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OUR LATEST POSTS

Awesome Photo from swamphox at Appalachian Ski Mountain on Friday.
2016-02-07-grandfather-winds
Click to ENLARGE and see the HIGH WINDS!

Happy Valentine’s Eve Everyone…

The conditions this weekend are going to blow your socks off…and anything else you may be wearing out on the slopes!

It looks like the forecast for much of the region is for light snow, mixed sun and clouds…VERY COLD temps in the single digits and winds in the 20-30 mph range. It could be worse in terms of the winds as we saw a 64 mph wind recorded in Boone this morning. By the way as cold as it is across the region this morning, temperatures will be holding steady or falling through today and into this evening. Wind chills will be dangerous so if you’re venturing on to the slopes, make certain that you have every square inch of your body covered. We’ll see wind chills in the -10s to -30s on mountaintops for today.

 

A LOT OF SNOW HAS FALLEN LATELY!

Someone emailed me the other day asking, “With all of the high elevations that you report on all season long, which peak has had the most snowfall from one storm this season?”

A lot of you would expect the answer to be the resorts at Davis, West Virginia (Canaan Valley and Timberline) or Snowshoe Mountain and while both of those areas saw 33-36″ of snow from the late January snow storm…believe it or not Mount Mitchell in North Carolina saw 66″ from that same snow storm and that was a record that even surpassed the 50″ of snow that fell in the Blizzard of 1993! Those were official numbers as Mount Mitchell hosts a National Weather Service station atop the 6,683′ elevation.

“I haven’t heard anywhere else in the nation getting close to those totals,” said meteorologist Jeffrey Taylor with the National Weather Service office in Greer, South Carolina. “Mount Mitchell just happened to be in the sweet spot of this storm.”

41″ of snow fell on January 23rd with 4-5″ of snow per hour falling during the peak of that storm. Another little factoid regarding Mount Mitchell – they’ve seen more than 94″ of snow since January 1st!

With that in mind, our Randy Johnson posted a nice Cross Country skiing story on Friday. Check it out: Cross Country Skiing this Weekend

 

HOW ABOUT THE SKI RESORTS?!?!

A view from Snowshoe's Basin Webcam this morning at 10am.
A view from Snowshoe’s Basin Webcam this morning at 10am.

Of course it has been a very snowy period since January 14th. I was talking with someone on Beech Mountain the other day and they made the observation that once winter finally decided to visit the mountains literally on January 1st of this season – we have seen snow on the ground every day since then. I’m talking about natural snow on the ground and not JUST the ski slopes. We’ve had measurable snow on the ground since January 1st. That a running number of 44 days straight with snow on the ground.

With some heavy rain during that period and a few mild days, that stretch of consecutive days with snow on the ground ALMOST ended on February 7th but then 4″ of snow fell on the 9th and now we’re back to from 10″ of snow on the ground atop Beech Mountain this morning and 15-20″ of snow on the ground up at Snowshoe.

This has been a crazy “snow week” for me. While it has dumped 22.4″ of snow on Beech Mountain in the last five days…just 20 minutes down the mountain at my home in Sleepy Hollow – I’ve seen MAYBE 3-4″ of snow and due to the blustery winds we have from 0″-1.5″ of snow around my decks and yard.

We’re seeing that kind of snow-anamoly across our coverage area from Wisp Resort in Maryland down to Sapphire Valley in North Carolina. It has been a VERY SNOWY week, and while some areas are covered in deep snow, others are snowy…but look more like a frozen tundra…

 

REALLY RAY? REALLY?

Kenny Griffin does the FirsTrax reporting during the week for us and I take over on the weekends and Holidays. So you guys are “mine” for the next three days. One of the first things I always do on Saturday mornings is look over the snow totals for the week and compare them to the official (and some unofficial) reporting stations, etc.

Over the years I’ve ALWAYS noted that Ray Russell’s Ray’s Weather is one of the resources that we look at for weather within the state of North Carolina and Virginia as the guy has something like 24-25 stations reporting around the region. Those are all calibrated perfectly and since they are open for anyone to peruse…I do.

