First Trax

The answer to our own question is "YES" and "NO". Last week many forecasters were already pointing to tonight's low as being bitterly cold and some were talking coldest temps in years. The low tonight is forecasted to be the following:

Beech – 8°
Cataloochee – 14°
Wolf – 15°
Snowshoe – MINUS 4°
Bryce – 17°
Wisp – MINUS 2°
App – 16°
Massanutten – 6°
Sapphire – 18°
Ober – 17°
Wintergreen – 14°
Homestead – 9°
Canaan & Timberline – MINUS 3°

A few days ago we were seeing MINUS ZERO temps for many of the resorts into North Carolina with HIGHS around 10°. Now those temps are reserved only for the most northern resorts within our coverage area – Snowshoe, Canaan, Timberline and Wisp.


We should see some "ambience snow" (dusting) around the NC and VA mountains this evening while Davis, WV (home to Canaan Valley) should see 3-6" of snow today through Tuesday night and really there is MORE SNOW happening through Friday!

2-3" are forecasted for Snowshoe. A dusting of snow is in the forecast for the NC Mountains.


The great news is that it is possible that when this season is over and in the books that THIS week may go down as the coldest stretch of the season with forecasted HIGHS in the teens and 20s all week and LOWS near zero to teens. That should make for around the clock snowmaking for nearly ALL of the ski resorts all week long. You guys have already SEEN what our resorts can do with limited snowmaking opportunities so you can sit back and watch more terrain opening daily this week. Some ski resorts have already written us that they will be 100% open by next weekend.

We'll leave it to Herb Stevens and Brad Panovich to foretell NEXT WEEKEND'S weather and snow chances. A few days ago that was looking pretty promising, but again we'll leave that to them to chat about.

For now it should be bitterly cold tonight and Tuesday night, then a bit more NORMAL for this time of year for a day or so (with continued snowmaking) and then COLD as ice again this weekend.

From what we're seeing as a long range, things should be pretty good, but the early season forecast of this being a "back-loaded" cold and snowy season may or may not hold. Mid-range forecasts are hinting that NEXT WEEK'S forecast is already looking "considerably milder".

So get out and enjoy the best conditions of the season – RIGHT NOW and through the next week. If I were to provide our most sincere recommendation right now, I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND that you head to the mountain during this next 14-20 days if you want a guarantee of nice conditions. The way things have gone the past two seasons, there is NO GUARANTEE of optimal conditions after that. We can HOPE, but I'd ski or ride these next two weeks for sure. So pack up the SUV and head to your favorite ski area!



…How are they EVEN keeping these kinds of conditions with so few snowmaking days? It's MAGIC I tell you!

OBER: 39° – No Snowmaking for a few days now and yet they are performing MAGIC by keeping this mountain looking in good shape. Snow tubing and three slopes are open.



WISP: 13° – Wisp Resort is open today from 9am – 5pm with midweek peak season rates of $29 Adult and juniors lift tickets. Snowmaking took place on 18 trails overnight.

TIMBERLINE: 17° – Made and making snow and only open for DAY SESSIONS today. It goes without saying that we all LOVE the LIVE STREAM at:

CANAAN VALLEY: 19° – Made and making snow. The trails are GROOMED and FROZEN GRAN and should offer a great day to be in Davis, WV. Day sessions only today.

SNOWSHOE: 20° – Made and making snow. Snowshoe wrote, "Progression Session Park, Timberjack and Robertson's Run are open with 11 jumps, 2 hips and 25 rails. Skill Builder Park, formerly Cubb Run, is open as a beginner trail, Mountaineer is open as an intermediate trail and Choker is open as an advanced trail. Please be aware of variable conditions across the mountain."

WINTERPLACE: 22° – Made and making snow as long as temps allow. They wrote, "The snowtubing park will be closed on Tuesday (1/22/13) and Wednesday (1/23/13)  for snowmaking and reshaping."

