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Mid-Atlantic/SE skiing (PA, NJ, DC, MD, VA, WV, NC) for 2020-21

Given the recent warm weather, still too soon for many Opening Dates on SkiSoutheast. The official list includes Snowshoe on Dec. 4 and Canaan Valley on Dec. 12.

I'm guessing Bryce will open on Dec. 12 because their lift ticket sales start on that day right now.

Last year Bryce did a split for Opening Day on Dec. 16. The lift to the top was running for mountain bikes and the other chairlift was for skiers. It was good fun for $25. There were probably locals who did both that day. There was probably even time for biking, skiing, and golf for someone with a season pass. I was in the area for another reason so went to check out Bryce for the first time. Learned that the food in the restaurant is very good.
Massanutten has several deadlines for price increases of season passes for 2020-21. The current prices end on Dec. 10.

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Dec. 10 also happens to be the last day that Ikon passes will be sold. Epic passes go off sale after Dec. 6.

Massanutten is on the Indy Pass. So is Bryce, which is about an hour away. The price for Indy goes up $20 after Nov. 30.
Wisp and Wintergreen are operated by the same company, Pacific Group Resorts. No surprise that the 4-pack offer and season pass deferral policies are the same. Haven't been any updates to those websites since early Nov. The deferral deadline for season passes was Nov. 25.

Some people who live in MD or northern VA may be taking a look at Wisp, Wintergreen, Massanutten, and/or Bryce now that PA has travel restrictions that make skiing at Whitetail, Liberty, or Roundtop more complicated.

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Folks in the southeast are hoping that the cold blast of air due in the coming week will last long enough for some 24-hour snowmaking. It's always touch and go in late Nov and the first half of Dec whether or not a deep enough base can be built on core trails for the slopes to open and stay open. The few areas that got headlines for opening in Nov have all closed due to not having enough snow left.

But as SkiSE pointed out today:
" . . .
On a cold 17°, where the wet-bulb temps are perfect, our ski resorts can cover a football field with two FEET of snow in a 10-12 [hour] span. All of the ski resorts in our region have heavily invested in snowmaking tech over the last decade, adding more and newer machines annually.

When conditions are right, Snowshoe can produce 2,500 TONS of snow per hour. If that wasn’t enough, in 2018, Snowshoe invested another $4 MILLION dollars into their snowmaking by installing automation hardware / software and picking up another 165 snow guns to their already hulking arsenal. This includes 90 low-energy “stick” guns and 75 fixed position, low-energy, high-production DemacLenko Titan 2.0 snow guns — the most powerful currently on the market.

While not every resort in the region has added those kinds of numbers, just know that every ski resort in our region has invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in the latest and greatest and that is why resorts like Sugar Mountain and Cataloochee were able to open within two days of making snow a week or so ago…and with the cold temps that are on the way for THIS WEEK, I’d expect to see some near, miraculous mountain transformations.


Angel Diva
Snowstorms in the Appalachian mountains! NC snowmaking is starting up in earnest this week. The SkiSE informal contest for "first snow" was officially called for Nov. 30, which requires at least a measurable inch. It was a no brainer this time because more than one southeast location had 3+ inches.

Also snowed in WV and western PA. Seven Springs and Blue Knob started snowmaking.



Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Nothing much happening here in PA yet. Hoping this colder weather leads to some snow blowing soon. Pretty depressing.

ETA: Just checked and Montage is blowing snow this AM!


Angel Diva
Snowshoe will definitely be open on Friday, Dec. 4! Actually opening for season passholders on Dec. 3, which means Ikon in general not just the Snowshoe-only passes. From the Snowshoe FB on Dec. 2: "For the opener this Friday we're expecting to have 6-12 trails in the central Basin, consisting of mostly greens and a terrain park. Ballhooter, Powder Monkey, and Skidder lifts will be spinning."

Snowguns have been turned on at Silver Creek. The target date to open over there is Dec. 18. Haven't heard anything about the Western Territory yet.


Angel Diva
NC mountains are really open for skiing this week. Sugar, Cat, and App were open today with decent early season coverage. It was in the 20's at my house this morning. So the cold front definitely came thru the mountains yesterday.

One of the SkiSE regulars did a trip report for App. Total ski nut. Drives from Atlanta for day trips with his young son.

Cat is not doing U Can Ski Day this year for donations of canned food and winter coats. Usually attracts a pretty big crowd. They will be having the yard sale on Dec. 5-6. Proceeds benefit Cat Ski Patrol.


Angel Diva
Getting to the point where opening dates for the southeast are worth listing.

