Thanks to Baker Perry and their new snow measuring equipment and the network of "snow measurerers" we were able to log in to a new system and see the official reported snowfall accummulations as of this morning. Basically it looks the official tallies are a high of 3.3" of snow in Blowing Rock (Watauga County) and officially 1.8" of snow in Avery County although we have received several reports of 3-4" at several locations, so we’ll go with 4" up towards Banner Elk.
Snow is still falling in some areas, and in others they are seeing a mix of snow and sleet right now. We have detailed the snow totals within the report…so let’s get to it.
Appalachian Ski Mountain – 21° and reporting 3" of natural snow and it was still snowing as of this report at 7:45am. They still have 8 trails open of the 10 they have and terrain parks and ice skating open for today.
App did announce that they will be 100% open for the MLK weekend (as we reported earlier in the week) and even more impressive is that due to how much snow they’ve been able to blast the slopes with this week, they WILL NOT be making snow during ski session hours. They are making snow right now on Hard Core and Thin Slice and will have those two open for the first time this season on Saturday.
Brad Moretz, General Manager of App, said, "In keeping with our customer service tradition, cold weather and comfortable base, we expect to limit snowmaking to nighttime hours for the foreseeable future. More specifically, snowmaking should commence at 9pm or later. Now that we have a comfortable base, we are pleased to provide the best possible experience without snowmaking in progress."
Cataloochee – 28° – They are reporting 2"-3" of snow! I called and spoke with one of their staff and she said that it was beautiful in Maggie Valley this morning! The weather report up there is saying that they are experiencing freezing rain as of 8am, but conditions are pretty sweet at The Cat today. They added another 6" to their base and opened 2 more trails to offer 10 of 14 today, tubing and terrain park features as well.
Hawksnest Resort is reporting 21° this morning and 3" of new snow. They have added one more open trail to offer 7 today and their tubing hill as well. Hawksnest announced that they will have TOP GUN open this weekend. Justin Grimes reported, "Wow, days like today are what we live for in snowsports. Packed powder from top to bottom without snowguns blasting. We are making snow on our signature slope, Topgun, with plans to open the gun soon."
Grimes also said that with snowmaking weather and more natural snow forecast for Friday, look for even more slope openings and increased snow depths.
As you plan for MLK, please note that the Topgun Snowsports School at Hawksnest is staffed up for the Holiday. The school takes advanced reservations for Private and Semi-private lessons and for their popular Kiddy Hawk program.
Ski Beech – 19° on our official weather reporting station up on Beech although Ski Beech is reporting 26°. Gil Adams up there reported 2-4" of snow and of course Sugar reported 5" so we’re going with the 4" snow report. Ski Beech has 10 of 15 trails open today and that is the MOST terrain they’ve had this season and they upped their base depth by 2" as well so conditions should be super for today and the upcoming weekend.
(Have NONE of you guys been skiing or riding at Ski Beech this season? We have yet to get a decent photo from up there. Gil? Send us something!
Sugar Mountain is reporting 18° and 5" of new snow, which takes them to 16" on the season. Sugar is reporting the most snowfall accummulation in the region this morning as official reporting stations are stating accummulations from 2-4". As we understand it, Sugar has the new snow measuring equipment, but we’re not seeing any reports from them as yet. We’ll keep you posted.
We did get a few emails about Sugar’s giant increase in base depth Wednesday morning. Even so they added 2" more to their reported base today and are reporting 28-74" and 14 trails open today. Evidently we aren’t the only ones paying attention to base depth reporting as Tommy Amaker wrote, "Hey guys, in case you haven’t noted it, Sugar upped their base on Sunday by 4", Monday by 6", Tuesday by 2", and Wednesday by 30"."
Add 2" more today. Jennifer Curry of Marion wrote, "How can a resort say that they can make 6" of snow one day and yet be able to make 30" the next?"
Jennifer, I can not answer that one. That is a question for those guys.
Sugar Mountain writes, "With cold temperatures hovering for the next several days, snowmaking continues to increase the existing base on open slopes. Other slopes like The Terrain Park and the Ski School Play Yard are scheduled to open by the weekend. Whoopdedoo and Little Nell are two slopes that have been added to the count for today."
Conditions will be M-A-R-V-E-L-O-U-S at Sugar for today and snowmaking is in progress. Sugar added that with the great conditions that they have right now, "snowmaking machines are aimed away from skier/snowboarder traffic as much as possible."
Wolf Ridge Resort is at 31° and they are experiencing freezing rain which is packing down the 5" of snow that they have received yesterday and overnight according to one of their front office staffers.
Wolf is trying as hard as they can according to her – to get the trails at the top open in time for the weekend. We’ll keep you posted.
THINK COLD AND SNOW!!!
Until Next Time…Send your comments, photos and videos to: [email protected]
For resort news, photos and videos from ALL of the Southeast and Mid Atlantic ski areas, visit www.SkiSoutheast.com
See You On The Slopes!