First Trax

Anyone getting TIRED of all of this snow and cold!?!?! We didn’t think so!

The natural snow skips the Virginia resorts…again.

NC Ski Areas see as much as 5″ of new snow…

…and MORE is on the way!

The natural snow leader for the last 24 hours is Wisp Resort in Maryland where our Cocorahs snow reporter posted 6″ of new snow in the last 24 hours! That’s 16″ of snow in the last 72 hours for the Garrett County, Maryland ski area.

Snowshoe, Timberline, Canaan, and Winterplace all reported 5″-5.5″ of new snow…so what’s a half inch. So much snow has fallen in the West Virginia resort areas in the last two weeks that we’ve simply not been able to keep up with snowfall totals outside of the 24, 48, 72 and seasonal totals. The way the snow has been coming down in the Southeast and Mid Atlantic over the last couple of weeks we COULD have installed a programming feature to show snow totals 96, 120, 144, 168 and more hours out! Some of the ski areas would have displayed perhaps more than 2.5 feet of snow in that time! It has been a very cold and snow stretch and it looks like we’re in for more snow and cold temps through at least Sunday. The forecasted highs for Monday MIGHT provide an upper 20 degree temp for some areas which would seem like a Spring day compared to what we’ve seen lately!

Just FYI, the North Carolina Ski Areas has been getting consistent snow as well. Beech, Sugar and App are all reporting 4″ to 5″ of new snow and there’s been 1-2″ or so of new snow about every day so things are quite white across all of Western North Carolina as well.

The NWS is forecasting ANOTHER 4-8″ of snow for the West Virginia mountain including Snowshoe Mountain, Timberline, Canaan Valley and into Wisp Resort. They could see another 2-4″ tonight; 1-2″ more on Wednesday. In case that isn’t ENOUGH pow for you, there’s snow in the forecast each day through Saturday!

Another dusting to 4.5″ of new snow fell across the North Carolina ski resort mountains in the last 24 hours and more is on the way according to the NWS. The highest amounts fell in the High Country areas of Boone, Blowing Rock and Sugar & Beech Mountains. We’ve still seen quite a lot of wind along with this cold and snow that is creating some uncomfortable wind chills if you’re not prepared with the proper clothing.

How COLD is it?

When the final numbers come out at the end of the month – barring some 80° heat wave – we’re going to see some crazy numbers of how much colder than normal this month has been. Typically “colder than normal” months are gauged by temps that vary by something like 1-2 degrees. However lately we’ve seen a stretch of days in a row where our highs are almost 30 degrees colder than normal and our lows are at least 15 degrees colder than normal.

A case in point is today where in Banner Elk, NC the average high is 43° and the average low is 23°. The forecast for today is for a high near 14° (which is about what it has been for a week or so now) and the forecasted low tonight is 9°…again, about what it’s been lately. …and there are several locations at the higher elevations around the entire region where the forecasts are for even colder temperatures than that!

One weather guru emailed me last night that numerous meteorologists are already forecasting that this winter (that just got started two weeks ago) could be the coldest winter in more than 25 years.

Hmmm…more support for Global Warming…I mean “Climate Change”…

The Deer Photos of the Front Page

A couple of people wrote us about the POD (Photo of the day) that we posted of some deer blocking a snowmobile trail in Maine late in December. One viewer wrote, “I thought this website was about skiing and snowboarding. What’s with the deer pics? Give us some snow shots. I don’t know if I’d come back to see deer grazing pics.”

Hmmm, did someone wake up on the wrong side of bed?

Another guy wrote us about the POD from earlier in the day where we showed some snowboarders parked on Winterplace’s slopes. The photo was posted by a viewer who shot the photo from the parking lot at Winterplace so the photo had cars parked in the foreground and snowboarders parked in the background. He didn’t like our selection and wrote, “From your posting of this image I can see that you don’t support snowboarders so I don’t think I’ll be coming back to your website!”

Like there’s ANOTHER website that can give you your fix of the best of the Southeast and Mid Atlantic ski areas….???!!!

Me thinks the young man protests too much. Nearly every powder video that we post features snowboarders carving the snow like only they can. We feature peeps like Jason Vioral (aka Mellow Yellow) carving the snow on his longboard like we’ve seen no other in this area do…and we support ANY kind of snow play that anyone could invent because we are all about SNOW on this website. Whether you ride it on one board, two slick sticks or find a new way of carving terrain…we’re all about it.

Oh yea – as per the deer photo…we KNOW that the photographer had to have dumped a bunch of deer corn on those snowmobiling trails to get that photo, but who cares? It was neat to see and we thought a bunch of you would like it. Based on the emails I received – you did. For the one or two of you who felt that we let you down, there’s only about two thousand ski and snowboarding photos archived in the photo gallery on our website and those should keep you stoked while the rest of us enjoy a different kind of snowy image from time to time.

Today we take a tour:

Wisp Resort – 10° – 6″ of new snow – 10″ in the last 48 hours – 16″ in the last 72 hours and 62.2″ on the season. Wisp dropped a couple of trails from Monday’s open trails to focus on snowmaking for today. They now offer 28 of 32 trails for day and night skiing. Their snow tubing and ice skating rink are also open. They also offer 30 km of Nordic trails with 8-16″ inches of snow base.

West Virginia is Wild and Snowy…again…

Snowshoe Mountain – 4° – 5″ of new snow – 13″ in the last 72 hours and 79″ on the season. Snowshoe dropped a couple of trails for focused snowmaking and offer 54 of 60 trails for today’s sessions.