Like most weather gurus, Dr. Ray Russell comes under a lot of scrutiny as some people swear by his forecasts while others claim he’s wrong more than he’s correct. Personally I’ve found his WEATHER FORECAST reporting to be pretty accurate. However as one “real weatherman once emailed me”,

“Ray is a college professor with a doctorate in computer science. He has no degree, at any level, in meteorology, which is odd because that is the very discipline with which the internet community associates him.”

I say all of that to answer some of the emails that I have received from some of you asking, “Why do you call him a ‘weather guru’ and not a meteorologist?”  However, my reason for even mentioning Ray in my post this morning is because while his weather reporting is pretty spot on, his SNOW REPORTING is biased AND inaccurate as hell.

He has always reported Sugar Mountain as ALWAYS getting more snow than Beech Mountain and this year is perhaps his most biased towards Sugar. For example, through this morning, he’s reporting that Beech Mountain has seen 37.3″ of snow (actually through February 12th). If you add in Beech’s reported 3.8″ this morning, that would show 41.1″ of snowfall on the season. One look at his Sugar report shows 43″ through FEBRUARY 10th. Add in Sugar’s reported snow since then and you’d get the following:

Ray’s Snow Report:
Sugar Mountain – 46.1″
Beech Mountain – 41.1″

 

From RaysWeather.com:

2016-02-07-ray-sugar

2016-02-07-ray-beech

 

According to official NWS and CoCoRaHs reports (and our report):

Sugar Mountain – 42″
Beech Mountain – 51.3″

So while Ray is reporting EXACTLY what Sugar Mountain’s people are reporting, he is purposely under-reporting and ignoring what Beech Mountain’s official NWS and CoCoRaHs reporters are sharing.

As entertainer, Arsenio Hall used to say…”These are things that make you go hmmmmm.”

I’ve hesitated to share Ray’s snow reporting snafu for a few years, but felt the need to bring it to light since so many people DO visit his website.

 

DESPITE THE BRUTAL COLD AND WIND…IT WILL BE PACKED!

I was out late on Friday evening and could not believe how packed Hwy 105 was coming out of Boone, heading towards Banner Elk and Beech Mountain. Then it hit me. We are in the midst of a “Triple Whammy Weekend”.

It is Valentine’s Weekend, President’s Day Weekend and it has Snowed a lot this past week. All of those things will bring the masses and while the winds might hold the crowds ON THE SNOW down a bit…look for a busy, skier-visit weekend.

 

Some Notables…

Joe Stevens’ 11 year old son is a writer for their hometown newspaper and he has a column called, Christian’s Sports Beat. He recently shared a story of his first time on the slopes and we thought it would be great to share that with our audience. (I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, Joe.)

Read it: Let Gravity Be Your Friend

A great cam to see snow falling and road conditions to Beech and Sugar!
A great cam to see snow falling and road conditions to Beech and Sugar!

Have any of you guys noticed the new Banner Elk 184 Camera? It has always been a ResortCams.com favorite and now it’s LIVE HD. Check it out: Banner Elk LIVE Webcam

Speaking of webcams, I was watching numerous resorts grooming the snow this morning and maybe it’s just me, but I always enjoy watching the ski resort webcams as the sun is coming up. The hearty souls that get up when most of us are still sleeping to maintain and groom the slopes to perfection is always an “appreciated watch”. It is kind of “must see TV”…via the webcams.

The easiest way to tour the region in under 15 minutes is to visit Ski Resort WebCams and click around.

I just LOVE this early morning snow tubing shot at Wintergreen Resort! CLICK TO ENLARGE!
I just LOVE this early morning snow tubing shot at Wintergreen Resort! CLICK TO ENLARGE!

