tour of all of the webcams before the cold air arrived earlier on Friday and let’s just say that most of our weekend guests would not have been too happy with the overall appearance of the slopes. Granted we’ve seen worse. Much worse. However, it was awesome to see 50° early on Friday change over to snow flurries and low temperatures that dove down to 12° overnight at Sugar Mountain and most of our ski areas in the region.
A TRACE to (perhaps) 0.5″ to 1″ of snow fell across the higher peaks of Beech and Sugar on Friday evening and over night. Beech Mountain and Sugar Mountain are reporting an 1″. Although it snowed on and off most of Friday afternoon and evening across much of the High Country, no measurable snowfall was measured at Blowing Rock. However, ON Appalachian Ski Mountain, they are reporting 1″.
0.3″ of snow was measured by David Lesher’s Canaan Valley Weather for Davis, West Virginia.
I heard from Joe Stevens this morning, who shared that he was checking in on some of the West Virginia ski areas. When he called Tom Wagner of Winterplace Resort this morning, Joe mentioned that he could hear the roar of the snowmaking equipment running in the background. Hearing that wonderful roar, Joe told Tom Wagner, “Now THAT is a beautiful sound for a Saturday morning at a ski resort in February.” To that, Wagner responded, “It certainly is my friend. It certainly is.”
COLD TEMPS RULE THE HEADLINES THIS MORNING. WELL THAT AND SNOW MAKING!
As already reported, the best news for this weekend came in the form of an arctic front that delivered perfectly cold temps overnight. Temperatures dipped to 11° at Canaan Valley after 1.65″ of rain fell across the slopes at Canaan Valley and Timberline just 24 hours earlier.
Our low temperatures this morning are as much as 40° colder than just 24 hours earlier.
Here is a quick glance tour:
Appalachian Ski Mountain – 17° 1″ of natural snow reported on the mountain. More importantly, with those cold temperatures, App was able to MAKE 8-9″ of manmade overnight. 100% open.
Beech Mountain Resort – 18° 1″ of new snow. They still have the old Oz Run open (now called West Bowl). 15 of 17 trails open.
Canaan Valley Resort – 16° after a low of 11° this morning and 0.3″ of snow. They now have 22 trails open and snow tubing!
Cataloochee Ski Area – 26°. Made 7″ of new, manmade snow and they have 14 of 18 slopes open. SOLD OUT for day sessions.
Massanutten Resort – 19° and their snowmaking teams worked some magic to cover and get 16 slopes open for today. It is AMAZING what a difference 8-10 hours of snowmaking makes these days!
Ober Mountain – 25° and we saw them BOMBING the slopes with snowmaking this morning! They doubled their open terrain since Friday and now have 4 of 10 slopes open til 9pm. They also saw a TRACE of new snow!
Sapphire Valley – 22° and they went from Zero (CLOSED) to Hero (100% open) from Friday to today. They have both of their trails and snow tubing open. They will also host their Outhouse Races today!
Snowshoe Mountain – 9° this morning and 3″ of natural snow (the most in the region overnight) and they also have the most slopes and open terrain in the region with 56 of 61 trails. Expect perfect corduroy on the mountain as well! There was a natural, SNOW-GLOBE haze/layer over the top of Snowshoe’s 4848′ this morning.
Sugar Mountain Resort – 22° and 1″ of natural snow. They have 17 slopes and trails, ice skating and snow tubing open.
Omni Homestead Resort – 22° and a TRACE of snow. They made snow and we are awaiting word about their openings for Saturday. We’d expect they will be open. Call ahead until we can update this further.
Timberline Mountain – 11° and a TRACE 0.3″ of snow. They bombed the slopes overnight and have 19 of 20 trails open for your pleasure. Only “Off the Wall” is not available for the day. Timberline is promoting their season passes for NEXT SEASON at a great discount if you purchase now. Timberline’s long season, due to agressively opening early and staying open – makes for a great deal. Go get YOURS now!
Wintergreen Resort – 21° and with great snowmaking they have more of the mountain open – now with 16 of 27 trails for day and night sessions. Tubing open as well.
Winterplace Resort – 22° and they have 25 of 29 trails open as well as snow tubing. Conditions looks pretty awesome via the cams!
Wisp Resort – 22° and they are making snow on 20 trails. They HAVE 21 trails of 34 open for day and night sessions – as well as snow tubing! They also saw a TRACE to 0.5 of snow overnight making for sweet conditions for this weekend!
The Only Resorts That May NOT Have Made Snow?
Bryce Resort isn’t reporting any snowmaking or base depths, and we cannot tell via the LIVE webcams whether or not they made snow. They have not updated their own reporting since Thursday – either on the own website or Facebook.
Wolf Ridge Resort.
OH BROTHER! USE YOUR HEADS PEOPLE!
As I was purusing some of the messageboard and Facebook comments, I noticed a few posts about the fact that ski areas were making snow during LIVE sessions last night. One such (and I have not shared their last name since I didn’t ask) post came from “Mauricio S” as he shared, “I enjoyed skiing ⛷️ here until today. They have no regard for their patrons and started blowing snow while customers were skiing, and not partially (but) the entire mountain! Unsafe. Don’t come here. Btw manager Travis Worrell could care less.”
Ouch. That was way harsh Mauricio! Without those snow guns, THIS is what we’d have been looking at MOST of this ski season. I kid you not.
During MANY of the last twenty-five ski seasons, we have seen periods in January and February where resorts had to shut down for a day or two (and more) because of a lack of base depths. I have studied the archived temperature data at all of the ski resorts this season and it is AMAZING that conditions remain as great as they are right now. However, after a mild week last week and some moderate rainfall, most of the resorts were looking pretty “weathered” – pun intended. Without making snow on Friday afternoon, evening and overnight last night, things would have been pretty “meh” today.
MORE GRIEF FOR WOLF
Hate to kick a wolf while it’s down, but good grief is Wolf Ridge Resort taking a beating on Social Media. What makes it worse is that the terrible comments are being posted ON Wolf Ridge’s OWN Facebook page and nobody there is paying attention to the comments or making any attempts to answer any of the negativity.
This reminds me of the massive negativity that was dumped on the old Timberline Resort owners back in 2018-2019 via the Facebook Timber-lies page.
However, in this case all of the negativity is being posted ON Wolf’s own page at: https://www.facebook.com/WolfRidgeResort/
Even most of Wolf’s fans don’t see them being open after this weekend. We’ll see. We’ve reached out for comments or to see if we could help, but nobody in management is ever available.
Want to see Wolf’s crowd at 10am?
That will do it for me today. Enjoy the sweet conditions if you’re going to brave the crowds today and if you DO, thank a SNOWMAKER
Check the SNOW REPORT https://www.skisoutheast.com/snow-reports/ this morning for full details.
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