The recent stretch of cold temperatures has enabled robust snowmaking across the Mid-Atlantic region, and as a result, a handful of ski resorts across Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia plan to open in the coming days. In North Carolina, two ski areas have already opened for the season. In this story, we provide a look at official opening day plans shared by resorts as of November 29, 2023.
Before visiting any ski area, DCSki recommends checking directly with the resort to verify operating status. Particularly in the early season, resorts may change plans at the last moment, and early-season hours and days may be limited. For example, many of the resorts mentioned in this story plan to open for the December 2-3, 2023 weekend, but will close midweek following that. It’s also worth checking each ski area’s web site for early-season deals; while opening day terrain may be limited, it might be possible to snag a good deal on a lift ticket.
Around this time of year, many skiers and boarders begin to wonder when their favorite resorts will open, particularly when they see snowmaking underway on resort webcams. With fickle weather patterns, Mid-Atlantic ski areas tend not to announce opening dates until just before they’re ready to open. It takes a lot of snowmaking and grooming to prepare slopes for opening, and resorts must also ramp up their seasonal staffing. Many areas want to be prepared to remain open once they begin running their chairlifts, so even if they could open a beginner trail or two, they might wait if they see warm weather and rain in the forecast. Alas, patience is a virtue for Mid-Atlantic skiers.
If you make it to any Mid-Atlantic resorts for opening day, please share your experiences in the DCSki Forum!
Blue Knob Resort will be open for skiing and boarding with limited terrain on Saturday, December 2 and Sunday, December 3, 2023, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Lift tickets for opening weekend will be half price.
Blue Mountain Resort will be kicking off its 46th ski season on Friday, December 1, 2023. Blue Mountain expects to have as many as 13 trails available on opening day, including Paradise, Vista, Burma Road, Freefall, Tut’s Lane, and Barb’s Way. The tubing park is expected to open a week later, on December 8.
Blue Mountain made significant snowmaking improvements over the past year, as detailed recently by DCSki.
Jack Frost has announced that it will begin its season on Friday, December 1, 2023 at 9 a.m. Anticipated opening weekend terrain will include Snowflake, Powder Puff, Jane’s Lane, One Park with five features, and the Ski School Beginner Area for lessons. The Pocono, Tobyhanna, D1, and D2 lifts are expected to be in operation.
In celebration of its opening day, the resort will have a Ski-through banner break on One-Park with a live DJ. Guests will also receive complimentary coffee, hot chocolate, and danishes on opening day while supplies last.
Shawnee Mountain in the Poconos will begin its ski season on Saturday, December 2 and Sunday, December 3, 2023, but will close mid-week following that before re-opening on Friday, December 8.
Bryce Resort will be open on Saturday, December 2 and Sunday, December 3, 2023 from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The resort plans to close from December 4-7 before re-opening for the rest of the season on Friday, December 8. Tubing will follow the same opening schedule.
Bryce plans to open Bootlegger and the beginner areas Little Nip and Bunny Slope. Red Eye might also open, depending on how snowmaking and grooming progress.
Massanutten Resort will begin its 2023-2024 winter season on Saturday, December 2 and Sunday, December 3, 2023 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The resort plans to open the Southern Comfort and Showtime trails, serviced by the Creekside and Ridge Triple lifts.
Season passholders at Massanutten will get to sneak in a day early, on Friday, December 1 from 12 noon to 4 p.m.
Snowshoe Mountain Resort will be launching its winter season on Saturday, December 2, 2023.
“Our operations team has worked their magic and taken advantage of every minute of snowmaking opportunity,” said Patti Duncan, President of Snowshoe. “For the opener, we’re expecting to run 3 lifts with 8-10 ski trails open including a terrain park. We will continue to add to the trail count as quickly as Mother Nature allows over the next few weeks.”
Timberline Mountain will be hosting what it bills as a “preview weekend” on Saturday, December 2 and Sunday, December 3, 2023. Timberline anticipates having most trails from mid-mountain down to the lodge open for its preview weekend, along with two or three trails from the summit, including Salamander.
Beech Mountain Resort will open for the winter season on Saturday, December 2, 2023. The resort plans to share more details about its opening day plans on Thursday, November 30.
Cataloochee Ski Area opened for the season on November 29, 2023 with seven trails and three lifts running.
Sugar Mountain Resort has also kicked off its winter season, opening for skiing and snowboarding on November 28, 2023. On November 29, Sugar Mountain was reporting 7 slopes and 3 lifts open, with an average base of 10-30 inches. Ice skating is also open.
M. Scott Smith is the founder and Editor of DCSki. Scott loves outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, kayaking, skiing, and mountain biking. He is an avid photographer and writer.