Sunday, January 6th and Resorts Await More Cold Temperatures

First Trax

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You guys should check the SNOW REPORT for all the details today.

The photo of the day is from a capture of Cataloochee’s Base Cam at 9:15am this morning as it shows just how good conditions still are at various resorts. (You simply have to look for them…via the webcams (insert shameless plug).

On Saturday, I began our FirsTrax report by sharing a bit of a ‘glass half empty’ approach to resort openings. Today, I’ll go at it from a ‘glass half full’ view. We have (11) resorts in the region that are OPEN and operating for skiing and snowboarding. Again, check the SNOW REPORT for all the details.

That means that there are still (6) ski areas NOT open for snow sports on this Sunday, January 6th. Here’s a quick glance of who is and isn’t open and with how much terrain:

47 | Snowshoe Mountain
19 | Canaan Valley Resort
14 | Wisp Resort
10 | Wintergreen Resort
9 | Appalachian Ski Mountain
9 | Cataloochee Ski Area
8 | Winterplace Resort
7 | Bryce Resort
5 | Massanutten Resort
4 | Beech Mountain

Ober Gatlinburg
Oglebay Resort
Omni Homestead Resort
Sapphire Valley Resort
Timberline Resort
Wolf Ridge Resort

Every Resort (and fan) Is Waiting on Cold and Snow to Hit

Click to Enlarge

The good news is that cold air for snowmaking is on the way and the week ahead looks promising for some snow as well. There are some ski areas that should be able to make snow tonight, however, it does appear that ALL ski areas should get back to making snow by Tuesday evening. Temps are expected to remain cold enough for snowmaking operations for several days.

That should bode well for ski areas to get a lot more terrain open, and for those that are now closed – to get reopened.

I was looking at snowfall totals on the season (to date) and I can’t think of the last season that we had a North Carolina resort leading the region in natural snowfall. That distinction goes to Beech Mountain Resort with 45″ of snowfall to this date.

A few resorts made snow on Saturday along with receiving a bit of natural snow. However, even some of those ski areas are hurting a bit. Beech Mountain, for example, is not open to the top of their mountain.

Of course, being open with 4 trails is better than NOT being open…which I have already shared is the case for six of our ski areas on this Sunday, January 6th.

Some Notables Today:

As I was looking at all of the snow reporting FROM the ski areas today, only Massanutten Resort was reporting any thin coverage or bare areas. The truth is that every ski area with the exception of Appalachian and Cataloochee ski areas have them. If you’re at any ski area today, pay attention to trail markings as our resorts do a great job of warning you where thin coverage is.

Appalachian Ski Mountain – NOON TODAY!
I was wanting to go and film this again, but I will be on the road in a different direction for the day.

App Terrain Park will kick off their Signature Shred for the Cup Series on Sunday, January 6 with the Rail Jam!

The Shred for the Cup Series has become the benchmark competition series in the region, with 3 events held throughout the winter season that test skiers & snowboarders skills in a variety of park disciplines (Rail Jam, Big Air, and Slopestyle). As always, the series has categories and features that cater to all skill levels (Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced) of both skiers & snowboarders, as well as a dedicated Women’s category in both ski and board.

Burton is the Rail Jam presenting sponsor, and will be on-site supporting the event with tons of product for winners!

Canaan Valley’s Justin Harris wrote:
Good morning, Yesterday at CVR was a great day! We started the day with a light 1 inch snowfall, making conditions excellent throughout the morning. The afternoon brought perfect temps and clearing skies, and the mountain was once again full of friendly faces. Today we will be holding steady with 19 out of 47 trails open, with solid bases on all of our slopes. We are open until 6:00pm this evening, so come out and ski under the lights! Our pic of the day is from yesterday afternoon, showing our mountain with the light dusting of snow we received. A sign of things to come!

