Some cold temperatures in late October hinted that the Mid-Atlantic ski season would be off to an early start, but mild temperatures in December limited snowmaking opportunities at many resorts. Some resorts have fared well: Wisp, Seven Springs, Hidden Valley, and Snowshoe were able to capture opening dates in recent weeks; but it took a shot of cold air and some natural snow to help other resorts begin their 2012-2013 winter season. In the coming days, the tally of open resorts will rise dramatically.
Resorts that recently opened include Pennsylvania’s Alpine Mountain, Big Boulder, Blue Knob, Blue Mountain, Camelback, Elk Mountain, Jack Frost, Shawnee Mountain, Big Bear, and Ski Sawmill, in addition to Seven Springs and Hidden Valley. Whitetail Resort will open on Friday, December 28, while Roundtop and Liberty will open on Saturday, December 29.
All four Virginia ski resorts have now opened, including Bryce, Massanutten, the Homestead, and Wintergreen.
In West Virginia, Snowshoe, Timberline, and Winterplace are open. Canaan Valley Resort plans to open on Saturday, December 29.
In North Carolina, Beech and Sugar Mountain Resorts are also open.
Opening conditions can vary across resorts; some may only have a few beginner trails open initially, but cold temperatures over the next week should allow plenty of snowmaking opportunities and the chance to fortify open terrain.
As always, check with resorts before making a visit; operating hours can vary in the early season. Many resorts will also be charging holiday rates through New Year’s Day.