Winterplace's Travis Roberts sent us another GREAT Winterplace video. Check that out at:

HOMESTEAD: 26° – Made snow overnight and this morning and will as long as temps allow. Thanks to Matt Fussell and the peeps at The Homestead for keeping us aware of what's happening here this season. They are cranking out the snow this morning as can be seen via the new LIVE STREAM at:

The low tonight will is forecasted at 3 degrees with a high of 12 tomorrow at The Homestead!   Day sessions only today.

MASSANUTTEN: 27° – Made snow overnight and this morning and as long as temps allow. They wrote, "Great snow making weather is heading our way this week. We plan to make as much snow as possible and open more trails."

Gotta give the original LIVE STREAMING CAM some props although BOTH cams at Mass are pretty awesome. See:

I watched a lot of activity this morning from the groomers and snow maintenance peeps making Mass all pretty. It should be GREAT at Mass today.

…Photo compliments of Wintergreen Resort from this morning!

WINTERGREEN: 27.3° – Made snow overnight and making snow this AM. Opened another trail and wrote: "Great snowmaking conditions continue with lows in the single digits forecasted during the work week.  Trail count, surface conditions, terrain park features and base depths will improve daily, keep checking this report for the most up to date information.  We plan to be 100% open by next weekend!"

With their "SNOW POWER SYSTEM" they can get it done. Wintergreen Resort is home to one of the world’s most sophisticated snowmaking systems. First installed during the 2002-2003 winter season and continuously upgraded, this state-of-the-art York® computerized snowmaking system gives Wintergreen the SnowPower to consistently offer the Mid-Atlantic’s best skiing and snowboarding surfaces.

Wintergreen is the only ski area on the East Coast to have 100 percent of its terrain covered by automated snowmaking. This complex system involves approximately 40,000 linear feet of pipeline, more than 400 snowguns and 45 weather stations. The result is gold-standard snowsports surfaces, with a uniformity of depth and consistency of snow quality from the top of the slopes to the bottom.

Beech making snow this AM! View from the Slopeside Cam via

BEECH MTN: 29° – Made snow Sunday, Sunday night and still are this morning. The mountain really looks nice this morning via THE BASE CAM.

BRYCE: 29° – Not made snow in the last 3 days. Our temps and the NWS are all showing borderline snowmaking ops right now. That HAS to be frustrating for Bryce's snowmaking team. The forecast is for 21° tonight at Basye, Virginia so we're CERTAIN the guns will fire this evening. Day sessions ONLY today at Bryce.

SUGAR MTN: 29.8° – Sugar mentions on their website that, "Snowmaking will be in progress as long as temperatures allow." Well they allowed ALL DAY on Sunday. Although temps were in the upper 30s and even low 40s at the base of the mountain, there were cold(er) enough temps for Gunther to make snow up top and they did just that. The low was 26.8° this morning and snowmaking will continue as long as temps allow today. Sugar looks pretty darn sweet on MOST of their trails for today however they could use a little snow up top of Big Red. See:  Sugar IS making snow there this morning.

CATALOOCHEE: 30.9° – Made Snow last night and Making Snow as long as temps allow. THERE IS NO NIGHT SKIING MONDAY NIGHT at Cat.

APPALACHIAN: 32° – No Snowmaking – Watched grooming this morning. Although they have not been able to make snow in the last 48 hours the mountain is in great shape due to cold temps at night to set up the snow.

…gotta give some promots to these guys for pushing around what they've got and opening today.

SAPPHIRE: 33° – Interestingly they are not making snow although their weather station is reporting 25°. We are showing 28° via and the NWS reporting station is showing 33°. Perhaps the NWS has the more accurate pull this morning! Sapphire reopens today with both trails and tubing.


WOLF RIDGE: 34° – Hasn't made snow in 48 hours or more. Hasn't dropped base either. Does anyone else get ANYTHING out of this webcam? Ever? Nothing new here. Let's move on.

Enjoy your day on the slopes…

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