Winterplace Reopens Today

First Trax

There’s a lot going on with the area slopes today so let’s get right to it.  First the good news – Winterplace has opened back up today for the weekend.  Right now they are only committing to staying open ‘til Sunday but they are leaving the door open for next week.  We’ll know more on Sunday I imagine once they figure out the snow and weather situation.

Canaan Valley will be opening tomorrow with around a 12-24 inch, frozen granular base on 8 trails and 2 lifts.  That’s a projection and we’ll of course update their snow report tomorrow morning with the official reading.

Now for the not so good news.  Appalachian Ski Mountain has closed for today.  They are citing safety concerns as a result of thunderstorms that are expected to move through the area today.  Taking a look at their webcam shows plenty of snow, so they really are just being cautious for their skiers and riders. 

Appalachian Ski Mountain
Appalachian Ski Mountain

Talking from experience (one that I’m sure a number of you share as well), there are few things more sketchy than riding up a chairlift in a thunderstorm.  You’re just sitting there waiting for a tower to be hit or the power to be knocked out.  If you’re not supposed to seek shelter under a tree in a thunderstorm, sitting on a metal chair that is dangling from a metal wire which is held up by metal posts can’t be good – just my $0.02.

But I guess there are worst things that can happen to you on the lift…

Chairlift Fail
Chairlift Fail – at least he has his helmet on.

Massanutten Resort, who closed down for the week with an anticipated reopen for today, has decided to wait another day and reopen tomorrow.

The open resorts took a bit of a hit yesterday.  Sugar lost about 2-7 inches of base, while Beech is down 2 inches.  Cataloochee had to close down a run yesterday as well.

Sugar Mountain
Sugar Mountain

Catalochee Ski Area
Catalochee Ski Area

I tried to capture a picture of Beech this morning, but the fog pretty much blocked out the view.

We are currently seeing quite a spread with regards to temps at the resorts this morning with Wisp seeing 37 and Ober reporting 61 degrees.  Just about all of the area resorts are expecting rain today.  Beech is calling for a 70% chance of rain and most of the others are closer to 100%.  But, every cloud has a silver lining and the rain clouds we’re seeing in the area are no different.  The rain at Wisp in Maryland and the West Virginia mountains will switch over to snow tonight and linger in the forecast through Monday night. 

Weather for Wisp Resort
Forecast for Wisp Resort

The National Weather Service has issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook alert for Maryland, West Virginia, and Virginia.  The alert states, “A POTENTIAL FOR A SIGNIFICANT WINTER WEATHER EVENT SUNDAY INTO EARLY MONDAY.”

Much of the North Carolina Mountains are under a Winter Storm Watch from Saturday night through Sunday evening.  Right now ice and freezing rain are the threats.

It appears that we are at the doorstep of our next bout of winter weather, and just in time.  Bryce, Massanutten, and Wintergreen are all opening back up tomorrow.  Wolf Ridge is expecting to open back up tomorrow as well, but has not committed as of yet.  They are still wait and see.

Be sure to keep an eye on the Resort Cams for a first person view of how all of this plays out.

Tim Bahlke
Drop me an email at [email protected] to let me know what you think or with suggestions on what we could be doing better.


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