Love this Tubing cam at 7:30 in the morning: Click the image to the left to ENLARGE the capture from 7am or so this morning OR click HERE to see:

Wintergreen Snow Tubing WebCam

I really loving this new camera:

Wisp Resort WebCam

Let’s Get to Some Ski Resort News and Notables:

Snowshoe Mountain Resort – The COLDEST spot in our report this morning is atop Snowshoe’s 4848′ elevation at MINUS 4°. They saw 4″ of new snow and that takes them to 19″ in the last 7 days and 89″ on the season! Snowshoe is pretty close to 100% OPEN with 55-56 trails open. Of course they also have snow tubing, snowmobiling and more.

Wisp Resort – 0° and 4″ of new snow and 73″ on the season. Wisp is open with 28 of 34 trails and ice skating, snow tubing and mountain coastering all open.

Click to ENLARGE for App Fun this Weekend!
Click to ENLARGE for App Fun this Weekend!

Appalachian Ski Mountain – 8° and 2″ of new snow and 20″ on the season. App is 100% OPEN and has excellent conditions for the slopes, terrain parks and ice skating. App has some awesome fun planned and YOU are invited!

Winterplace Resort– 10° – 3″ of new snow and 43″ on the season. 100% OPEN with tubing open as well. 40-72″ base.

Timberline Resort – 1° – 3″ of new snow and 78″ on the season. 33 Trails Open with a base of 30-60″.

Beech Mountain Resort – 3° – 4″ of new snow and 51.3″ on the season. 22″ of snow has fallen this week! That will make for some snowy fun. Just watch out for that wind-tunnel up top! Beech is 100% OPEN with ice skating and tubing as well. That means that OZ RUN is open on the back side of their mountain.

Sugar Mountain Resort – 4.4° – 2.8″ of reported snow and 42″ on the season. Sugar and Banner Elk haven’t seen quite the sweet spot of snow as Beech, but there’s lots of snow on the ground and according to one of our friends up on the Reserve, they have reported more than 15″ of snow since the 9th. Not sure WHY Sugar isn’t promoting that. It’s PRETTY SNOWY there!  Sugar is 100% OPEN, with tubing and ice skating as well.

Canaan Valley Resort – MINUS 1° at 7am and 5.8″ of new snow. That’s 26.3″ of snow in the last FIVE DAYS and 80.4″ of snow on the season! Canaan has not updated their snow report for today (9am) but we’re thinking they will at least play on the same 43 trails they operated on yesterday. Ice skating and snow tubing are open as well.

Wintergreen Resort – 2° – A Trace of new snow and 31″ on the season. Wintergreen is 100% OPEN today with snow tubing and terrain parks open.

Wintergreen Video:

Massanutten Resort – 8° – They saw a TRACE of new snow and 32″ on the season. Massanutten is 100% OPEN and also has 14 lanes of snow tubing open. No day time snowmaking today, 100% open with great conditionis! You can snow tube til MIDNIGHT tonight.

Bryce Resort – 13° and a TRACE of new snow and 29″ on the season. They are 100% OPEN with snow tubing open as well. Bryce is reporting 6″ of manmade snow under their “NEW SNOW” column. Some national reporting services ARE picking that up as natural snow…but at least Bryce is reporting it AS MACHINE MADE.

Ober Gatlinburg – 17° and 3″ of new snow and 22″ on the season. Ober is operating with 9 of 10 trails open and ice skating, snow tubing and mountain coastering all open. Today would be an awesome day to ride their aerial tram.

Wolf Ridge Resort – 9° and 4-5″ of new snow and 41″ on the season. Wolf is 100% OPEN with terrain parks and snow tubing open as well. Wolf is probably in the best condition that they’ve seen in a couple of years. You should head over there and check it out.

OMNI HOMESTEAD – 7° with a TRACE of new snow and 26″ on the season. The Homestead is 100% OPEN for the first time this season. They are playing with awesome conditions today and snow tubing and ice skating are open as well.

Not sure if you guys have noticed that they have a new webcam: The Homestead Resort Webcam

That thing is showing some sweet conditions at the base this morning!

