There’s Natural Snow Everywhere in the Mountains! Come Play!

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For a look at all of the specific slope openings and other details, check out the SNOW REPORT.

The majority of my emails over the last two days have come from people planning ski trips for the next week or two and asking us about whether or not the snow would last since (and I quote) “It’s going to be so warm for the next week”.

I have a lot of cool videos and other things to share so I’m not going to belabor these kinds of emails…except to say that it is NOT going to be warm for the next week or so. We have been stuck in a semi-wonderful icebox for most of the last month and temperatures have been well below normal. The temps will be much more normal for the next week and that will certainly FEEL warmer than the frigid, zero-to-single digits than we’ve seen for an extended period. However, it isn’t going to be warm.

We’re looking at highs in the 40s and low 50s for this weekend and into Monday, and lows for the next couple of nights will be in the mid to upper 30s. So there will not be any snowmaking going on, but those kind of temperatures will keep the snow fresh and packed.

It looks like it will turn a bit cooler and allow for some snowmaking opportunities as we get to Tuesday through Friday of next week.

If you are one who typically complains about the snowguns creating havoc on your day, then this weekend is tailor-made just for you. Resorts made snow yesterday until the temperatures moderated and now they are all silent across the region. So this is your invitation to get to your favorite ski hill and play unencumbered by the manmade snow blizzards.
Brad Panovich Did His Thing From Breck this Week
Click to Enlarge! Brad rocking the Beanie.

I received a BUNCH of emails and texts earlier this week when Brad Panovich broadcasted a report about the snowfall in North Carolina and the Southeast via NBC outlets LIVE from Breckenridge in Colorado. That was cool enough but he was also doing it while rocking a SkiSoutheast beanie.

Our own, Joe Stevens chimed in and shared that he and his son Christian were competing in a 5K in the cold temps this week rocking the SkiSoutheast beanies.

Speaking of the snow and cold temperatures of this past week – man some areas of eastern North Carolina and Virginia saw a foot or more of snowfall. Crazy.

Can you guys say “POWDER”? Did you guys check out the powder in the Snowshoe video above? Wow!
About Halfway Through the Season?!?!
While on Snowshoe, in their morning post, Shawn Cassell commented on “the first half of the season” in past tense and I want to say – not so fast my friend – we’re not quite there yet. I guess if you treat Thanksgiving Weekend as the traditional opening weekend then we’re right at the halfway point in the season, and if we consider that (in the past) some ski areas have opened just after Halloween, then maybe we’re slightly past the mark. However, I kind of always break the season up into full months – December, January, February and March. So we still have another ten days or so before I’m going to say we’re at the midpoint in the season.

Shawn wrote, “the first half of the season was amazing and we’re keeping the good times rolling the rest of the way.”

Regardless of how deep we are into the ski and snowboarding season calendar, it certainly has been great so far and this weekend will be yet another awesome time to be on the slopes.

I’m going to let Canaan Valley Resort’s Justin Harris sum up my personal sentiment about how great today should be with great conditions and milder-than-frigid temperatures.

We don’t get a lot of video input from the guys up at Omni Homestead, but when we do it is always sweet content. This video shows off “The Homestead Experience”. If you’ve not visited The Homestead…you owe it to yourself and your family to pamper yourself.

A few of our readers have written me about “how snowy this first half of the season has been”. It DOES seem like we’ve had snow on the ground for a lot of these first weeks and there is still anywhere from 2-5″ of natural snow on the ground at most of the mountaintops. That got me to stop and take a look at just HOW MUCH SNOW has fallen so far this season. Interestingly snow has fallen on 32 days of the last 51 days at Canaan Valley, Snowshoe, Wisp and many other resorts. Beech and Sugar have recorded snow on 17 days of the last 51 days. Other resorts are “+/-” a day or so of natural snow. That means that ski areas have seen natural snowfall about every third day (33%) in December and January. Heck Canaan Valley has seen snow on TWO of EVERY THREE days in December and January (67%). Sounds pretty snowy, right?

It has been snowy, and for the most part the snow and cold temps have been perfectly timed to attract the masses of visitors that have enjoyed the great conditions so far this season.

