The Weekend Will Be Good, a Little Damp, but Good!

First Trax

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We have another ski area debut for the 2007-2008 season! Canaan Valley in West Virginia opened this morning with 5 trails, 2 lifts, and 24-36" of groomed base. Canaan has seen 32" of snow so far this winter and has been making snow at every opportunity and conditions should be really SWEET today. Get us some photos Coop.

Canaan Valley will debut with three beginner trails, one intermediate (Valley Vista) and one expert trail (Face).


Did any of you guys feel that? No, I mean THAT. Winter officially began at 1:08 AM this morning, in case you didn’t feel anything. If you didn’t feel anything it’s because the cold temps exited through the rear of the building at about the same time he was making his arrival.

As has been the case so far this season, the temps into West Virginia and Maryland were a notch colder than those into Virginia and North Carolina. While Snowshoe made some snow last night (even on The Cupp Run!), none of the other resorts into Virginia or North Carolina could. The low at Snowshoe was 27° or so, and they were just out of range early into North Carolina and then went milder still throughout the early morning hours.

At midnight last night the temperature up at Ski Beech was 25.6° and then shortly after winter officially hit, the temps began creeping up to the point that now as I type this update (8am) it is 36° at Beech.

A couple of days ago we provided you with some weather forecasts that strongly hinted at snow in the forecast, and admittedly our buddy Mike Stinneford from Washington quickly wrote, "Mike, I hate to be the bad guy, but I don’t see anyone getting snow, maybe light flurries, but that’s it." Hmmmm. We can still hope. But the National Weather Service and others are now saying that that Christmas Day will be mostly sunny!

Okay, I know that the factors surrounding the forecast from days ago were very complex, and I KNOW that there were sixteen GAZILLION computer models that were predicting everything from an earthquake atop Sugar Mountain, to a flood on Beech, to a volcano erupting at Snowshoe and, oh yes – SUBSTANTIAL SNOWFALL FOR THE MOUNTAINS OF NORTH CAROLINA!

We have GOT to figure out if God is sitting up there going eenie, meanie, mynie, moe over all of these computers and simply hack into His system. Just k-i-d-d-i-n-g God, you know I’m patient, but we could do with some REAL winter weather here in the mountains of North Carolina. P-L-E-A-S-E!

Even though the snow seems to be disappearing from any forecasts, at least the cold temps seem to be hanging around.

Ski Resorts in Maryland and West Virginia looked phenomenal for your Christmas to New Years Holiday ski trip. Snowshoe has 36 trails, Wisp 20 and everybody in that two state area is looking at great conditions, lots of trails and sweet conditions. The week ahead looks very nice with highs in the 30s and lows in the 20s. So expect very nice conditions and cooperation from Old man Winter for snowmaking as well.

Wintergreen Resort in Virginia is looking nice (see report below), Bryce is pretty good, but Massanutten is hurting a little and could use some cold temps. They should be able to make snow Sunday-Tuesday nights.

Ober Gatlinburg in Tennessee and the North Carolina ski resorts are in pretty decent shape as they had snow early in the week and made some snow too. They too will make snow Sunday-Tuesday night. So conditions there will be very nice for the first part of the Holiday ski week. The jury is still out for the latter part of the week in NC.


Snowshoe had not updated their report as of this post, so we called. Laura – GET WELL SWEETIE! Oh my goodness did she sound bad this morning. You could tell she was being a trooper and doing the morning snow report, but she needs some rest! She did share (through a rasping, weak voice) that Snowshoe MADE SNOW last night and has amazing conditions and 36 trails open today! They made snow on the CUPP RUN and expect to fire up the snowguns again late Sunday. She did share that there was some slight chances for drizzle today at The Shoe as well.

Timberline had not updated their report either, but they have added another open trail to their offerings today and now have five for your skiing and snowboarding pleasure.

Winterplace reports, "Our Snowmakers have buried the slopes with tons and tons of snow! The Skiing and Riding are AWESOME! The Snowtubing Park OPENS TODAY – Saturday, December 22nd, at 9am! We will be open to the top of the Mountain on Monday, December 24th, 2007 weather permitting!"

