All I Want for the Christmas Holiday Ski Week is…

First Trax
snowshoe mountain photos and videos

1. Good health
2. Colder than normal temps
3. A Dash of Snow

The perfect ingredients for a great Holiday week…right?

Well we’re looking OKAY for some light snow around Christmas Day (see where) but the colder temps may not hit until around the 27th-28th. Read on.

Holiday rates have already kicked in at MOST of the ski resorts of the region. However, Friday, the 26th is when MOST people will arrive at the getaway destinations for the Holiday week which basically runs from Friday the 26th through Sunday, January 4th this season.

After my Saturday morning report I STILL got a few questions asking about the forecast for SPECIFIC resorts. Evidently I was too broad with my assessment of what to expect in as much as weather and the related conditions at our ski areas.

You guys DO KNOW that YOU can click around at several weather resources and get that information for yourselves, right?

I answered one emailer with that statement and then she guilted me with, “…but you guys seem to have better, clearer inside information and I thought I’d ask. SORRY I DID!”

Uh oh. I screwed up!

I apologized as I was dealing with the worst internet connection that I’d been on in years. She accepted and sent apologies right back at me – with the statement, “Sorry I barked as we’ve just sunk more than $10K in a ski trip and are worried it will turn into something other than a ski trip.”

I felt sorry for her. After all, I’ve already invested a ton of money in my own ski getaway that I and my family have invested in a trip to Vail over the Holidays and I’m looking at the weather, webcams and even signed up for snow alerts to get every bit of insight as to what to expect for my money – I mean trip.

So, Katherine…this is for you and everyone like you this morning…


This reporter DOES want to add in that some of the best ski trips that I have ever had were ones where the conditions were NOT that great on DAY ONE of our trips. Then all it did was SNOW nearly every day and temps dropped and the ski resort made snow and opened more terrain every day. By the end of our trip, we have awesome conditions, even some powder and lots of slopes to play on.

Editor’s Note: Resort ops…please don’t shoot the messenger. We’re just providing YOUR visitors with the best information that we have available to us.

VISITORS – be advised that our weather can turn on a dime and this long range insight could change in a heartbeat.

So this forecast is AS OF December 21st and forecasted for the period through Saturday the 27th…with a bit of an eye on the Holiday week afterward.

The SUMMARY is that conditions should be PRETTY good for most areas with the best conditions being at Snowshoe, Winterplace, Wintergreen, Bryce, Beech, Sugar and Appalachian. There are some chances that a couple of ski areas may have to close down as far as skiing is concerned…but read on.

silvercreek ski resortSNOWSHOE MOUNTAIN RESORT – 24° – made and making snow. We show Snowshoe first because they have the most open terrain in the region with 35 of 60 trails. They’re open for night skiing on the Silvercreek side of the mountain (pictured to the right) and snow tubing is open as well. With up to 56″ of snow base, Snowshoe looks pretty darn great with the terrain that they have open.

VIEW the new Silvercreek / Snowshoe cam here> Click to visit Snowshoe Mountain webcams

That’s the good news for Holiday travelers to the Pocahontas County ski resort. The not-so-good news is that they’ll probably be in a holding pattern with those same trail offerings for the next several days. For those of you who have been writing me almost DAILY (you know who you are) – Snowshoe has some borderline snowmaking ops for the next few days.

Snowshoe has been able to make snow these last few days when many other resorts have not been able to. However we’re not seeing anymore snowmaking ops until Saturday, December 27th with the lows dip to the low 20s and maybe the upper teens over that night. Sunday through the end of the year look awesome with highs in the mid 20s and lows in the mid to upper teens through that period. That will allow for great snowmaking opportunities and some more trail openings mid the Christmas to New Years Holiday ski period.  That’s good news for sure.

canaan valley snowCANAAN VALLEY RESORT – We’re talking another WV resort right here because we loved David Vance’s comments from the Davis, WV resort from this morning. He wrote, “If you didn’t ski yesterday you missed an awesome day of awesomeness. Good news you can catch the same experience today!!!  See you on the slopes.”

Good stuff David. By the way, that awesome shot at Canaan was snapped from their LIVE WEBCAM. See it actually LIVE at: Canaan Valley Ski Resorts

22° made for great snowmaking ops and they jumped their slope offerings to 11 of 43 today. However that could be IT for the next few days as some light Christmas snow is in the forecast but snowmaking temps probably won’t be around until December 27th through the end of the year. Lows in the low to mid 20s for that period should insure nice conditions for the mid-week Christmas to New Years period. Highs from the 28th onward look to be in the mid 20s with lows in the teens and low 20s.

