Snowmaking To Begin Sometime on Thursday; More Slopes Will Open Saturday
That is the word we are getting from most resort contacts.
Snowshoe Mountain is THE ONLY SKI AREA IN THE REGION OPEN TODAY and there is a bit of a wintry mix happening up there. Snow showers are in their forecast for Wednesday night as temps dive to the 26° at Snowshoe, Canaan Valley and Timberline in West Virginia a bit earlier than the rest of the region which should see sub-freezing temps sometime on Thursday.
Snow showers are in the forecast for the West Virginia mountains on Wednesday night, Thursday, and Thursday night.
The North Carolina High Country should see some light flurries to snow showers on Thursday evening as well although we are not seeing the kind of snow that Meteorologist Brad Panovich was sharing with us yesterday. We’ll see as things get closer (tomorrow) what he says.
Snow-making temperatures are the important thing and those will hit in earnest on Thursday as highs are expected to be in the low to mid 20s with some low 30s across the mountain resort communities. Lows should around 10° Thursday night. Highs in the teens are in the forecast for FRIDAY and then another round of near-10° on Friday night. Saturday should provide around-the-clock snowmaking ops at nearly every ski area.
So expect many of the ski resorts to open and Snowshoe (which is already open) will open more terrain.
NOTHING HAS CHANGED FOR SNOWSHOE over the last few days. They are still open with 9 slopes and trails. Shawn Cassell posted, “It’s going to be a wet one out there today folks, so grab a poncho and keep on shredding! It’s a very cold rain so any impact on our base should be minimal. We may see some snow mix in at some point as well, fingers crossed! Cold temperatures return tomorrow, and our snowmakers are itching to get back to work on expanding terrain.”
He added that Progression Park is open with 9 features, including 1 jump, and the infamous Never Summer Pontoon.
So if you’re having the Joneses to ski or ride today, it will have to be in the Wild and Wonderful state of West Virginia.
For everyone else there is FIRST SNOWMAKING, THEN OPENING and as of yesterday, here are the latest updates for expected openings across the region:
POSSIBLE OPENING ON FRIDAY:
Cataloochee Ski Area
Sugar Mountain Resort
SATURDAY OPENINGS / REOPENINGS:
Beech Mountain Resort
Canaan Valley Resort
Appalachian Ski Mountain
Cataloochee Ski Area (May reopen Friday)
Wolf Ridge Resort
Sugar Mountain Resort
Ober Gatlinburg – We THINK they will be open Saturday with TUBING at least and they may have some slopes open as well.
Wisp Resort – There’s been no word, but we THINK they will open SOME terrain on Saturday.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 16TH:
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 17TH:
The Omni Homestead
Bryce Resort and Massanutten Resort and are simply waiting on the cold to hit this weekend and they will blast the slopes and COULD be opening as early as Saturday, Sunday or Monday. They may also HOLD OFF until the December 16-17th weekend.
A Quick Comment on Massanutten’s New Website…
We REALLY LIKE THIS website. Click HERE TO SEE THE WEBSITE (www.MassResort.com) and check it out.
As a web design and development company, we can appreciate a really great website when we see one. Snowshoe’s is great, as is Wintergreen’s but right now we’d have to say that perhaps Massanutten’s takes top honors. The rest of the region’s ski areas should follow suit.
“WE THINK ALL YOUR SIDES ARE PRETTY!”
We are asked almost daily about OUR TAKE on how we feel each resort’s status is in terms of conditions, what they look like, etc. That’s nuts to us because you can go and tour every ski resort in the region RIGHT FROM YOUR KEYBOARD OR PHONE and see for yourself!
I was speaking with a longtime reader the other day and he was reminding me how he and perhaps twenty or so “other regulars” would send us photos DAILY from the mountains around the region. Cell phones were just cell phones only a few years ago so those “on-snow reporters” would have to carry separate cameras and snap shots for us. Video was in short supply until maybe ten years ago but even then it took extraordinary measures for those dedicated souls to compile and send us video clips. They were GREAT for their time, but pale in comparison to what we can get these days from every cell phone camera.
Those hearty souls would send hundreds and sometimes thousands of photos. We’d get perhaps 2-3 videos a week and then we’d have to spend an hour or two reworking them so that we could post them.
NOW – man things are just so readily available to us through tens of thousands of cell phone cams and videos, social media (Facebook, InstrGram, Twitter, etc.) and the LIVE STREAM webcams give us all a “no BS current status” of what the slopes look like.
I remember a few ski resort owners who hated the idea of webcams when we first started pushing the idea. Now, everybody’s got them and most resorts have multiples.
There’s truly no better resource.
That’s what makes SkiSoutheast.com and ResortCams.com such a perfect network resource for anyone planning a trip to the mountains.
AN UPDATE AND INVITATION TO HELP GATLINBURG
The evacuation order for Gatlinburg will end Wednesday for those who live and work in the tourist town but the public won’t be allowed back in until Friday, city officials announced yesterday.
The city will reopen to the public on Friday at 7 a.m.
The lifting of the evacuation order comes more than a week after wildfires swept down from the Great Smoky Mountain, killing 14 people, injuring more than 100 and damaging or destroying more than 1,700 structures. Damage was reported in Gatlinburg, Sevier County and Pigeon Forge with as many as 780 firefighters, federal investigators and National Guard members assisting with recovery efforts.
Among the structures with significant damage or destruction include: Alamo Steakhouse; Buckberry Lodge; 70 homes in Cobbly Knob area; 31 homes in Condos Villas of Gatlinburg Association; Cupid’s Chapel of Love; Highland Condominiums; Mountain Lodge Restaurant; and Tree Tops Resort. Westgate Resort also experienced significant damage but plans to reopen soon.
Tons of organizations have rallied to offer means of support for those who have lost everything. We provide this link and encourage any and all of you who are blessed to be able to help – to do so.
LET’S LEAVE YOU WITH A SMILE…
The other day I alluded to a lady from Vienna, Virginia who was asking a silly question about “why Massanutten Resort wasn’t making snow”. She didn’t realize that it had to be cold enough to make snow.
We’ve fielded many, somewhat comical inquiries over the years, INCLUDING THIS ONE that longtime ski patroller, Mark Latendresse shared.
He wrote, “As a 20 year veteran ski patroller I’ve heard some dumb questions as well. My favorite is, “What do you (the ski resorts) do with the snow when you’ve closed for the season?” My answer was always, “We keep it in a refrigerated warehouse in the valley!””
Thanks for reminding us of that one Mark. By the way, Mark shared that he patrolled for six years at Hawksnest before they closed there. Then he patrolled at Beech Mountain for six and he’s been at Appalachian Ski Mountain for seven years now and he’s also at Snowshoe.
That’s it for today people. Stay dry and think COLD!
Email me if you like at: [email protected]