A Crazy Day of Weather

What a crazy day of weather we have in store for us up here in the High Country. Currently, Watauga and Avery counties are under both a flood watch and a winter weather advisory. How often does that happen? After a soggy Wednesday, today is going to start off the same way unfortunately. The good news is that around midday the higher elevations will start to see some snow showers that should last through the nighttime hours. As of right now, the forecasts for Beech and Sugar are calling for up to 4 inches of the white stuff. That will definitely make for some good conditions to ski and ride this weekend.

Snowshoe has already seen 4 inches themselves during the day yesterday. It seems it got cold enough up there for the underdeveloped snow to become fully developed. They should see a few inches more today and tonight meaning skiing and riding should be really good up there this weekend as well.

With another March weekend coming up we’re going to have another round of closures here in the Southeast. Bryce, Canaan, and Beech Mountain will all be closing up shop this Sunday. Beech will be having festivities on Saturday and here is a press release from them:

Beech Mountain Resort will close at 4:30 pm on Sunday March 13, 2011; the Resort’s 100th day of Operation.

Beech Mountain Resort will remain open for the day session, through Sunday, March 13, 2011, which will be the resort’s 100th day of operation for the 2010-2011 season.

On Saturday, March 12, 2011, Beech Mountain Ski Resort will host games and entertainment in celebration of another amazing season. Our super saver ticket prices are in effect for the remainder of the season, offering $20 day tickets and $10 half-day tickets. The purchase of a Saturday lift ticket includes a chance to win trip to Beech Mountain, NC for the 2011-2012 season. The trip includes a two-night stay at Archers Inn, with lift tickets, ski rentals and meals for two!

Saturday’s festivities start at 11am, with The Beech Poker Run. Think you are good poker player? Well try your hand at this! How about an 11am poker run on skis? Contestants will meet at 11am at the base of the quad lift. It is a five-dollar buy in and a single elimination game. A cookout and live music will start at high noon, at the View Haus, offering plenty of food and drinks! At 1pm the Edge of the World Boarder and Skier Cross series finals will take place followed by pond skimming at 2pm. Awards are given to the King and Queen of the pond and the best costume.

The award ceremony for Pond Skimming, the Edge of the World Series, and the raffle drawing will take place at 430 pm on the View Haus deck. The celebration will conclude at 5pm. Beech Mountain Resort will re-open, Sunday March 13th, at 9am for the resort’s final day operation.

It sounds like it will be a pretty fun time up on Beech, so if you can definitely get out there for one more day of skiing or riding there for the year.

It’s kind of a dreary morning and I don’t have too much stuff to talk about so that’s it for today. Here’s a look at the resorts…

Appalachian Ski Mountain – 44°- Open today on 100% of the mountain with a groomed and wet granular surface. Even with this recent weather they will still be in great shape come this weekend. Ice skating is also open today.

Beech Mountain Resort – 40°- They are open today on 13 of 15 trails with a groomed surface. Don’t forget that their discounted March rates are in effect. You can get a full day lift ticket for just $20. As already mentioned, they will be closing on Sunday and will be having festivities throughout the weekend.

Sugar Mountain – 44°- Open today on 100% of the mountain with a wet and frozen granular surface. They also have March madness rates in effect until the end of the season. Lift tickets are 25% off. Their Spyder Sample Sale is still going on as well. Tubing is closed today but skating is open.