TIMBERLINE RESORT – 25° – making snow and they’ve put down the base to get to 36″ or so across 10 of 41 trails. They’re open for day sessions only right now.

Ditto Canaan Valley’s.

WINTERPLACE RESORT – 29° and they opened a couple more trails to take them to 20 of 27 slopes and trails open for day and night sessions. They’ve done an awesome job of snowmaking and maintaining. They should hold well from now through the Holiday’s with about what trails they have now with some possible chances of additional slope openings as we get into the MIDDLE of the Holiday week.

Snowmaking ops should return around Saturday night, December 27th with lows in the mid 20s. Slight colder temps (lows in the low 20s) should come in from the 28th through the end of the year making for more snowmaking and more slopes and trail openings.

BEECH MOUNTAIN RESORT – 27° – 26-50″ base with 8 of 15 trails open and ice skating as well as some great terrain park setups. Beech looks REALLY quite awesome today. Check out the Beech Slopeside Cam here

beech mountain weatherFORECAST FOR BEECH MOUNTAIN:
Two to three nights of snow making temps through Dec 27th. The colder air looks to be hitting Christmas Eve night and into Christmas Day and Saturday’s low looks to be around 21°. Lows in the TEENS and highs in the upper 20s and low 30s are expected through the end of the year.
EXPECT about the same in terms of slope offerings for Beech through the 28th with some additional trails opening towards the 29th or so. There’s greater potential for colder weather as we get closer to New Year’s Eve and Day.

WINTERGREEN RESORT – 28° – They added several trials to their open terrain giving them 13 of 26 trails open on a base of up to 36″ of snow.  All of our ski areas have done an awesome job with little cooperation in terms of weather, but perhaps Wintergreen’s crew may get the top prize in that department. That’s a testament to their powerful snowmaking system.

Theoretically with optimal conditions, Wintergreen Resort’s snowmaking system could cover a football field with 37 feet of snow in just 24 hours. Their 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.

The good news is that they are about 50% open right now WITH 13 trails open – Potato Patch, Upper Dobie, Lower Dobie, Eagles Swoop, both Cross Trails, Tequila, Lower Sunrise, the upper portion of our Terrain Park, Upper Cliffhanger, Loggers Alley, Hydraulic and Lower Wild Turkey.  The other good news is that they should be able to at least HOLD where they’re at with no snowmaking tempsw in their forecast until Sunday, December 28th. Overnight lows should be in the low to mid 20s each night from the 28th through Tuesday, December 30th.

See: for Wintergreen’s SUPERB daily comments.

MASSANUTTEN RESORT – 27° – They posted, “Open today from 9am – 10pm. Highs in the mid 30’s. We did make some snow overnight but it warmed up as the night progresseed.  Should be greeat day for skiing and riding.” With 6 of 14 trails open and EIGHT lanes of tubing open, we’d agree.

With a snow base of 26″ they should hold up well with what they are offering right now. Diamond Jim is the only advanced terrain open right now and the temperatures for the week ahead seem to indicate that what you see at Massanutten right now is what you’ll get for the week ahead. We don’t see any real snowmaking temps in the forecast until around Sunday, December 28th. Highs in the 30s and lows in the low 20s are forecasted for the 28th-30th and that could get a few more trails open towards the midst of the important Christmas to New Years week.

OMNI HOMESTEAD RESORT – 34° – no snowmaking and 2 of 9 slopes open for DAY sessions only today. The Homestead Resort has SO MUCH to offer visitors and you doubt us, check out their website at However skiing and snowboarding ops could be in peril for the week ahead. There’s SO MUCH else to enjoy though. Spa treatments, pools and more.

No snowmaking temps forecasted but there could be a little Christmas Day snow (dusting). But with no snowmaking until PERHAPS Saturday, December 27th it will be tough to see them remain open for skiing and snowboarding until the colder temps hit Sunday night when they dip into the low 20s and perhaps the upper teens. Highs in the low 30s and lows around 20° are forecasted for Monday and Tuesday, December 29th and 30th…

BRYCE RESORT – 27° – They made some snow and actually offer one more slope today to take their offering to 6 of 8 slopes open for day sessions Sunday. Tubing is open as well.

Bryce writes, “The snowmakers have been taking what little cold weather has been provided for them and cranked it up over the past two nights. New snow should be ready for the upcoming winter holiday season!”

