We’re LOVING this weather! Cold and Snow hits the region! Beech and Wisp Opens today!

First Trax

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It’s snowing! Pretty hard as of 7:30am and the hardest snow is forecasted for later in the day.

Has anyone else noticed that we’ve had snow for FOUR straight days? After the torrential rains of Tuesday where anywhere from 2-6" of rain fell across the region – we’ve now seen SNOW for four straight days. No, it isn’t the "out west" 30" variety but it is snow nonetheless!

I was scouting some of the other weather content from around the region and I noticed that two other sources are now forecasting what our guy Brad Panovich forecasted 36 hours earlier. One of the weather peeps was remarking that it is going to be very cold over the next week and that "ski resorts should get ready".

HUH? Ummm, they are not only ready, they are looking unbelievably, amazingly gorgeous this morning.

I have a SEC Championship Football game to get ready for so I’m going to cover the OPEN SKI RESORTS this morning and direct your attention to Friday’s column for all of the resorts that are not yet "prime time". 

See announced opening dates via our SNOW REPORTS page or you can see more detailed comments on Friday’s Southeast Ski Report. 

I was over at Appalachian Ski Mountain on Friday evening. There was quite a crowd over there for the first day and night of the season for App. They had the snowguns off except on unopened terrain. The crowd seemed to really appreciate that. The terrain park was busy and we filmed a little bit of that for you guys and that can be seen on the video link.

App is officially reporting a tenth of an inch of new snow this AM and 23°. Lots of snowmaking took place over night and they opened more terrain for Saturday. They now have 8 of 11 trails open and two terrain parks and ice skating. They are reporting a DEEP 40-64" base! They are open for day and night sessions.

Beech Mountain Resort – 27° – 1" of new natural snow – How about an opening day today that starts the season with SNOW and Packed Powder!?!? Pretty cool. Beech is open for Day SESSIONS only today and they have 4 of 14 trails operating with 4 lifts and a reported base of 36". (You KNOW we love those single digit base depths reporting. Thanks Ryan, Gil, Talia, whoever!) An opening day with a three foot base isn’t too shabby! They have Upper and Lower Shawneehaw open, as well as the Play Yard and Freestyle. More terrain is opening soon now that temps are crazy cold!

Cataloochee Ski Area – 32° – Trace of new snow. – They are open for day sessions only and they have 8 of 16 trails open with a base of 12-80" being reported. Tubing is open as well. Tammy Brown writes, "On Saturday, we will be skiing on 50% of the mountain on eight out of 16 trails with two aerial lifts and one conveyor lift operating, Intermediate Rock Island Run, Advanced Alley Cat, Intermediate Lower Snowbird Trail, and Intermediate Lower Omigosh, serviced by the Rock Island Run Quad Chairlift, Beginners Easy Way and Beginners Rabbit Hill serviced by the Easy Way Triple Chairlift, and Beginner’s Luck Learning Area serviced by the Moving Carpet Conveyor lift on a base of 12”-80” and a machine made surface. Please note that some of our terrain features will be available for you to ride Upper OverEasy, right down from the Snack Shack, accessed by the Easy Way Triple Chairlift."

Sugar Mountain – 19° and 1" of new snow. They’ve seen 3.5" in the last four days and they’ve made a ton of snow and are now open for day and night sessions with 8 of 20 trails and 3 lifts. They are reporting a base of 12-40" and ice skating is open as well.

Wolf Ridge – 29° – 2" of snow in the last few days and they are open with a base of 36-48" and at least three slopes open for day and night sessions Saturday. They may be able to get another couple of slopes open for Saturday. Tubing opens Saturday as well.

Wolf writes, "Its Saturday morning and with the present temperature at 29 degrees, its beginning to lightly snow on the mountain. The weather man is calling for colder temperatures over the next few days and snow today and tomorrow. The Wolf is open today from 9:am until 10:00 pm and will be open Sunday from 9am -4:30 pm. We will Close Monday the 6th through Wednesday the 8th to get an incredible snow base on the mountain while the low temperatures allow for great snow making. We will re-open on Thursday the 9th at 9:am and be wide open for the season. Get here early and be the first to shred the snow. See You On The Slopes!!!"

