What’s Happening at ALL of the Southeast’s and Mid Atlantic Ski Areas!

First Trax

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Things are hopping around the Southeast!

We’re getting a lot of emails from people wondering who’s making snow, who’s opening and who isn’t – and why not…so we figured we’d take you guys on a little trip around the region…going North to South as much as possible.

Wisp Resort at Deep Creek is in a “weather holding pattern” right now. The crazy thing is that they’ve received more snow than anyone in the region thus far (6”) but as Public Relations Manager, Lori Epp explains, “Mike, we had a small window last night and we cranked up and made some snow more or less as a test. We didn’t go full blast or anything. We’re looking at the extended forecast and as you know we’re seeing some warmer weather for a few days into the weekend. With that in the mix, we’re looking at the next cold trend and as soon as we get it, we will be blasting the slopes.”

Wisp Resort can make more snow across all of the trails in one night than any resort in the region. A lot of resorts boast of great snowmaking technology and we have to tell you that while ALL of the ski areas of the region can do more snow…and better than ever…NONE of them have the technology and “star wars” snowmaking ops that Wisp has. Even SMI refers new potential clients to take a look at the system that Wisp implemented two seasons ago. Lori shared this, “Eleven of the thirteen ski resorts in Korea have looked at Wisp’s system as the example of the best there is. Here we are in Western Maryland and literally this snowmaking system is world-renowned!”

It is that…and you can bet Wisp will pour on the snow the moment that get the weather. We advise you to check on SLOPE CONDITIONS page for opening day announcements.

Canaan Valley began making snow this past weekend and looks to be open on December 1st. That IS dependent on the weather. Canaan Valley is celebrating 35 years in the ski business this season – on December 8th. Canaan Valley Resort Ski Area – the first commercial ski area to open in the state of West Virginia – celebrates 35 years in the ski business this winter season. Marketing Director, Brian Brown reports, “Everyone is welcome to join us for this huge celebration. Roll back rates include $35 Lodge rooms, $35 Lift Ticket with Ski Rental, discount food & drinks, live entertainment and much more. Rooms are limited – call today to reserve yours.”

Canaan Valley is also hosting the Jeep Terrain Park Challenge on December 9th and all are welcome to compete for cash & prizes.

We’re going to skip around a bit for a second now…and tell you guys about the goings on at Snowshoe Mountain in West Virginia. (Andrea Smith just sent us a wealth of information and with our policy of INFO IN IS INFO OUT…here it is!)

Snowshoe Mountain will be opening on Thanksgiving Day and immediately upon opening will have the most terrain and best conditions in the Southeast and Mid Atlantic. Snowshoe Mountain Communication Manager, Andrea Smith explains, “Skidder Slope is only one of six trails lined with snow guns and ready to open. It has been an amazing transformation process. Less than one week ago it was nearly 60 degrees with hardly any snow on the ground. With only a few days of freezing temperatures, Snowshoe’s veteran snowmaking crews have been able to cover approximately 24 acres of skiable terrain with two feet of snow! With close to 70 snowguns blasting around the clock Snowshoe will open seven trails for skiing and riding on Thanksgiving Day with an expected 20" to 24" base!”

She also added, “Hopefully, with a few additional nights of snowmaking, we’ll be adding more trails and lifts to the list by the weekend.”

Okay…let’s back-track over to Timberline Resort, which is a ridge over from Canaan (I know, I know).

Timberline Resort literally began making snow today according to Pam Long, who works for General Manager Tom Blanzy. They will be making snow at every opportunity and plan on opening (weather permitting) on December 7th!

Timberline has been busy this off season as they have widened White Lightning. Upper White Lightning has been widened along most of its length to be confluent with Silver Streak. This concept has met with enthusiasm by their skiers, many of whom consider White Lightening one of their favorite ski slopes along with the South’s longest ski trail, Salamander Run, and Twister, Timberline’s newest trail. The widened trail will enhance its reputation as the region’s favorite racing trail. White Lightning will be twice the width of most of Timberline’s trails. (You can check out more of what’s new at Timberline and all of the resorts, by clicking the resort links on the front of www.SkiSoutheast.com )

Winterplace has been busy as well! First of all Winterplace Resort is planning on opening up on December 8th. Winterplace has added two NEW carpet lifts that you can stand on and literally ride back to the top of the beginner areas. They have also newly Expanded their Teaching Area and it is now EIGHT times larger! Winterplace’s tubing has also been a crowd pleaser for the last few years and they have now added two NEW carpet lifts to West Virginia’s Largest Snowtubing Park! 16 lanes of cool fun for everyone!

We’re now moving down into the great state of Virginia…

Bryce Resort is planning on opening for the season on December 9th. Ryan Locher at Bryce told us, “We have not made any snow just yet. We’re waiting for this warm weather to clear out after Thanksgiving Weekend and then we will crank out the snow at every opportunity.” Ryan informed us that they, like many of the ski areas, had added more snowmaking infrastructure to the mountain. Bryce has invested close to $500,000 in new guns, new automation within the beginner areas and more. Check out the What’s New section on the Bryce page on SkiSoutheast.com

Massanutten Resort is our next visit. They HAVE begun making snow! They actually began Monday night (last night) Nov. 21st. They will now be making snow at each opportunity and expect to open asap…probably (here’s that weather permitting phrase again) the first weekend or two in December.

Known for firsts, Massanutten boasts being the first in Virginia to: Offer snowboarding, Offer snow tubing, and have the first quad chairlift! Massanutten has 1,110 feet of vertical – the most in Virginia, Maryland, or Pennsylvania. So no matter how you like to enjoy sliding on snow, Massanutten is the place to be.

