Story by Mike Doble – [email protected]
What a season it has been! This will go down as a record breaking weekend for Wintergreen Resort as the latest they've ever been open as they ski and ride for ONE MORE DAY (today) on 20 of 25 trails. They have their terrain parks and tubing park open as well. This will be their closing day for playing on the snow anyway.
Snowshoe Mountain will go at it for today and Sunday on 30+ trails (33 for today). With two inches of snow on Thursday, Snowshoe added to their season long snowfall tally and now boast 189" – which is 9" over their average annual snowfall number. So it's been a snowier than normal one for the Pocahontas County, West Virginia, Wild and Wonderful ski area.
Those are your choices for today if you are hoping to get in one or two more turns down the mountains of the Southeast and Mid Atlantic. It is a cold April 6th morning this morning with the temperature holding at about 30° as of 8am across the region. Both Wintergreen Resort and Snowshoe Mountain are showing that temperature reading. Banner Elk is showing 27.9° this morning and heck it's 31° here at my weekend, lake, skisoutheast.com reporting station.
Need I remind you guys and gals that it's April 7th???
IT WILL BE A SUNNY LAST WEEKEND!
You know it's kind of fitting that the last weekend of skiing and snowboarding for the Southeast and Mid Atlantic will be one wherein it JUST dumped 2-4" of snow across portions of the North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and West Virginia ski mountains on Thursday, April 4th, and then milds up to nearly 60°. The low temp was 22° at Banner Elk on Wednesday morning and here we're looking at a strong possibility that we'll get a 70° temperature reading here at Watauga Lake later this afternoon.
It's been that kind of crazy winter. Temperatures have been all over the place; it's been plenty snowy with more than average snowfall for most of the ski resorts within our area and the weather for the weekends has been nearly perfect.
Snowshoe Mountain is expecting a perfect, "chamber of commerce" kind of day today with temps in the high 40s and low 50s. They are liking their conditions SO much that they are extending the session today an extra hour. They will be staying open until 5:30pm today. It's incredible to be promoting the fact that Shay's Revenge and Knot Bumper are EVEN OPEN this late into the season, but they are. Snowshoe reported, "Shay's Revenge and Knot Bumper were ungroomed overnight. We have 136 acres of terrain to explore including 34 trails and 5 lifts. Soaring Eagle Express and Powderidge lifts will be closed in the Snowshoe Basin. Upper Flume, Gangway, Camp4 and Powderidge are access only. Groomer's Choice is Log Slide."
There you go. Snowshoe will be closing out their ski season and moving on to more summer-like activities after tomorrow's last day which will include their annual, closing day pond-skim.
WINTERGREEN RESORT IS SMILING…
As mentioned before, today will be a record breaking day for the Virginia mountain. Conditions are unbelievable with 80% of the ski area open and plenty of base. April 6th is the latest Wintergreen has ever operated.
If you are out riding today BE CERTAIN to wear sunglasses and sunscreen to protect your eyes from the white glare from the snow and from the sunburn that you WILL get if you don't heed our advice.
That is it for me for today. I'm waiting for this colder-than-expected morning at the lake to mild up a bit before putting some jet skis in the water around noon. It's supposed to warm up to very close to 70° here today. Ain't it awesome?!?! On Thursday we were walking through a cold, SLUSHY SNOW; Friday morning was colder than a well-digger's-you-know-what and then around 3pm things were short-sleeved-enjoyable. This morning I'm sitting here typing away on my keyboard, on the lake, talking about 53 trails open for skiing and snowboarding just north of us…with plans on doing some kayaking and jet skiing after lunch – with temps in the 60s and 70s.
…ONLY IN THE SOUTHEAST AND MID ATLANTIC…
So this is my next-to-last report at least for this season. We'll do it all again on Sunday with a quick report of what Snowshoe will offer in terms of open terrain for their last day and then we'll recap the season.
As I was putting this last bit of content together for today, I HAD to wonder just how many of you were still hanging with me reading this morning update. I have to admit I was surprised to see so many still logging on each of these last few days! Thanks peeps! In fact, it appears that ALL YOU ARE looking at on the site right now IS this bit of morning communication. I guess there's not much in the way of looking at except for maybe this BLOG and the ski report…and perhaps a photo or two. It is kind of cool to see that 28.5% of our visitors from North Carolina to the site on Friday were new visitors. 33% of those from Florida were new.
What I can't fathom is why the heck we've seen 25 visitors from California since Friday morning and 24% of them have been regular visitors. For you people on the left-coast that means that 76% of you who visited on Friday and new to the site.
"Welcome" I guess. Must be Bill Rock spreading the word over that way!
In closing, I have to share this funny bit of data with you:
As I was looking over Google Analytics (just from Friday's visitors) I couldn't help but notice that MOST visitors from nearly every other state on Friday only stuck around for a couple of minutes. Typically during the peak of any season our average viewing time is around 8-12 minutes. This late in the season I suppose that most of you are checking out this FirsTrax column and the snow report and perhaps checking out a photo or video and heading elsewhere.
On Friday, it seems that those of you from the primary Southeast and Mid Atlantic states were on the site for about three minutes or so which is obviously a quick "drive by" visit with your cup of coffee or whatever. What jumped out to me though was our visitors from Missouri on Friday. Okay there were only FIVE visitors from Missouri on Friday…however, of those 80% were NEW and they spent the most time of all of our visitors on Friday with an average of 11:23 (eleven minutes and twenty three seconds) of viewing time.
We receive visitors from 38 states on Friday alone and apparently we get a lot of readers from our sister ski states such as Colorado, Utah, Montana and Vermont.
Okay, NOW that's it for me for today. Enjoy your day.
Email me if ya like at [email protected]