WISP RESORTS OPENS! – 20°- They are giving those with the Joneses for some skiing a chance to at least get on the snow today. They’ve open the beginning "Belly Flop" and the Ski Carpet lift. Ice Skating and the Mountain Coaster is open as well. Wisp is getting some snow right now and making tons of it with that Star Trek snowmaking plant. Wisp updated their season snowfall total to 4" to match what we and CocoRaHs are reporting as well.


Sapphire Valley – I know I said we were only reporting on open resorts this morning, but I did speak with RJ Grady over there and he told me that they had made some snow and were looking at favorable nighttime temps for the next week and they are shooting for opening December 17th.

Okay I lied…here’s some additional noteworthy comments.

The Virginia resorts are all smiles this morning as we’re seeing 17° to 20° temps this morning and lots and lots of snowmaking. The VA ski areas have not had quite the cold temps that some of their neighboring states have enjoyed so far, but they are blasting away now and the forecast is for PLENTY of cold temps and snowmaking.

OUR BUDDY BRAD PANOVICH IS L-O-O-K-I-N-G smarter by the moment! He forecasted perhaps as much as 3-5" of snow for the NC ski areas and maybe 10+ (he said 10-20") for the West Virginia ski resorts. Canaan’s David Lesher, who operates an official weather reporting station in Davis, West Virginia is reporting 6.2" of snow (4.4" of it since Friday AM) and it’s still s-n-o-w-i-n-g!

Snowshoe hasn’t updated yet this AM, but Sonny’s Silvercreek weather is showing 12° and snow! We’ll get a more accurate update later today. The LIVE CAM at Snowshoe is looking PRETTY!


Ober Gatlinburg has only been able to make snow a time or two so far and they are at 35° this morning. Come on, they’re good people! They need snow and cold as well. The forecast is looking very favorable for the Smoky Mountain resort beginning perhaps tonight but at least by Sunday night to be able to make snow.


Okay maybe it could, but it looks pretty fantastic right now! We snuck a look ahead at a few of the ski areas and here’s the great news:

The NC Ski Areas:

Today: Snow Likely – Hi 35° Lo 21° – 3" of snow possible

Sunday: Snow Likely – Hi 24° Lo 16° – 3" of snow possible

Monday: Snow Showers – Hi 24° Lo 11° – More accumulation possible

Tuesday: Blustery, Partly Cloudy – Hi 22° Lo 10° – Great snowmaking!

Wednesday: Sunny – Hi 21° Lo 11° – More snowmaking!

Thursday: Sunny – Hi 28° Lo 15° – More slopes open!

The Virginia Ski Areas: (Using Massanutten as a base)

Today: Snow Likely – Hi 35° Lo 25° – 1-2" of snow possible

Sunday: Partly Sunny – Hi 31° Lo 23° – Great snowmaking ops

Monday: Breezy – Hi 32° Lo 21° – Great snowmaking ops

Tuesday: Partly Cloudy – Hi 31° Lo 20° – Great snowmaking!

Wednesday: Sunny – Hi 32° Lo 20° – More snowmaking!

Thursday: Sunny – Hi 32° Lo 22° – Great snowmaking ops

The West Virginia & Maryland Ski Areas: (Using Snowshoe as a base)

Today: Snow Likely – Hi 26° Lo 14° – 2-5" of snow possible

Sunday: Snow – Hi 19° Lo 9° – 2-3" more snow (4-8")

Monday: Snow Showers – Hi 15° Lo 8° – Additional Accumulation

Tuesday: Snow likely – Hi 17° Lo 6° – Additional Accumulation

Wednesday: Snow – Hi 20° Lo 8° – Additional Accumulation

Thursday: Sunny – Hi 22° Lo 10° – Great snowmaking ops

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