Snowshoe Mountain – 39°- They are open on 59 of 60 trails today with a groomed and frozen granular surface. They have received 4 inches of snow in the past 24 hours! Here’s what they have to say – "4 MORE INCHES OF SNOW! It was such a nice surprise yesterday to see what was supposed to be a day of rain turn into almost all-day snowfall, to the tune of 4" of new accumulation. Unfortunately we saw temperatures rise as we headed into the evening hours and overnight last night, and eventually some light rain did begin to fall. With mild temperatures overnight we didn’t groom anything but the greens at both the Snowshoe and Silver Creek areas. That means the despite the new snow, it’s going to be a bit of a sloppy morning out there. With the combination of light drizzle, and a heavy wet snow and milder overnight temps, the snow will be very wet this morning. But, we’re going to see a reverse of yesterday’s weather patterns throughout the day today, and what is beginning as continued light drizzle this morning should eventually turn to snow, as temperatures will plummet into the teens overnight tonight. We should see additional snowfall overnight, with several inches of accumulation expected, and more daytime snowfall tomorrow. When it’s all said and done we should be starting off the weekend with nearly 6" of new snow to add to yesterday’s total, and the 6" that we received last Sunday.

What that means is that conditions will be in GREAT shape this weekend, and really through the end of the season. February was a bit of a bust in terms of snowfall, but Mother Nature is once again proving how fickle she can be, and showing us that despite early signs of spring, winter is NOT over. And that’s great news, as we still have more than two weeks of skiing and riding to enjoy. Snowshoe continues to be almost 100% open, skiing and riding on 59 of 60 slopes and nearly 244 acres of skiable terrain. With additional snowfall headed our way, our already good conditions will only get better! So don’t hang up those skis just yet, instead, start planning your next trip to the mountain! We know you can’t pass up one more powder day!

Don’t forget, this week is the last week for night skiing, as Silver Creek will be closing for the season on Sunday, March 13th. The tubing hill will close for the season following Saturday’s session on the 12th. But value season pricing is just around the corner, and with this new snow we’ll be sure to be providing great conditions through the end of the season, scheduled for March 27th. And we have more great events coming up, including WV SKI FREE day on Sunday, March 13th and our Last Hurrah party and pond skimming event on Saturday, March 26th. Visit snowshoemtn.com for a complete list of events and great deals for the remaining 3 weeks of the season, including 50% off lift tickets when packages with lodging during a stay between March 18th and 27th. That means you’ll enjoy the region’s most open terrain for just $26 a day!

Finally, we can’t forget to mention that 2011.2012 season passes are now on sale. As the season winds down it’s time to think ahead. If you purchase your 2011.2012 season pass by April 30th you’ll save up to 28%. Plus, purchase before the end of THIS season, and come up and enjoy your last fix of fresh snow, and you’ll SKI FREE! That’s right, purchase next year’s season pass now, and SKI FREE for the remainder of this season! There’s still great snow to enjoy and plenty of time to do so. Visit snowshoemtn.com or call 877-441-4386 to purchase your passport to Snow Country!!”

Wisp Resort – 42°- Open on 27 of 32 trails today with a groomed surface. I received some pictures from Wisp taken on Monday and man it looked good up there. They still have a ton of snow and will continue to make some as the weather permits. Discounted ticket prices are in effect today as it is Season Pass Swap Day, where anyone with a valid 2010/2011 season pass to any other resort receives an extended day lift ticket for just $21. There will be tubing and skiing tonight. Ice skating is also open tonight.

Massanutten – 44°- Open today on 100% of the mountain with a groomed surface. They will be skiing and riding today from 11am until 7pm. Just a reminder that this Sunday is Heroes on the Hill Day, where military personnel receive a free lift ticket.

Wintergreen – 42.7° – They will be closed today due to the severe weather forecasted. They will reopen tomorrow at 9am.

Canaan Resort – 45°- They are closed until Friday when they will reopen for their final weekend of skiing and riding.

Timberline – 45°- Open today on 34 of 39 trails with a groomed surface. They are reporting an inch of new snow in the past 24 hours with more expected later today!

Winterplace – 42°- Open today on 100% of the mountain with a groomed surface. March madness rates are in effect and this Friday, you can get a free lift ticket with the purchase of rental equipment and a valid West Virginia or Virginia ID.

Bryce Resort – 43°- Open today on 6 of 8 trails with a groomed surface and they will only be having a day session only. Bryce will close for the season this coming Sunday.

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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.