Wintergreen and Massanutten Ski Resorts Open for the 2008-2009 Ski Season

First Trax

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The weather is crazy varied this morning across the Southeast and Mid Atlantic ski resorts. It is 40° in Western North Carolina (at Wolf Ridge Resort), in the mid-to-upper 30s across much of North Carolina into Virginia and 27° and snowing in McHenry, Maryland – home to Wisp Resort in beautiful Garrett County.

You can tell where the frontal boundary is that is bringing the moisture (and varying temps) across the region.  There looks to be a mix of wintry weather coming in for the mountains from Maryland down through North Carolina…although right now things are looking colder – the further north we look. The line of moisture is just south of the Appalachians so who knows MAYBE we’ll see more snow from this one.  Right now the forecast is for a wintry mix of sleet, freezing rain and snow for Sunday and colder and snowier weather into Monday.

It is 40° in Western North Carolina (at Wolf Ridge Resort), in the mid-to-upper 30s across much of North Carolina into Virginia and 27° and snowing in McHenry, Maryland – home to Wisp Resort.

Wisp Resort is reporting 27° and snow this morning from the gorgeous, Garrett County ski area. They have 12 of 35 trails open for today and night skiing until 9pm tonight. Their mountain coaster is open as well! Lori Epp (from Wisp’s marketing department) can be seen carving some snow on her snowboard occasionally on the slopes at Wisp and she wrote, "Things are going great here today (opening day Friday) and the parking lot is full (always great!) and the skies are partly clear and the snow is awesome!!!!!"

Indeed it is as Wisp has already seen 25" of snow on the season and it’s still just November. Wisp averages 100" per season and has surpassed that several times in the past few seasons.

Snowshoe Mountain Ski Resort is reporting 24° this morning. They made snow overnight and they have delivered on their promise of opening STILL MORE terrain for today. They added 4 more open trails to take them to 24 of 60 trails available for day skiing today. Snow is in the forecast Sunday through Tuesday and conditions just could not be much better atop their 4848′ elevations. They are cranking up their Soaring Eagle lift today (although it will have a delayed, 10am startup) and that will give Snowshoe over 85 acres of open terrain available throughout the Snowshoe Basin area.

Today also marks the season debut of the Spruce Glades Terrain Park. They’ve added a Medium Jump and a Down Rail to Spruce Glades, while 5 features remain open in the Powder Monkey Terrain Garden. The tubing hill at Silver Creek is also open today from 3-9p.m.

FYI, they are also making snow on Cupp Run!

Things "MILD UP" a bit as we drop down into the open Virginia ski areas. The current temp is 28° at Basye, VA – home to Bryce Resort.

Bryce offers 6 of 8 trails for day skiing today. They also have their tubing hill open on 10-35" of groomed conditions. (The slopes that is!) Basye has a little snow and wintry mix in their forecast so think snow!

Massanutten Resort debuts their season today. They are reporting 40° at their summit, but the NWS is reporting 30° so we’ll go with that! They are offering 4 of 14 trails and tubing today! They have 2 greens, 1 blue and their "Diamond Jim" (black diamond) trail open today for day skiing only. It looks like sleet and snow is in the forecast there as well!

Wintergreen Resort opens for the season today with 2 of 26 trails and snow tubing as well. They will be open for day skiing only today.

Appalachian Ski Mountain is reporting a dusting of snow overnight and groomed conditions on 8 of 10 trails. I know that they were previously reporting that they would have all ten trails open for this weekend, but evidently there was some hiccup that prevented that. We’ll try to get word a bit later. Our guess is that they want to get a little more snow on Hard Core and Thin Slice before opening those. THAT should happen with the snowmaking temps coming in on Monday. They ARE open for night skiing and they have their popular ice rink open.

Cataloochee Ski Area is reporting 36° this morning, a base of 21-60" and 8 of 14 trails open with groomed conditions. They are also open for night skiing as well. Tammy Brown wrote, "We have some of our terrain features including a new flatbox that will be available for you to ride at the top of Over Easy, right down from the Snack Shack, accessed by the Easy Way Triple Chairlift."
Cat also wants to remind you guys that Season Passes make for GREAT Christmas gifts! She writes, "Season Pass prices are the lowest they will be for this year through November 30. Pass pricing goes up December 1st! Don’t miss out on anymore of the fun and excitement of a great Cataloochee winter, call now 1-800-768-0285 and order your pass by phone or ONLINE! at Give the Gift of SNOW for Christmas!"

(I’ll take one Santa!)

Ski Beech is reporting 35° this morning and packed conditions on 5 of 15 trails with a base of 16-40". They are open for day skiing only right now. Beech’s ice rink opens on Saturday for some Holiday skating. You know it is indeed a new day at the Beech when Beech features not one, but two groomers carving up some snow on the front of their website. They added two, new Piston Bully 400s this season and according to the early reviews – they have been used to great success.

Jasen Vioral (Mellow Yellow on the messageboard) posted a trip report over on the messageboard from Friday and there were a bunch of people enjoying what he termed as "flat cord". That translates to – PHENOMENAL GROOMED CORDUROY – to you newbies! You can check out Jasen’s full trip report to Ski Beech by clicking here> Ski Beech Trip Report – It’s complete with photos.

Sugar Mountain – They are reporting a low of 33° this morning atop Sugar. They are offering 10 of 20 trails again today, which means that Tom Terrific is open for today. They have loose and frozen granular conditions and are open for day and night sessions. They also have their 10,000 square foot ice rink open.

Wolf Ridge Resort is reporting 40° this morning with 3 of 20 trails available. Neither tubing or terrain park are open just yet but they are skiing tonight as well. Michael Hampton is handling the communications/marketing over there again this year, after taking the last couple of seasons off and they are doing a great job of posting regular updates.

In closing I thought "TheKENDOG" made a great reference on Mellow’s messageboard trip report to Ski Beech from yesterday. Jasen rides a longboard like nobody else and Ken wrote, "…that skiboard thing you were riding is sick looking and you were carving the hell out of Shawneehaw, almost parallel to the ground."

Again, be sure to check out Jasen’s TR on the messageboard. More of you need to visit the messageboard. We now have 918 members and nearly 300 of those are actively posting in the last two weeks! It’s one of the best "virtual ski clubs" around. See trip reports, helpful (often playful) Q & A’s and more! Click here> SkiSoutheast Ski Forums Register and post away! 

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

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A Pole Cat Overlooks Garrett County at Wisp Resort in Western Maryland – This shot was taken at the top of Squirrel Cage (a black diamond) and sent in
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