First Trax

Story by Mike Doble – [email protected]

A very funny (now) but eerie thing happened last night at 11:45pm, just prior to the "end of the world" scenario. The power went out.  My wife and I looked at each other for a second and then the power came back on. Had it not, I have to be honest – I'd have probably begun looking around to see if anyone else was without power!

Of course since the power came back on so quickly, it was easy to relationize that the high winds were the culprit as some of the winds on Friday into Friday night were as strong as any I've witnessed in my 22 years of living in the mountains.

It snowed like crazy as well, and there are varying reports of just how much, but I have to say that I really don't know how anybody is getting it right this morning.

Case in point is up at Wisp Resort in Maryland where Lori Epp's crew is reporting 8-12" of snow (depending on whether you look at the front page of their site or the snow report page). I called High Mountain Sports and they reported 2" of snow, but he did say that it "could have been 8"!"

However OFFICIALLY the National Weather Service reporters up that way are reporting 12" of raw snowfall and observers at Deep Creek are saying anywhere from 7-12".

It was THAT kind of windy snow. Some spots around the foot of Beech late on Friday were more than 18" deep and some were frozen-tundra one-half inch deep.

We're going with the official, National Weather Service reporting stations reporting and as an example Beech Mountain's official weather station reported 1.8" of "raw snowfall" and yet there was an official observation from the NWS of 6" of snow at Beech. We're going with the official 6".

It's STILL snowing in some locations up around West Virginia and Maryland.

The snow reporting took me a little longer than usual this morning, but you can check that out at: https://www.skisoutheast.com/skireports.php

Here's the quick glance at NATURAL SNOWFALL, but you will want to read further or hop straight to the snow report as some areas got a lot of snow but still have a small amount of terrain open.

24-48 Hour Storm Totals / Season:

Wisp Resort – 12" / 52"
Snowshoe – 12" / 48.5"
Canaan Valley – 10" / 40.5"
Timberline – 10" / 40"
Winterplace – 5" /23"
Beech Mtn – 6.5" / 21.5"
Sugar Mtn – 6.0" / 18.4"
Appalachian – 1.8" / 6.8"
Wolf – 1.3" / 10.7"
Cataloochee – .5" / 6.5"
Ober Gatlinburg – Trace / 2"
Wintergreen – Trace / 1.5"
Bryce Resort – Trace / Trace
Massanutten – Trace / Trace
The Homestead – Trace / Trace
Sapphire – 0" / Trace


All you have to do is look at the above snow totals on the season and you can see that the Maryland, West Virginia and the High Country resorts in Western North Carolina are getting most of the cold and snow, while resorts in Virginia have just been skipped thus far.

One look around www.ResortCams.com will tell the story better than I can with words. Check out: http://www.resortcams.com/ski-resorts.php


We saw 25,351 unique visitors on JUST the LIVE CAMS yesterday! That is second only to the Sandy Superstorm day when we crashed the servers and saw 29,582 visitors before the servers died!

We had another 18,930 visitors on SkiSoutheast.com and our weather network for a season high 44,281 unique visitors on Friday. All we can say is "wow" and we can't wait to see how those numbers skyrocket now that snow and cold is here for awhile!

The cool thing is that more than 60% of our visitors yesterday were NEW!  Very cool!

HERE ARE THE NOTABLES FOR TODAY! (We're skipping all around.)

(We'll be out and about today and get you some photos and vids.)

One ski resort is reporting 16-36" base after having NO BASE 36 hours before, while another resort has been open for the most part since Halloween and they too made snow since Thursday AM and they are reporting a 4-20" base. 

Something is askew…

…Snowshoe on Friday!

SNOWSHOE MOUNTAIN – 25° – It's some 15° "milder" at Snowshoe this morning than at Beech Mountain, however it is snowing like crazy! They've seen 15" from the storm so far over the last 48 hours and more is falling today as another 2" or so is forecasted today. Snowshoe has an area-leading 21 of 60 trails open for today with night skiing and snowboarding open as well.

*** We are getting hundreds of questions about the webcams. All we can tell you is that Snowshoe is supposedly working on them.

TIMBERLINE RESORT – 15° and It's still snowing and 3-5" more snow is forecasted for today! Timberline is hustling to open new terrain all day. They will off day sessions only today with near white-out conditions right now. They have seen about 10-12" of snow so far and more is falling. They hope to be able to open to their mid-station on Sunday. Right now they are offering 2 of 40 trails.

One look at Beech this morning will tell you that winter is here!

BEECH MOUNTAIN RESORT – 9° – 5 of 15 Trails Open – 5" of new snow and 6.5" from the storm. They have a CLOUD of snow being made this morning and things are looking rather great this AM at Beech!

