To quote "SkiPink" from the messageboard last evening, "Remember, there is never bad weather, just inappropriate clothing." That is the kind of day it was if you were on the slopes or simply walking around any of the ski resorts in the region. I witnessed the high of 14° at the foot of Beech Mountain where I was fighting those temps combined with 30 mph winds while taking care of my horses. The temps were even colder on top of Beech Mountain where at 1pm or so we had someone email us with a 3° report and winds that were pushing people backwards.
Snowshoe Mountain reported a MINUS 4° reading this morning and we’re seeing some crazy low temps across most of the region this morning. MORE natural snow fell across most of the ski areas with 6" being reported by Snowshoe and 8" at Wisp Resort in Maryland. The snows kind of skipped the Virginia ski areas as none of those reported any measureable snowfall in the last 24 hours. Ober in Tennessee and most of the NC ski areas picked up from 1-3" of snow.
The brutal cold temps and high winds kept the crowds off the slopes in the typical fashion that we’re used to seeing on peak weekends – but they were at least in the cafeterias, eateries and about anywhere else that they could warm their toes and fingers…and other vital body parts.
From most reports snow fell nearly all day at most areas and it was a very fine, powder snow just as Meteorologist Brad Panovich forecasted. It was so powdery that each time I would move my truck after perhaps an inch had fallen, the snow would blow right off my hood. There was probably no way that anyone could get a perfect, accurate reading on Saturday’s natural snowfall because it fell most all day but in some areas (due to the high winds) you’d see only an inch of snow on the ground. However there were some AWESOME snow drifts where the snow was nearly two feet deep and that is not an exaggeration. Since I mentioned Beech Mountain I can tell you that Ray Russell is reporting the official snow total for up there to be 3.5". That is the sixth straight day of measureable snowfall as 5.5" of snow has fallen since the 28th of December according to his mountaintop weather station. The official Cocorahs station atop Beech is reporting 2.3" of snow within the last 24 hours and 6.1" since January 1st. We’ll go with Gil Adams’ Cocorahs report and we’ll provide you guys with the snow totals elsewhere as we continue looking around the region this morning.
The OTHER big news is that the "pipe piercing cold" as Ray Russell calls it, will continue today as highs will again be in the single digit and teens with overnight lows in the zero to 6° range! Add in 15-25 mph winds that are forecasted (and gusts to 40 mph) and it will be another raw, wind-chill kind of day. If you are going to be on the slopes, please take care and cover all exposed skin or you will be hurting later.
The weather forecast is calling for continued cold, arctic temps and snow showers or flurries mentioned every day from now through NEXT Saturday! Many of our ski areas are already looking like we’re in Antarctica with frozen ponds, portions of streams freezing up and snow drifts that are displaying some artistic designs. That will be the scene pretty much wherever you travel today through the week ahead.
<A truck was "parked" off of Beech Mountain Parkway on Saturday!
Speaking of travel, the roads are slick around all of the ski areas, but they are EASILY driveable with a reduction in speed and the use of your brain. You don’t NEED 4WD to make it around the main roadways and highways as the DOT crews around our ski areas are among the best in the business. You WILL need 4wd or chains to get around some secondary roads like where your vacation rental might be located. Just use caution and don’t be horsing around too much or you might end up like this dumby. SkiPink posted this photo of one careless driver who ended up off of Beech Mountain Parkway on Saturday. (Someone obviously felt the need to give this particular driver a "title". He obviously ruffled someone’s feathers!)
Let’s get to the tour and show you guys where the snow fell and how much! We’ll take the tour today as the crow might fly north to south…
Wisp Resort – 8" more in the last 24 hours, 14" in the last 48 hours and 21" in the past 72 hours! 52.2" on the season! They are showing 1° this morning and 31 of 32 trails operating with Powder and Groomed conditions. Wisp is open for DAY SKIING ONLY today.
Canaan Valley Resort – David Lesher’s official snow reporting station measured 2.1" of new snow in the last 24 hours and 11.3" in the last 72 hours for the Tucker County area. He’s also showing a MINUS 4° temperature this AM! Canaan dropped a couple of open trails from the mix and are offering 35 of 39 trails for day sessions ONLY on Sunday.
Timberline Resort – Ditto David’s Tucker County weather station report of -4° low temp this morning and the 2.1" of snowfall in the last 24 hours. Timberline has also seen nearly a foot of snow in the last 72 hours and conditions will be GREAT on the 26 trails that they have open for today. Day sessions only for Sunday. Thanks to our buddy, Joe Stevens of the WV Ski Areas, Timberline is now showing up as open to those who pull their data for the SSAA. Timberline’s website seems to have some trails toggled on as open for night skiing, but we think that’s an oversight. We called and they are not open for night skiing tonight.