That IS true, but the forecast for colder air might not hit until Saturday, December 27th when the low is forecasted to get to around 28°. The colder air should come on in around the 28th through December 30th with highs in the low to mid 30s and lows in the low 20s to possibly around 18° on the 30th. So expect Bryce to hold right about where they are right now in terms of slope openings. 6 of 8 ain’t bad.

APPALACHIAN SKI MOUNTAIN – 33° – 9 of 12 trails open with both terrain parks and ice skating open for day and night sessions.

Probably NO snowmaking from now through December 26th. Looks like colder air should enter the area around Saturday night with snowmaking lows around the mid 20s. The COLDEST temps are forecast for the period of December 28th through December 30th.  App has plenty of base snow and should be fine and we could see them 100% open towards the end of the Holiday week.

SUGAR MOUNTAIN RESORT – 29° – making snow and did overnight. Sugar opened an additional slope in the last 24 hours giving them 12 of 20 slopes open for day and night sessions along with tubing and ice skating.

Ditto that of Beech’s forecast.

CATALOOCHEE SKI AREA – 31° and open with 11 of 17 trails for day and night sessions as well as snow tubing.

We don’t see any snowmaking in their forecast through December 27th so they’ve got what they’ve got for the near future. With 40″ of snow base they’ll do fine until the cold air reinforcements come around the 28th-30th of the month with highs in the mid to upper 30s and lows in the mid 20s.

wolf ridge web camWOLF RIDGE RESORT – 33° – no snowmaking and Wolf is open with only 3 of 15 slopes today and for day sessions only. They do have some terrain park features open and tubing as well.

FORECAST FOR WOLF: Unfortunately Wolf will be stuck on just a few slopes open for the next week as there is no snowmaking temps in the forecast until MAYBE Saturday, December 27th. Wolf’s staff will be fighting the fight to be able to maintain enough snow base to remain open for the next week ahead. We’re really feeling for those guys as they’ve been dealt some crap cards over the last few winters. It looks like the Christmas to New Year Holiday period will be one that will be way off in terms of skier visits.

The good news is that there IS cold enough air to make snow in the forecast as we get closer to Sunday the 28th-Tuesday December 30th with lows in the low 20s and highs in the low to mid 30s. (Fingers are crossed and if you have plans to ski or ride at Wolf, we’d suggest to keep an eye on this website as they MAY be forced to cease operation for a day or so depending on how much snow they can push around.

WISP RESORT – 23° – Making some snow as of this report and made snow overnight. Wisp added two more trails after some snowmaking and now have 9 of 34 slopes open for day sessions today.

ONE night of snow making temps for the week ahead. EXPECT about the same amount of terrain open for the week ahead. THERE IS SNOW FORECASTED for Christmas Day after a bit of rain for the 24 hours leading up to Christmas. Friday and Saturday looks a little like a WINTRY MIX is forecasted. DECEMBER 28th-30th looks COLD with overnight TEENS and highs in the 20s. More terrain should open during that last week of the year!

OBER GATLINBURG – 36° – 3 of 9 trails open for day and night sessions and they are operating with only Cub Way, Castle Run and the Ski School slopes open with the same 10-14″ base that we see at Wolf over in Mars Hill.  The great news is that Ober’s snow tubing will be open through the Holiday week ahead and they have the best ice rink in the region. There’s tons to do in downtown Gatlinburg and the Aerial Tram trip down the mountain (and back up) is worth the trip. Ober COULD be another ski area that may not be able to keep the slopes operating for the Christmas to New Year’s week ahead.

Our forecast of a potential ski slopes shutdown is due to the fact that we’re seeing some rain and NO snowmaking temps in the forecast for the entire week ahead. They are borderline for getting cold temps in even through December 29th with some snowmaking ops looking to enter their area around December 30th – much too late to salvage their Holiday skier visits.

SAPPHIRE VALLEY RESORT – 37° – They are tubing only for now and we don’t think that TUBING is in their future for the week ahead. They may want to invest in that snowmaking stuff that Ober uses as there are NO snowmaking temps in the forecast for Sapphire for the week ahead.  They are actually promoting their ZIP LINE for the Holiday week ahead and we’re thinking that’s about it.

Um…they’ll be open for zip lining. Maybe some snowmaking temps around the end of the year. Nothing in the near future.

SO HOW IS THAT for a lot of details? I’m going to go grab a nap now.

Check out the FULL SNOW REPORT HERE and feel free to drop me an email with your thoughts and reactions at: [email protected]

Previous Post
Snowshoe’s Silvercreek Opens Today with Beautiful Conditions
Next Post
Christmas Holiday Ski Trips Forecast for All Ski Resorts
Related Posts