Laura Parquette posted, “The lower steep of Cupp Run will not be groomed today–please use caution and ski within your ability** It’s another powder day here at Snowshoe with 5” of new snowfall overnight, giving us accumulation every day of 2010. More snow is in the forecast every day until at least Saturday, which means more powder days sure to come. Cupp Run’s lower steep skiers right was left ungroomed today, which gives expert skiers and riders more powder to enjoy. Get in your car and get up here! In addition to the natural snowfall, we’ve also been taking advantage of some very cold temperatures to make snow on our final remaining slopes, as well as touch up the base in some high traffic areas. Snowmaking has begun on Lower Shay’s Revenge in the Western Territory, and we hope to have that slope open before the end of the week.”

Winterplace Resort – 11° – 5″ of new snow – 11″ in the last 72 hours and 50″ on the season. They are open with 25 of 28 trails and snow tubing with powder conditions for today and tonight! They posted, “Another 5 inches of new natural snow this morning and it is still snowing. Snow throughout the day! More snow forecast throughout the week! You won’t want to miss it!!!”

Canaan Valley Resort – 4° – 5.5″ of new snow – 9.9″ in the last 72 hours and 78.5″ on the season. Canaan is open with 36 of 29 trails available for day sessions only on Tuesday. They also offer air boarding, tubing and ice skating!

Timberline Resort – 4° – 5.5″ of new snow and nearly a foot in the last 72 hours and 78.5″ on the season. Timberline does their snow report at 5pm each day for the subsequent day so there’s some question on whether they have 26 or 29 trails open today. They are open for day sessions only on Tuesday.

None of the Virginia Resorts saw measureable snow…

Massanutten Resort – 13° – no new snow and 24.3″ on the season. Massanutten has all1 4 of their trails open, snowtubing and great conditions. They will not be making snow during open sessions.

Wintergreen Resort – 11° – no new snow and 38″ on the season. Wintergreen dropped a couple of trails from their available terrain since Monday but they had announced they’d be doing so to focus snowmaking efforts. They also have closed their tubing park for today and Wednesday and will reopen it and more terrain on Thursday.

Bryce Resort – 23° – no new snow and 25″ on the season. Bryce is open with 7 of 8 trails and snow tubing.

The Homestead – 10° – no new snow and 23″ on the season. The Homestead is open with all 8 trails and snow tubing.

Ober Gatlinburg – 12° – A TRACE of new snow and 16″ on the season and they are offering 6 of 8 trails for today and tonight and Kathy Doyle wrote, “May open Alpine Way on Wednesday!” That would give Ober 7 of 8 trails open for the first time in a couple of years. They offer snow tubing and ice skating as well!

Good Snows in the NC Mountains

Appalachian Ski Mountain – 6° – 4.5″ of snow – 7″ in the last 72 hours and 30″ on the season. App did not make snow (who needed to!) and they are 100% open and offer three terrain parks and ice skating.

Beech Mountain Resort – 0° – 4.5″ of snow – 7.4″ in the last 72 hours and 36.7″ on the season. Even with nearly 5″ of new snow Beech is reporting “hard pack” conditions on 11 trails. The Oz Run and White Lightning remain closed…we presume for focused snowmaking but we’ll get you news on that asap. Winterfest is this weekend at Beech and that promises to be fun and interesting. More about that later…

Cataloochee Ski Area – 10° – .2″ of new snow – 1.2″ in last 72 hours and 25.7″ on the season. Cat is 100% open with all 16 trails available as is their terrain park and tubing park.

Wolf Ridge Resort – 6° – 3.5″ of new snow – 3.7″ in the last 72 hours and 29.5″ on the season. Wolf is reporting 11 of 20 trails open today as well as terrain park and tubing park. Several people have emailed asking when Wolf might be opening more of the slopes on the other side of the mountain. We’ll try to get you word on that asap.

Sugar Mountain Resort – 0° – 4.5″ of new snow – 7.4″ in the last 72 hours and 35.4″ on the season. Hats off to Sugar’s comment this morning of, “Frost Bite Warning! Hats and Gloves required.” Also hats off to them for reporting 4″ of natural snow from this most recent burst of snow. Sugar is 100% open with marvelous conditions on all 20 trails, terrain park, tubing and ice skating.

Sapphire Valley Ski Area – 14° – No new snow and 9″ on the season. Sapphire is CLOSED TUESDAY THROUGH THURSDAY and will reopen on Friday.

Hawksnest Snow Tubing & Zip Lining – 4.7° – 4.5″ of snow – 7.4″ in the last 72 hours and 34.7″ on the season. Hawksnest was not open on Monday and will not operate Tuesday either. Lenny Cottom wrote, “The good news is it’s snowing and there is more on the way. The bad news is that this winter storm has high winds that are too strong to snow tube in safely and the forecast is for the wind to intensify. In addition, wind chill factors at times are hovering below -20 degrees, not a good environment in which to enjoy snow tubing. We are closing Tuesday 1/5 because of the intense storm. We plan to open Wednesday, 1/6, on a normal schedule. Thanks.”

You can check the snow reports for all of the ski resorts of West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Tennessee and North Carolina via https://www.skisoutheast.com/skireports.php  as well as videos, photos and more.

Send your comments, videos, photos, trip reports and questions to: [email protected]

SSAA: 0 for 38/saph closed/bech1112//self 37/38
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