Bryce Resort – They’ve had some flurries but no measureable snow according to their website (and cocorahs). Bryce did not make snow either, so they seem happy with what they have and are offering 7 of 8 trails for day sessions only today. No night skiing tonight.
Snowshoe Mountain picked up another 6" of new snow in the last 24 hours (okay so they DO get snow when I’m not around) and they are reporting 57 of 60 trails open for today and of course they offer great night skiing and snowboarding over on the Silvercreek side of the mountain for night time fun. Laura Parquette reminds you, "If you forgot any of the essentials, or need to pick up an extra base layer, some warm gloves or stylish headwear, be sure to stop by one of our convenient retail locations. And don’t forget that our slopeside cabins, located at the base of the Ballhooter Lift, the bottom of the Western Territory and at the base of the Silver Creek areas, are great places to warm up in between your runs."
Massanutten Resort – Like Bryce, Massanutten did not receive any measureable snowfall, however Mass is taking advantage of the cold temps to make snow on some terrain such as Upper MakAttack and Diamond Jim. It is 5° this AM and Massanutten has 100% of its terrain open and also offers 8 lanes of snow tubing and indoor water park for your enjoyment.
The Homestead – It is 1° this morning as of 9am at The Homestead and while they did not see any natural snowfall they did make snow and have all 8 trails open for day sessions. Ice skating and snowmobiling are also available.
Wintergreen Resort – They are reporting 3° at 9am and a serious shortage of drinking water on the mountain. It is a temporary thing but will affect their food & beverage availability and the use of restrooms for today. Anne Marie Jones writes, "Nelson County Service Authority, the municipal utility which provides water to the Wintergreen Mountain Community, has advised us of a very temporary but serious shortage of drinking water. This is a situation affecting all property owners on the mountain, and guests of the Resort. Because of this challenge, guests should expect limited food and beverage operations and limited restroom facilities. If visiting Wintergreen today, please plan accordingly. We are very sorry for this inconvenience."
Wintergreen saw no natural snow in the last 24 hours but they have great conditions on all 26 trails for today and will ski and snowboard until 10pm this evening.
Winterplace Resort – They are inching their way up to 100% open status as today they offer 25 of 28 trails for your pleasure! They also have an awesome snow tubing park and some terrain features setup for you ON Wanderer. The only trails not open yet are Almost Heaven, Hickory and Turkey Chute.
Appalachian Ski Mountain – 2° this AM and no reported measureable snowfall although they saw flurries most all day. App chose not to make snow either since it was so cold and since they have a base of 69-89" already built up across the mountain. They are 100% open with all 11 trails, terrain parks and ice skating.
Beech Mountain Resort – MINUS 4° early this morning and they are reporting NO new snowfall, but we can assure you that Beech received 2.3" of new snow, 5.8" in the last 48 hours and 6.1" in the last 72 hours. Beech has now seen 31.6" of snow on the season. It looks like they’ve closed down Lower White Lightning. We’ll try to get you word on that and why asap. Oz is open as is most of the mountain with what Beech is reporting as Hard Pack and Frozen Granular conditions.
Wolf Ridge Resort – 2° and 2" of new snow in the last 24 hours and 4" in the last 72 hours! Rick Bussey posted, "It’s Sunday morning, the last day of the Christmas/New Years Holiday Break and it has been an incredible two weeks at the Wolf. Record crowds, lots of snow and ski/boarder slope conditions that have been second to none. Its 2 degrees this morning and with clear skies we will have 11 runs open today, 4 lifts in full operation and slopes that are groomed to perfection. Come join us today and enjoy one more great ride at the Wolf before school starts Monday. See you on the slopes!!!"
Ober Gatlinburg – They saw 1" of new snow and they MADE a ton of snow to raise the base by nearly 10" in the last 24 hours. They have 6 of 8 trails open from 0am until 7pm this evening.
Cataloochee Ski Area – 4° and TRACE of new snow in the last 24 hours. They made snow overnight but will not be during sessions today. They are 100% open with all 16 trails and snow tubing for day sessions only on Sunday.
Sapphire Valley Ski Area – 12° and no snow. They will be open with both slopes and snow tubing for today>
Sugar Mountain Resort – Minus 4° and about 2" of new snow and 6.1" within the last 72 hours and now 30.3" on the season. Sugar is making snow (when don’t they 😉 and they are open with super sweet conditions on 100% of their 20 trails, terrain park and ice rink.
That’s it for today
Until Next Time…
SSAA: 0 for 36/cannopennightsun/timbnotniteare/saph closed//self 35/36