A Beautiful Weekend of Skiing and Weather Ahead

We Have to take All Things in Perspective…

Those of us who were blessed not be in the path of all of the tornados that hit yesterday might find it easy to bemoan the fact that up to 1-2” of rain fell across our beloved ski areas. However the reality is that we should be very thankful and if all of you guys would take a moment and say a special prayer for the families who lost 20 loved ones in the path of nationwide tornados yesterday – it will help.

Particularly tough to hear about were the eight students who were killed when a tornado struck Enterprise High School in Alabama.

The gorgeous blue skies this morning signal the start of a beautiful day and what should be a great weekend of skiing and riding.

Yes, we could gripe a bit about the lack of perfect conditions across all of the ski areas, but thankfully for most of us, if that’s ALL we have to complain about this morning – we’re blessed.


I was watching groomers at App, Hawksnest, Sugar, Beech, and Wolf Ridge this morning and it has been cool to see how these talented crews can move snow around to cover up the areas that were affected by the 1-2” of rain that fell yesterday and last night. Hawksnest doesn’t open today until 12:30pm but they had two groomers out, sometimes appearing to play chicken as they were moving snow around. I also watched as just moments ago (at 9:10am) Beech was grooming a portion of the Freestyle Slope. There was a pretty sizeable “blemish” that was being fixed this AM.

Some areas across the region received more rain that others, but regardless there’s plenty of snow at all of the resorts and conditions are looking quite nice this AM. Be sure to check the live cams and you’ll see for yourself just how nice everything is. Appalachian and Sugar look very nice this morning with no thin coverage or bear areas visible. Hawksnest and Beech are showing some thin coverage areas but really nice coverage. Hawksnest is still working on things and has a couple of hours before opening as well. Cataloochee and Wolf look pretty nice as well.


Natural snow is in the forecast as is COLD temps for this weekend. If you’re thinking of making a weekend ski trip, DO IT, as we have snow in the forecast all across the region from the North Carolina mountains up to Wisp at Deep Creek Resort in Maryland. From what our regional meteorologists are saying this weekend’s snow should only be in the 1” range Saturday into Sunday, but that teamed with cold air will make for a great weekend of skiing and snowboarding.

While many ski areas have told us that they will not be making any more snow for the rest of the season, it will be interesting to watch and see which ones DO make snow as temps plummet over the weekend.

Tammy Brown at Cataloochee told us that they DO plan on making snow again on Saturday evening when temps are expected to dip down to 20° or so. Cat was at 31° this morning at 8am and conditions like quite nice over at Maggie Valley.

Hawksnest was showing 31° at 8am and they are showing some thin areas, especially up on Top Gun and along the right side of the main trail. However, conditions look nice on the main skiable terrain and as mentioned they are still grooming as of this report. Expect nice conditions. Also remember they are hosting The Nest Games Saturday and Sunday. If you’re a big Hawksnest fan, you might want to get there this weekend, because word has it that this MAY be their last weekend skiing this season. If you want to extend their season a bit…get there in force!

Ski Beech was showing 23° early this morning. They have plenty of snow and good coverage on the 14 trails open today. They also have Ice Skating and the Village Shops open.

Sugar Mountain was showing 23° this morning and very nice conditions. Check the cams. Don’t forget that they are hosting the Dick Trundy Giant Slalom competition Saturday. Proceeds go to the American Cancer Society in memory of Sugar Mountain’s former Director of Operations, Richard T Trundy. $15 entry fee benefits American Cancer Society. Great cause, honoring a great guy.

All of the North Carolina Ski Areas reported anywhere from 4” to 7” of base depth reductions across the state. Keep in mind that their reported bases are from nearly two feet to as much as six feet of base, so the loss of half a foot of base only constitutes some 7 to 10% of their depth. So there’s plenty of snow and conditions should be very nice this weekend.

We also noted this little oddity of weather this morning: Most of our ski areas are reporting lows this morning that are from 8 to 14 degrees colder than at the same time Thursday morning. That is a sure sign that the cold air is already invading the region.

Okay, there’s nothing odd about the temperatures dropping from one day to the next, but when you compare those temps to temperatures being reported this morning in Virginia….

None of the Virginia resort reported ANY reduction in base this morning. So conditions must be much the same as they were yesterday (check the slope conditions page). However, this morning’s temps across the Virginia mountains are 5 to 13 degrees WARMER than yesterday. Massanutten reported 45° this morning (13° milder than Thursday AM). Wintergreen is showing 41°.

Canaan Valley in West Virginia is at 42° and that is 9° milder than yesterday morning. Conditions are very nice across all of the West Virginia and Maryland ski areas. Check the live cams and slope conditions page.

Don’t forget that Canaan Valley is host their WILD THING WEEKEND on Saturday. Lift tickets are only $27 Saturday.

Snowshoe Mountain is showing 35° this morning and you HAVE to like the way these guys provide data. Lindsay Kutsko writes, “All the Rain that we received last night looks to be turning into snow today, as we look forward to the cool weekend temperatures and snow in the forecast! Due to the overnight warm temperatures and rain, Skidder is the only trail trails that has been groomed also all lift ramps were groomed for easy unloading. The base is 57" – 70" with wet packed snow.”

Timberline Resort was the only resort in West Virginia and/or Maryland that reported a drop in base depth after the rains of Friday. They reported a drop of 3” across the board and they were at 32° this morning and conditions there should be sweet this weekend.

Ober Gatlinburg is showing 37° and dropped 1” plus we mentioned some thin coverage and bare spots in our report yesterday and should have clarified that the only thin areas are really on Grizzly. Otherwise they have plenty of snow.

Amazingly Cloudmont is open in Alabama. We called down there this morning and were astonished to here that they were still open and skiing today.

Weather Looks Cooperative for a Nice Week Ahead…

The forecast for the week ahead looks like temps about normal for the next 7 days with mostly sunny skies. As mentioned before snow is in the forecast for Saturday and Sunday with highs in the 30s and low 40s and lows in the 20° range or lower. As we look ahead into Monday through Thursday things look sunny with highs in the 40s to near 50° and lows in the mid 20s or so. That looks perfect for this time of year and will keep the snow pack nice and firm and ski conditions should among some of the best March skiing that you can have. Okay, we could hope for a foot of snow, but we’re not going to complain. Not today…

Until Next Time…


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Mike Doble
Mike is the Editor and founder of SkiSoutheast.com, SkiNC.com and ResortCams.com. Since September 1996 he has posted more than 13,000 posts, articles, photos and videos promoting all of the ski areas of North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland.Mike is the father of four daughters, is an avid skier and enjoys golf, tennis, kayaking and hiking in the mountains. Winter snowsports and Summer boating on Watauga Lake are among his favorite pastimes.