However, in actuality, so far most all of the ski areas are slightly under their normal, natural snowfall totals at this point on the calendar. What they are NOT under is base depths. The extended cold days and nights of the last month has really allowed ski resorts to make a lot of snow. I will say that it does feel that ski resorts have really swelled those base depths in the last seven days since I was last looking at them. Regardless of whether some are slightly exaggerated or not, there IS a lot of base on all the slopes of the region and that bodes well for really good conditions for skiers and snowboarders heading to the slopes anytime soon.

With that in mind, I have compiled the list below which shows their reported BASE DEPTHS and NATURAL SNOWFALL FOR THE SEASON.

Appalachian base: 92-102″ natural snow: 17.5″
Beech Mountain base: 30-72″ natural snow: 27.6″
Bryce Resort base: 60″ natural snow: 4″
Canaan Valley base: 36-54″ natural snow: 67.5″
Cataloochee base: 44-74″ natural snow: 16.8″
Massanutten base: 40″ natural snow: 6.5″
Ober Gatlinburg base: 40-45″ natural snow: 5.8″
Sapphire base: 28-64″ natural snow: 12″
Snowshoe Mtn base: 40″ natural snow: 45″
Sugar Mtn base: 42-90″ natural snow: 28″
Omni Homestead base: 40″ natural snow: 8″
Timberline base: 30-86″ natural snow: 67″
Wintergreen base: 40+ natural snow: 10″
Winterplace base: 30-54″ natural snow: 17″
Wisp Resort base: 34″ natural snow: 44″
Wolf Mountain base: 50″ natural snow: 21″

Looking at the list above you can see that there is about 3.5 feet of snow under you when you’re riding the slopes at your favorite hill.
Leave it to Kenny G
The “Kenny G” in our world is Kenny Griffin or theKenDog here at SkiSoutheast. Kenny is not only a snow-loving dude who writes and posts the FirsTrax news weekdays, he’s also the tech geek who is always trying to bring the latest tech into anything that he can share with us as it applies to snow and SkiSoutheast in general. I’m not sure if you guys caught the Beech Mountain video that he posted on Monday. He shot the video with the new GoPro 6 and it shares the speed, elevation and other data on the video. As Kenny says, “AWESOME”.

“Alexa Give Me the Snow Report on SkiSoutheast…”
Kenny has also created a new skill on Alexa to provide the snow report and weather for all of our ski areas on SkiSoutheast via Alexa. He has submitted it for review and hopefully those will be LIVE for people to start using as early as next week. Pretty cool, huh?

Click to Enlarge

Joe Stevens wrote, This was taken in a driveway in Pittsboro NC near Cary/Chapel Hill at C’s grandfathers house. This type of snowfall in those areas make the phones ring at all of the resorts. Mother Nature marketing.

He’s correct and as I mentioned earlier, we’ve had really, well-timed cold and snows so far this season which has really maximized skier visit numbers everywhere.

Click to Enlarge photo sent in by Chris Johnson at Sugar Mountain. That is atop Oma’s Run.

Reader, Chris Johnson shared this sweet shot from atop Oma’s on Sugar Mountain from last Sunday morning.

MeiMei, a regular reader and contributor posted:

Mike – (there were) Absolutely perfect conditions at Massanutten on Monday, 15 Jan. Only a bit of snowmaking the first hour or so on DJ, no guns on for any other open slopes. Ski patrol marked thin areas that were covered by night time snowmaking and grooming that were grass a couple days before. Essentially not crowded all day. That’s normal for Massanutten on Monday holidays, although temperatures in the high 20s was probably a factor. Only Lift 3 had a lift line with more than a 5 min wait midday. Only Mass Transit was a little slick by the afternoon.

Paradice, Showtime, and MakAttack had plenty of new snow and stayed great into the late afternoon.


Southern Comfort

Extra hour of snowmaking in the morning on Diamond Jim, as noted in the Snow Conditions report

Upper Showtime from Lift 5 at 12:30, great packed powder, no snowmaking, no crowd


If you have anything to share (photos, videos, comments, questions), the best way is to email me at [email protected]

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Also, be sure to check out all of the LIVE CAMS at and our weather content – Brad’s Skier’s Forecast

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