Sapphire Valley – The “warmest” spot in the region this morning is the 23.3° reading at Sapphire this morning. That has not kept them from seeing 12-15″ of “new snow” in the last 24 hours!!!! (INSERT SARCASM HERE!) Sapphire continues to report manmade snow as “new snow” and unfortunately several national reporting services are as well. On The Snow, Google and others are inaccurately sharing that information. Yikes. I wonder how many people will head to Sapphire from HotLanta looking for a foot of new snow?!?! Maybe THAT is what Sapphire is counting on…

Sapphire HAS bombed their slopes with manmade snow and they are reporting 120″ at some spots at the top of their slopes. Five feet on the snow tubing hill. It HAS BEEN COLD!!!

Cataloochee Ski Area – 11° and 2″ of new snow and 25″ on the season. Cat is 100% OPEN and has great terrain parks and snow tubing open as well. I sure do wish these guys would report natural snowfall and update their snow report in the early morning hours instead of the night before. Kind of hate seeing a snow report that displays:

Natural Snow: YES

As for ME, give me some numbers….

Sugar Mountain Resort – 4.4° and 2″ of new snow and 42″ on the season. Sugar is 100% OPEN and has snow tubing and ice skating open as well. Sugar is NOT making snow today!!!

So it’s windy today…and cold…and there’s lots of snow around if you want to venture out and play. Just bundle up.

 

I guess that’s it for me for today. Head to the slopes. Go Broncos. I had to…

#THINKCOLD
#THINKSNOW

Until next time…

Enjoy your day and THINK SNOW! THINK COLD! Email me anytime and about anything at: [email protected]

forumCLICKBe sure to VISIT OUR SNOW FORUM. JOIN AND TAKE PART! It’s Free!

Also visit all of our Ski Resort WebCams.

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Welcome to the Appalachian Trail on Roan Mountain, the Deep South's primo Nordic ski site. This President's Day weekend, Roan's ready to inaugurate some great cross country skiing. Photo by Randy Johnson

Nordic skiing in North Carolina and the South fluctuates with snowfall—but this holiday weekend and especially early next week looks doable for cross country ski enthusiasts, especially on Roan Mountain, a best-kept-secret NC High Country destination. New snow from today into Saturday should help. Check out the video below—Roan is my favorite spot to cross country ski in the Deep South.

By Randy Johnson

Perched mostly in North Carolina on the snow-favored Tennessee state line west of Banner Elk, 6,300-foot Roan earns the Deep South’s deepest natural snow—about 130 inches a winter. That’s even more than Mount Mitchell’s 104-inch average. It’s so snowy, I called Roan “Nordic Nirvana” in my 1987 ski book Southern Snow: The Winter Guide to Dixie.

Just forty-five minutes from Boone, Roan’s shivering evergreen covered summits are straight out of the far north. Roan Mountain may be a great place for serious Nordic skiers, but luckily, there’s easy access for beginners too. Two well-maintained roads, Tennessee 143, from the town of Roan Mountain, and NC 261, from Bakersville, both meet at the parking area in Carver’s Gap—as high as the summit of Beech Mountain.

From there it’s uphill, as the mountain’s Canadian zone forests bulk higher to the south. To the east, the bald meadows of the Roan Highlands carry the Appalachian Trail over some of the South’s most alpine scenery. The first summit east, Round Bald, is an easy walk to awesome views. Some skiers and boarders pack their skis up and ski down.

Nordic skiers usually head south from Carver’s Gap, up Roan Mountain itself, and that’s a snap on the US Forest Service road. In summer that road takes motorists to the mountain’s famous rhododendron gardens, but in winter, the route is gated so all that snow is safe from vehicles and perfect for cross country touring.

 Appalachian Trail hikers and skiers on Round Bald and beyond have truly alpine views. Photo by Randy Johnson

Appalachian Trail hikers and skiers on Round Bald and beyond have truly alpine views. Photo by Randy Johnson

Focus on the road if you like. It’s gradual with distant views of Mount Mitchell. When the road to the top levels out, turn into the first parking lot on the right then go left on the Cloudland Trail—all the way to a view deck about three miles from your car. Or stay with the road past the start of Cloudland. Not far on the left, the Rhododendron Gardens Trail reaches its own observation deck.

