Southeast and Mid Atlantic Ski Resorts Make An AMAZING Comeback!

First Trax

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Snow (God given and manmade) can sure get people excited. If you had been frozen in ice and just woke up on Wednesday you’d have sworn that this past Monday was the first time the snow guns had cranked this season and that yesterday (Wednesday) was opening day of the ski season. Of course that’s not the case. We’ve all been fighting inconsistent temps and less than normal snows.

Things are GREAT out today…and here are some notes. You guys will want to keep checking back as we have a lot of photos to share with you.

All of the resorts have been making snow all week (most since Monday AM) and the transformation from what the resorts looked like Monday AM and now today (Thursday morning) is nothing short of amazing! The Tuesday snowfall certainly helped as well, but snowmaking ops have been consistent with around the clock snowmaking most everywhere.

Wisp Resort in Maryland probably has the most efficient and high-tech snowmaking system in the Southeast and Mid Atlantic and Lori Epp shared the amazing fact that they have been able to make 25” of manmade snow in the last 72 hours. That IS amazing! That is slightly more than 8” per 24 hour period and a true testament to their snowmaking capabilities. Other resorts in the Southeast incorporate some highly automated and proficient snowmaking systems including Snowshoe Mountain in West Virginia and Wintergreen Resort in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Both have poured on a bunch of new base in the last three-plus days.

Before other resorts get offended it should be noted that most all of the ski areas of the Southeast and Mid Atlantic made from moderate to massive improvements in their snowmaking capabilities during the off-season. Those investments have paid HUGE dividends in the last three days or so. MLK Holiday visitors should really appreciate these efforts and reward the resort of your choice with your business.

As we toured all of the ski areas virtually this morning via the phone, live cams, faxes and emailed reports – one common thread was obvious. All had made substantial gains in conditions and base this morning. Last night provided the best snowmaking conditions of the last few days as the winds of previous nights had subsided and the temps were in the teens. No winds and optimal temperatures make for the best snowmaking opportunities. All of the resorts kicked it up a notch and the snowguns blasted trails everywhere and the result is MORE OPEN TERRAIN to enjoy today. Check the slope conditions page for details on your favorite ski area. All are in great shape today with generally MANMADE and PACKED POWDER conditions.

The sun is shining which should provide for a phenomenal experience on the snow today. That should make for some great “Kodak Moments” today so send us yours! [email protected]

Great Skiers and Even Greater Attitudes!

Yesterday was a busy day with emails. (Snow does make for more inbound emails!) Among them two that I received were asking about or sharing information about skier programs for the disabled. All of the resorts have really done a good service by providing opportunities for disabled skiers across the region. Some resorts do more than others and we’ll try to work on a story that will shed more light on the programs and the resorts that excel at this. We answered both inquiries yesterday via email so I won’t post that here. However, one of the emailers told me of some funny instances that have happened to him on the slopes and while I’d love to share those, he asked me not to…so I’ll honor that request.

However, his email jogged my memory of a story that happened up at Snowshoe years ago. I was relating this last night and got a real chuckle out of it and thought you guys would appreciate a good laugh.

A couple of years ago in a conversation that I was having with one of Snowshoe’s long time management people I was told that when Snowshoe started their disabled skier program they were really impressed with the skiing skill of many of the skiers and the amazing sense of humor that some of these skiers exhibited. One young skier had tragically lost both of his legs in an accident and when he showed up to ski, he actually attached his artificial limbs on backwards (on purpose) and skied with his boots and skis turned backwards. That had to be an awkward sight! However it was another episode that really cracked our group up. Our storyteller told of a time that the mountain was hosting a few disabled skiers who were enjoying the mountain with a crowd of regulars. It so happened that one of the disabled skiers was skiing along, caught an edge and was flipped over and upon hitting the snow, his artificial leg came undone (along with the ski boot and ski still attached) and shot down the slope one way – while the REST of his “body” went another. At that same exact moment a woman who was close by and witnessed the fall – FAINTED on the spot!

According to the story, ski patrol spent more time with that poor woman than they did getting the disabled skier back together with his “leg”! Can you IMAGINE???!!! Her heart probably jumped out of her chest!

Weather For the MLK Extended Weekend

That is the question of the morning. The forecast HAS changed somewhat in the last 24 hours and you can check out the details that Meteorologist, Marcus Lynch provides in the weather update in the middle column of our front page. However the short summary is this:

The snowguns will turn off sometime mid morning as temps will get in the 40s for the first since since Monday morning. There is a chance for more snowmaking Thursday night. Friday will cloud up some and mild up a bit into the upper 40s. Ski conditions on Friday will be sweet!

Saturday does now appear to be a cloudy, drizzly kind of day with a 50% chance of light rain. It does look to be more on the hit and miss, drizzly side, rather than a day-killing kind of rain. Sunday now appears to be more of a cloudy day with only a slight chance of scattered, light rain. So Sunday looks much better than the forecast showed yesterday. Monday now looks to be a rain-to-mix-to-SNOW kind of a day. The forecasted highs will be near 50, so the 50% chance of rain will be under-developed snow ļ However, as the day goes on, look for falling temps, changing things over to snow and sleet.

As previously forecasted, winter looks to be returning with consistent temps and snowy weather beginning Tuesday of next week. Highs Tuesday and Wednesday will be in the 20s and 30s, and lows will be in the teens. Ski season is FINALLY – AND REALLY here!

Email your comments and photos to [email protected]  

Until Next Time…


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For more information about the ski resorts of the Southeast and Mid Atlantic visit  


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The snows of Tuesday night and snowmaking made for snowy conditions at Appalachian Ski Mountain on Wednesday – Photo by Sam Cassidy
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