Winterplace is riding on TEN trails today.

Wisp Resort in Maryland is boasting some SWEET conditions today and the second most terrain open in the entire region with 20 trails and 9 lifts. They also have their AMAZING tubing hill open now and the new, exciting Mountain Coaster!

Bryce Resort in Virginia is offering some Terrain Park features as well as tubing, skiing and snowboarding for today.

Massanutten is looking a bit narrow and thin according to their own report. They are open with 2 slopes and 2 lifts today.

Wintergreen Resort was holding out on us as they went from 2 slopes open yesterday to SIX open today! Good for them. They were maintaining and holding and BOOM, good conditions on six trails are available today.

They wrote, "MORE TERRAIN OPEN! Eagles Swoop, the Lower Crosstrail, Potato Patch, Discovery Ridge and Dobie are all open. BOTH TUBING PARKS ARE OPEN! The Plunge and the Slide open at 10AM. Tubing tickets are on sale now over the web and in person. FREESTYLE Ski and Board Shop is hosting a free demo day today along the side of Eagles Swoop. Bring your drivers license and come try out the newest ski and ride products. Don’t forget, Season Passes are good everyday through December 25th. If you like to ski and ride and want to save some dough, you should think seriously about purchasing one of these passes.

When the temperatures allow, we will continue to make snow on the trails that we have open but plan to move some of our snowmaking capacity to the Highlands and the Terrain Park very soon. Weather permitting, we anticipate having these areas open before next weekend."

Wintergreen posted a nice photo from Friday that we’ll share with you on the Photo of the Day that shows some nice conditions and SNOW falling from Friday. Looks pretty nice there!

Ober Gatlinburg reported , "It is 41 Degrees~ Saturday Sessions 9am – 4pm & 3pm – 10pm with $43 Lift Ticket. Upper Half of Bear Run Open. Will resume snowmaking when temperatures permit."


Before I am bombed with emails for being a sour-puss this morning, I have to just admit that all of us were hoping for a bit more cold temps and some snow in the days ahead…after all, some forecasters were predicting good chances for some substantial snow for Christmas Day. Nevertheless, the surface conditions at the resorts ARE DOG-GONE nice right now. So don’t misunderstand my sour-puss mode.

Once we get past this on and off weekend of light drizzle (there will be some decent skiing today and Sunday), things DO looks SWEET for Monday-Wednesday and your Holiday trip will provide some nice conditions at your favorite ski area. JUST NOT THE HEAVY HIT OF WINTER YOURS TRULY WAS HOPING FOR – for our North Carolina Mountains.


None of the NC ski areas made snow last night.

The rain that we had on Friday didn’t do any real damage to the good bases at the resorts.

All of the resorts have done some overnight and early morning grooming that should make for nice conditions this weekend. (You’ll probably dodge some drizzle here and there.)

All will blast the slopes beginning Sunday night.

Hawksnest wrote, "We have boxes and snow hits spread over the mountain for your enjoyment." That means Terrain Park lovers should head over to Hawksnest today and try them on for size.

Ski Beech wrote, "The temperature at 6:30am was 36 and cloudy. The forecast calls for drizzle with a high in the 40’s. There will be a Christmas Eve service at 4:30 on Monday beside our outdoor ice rink in the Beech tree Village."

Nobody else wrote anything. Many are busy forming a posse to hunt down and beat the &^% out of Old Man Winter! We have already found his replacement. His name is Brad Panovich. We KNOW our man Brad loves COLD and SNOW and will provide at most every turn. So if we are successful in our "coup d’état" then will get us some winter here!

That’s it for now. Go enjoy your day and get off of this computer and onto the slopes! Pack your gear and get your rear up here as Holiday Skiing will be pretty nice.

Until Next Time…Send your comments, photos and videos to: [email protected]  

See You On The Slopes!

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Tom Parsons shot this photo from Monday, December 17th showing that conditions at Cataloochee are really quite good this week
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