Great trails also flank Roan’s summit road, including the Appalachian Trail (a right turn just 100 yards past the gate above Carver’s Gap). The trail is actually an 1800s carriage road to the old Cloudland Hotel. It’s wide and gradual heading up. There’s a trail shelter near the top of Roan High Knob, then it descends beyond back to the summit road. In the other direction, on the way back down to Carver’s Gap, its wild, switchbacking descent to your car is one of the region’s premier advanced telemark turn trails.

Roan Mountain is such a great ski site that from 1980 to the 1990s there was actually a Nordic ski center at Tennessee’s Roan Mountain State Park, on the road to Carver’s Gap from the town of Roan Mountain. To this day, the state park’s rental cabins are a great option, whether you ski on Roan, or drive the 25 minutes to nearby Beech or Sugar Mountains.

When Roan gets dumped on, tree skiing in the evergreen zone can be memorable indeed. Photo by Randy Johnson
When Roan gets dumped on, tree skiing in the evergreen zone can be memorable indeed. Photo by Randy Johnson

Roan’s a classic! The next week should be a great time to sample one of the South’s best sites for Nordic Nirvana. If you ski this weekend—be prepared for truly arctic temps.

How to Get There—

To reach Roan—drive to Banner Elk, then go left on NC 194 past the road to Beech Mountain. Turn right on US 19-E into Tennessee, and in the town of Roan Mountain, turn left on TN 143 and drive 14 miles to the ridge-top trailhead.

Where to Rent Skis—

Bring your own skis or stop at the only nearby rental outlet—The High Country Ski Shop at the Pineola Inn south of Linville on US 221 (828-733-2008 or 4979). It offers most everything a beginner or expert skier would need—including skis, boots, and poles, rental equipment, and lessons. They have light weight retail ski packages as well as backcountry ski gear (and snowshoes for sale).

Trail Etiquette—

This is precious natural snow on Roan, so skiers and hikers should share the resource. On the road, hikers are asked to create their own walker’s path to avoid destroying the ski tracks that give skiers such great stride and glide. On the Appalachian Trail, walkers should bring snow shoes. There is nothing worse for a ski trail than to have hikers post-holing through the surface.

The sun was shining through snowmaking clouds at Timberline Resort yesterday.

The work week is almost over and what a great week is has been!  The Northwest Flow snow machine dumped 12-18″ of snow for about half of the ski resorts in the region and while some of the resorts didn’t see much in the way of natural snow, everyone has been furiously making snow thanks to some bitterly cold temperatures.  I’d say this has been the most productive week of the season and it couldn’t have come at a better time just before the always important President’s Day holiday weekend.

Just to recap the snowfall totals so far for the week, here are those numbers.  No snow has fallen since yesterday morning except for up at Canaan and Timberline, where David Lesher is reporting a little under an inch (0.7″ to be exact).

North Carolina
App Ski Mtn – 2″
Beech Mountain – 18.5″
Cataloochee – 5″
Sapphire Valley – Trace
Sugar Mountain – 14″
Wolf Ridge – 13″
West Virginia
Canaan Valley – 18.8″
Snowshoe – 15″
Timberline – 18.8″
Winterplace – 8″

 

Maryland
Wisp Resort – 12″

Tennessee
Ober Gatlinburg – 9″

Virginia
Bryce Resort – Trace
Massanutten – 3″
Omni Homestead – Trace
Wintergreen – 1″

Snowshoe put out a video yesterday that highlights just how good it has been up there this week.  And man oh man is it good.  I feel the need for powder after watching it.

I am super jealous of anyone who was up there over the past few days.  Or any ski area in the region for that matter.  Midweek skiing and riding is always the best, with less crowds and what not.  Mix in some powder and you can’t beat it.  I can’t wait to finally get on snow this weekend!

Here are a couple other social media posts from yesterday showing how nice of a day it was.

