First Trax

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Wisp Resort opens several trails to run their total to 23 trails available for play on the birthday bash weekend of fun! Check the photo of the day this morning and you’ll see some near, mid season conditions at Wisp on Friday. They made snow last night and this morning and conditions will be sweet on Saturday. They lead the way today with open terrain at 23 trails.

My new Snowshoe Mountain Communications buddy, Laura Parquette, took care of all of the media people and Suburu Demo Day crowd today by talking Ed Galbreath and the mountain ops people into opening even more terrain today. They offer 19 trails today and their new Soaring Eagle lift will be in operation. Laura was up at 5am to write, "After receiving more than a foot and a half of natural powder this week, and with the continued efforts of our expert snowmaking crew, we’ve expanded our open terrain to 19 trails and 5 lifts. Terrain will be available from the main basin area to the South Mountain area, with Soaring Eagle Express open for the first time this season! This weekend is going to be epic, with great conditions and amazing events. Subaru Demo Days returns to the mountain with the latest and greatest ski and snowboard equipment available for free demos today and Sunday. Also this weekend, check out the King of the Mountain event, with cash, prizes and bragging rights up for grabs!"

We’ll get you some pics.

The Southeastern Ski Association has Timberline Resort as CLOSED, but they are having a ball skiing and riding today on 4 trails and what appears to be pretty sweet conditions. As we featured in a story on Friday, Timberline bought 40 new, massive snowmaking machines, giving them 60 new machines in the last two years and that will pay off with good conditions even in marginal weather. They ski and ride today wirh groomed conditions.

WINTERPLACE – The management at Winterplace boasts, "Our snowmaking power became legendary over the last several seasons – – – and we’ve expanded again this season! We know skiers like the extras found at Winterplace but most of all; they love the white stuff we can put down! Our state-of-the-art snowmaking system thunders out more snow per acre than any resort in the Southeast!"

They used that power to make for good opening weekend conditions that they offer for Saturday and Sunday.

Wintergreen, Bryce and Massanutten were all able to make snow and they are all open with good, early season conditions.


I was talking with a meteorologist friend of mine at dinner last night who happens to be one of the group of weather gurus that has been saying that our North Carolina resorts will have a tough time of it this season, and I was sharing the early start data with him and he kept nodding his head as if to say, "That what I’m talking about" and then he actually said, "That’s what I’m talking about. The NC mountains are going to have a decent start and the after Christmas, things are going to tough from then on. I see all of the snow staying North this year."

That’s when I mentally visualized myself jumping over three guests at the table with with and cold-cocking this otherwise VERY nice fellow. I simply smiled and replied, "Well let’s just hope that you and numerous others are wrong and OUR GO TO weather gurus, Brad Panovich and Matthew East are much closer to be accurate.

Both say that temps will allow for good snowmaking for the most part throughout the season (Brad says 1-2° below normal temps) and somewhat less-than-normal natural snowfall. We can hope he’s right on the first part and wrong on the second. God could throw them all a twist.


<Appalachian looks darned NICE this AM!

Okay, so the forecast looks yucky for the next week…let’s enjoy TODAY for all of the good it brings! Conditions look nice at App, Cat, Sugar and Wolf Ridge today so get out and have some fun as it should be very nice for Saturday and Sunday.

Trail reports that were sent in showed an already thinning base at Beech after they’d only been able to make snow a couple of days…so they’ll fight to make it today and Sunday, and it doesn’t look good for them to be open next weekend unless things change drastically for next Friday, December 14th.

That will have resort operators nervously watching the weather patterns to see if Mother Nature brings in a timely cold snap that will allow them to make snow such that they can get 100% open for the important Holiday period.

That IS the fight right now, regardless of which meteorologist is correct about the long term forecast. Right now we need some cold weather and some snow would help!

Time to start praying.

I’m running short on time this morning, so check back in a bit for updates and check the Slope Conditions page for all of today’s resort schedule and trail openings!

Until Next time…

Be sure to visit www.SkiSoutheast.com  for more stories and skiing in the Southeast!

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Wisp Resort shows off some sweet snowmaking opportunities from Thursday and the skies cleared from the foot of snowfall they received and snowmaking t
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