The Homestead is thinking snow a little earlier this year than usual! Last season at this time they still had a golf motif to the website and marketing promotions! The Homestead has not made snow just yet, but they are shooting for an opening date of December 15th.

Wintergreen Resort is cranking out the snow now! Sarah Lovejoy of Wintergreen Resort reports, “Snowmaking began at Wintergreen Resort on Monday, November 20 at 7:07 p.m., when temperatures dropped into the twenties, the resort’s world-class York® snowmaking system went to work laying down a base for opening day!” Sarah’s holding out on us a bit by not announcing an opening date. They had planned to open sooner, but the weather’s not cooperated perfectly until now. She DID HINT at their hoped for date by saying, “We plan to run hard every chance we get in an effort to get trails open for this coming weekend. Our snowmaking plan for the first week will include concentrating on Upper Dobie, Lower Dobie, and Eagles Swoop. In addition, we will be using the rest of our capacity to run some guns on the Highlands, the Terrain Park and in the Plunge.”

Keep checking the SLOPE CONDITIONS page for notices and opening day announcements!


Ober Gatlinburg has not yet begun to make snow. Kathy Doyle says, “Beginning December 1st, will be watching the thermometer and as soon as the temperatures to drop so we can begin snowmaking we will. Once that happens, the snowmakers at Ober Gatlinburg will continue working around the clock while temperatures allow, until there is enough base snow to provide a quality product for skiers and snowboarders. “ So look for Ober to crank up in mid December.

Now into the Great State of North Carolina…where ski season began three weekends ago…

Appalachian Ski Mountain has been making snow and will open on Wednesday, November 22, 2006 and will be offering FREE LIFT TICKETS for anyone ready to go and do some turns on the two trails that they will have open. Drew Stanley informed us that they MIGHT also open up from the top of Upper Big Appal, so that may in the mix as well. They will also offer some features within the terrain park as well.

Cataloochee has been pouring on the snowmaking and of course they are open. (They’ve BEEN operating for 3 straight weekends now) Cataloochee begins night skiing tonight – another first in NC and the Southeast! They are skiing and riding on four trails with more on the way soon! The way Cataloochee’s been going of late…they may be shooting for more “firsts”…Stay tuned.

Hawksnest has not been making snow yet. They are waiting on the next round of cold weather and hopefully timing that with having their staff, equipment and everything in place to open. Look for them to be ready to open by the first weekend or two in December.

RJ Grady over at Sapphire Valley Ski Area contacted us to tell us that they have been making snow for the last 3-4 days, but targeting an opening date is sketchy. He reported, “We’ve got some good base already made on the slopes and the tubing hill, but right now we’re still getting the staff in place, so opening day could be another few days or so.” We’d advise checking our SLOPE CONDITIONS page or call Sapphire directly to make sure they are operating.

Scaly Mountain is tubing only again this year after making some strong hints that they may be skiing again this season. We’ve tried to contact the top brass over there, but thus far we’ve only been greeted with voice mail. They do say that they will “know more” after December 1st…


Ski Beech – Everyone is calling us about Ski Beech! They HAVE been making snow…and they are working to get open soon. Some of our visitors have emailed us from time to time about how slow Ski Beech is to open, and “how they are not as motivated to open” etc. That may have been somewhat true in the past, but Ski Beech (like many of the ski areas) has invested in upgrades and additional snowmaking capabilities in the off-season. For example, the word is that they will be attempting to open The Oz Run not long after opening the rest of the mountain. According to Gil Adams of Ski Beech, “We have really built a lot of base in the last couple of days and most of that has been focused on the top of the mountain. We could be skiing up there right now.”

Gil told us that they had a pump go screwy on them this morning that is prohibiting them from making snow on Play Yard, which is the main “finishing” area of the mountain. Therefore they will be addressing that such that they won’t have additional issues after the mountain opens.

Adams added, “Our goal is the build enough base to support skier traffic and last, rather than opening with just enough to get going.”

According to them Ski Beech may not open for Thanksgiving or even Thanksgiving Weekend…but rather opt to open into the first of next week with a good base that will offer quality and quantity. We’d suggest keeping an eye on our SLOPES CONDITIONS page for updates and opening day announcements.

Sugar Mountain is open to the top. They opened for the season on Monday and already have some quality snow to play on. As of this writing (2pm Tuesday) they are making snow and you can expect a good ride at Sugar for Wednesday, Thanksgiving Day and as long as the weather holds.

Wolf Ridge (formerly Wolf Laurel) Resort is aiming at December 8th to get open for the season. Kathy Kelley, who is over Group Sales (and also Marketing Director Tim Bryant’s assistant), informed us, “It’s just not been quite cold enough to make snow here yet. Where most of the other resorts saw an inch or two of snow, we just had a dusting.” She added that they have an eye on the warm weather trend coming in over the weekend and feel that the December 8th date is a more likely target date to get open. She did add that they would begin making snow as soon as they see a consistent opportunity.

For those unaware, Wolf Ridge Resort has really invested in a ton of upgrades, new lifts etc… and you can see many of their new features by clicking here

You may also want to click on EACH of the ski area links on the front of the site as we have included a “What’s NEW at” box on each of the resort pages.

Stay tuned for more news…and also check out those pages on www.SkiSoutheast.com to see more about the rest of the ski resorts in the region.

Until Next Time…


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Snowshoe is blasting the slopes with tons of snow to open with SEVEN trails on Thanksgiving Day – Photo submitted by Andrea Smith
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