Another day in North Carolina paradise! #skisugar

A photo posted by Sugar Mountain Resort (@skisugar) on

I’m not sure when this one was taken, but it’s a cool drone shot of Massanutten nonetheless.  Mike and I love us some drone shots, so I’m posting it because I can.  Hit the play button.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BBpd9AvMDdx/

Weather Outlook

A quick moving system is going to dump a little more snow at many of the resorts today and tonight.  I was scanning the cams and it was actually coming down pretty hard at Ober Gatlinburg this morning.  Temperatures were borderline though so not sure how much was accumulating.

There were also some flakes to be seen at Wolf Ridge.

Untitled Screencast - Edited (7)

The snow today and tonight is mainly for the North Carolina and West Virginia ski areas.  Tomorrow might be another powder/mini-powder day up in West Virginia.  The NWS forecast for Winterplace is calling for 1-3″ today and another 1-3″ tonight.  The high end of that would be another 6 inches!  For Snowshoe, the forecast is for 1-2″ today and 3-5″ tonight.  The high end of that forecast range would be 8 more inches on top of the 15 they have already received this week!  That would be a heck of a way to start the holiday weekend.

Lesser totals are expected down here in North Carolina but a few inches are possible for Beech, Sugar, and Wolf.  A little layer of fluff on the slopes tomorrow morning at Beech sure would make my week!  I’m intrigued to see how much the mountain is filled in compared to last weekend when I was up there and there was no hardly any snow outside of the trails.

vyBzw8yMy daily thing this week has been to remind you all about the extreme cold this weekend and I’ll do it again this morning.  High temperatures tomorrow are going to be FRIGID.  They won’t get out of the single digits for some resorts and wind chills will be in the negatives.  I kid you not, the NWS forecast high temperature right now for Snowshoe tomorrow is -1.  With a wind chill as low as -30.  Whoa.  Only the hardcore will be getting that powder first thing tomorrow morning!

Here’s that broken record….BUNDLE UP.  Make sure you have plenty of layers and try not to have too much skin exposed.  Hand and toe warmers are a must as well.  You’ll thank me later.

Sunday looks a little warmer.  And by warmer I mean temps will be in the teens and 20’s.

One of the things that I noticed on the snow reports this morning was that many resorts either had snowmaking marked as off or they specifically noted that snowmaking won’t be taking place this weekend during operating hours.  Sugar Mountain wasn’t making snow this morning (or yesterday I believe) and they are probably the most aggressive ski area in the region when it comes to doing so.  Beech even put an announcement on their site…

In order to provide a comfortable experience for our customers, Beech Mountain Resort will not be making snow this weekend. Please be advised that it will be cold, so dress appropriately.

I have a feeling many of the resorts will be doing the same this weekend and only making snow at night.  I like the strategy as the cold would just about make it unbearable if the guns were going as well.

Monday/Tuesday Storm

The Monday and Tuesday timeframe still look interesting right now for the potential of a big snow.  There’s still a lot of uncertainty about the snow mixing with sleet and rain.  This would happen moreso later on Monday and Monday night.  Right now it looks like the first half of Monday should be fine with snow only, so the final day of your holiday trip should end on a good note for the most part.

Mike will keep you updated on this over the weekend and I’m sure Brad Panovich will have a video update as well.


For a complete look at current base depths, snow conditions, open trails and more, check out the snow reports page.

Snow Reports

Peak season conditions are here.  I can’t believe it’s already the middle of February.  This seriously could be the best weekend of the season, so get out and get some!

Think cold and think snow.

Preparing for a recent ski lesson at Winterplace are, from left to right, instructor Michael, Christian, Logan and Jake.

Story by Christian Deiss of Scott Depot, WV an 11 year old, sixth-grade student at Hurricane Middle School.

Last month was National Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month, and, due to a lack of snow one time and too much snow on another occasion, causing school to be canceled, I finally got have my first experience on ski slopes.

I have been snowtubing a bunch of times, but this was going to be my first time skiing, and, while I was excited, I was also a little scared.