Bryce and Massanutten have tested snow guns. Bryce is in a pocket where there is often colder temps than at Mnut. They are selling lift tickets online starting Dec. 12. Mnut hasn't made an official announcement. But as a timeshare owner, I can see that lift tickets are available starting Dec. 19 as of Dec. 4. Owners can buy lift tickets in a 30 day window, while resort guests have 20 days, and everyone else can check 10 days before a given date to see if any tickets are left.

Massanutten isn't requiring reservations for pass holders, including Indy. I would guess that Bryce is doing the same.

Sugar - started 7-day operations the week of Dec. 1
Cataloochee - started 7-day operations the week of Dec. 1
Appalachian - Thursday, Dec. 3
Ober Gatlinburg - Friday, Dec. 4
Snowshoe - Friday, Dec. 4
Beech - Saturday, Dec. 5
Wolf Ridge – Friday, Dec. 11
Sapphire Valley – Saturday, Dec. 12
Winterplace – Saturday, Dec. 12
Bryce - probably Dec. 12
Canaan Valley – Saturday, Dec. 19 (announced Wed a delay of a week)
Timberline is also shooting for Dec. 19, but they may open earlier than that date.
Massanutten - probably Dec. 19
The new and improved Timberline has a webcam on the website. Unfortunately not showing a snowstorm today. Clearly there has been serious snowmaking on the core trail.


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Woot woot! Been waiting for them to post a cam. DH and I are really hoping to get over there this season and have been watching their progress with childlike glee. May be the first year we don’t visit Snowshoe. Last time we skied Timberline was 2011.


Angel Diva
Noticed today that the Timberline webcam rotates. So can see a view up the hill as well as the base of the lifts if wait a while. May be an option so might not move all the time.

There are webcams that are being set so that lift lines are not visible. Partially because even when people are in fact keeping their distance, the view point of a camera can make it look like they are too close. That came up at Perisher and Thredbo in Australia in late June/early July during their early season. Once all the lifts more terrain was open, it became a non-issue.


Angel Diva
Snowmaking has started at Whitetail.

I think the ski resorts in VA, WV, MD (Wisp), and PA are in a pretty normal shape for the first week of Dec from a snowmaking standpoint. Of course, this season they would really like to be able to open more terrain than usual by the week before Christmas. Still too soon to tell.

The bigger issue for people with Epic passes who live MD, DC, of VA with the intention of doing day trips to Whitetail, Liberty, or Roundtop is the fact that PA started travel restrictions recently. If that remains in place after the holiday period, may be far fewer people skiing in southern PA. Not sure there are that many PA residents in that region so make up for the usual out-of-state skiers/boarders.


Angel Diva
Cold enough for daytime snowmaking at Massanutten! Aiming for a mid-December opening but no specific date yet.

Clearly Mnut is not holding back on encouraging people to plan a winter vacation that involves snow. There will be limited lift tickets sold online, plus a comprehensive online rental system by a third-party.

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Angel Diva
If anyone is headed to David, WV and needs to rent gear, the place to go seems to the the Driftland Ski Shop that opened in 2015. Comes highly recommended by someone on DCSki. I bet Driftland is really glad that Timberline is back with really competent ownership that know how to run a ski resort.

Timberline will be open this weekend. Starting out with a couple days for passholders only to get the kinks out.

Email sent out Dec. 9
Here’s what you need to know for the preview weekend:
• Operating hours: 10 am-4 pm Saturday, December 12th, and Sunday, December 13th.
• The lodge will be pass-through only for tickets, passes, and rentals.
• Restrooms will be accessible.
• Foodservice with a limited menu will be available outside on the deck, with outdoor seating only.
• Lessons will be available, but beginner terrain will be limited and hike-able only.
• Both chairlifts will be open.
• We will have limited terrain open, which includes Salamander, White Lightning, Whiteout, Mid-Mountain Crossroad, and First Flurries.
For anyone thinking of heading to Snowshoe, sounds like they have a pretty decent set up going. Of course the problem is not quite enough days for snowmaking yet. Should be good by Christmas. A little tricky to know how things will roll given that no pass reservations are required. Really depends on what the breakdown is between passholders and people who want to buy a day ticket because they normally only go for a holiday season ski vacation.

For anyone thinking of heading to Snowshoe, sounds like they have a pretty decent set up going. Of course the problem is not quite enough days for snowmaking yet. Should be good by Christmas. A little tricky to know how things will roll given that no pass reservations are required. Really depends on what the breakdown is between passholders and people who want to buy a day ticket because they normally only go for a holiday season ski vacation.

DH told me he read that some days at Snowshoe are already fully booked in terms of advanced purchase tickets with a few other dates soon with very limited tickets remaining. Will be interesting to see how many season pass holders show up. We did not get a season pass this year. We are thinking of heading to Timberline for a multiday visit vs Snowshoe this year. They are are closer and we've not skied there since 2011.

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