Our David McCue visited Canaan Valley this past week and posted a nice feature – Check it our here…

Snowshoe Mountain
They posted

Once this morning’s fog burns off it should be a really pretty day to get out and make some turns. We picked up 2″ of fresh snow yesterday, and the forecast for this week looks promising. Cold air is on the way and our snowmakers are raring to beef things up and then continue with terrain expansion. Timberjack is open as a ski trail without park features (Fresh build coming soon!). Slaymaker/Spur will be delayed until around 11AM for Snowshoe Ski Team training. Please remember to always ski or ride within your ability and pay close attention to all trail signage.

We’ve got Subaru Winterfest and our Burton Kids Camp going down next weekend! Head to or Facebook to learn more.

Sean Mahoney sent in these nice photos from Snowshoe yesterday. The first is from Cupp Run and the second is a quickly snapped shot of his girls…

Wintergreen Resort
They posted:

At The Ready…
The sun is rising on the same open trails as yesterday – amazingly! Our groomers were able to hold highlands another night. Sadly though, tubing operations have been suspended until snowmaking temps return. And thankfully that is soon. We have a chance to get the guns on tonight and heavy snowmaking coming this Wednesday! Time to unleash SNOWPOWER and blanket this mountain in white once again!

While you are out enjoying the slopes today, stop by Checkerberry Cabin for some beverage specials and cider from our friends down route 151, Blue Toad HARD Cider Pub. They brew all natural and eminently drinkable hard cider using only locally grown apples from Western New York and, of course, Nelson County Virginia. Located at the bottom of Blue Ridge Express. This is only accessible by ski or snowboard with a valid lift ticket and must be 21 or older to partake. Ski & drink responsibly.


Timberline Comments –

I’ve been overwhelmed for the last week with comments about my post about Timberline Resort of one week ago today. I want to thank those of you who emailed me personally with your comments. Tons of those responses were FROM locals to the Davis, WV area. Some were past and current employees and a few were from industry pros at other resorts. Thank you again.

When I get time I will post a follow-up piece to that story as there was certainly a lot of passion shared in those emails. I can report (and will substantiate) that the overwhelming share of those emails were very positive and supporting the hope that Timberline will have a great season and get on stable footing. There were a dozen of so very negative emails and there were two or three people with such an obvious, negative agenda that I had to delete the post from our Facebook page.

Feelings are pretty tender in Davis, WV and I can tell you that my personal favorite comment came from another industry pro in the area (who is not a Timberline staffer) when she shared, “Mike, this whole situation is a mess, but if you are part of this community like we are, it is OUR mess.”

I mentioned within that post that our only real reason for posting anything was due to the fact that several people had emailed me personally asking WHY we were not “reporting” on the issues happening there…even hinting that we were purposely avoiding the ‘story’.

Nothing in the post hinted at taking any sides. Our only “side” is simply hoping that Timberline Resort doesn’t become another closed ski area in the region.

In my short time of covering the Southeast and mid-Atlantic resort industry – I have seen three North Carolina ski areas close permanently for skiing operations. One of the three is now a nice, residential community (Mill Ridge) that offers tennis and volleyball courts and a swimming pool. Two of the three (Hawksnest and Scaly Mountain) are now snow tubing and zip line adventures.

I could include Sky Valley which operated for a time during those initial years. (Sky Valley closed after the 2004-2005 season.)

I have answered most every email with the fact that what many of the people who are writing to me don’t quite seem to want to understand is that it is not our place to get into the kind of subject matter that many want us to. They are quick to chastise us as if that was BECAUSE we are accepting funds from those mountains. That is not how works. We will always remain independent.

However that does not mean that we would become a “garbage paper” publication that does nothing but show the worst of what goes on in the industry.

There is a time and a place for everything and isn’t the place – nor is this the time.

At some point – when I get time – we will share a slightly different take on ski resorts and their fan base.


I thought some of you might enjoy an interesting CLOUD SEEDING VIDEO…Is it in our future for the mid-Atlantic and Southeast mountains.

That will do it for today.

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