My ski club at Hurricane Middle School traveled to Winterplace Ski Resort, located about 20 minutes south of Beckley right off of Interstate 77, on Friday, Jan. 29. My dad has been in the ski industry for over 30 years, so I was depending him to help get me prepared for the slopes.

That's my dad on the left with his buddy Tom Wagner of Winterplace Resort on the right.
That’s my dad on the left with his buddy Tom Wagner of Winterplace Resort on the right.

A good friend of his is Tom Wagner, Winterplace’s Executive Vice President, who also gave me some tips about the equipment needed: “The first thing you need is clothes that are appropriate for being in the outdoors, so it’s always good to dress in layers and, most of the time, three layers is the best. Once you are dressed right, you are ready to have some fun in the snow.”

Prior to my bus arriving at Winterplace, my dad actually snowboarded for the first time in over two years with Wagner, after getting his hip replaced in September 2014.

I knew before I got to Winterplace that I was going to be taking a group never-ever lesson. The lesson really helped enjoy getting to know the sport, and, afterwards, Wagner agreed on how important that first lesson is for a first timer. “It’s always good to take a lesson when you are learning any type of new sport, whether you are learning to swim, playing on a team sport or, in this case, skiing, it’s always good to take a beginner lesson so you can learn the basics, so that the new sport is more enjoyable.”

Teaching first-timers is a proud tradition at Winterplace. Winterplace is a member of the Professional Ski Instructors of America, with over 100 skiing and snowboarding instructors.

When I went snowtubing, I didn’t have to worry about any of my equipment other than my tube. With skiing, it’s a lot different, with having to get skis, poles, boots and helmets.

Wagner said it’s best for beginners to rent equipment. “Most ski areas have state-of-the-art equipment, so it’s up to date, so you are on the newest equipment that you can get. It’s nice to get familiar with the sport by renting and not having to pay a lot of money for your own equipment.”

Winterplace has 27 trails for skiing and snowboarding. On my first time out, I went on three of the trails, and my instructor had me and friends Logan and Jake turning and stopping by the end of the night.

I had heard a lot about Winterplace and how much fun a skier or snowboarder can have at the resort, which is the closet ski resort to where I live in Scott Depot. I asked Wagner what he thinks makes Winterplace a good place to learn to ski.

“Well, the resort was voted the number one place to learn how to ski and snowboard in the southeast region by Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine,” Wagner said, “and we have specially designed slopes that are ideal for those who are learning how to ski and the mountain is spread out so every skier and snowboarder gets plenty of variety.”

Winterplace offers a free night lift ticket with the purchase of an all-day lift ticket.

I can’t wait for my next trip to the slopes and learn even more about the sport and continue to let gravity be my friend.

For more information on Winterplace Ski Resort, go to www.winterplace.com.

Christian Deiss of Scott Depot, 11, is a sixth-grade student at Hurricane Middle School. He was voted the 2014 Best Sports Columnist by the West Virginia Press Association for Division IV weekly newspapers.

It’s a new day, but the theme is the same this morning.  Yesterday was another day of Northwest Flow snow that dropped several inches at the ski areas here in the Southeast.  The past 24 hours hasn’t seen any crazy high snow totals like yesterday’s Beech report, but several inches fell once again.  Below is the updated snowfall table for the past 3 days.

North Carolina24 Hours48 Hours72 Hours
Appalachian Ski MountainTrace1″2″
Beech Mountain2.5″13.5″18.5″
CataloocheeTrace2″5″
Sapphire Valley0″TraceTrace
Sugar Mountain3″10″14″
Wolf Ridge3″9″13″
West Virginia
Canaan Valley6.3″15.7″18.8″
Snowshoe5″11″15″
Timberline6.3″15.7″18.8″
Winterplace2″6″8″
Virginia
Bryce Resort0″TraceTrace
Massanutten0″2″3″
Omni Homestead0″TraceTrace
Wintergreen0″1″1″
Tennessee
Ober Gatlinburg0″6″9″
Maryland
Wisp Resort3″8″12″

It’s been a VERY good week for us.  As you can see, the majority of North Carolina and West Virginia resorts have seen a foot plus of snow in the past 72 hours.  Wisp Resort in Maryland is also in that club as well.  For the NC ski areas, those numbers rival the snowfall totals from the winter storm of a few weeks ago.  I believe Beech saw something like 19″ from Winter Storm Jonas (I said it), and they’re at 18.5″ with this event now, so it’s pretty close.  God I love Northwest Flow.