Check out our new LIVE CAM at Beech this morning! http://www.resortcams.com/webcameras-beech-base-cam.php

Santa will be at Beech Mountain Resort on Friday, December 21st through Sunday, December 23rd.  From 3pm to 530pm daily, Santa will be in the View Haus Cafeteria making sure to hear everyone's holiday wishes.  On December 22, the View Haus will host a Holiday Sweater Party!  From 7pm to 10pm, the View Haus will provide live music from Wise Old River.  Holiday Beverages will be on special! Prizes will be awarded for the best holiday sweater outfit.

 On December 24, at 430pm a Christmas Eve Service will be held at the ice rink.  Participants can enjoy a free hot chocolate to celebrate the holiday.


CATALOOCHEE SKI AREA – 19.2° – 8 of 17 Trails Open – 1/2" of snow, made snow and they have 8 of 17 trails open and will operate for both day and night sessions. Things look REALLY NICE at Cat this AM!

APPALACHIAN SKI MOUNTAIN – 16° – 1.8" of new snow and 5 Trails Open for day and night sessions. They are reporting a 16-36" base after only getting snowmaking going Thursday night.

The Rome Pre-Jib is scheduled for tomorrow, Sunday, December 23.

The ROME SDS Presents the 9th Annual Rome Pre-Jib at Appalachian Ski Mtn!

They are back again this year and are going to have a killer event. This will be a Jam Format rail jam style event including The Jib Snake Run which is guaranteed to be a unique competition experience.

There will be tons of prizes given out including CASH for tricks! $100 up for grabs on 5 different features ($500 total!)
1st Place – Board, Boots, Bindings, and an ASM Season Pass!!!
2nd Place – Board and Bindings!
3rd Place – Boots and Backpack
Top Lady Shred – Board!

Bring your cameras because best edit submitted to Rome will win a New Board!

The day will finish off right with a FREE BBQ at 4pm at RECESS Ride Shop

You are not going to want to miss this! Going to be better than ever!

Registration is 9:30am – 11am

Contest Starts at 12:00pm (noon)

Event is FREE with the purchase of a lift ticket or your season pass.

SUGAR MOUNTAIN RESORT – 10.6° – 6" of snow – 8 of 20 trails open and they are open for day and night sessions. Ice Skating and Tubing are open as well!

The Sugarfest Rail Jam is today Saturday, December 22nd.  Contact Mark Newton at Alpine Ski Center for reschedule details.  828-898-9701 x221.

WISP RESORT – 9" of snow from the storm – 2 of 32 trails open – They are open with Nordic skiing (more open than on the slopes today) and Wisp has the slopes open from 9-9pm today. Tubing and Ice Skating are open as well. That's 49" of snow on the season so far.  I spoke with the guys at High Mountain Sports at the base of Wisp and he said that the winds were so heavy yesterday that he told someone earlier this morning that they'd had 2" of snow maybe. Officially they got 8" but it's probably somewhere around Baltimore!

WINTERPLACE RESORT – 21° – 4" of new snow and 5" total from the storm. Winterplace plans to open Sunday at 8am.

WINTERGREEN RESORT – 19.8° – Trace of new snow – Wintergreen is making snow and looking quite nice and hopes to open perhaps as earlier but at least by December 26th.

UPDATED 12/21/2012 — The snow guns are on!  We are currently making snow on the upper elevations of the mountain. We will continue to make snow on the rest of the mountain as temperatures allow. We hope to open as soon as possible.  Monday, December 24th would be the earliest we could open the Ski Slopes and Tubing Park. Please check this page for more updates.

SAPPHIRE VALLEY – 31.7° – Trace of Flurries – Opening the tubing hill this weekend and the ski resort on Monday.

OBER GATLINBURG – 26° – No Snow – Tubing is open and If the predicted weather holds, they anticipate opening the slopes this Sunday, Dec. 23 at 9am. Please check back tomorrow for an updated report! THINK COLD!

THE HOMESTEAD RESORT – 26° – Making snow and saw a TRACE of snow and perhaps will see a little more of a trace this morning. They hope to open soon.

WOLF RIDGE RESORT – 17° – 1.8" of Snow – Tubing opening today and skiing will begin on Sunday.  They finally have their camera running although it cuts you off after about 20 seconds of viewing and they give you a 320 x 240 view from way back.

BRYCE RESORT – 30° – They are making snow but only up top as the temps are borderline right now.


You can email me your thoughts and reactions at: [email protected]

FOLLOW US on Twitter for up-to-date news (like when it SNOWS) and for the best chances to WIN our FREE LIFT PASSES, VACATIONS, FREES SKIS, FREE SNOWBOARD and more! We're giving a LOT away this season and all you have to do is FOLLOW US ON TWITTER, Subscribe to our SkiMail list at the bottom of every page of the website OR Join Us on the SnoForum at http://www.skinorthcarolina.com/messageboard/

They're ALL FREE to Join, Subscribe or Follow Us and we promise to keep you well-informed. Share our website with your friends. We'd appreciate it a lot.

Previous Post
ASM is OPEN for Skiing & Snowboarding
Next Post
Snowshoe Saw 12″ of New Snow and Kids of All Ages Played!
Related Posts