Canaan and Timberline up in Davis, WV are the winners with this event.  Each has seen 18.8″ of snow since Monday morning.  I really wish those two resorts would post some powder shots on social media!  I’ve seen some snowfall pics and what not, but nothing that conveys just how much snow there is up there right now.  So, here’s another shot from Snowshoe yesterday where they are reporting 15″ of snow.

snowshoe-pow-2-10-16

I saw that come across Twitter yesterday and almost jumped out of my seat.  That is some good looking powder right there and it looks like those snowboarders are having a good time throwing it around.  I envy them!

I mentioned yesterday how the Virginia resorts have been in a snow shadow and that again appears to be the case today as none of them are reporting snow.  However, it has been frigid and they have been making snow around the clock.  Here’s a shot of said snowmaking from Massanutten yesterday.

Massanutten Snowmaking

Looks good up there!  Even though they haven’t seen much in the way of snow, all of the resorts are 100% open and should be in pristine condition for the holiday weekend.

Ober Gatlinburg in Tennessee hasn’t seen any snow in the past 24 hours, but they did get 9″ of the good stuff in the prior 2 days and conditions are great out there right now.

Ober opened up Grizzly Run today which takes them to 9 out of 10 trails.  Only one more to go!

Weather Outlook

The Northwest Flow snow machine is done for the most part for the time being.  A couple inches is possible up in northern West Virginia and Wisp in Maryland today, but in general we’re at the end of the event.  Don’t fret though, as there is more snow in the forecast, possibly a significant amount by Monday.  Brad Panovich sent in his latest forecast overnight.  Watch it below.

It is cool to see Brad’s enthusiasm in his last few videos when talking about the snow.  The dude loves skiing and snow!

To sum up what he said, a brief shot of Northwest Flow snow is expected tomorrow night.  We could be looking at another mini-powder day on Saturday for some of the resorts.  Now that would be a great way to start the holiday weekend!  The snow should move out pretty quickly on Saturday and the weekend looks fantastic, albeit FRIGID.  High temperatures on Saturday at some of the ski areas won’t get out of the single digits and wind chills will be in the negatives.  Wowza.

I always get worried a little bit when temperatures are forecasted to be this cold on a busy holiday weekend.  A lot of people who will be at the resorts this weekend don’t always have the proper gear as they don’t partake in the cold or snow very often.  I saw a person in sweatpants last week at Beech and cringed at the thought of how cold that person must be.  I’ve said it each morning this week and I’ll say it again…if you’re out on the mountain this week and weekend BUNDLE UP!  Layer up as much as possible and hand and toe warmers are always a good call.  Being cold greatly diminishes your experience.

The tail end of the holiday weekend looks interesting with another storm system moving in.  It could be a big snow and I’m hoping it speeds up a bit as I have Monday off and I want to do some storm riding.  As Brad says, if the models are correct “This would be HUGE”.  We’ll have to wait and see how it unfolds in the coming days.

All in all, President’s Day Weekend is shaping up nicely.  Peak season conditions are in effect for the weekend I’d say.  I’m going to go ahead and say this will be the best snow conditions of the season.  I can’t wait to go riding on Saturday.  This has been a long week watching the cams and writing about all of the snow and not being able to partake in it!  It’s Thursday though and we’re almost there!

Everyone think cold and think snow!

What a fantastic week of skiing and snowboarding!  Northwest Flow has dropped over a foot of snow at some resorts this week, making for some great powder conditions.  Arctic air is here now and it is going to be brutally cold.  We also have the potential for some more snow Friday night and Monday night.  Watch the video below for more.