Uh, oh. I bought a new tennis racket last night from Dick’s Sporting Goods. What was I thinking? I MEANT to stay loyal to skiing right up until the very end of the season. I’ve had my eye on this sweet Head racket for more than a year – ever since I broke one of my two, twin Prince rackets last summer. I saw the racket late last Fall while down in Columbia, S.C. and purposely didn’t purchase it at the time because I knew my allegiances HAD to go towards skiing and the ski resorts that I promote with my every fiber for 150 days plus or minus each season. I made it for 134 days this season before being reunited with this beauty last night at Dick’s. I couldn’t resist.
After all, Ma Nature had deserted us, hadn’t she? After seeing a season FULL of cold and snowy days right up until March 4th nature just went and pulled the plug on the season as if there weren’t still some 40 days left.
We gave "her" our committment to play all the way until April 11th, hadn’t we? Appalachian Ski Mountain made the decision before the season had even ended LAST year to ski and ride this year all the way to Sunday, April 11th (they still are by the way). Snowshoe even extended their season a few weeks ago announcing that they would remain open for skiing and snowboarding through Monday, April 5th! (They still are as well!)
But NO. No more snow since March 4th. What kind of dedication to us has the weather shown? So I was weak. I gave in to the racket. Okay, the TRUTH is I couldn’t believe my own eyes when I saw the darn thing hanging on the wall discounted $140 BELOW what I’d seen it selling for last Fall in Columbia. So I bought it. But I don’t plan on using it until ski and snow boarding season is over. Okay? I promise. (Unless I can get a friend or two to let me join them at a friend’s INDOOR tennis complex over in Valle Crucis!)
So around 7pm or so Saturday night I’m feeling a little guilty for succumbing to the temptations of Spring. However, are you kidding me – it was 67° at 7pm in Hickory last night?!?! I had played a short round of lawn darts with my youngest daughter on Saturday afternoon – dodging raindrops – in a short sleeved shirt! A man can only handle so much temptation!
So I’m driving back home to my beautiful mountains of Boone, Banner Elk and the rest of the little mountain communities that surround me in Sleepy Hollow, Banner Elk, North Carolina, USA…feeling just a little like I’d betrayed my winter-love. …and then it happened.
It began to snow.
It was just misting rain as I drove through downtown Blowing Rock. However not 100 yards after turning left on Hwy 221, heading to the Blue Ridge Parkway, it began to snow. In Blowing Rock the temperature displayed 38°. Moments later it was 35° and snowing pretty hard.
The funny thing is that while I was back in Dick’s Sporting Goods in Hickory I flipped my cell phone on for the first time on Saturday and it showed that Joe Stevens had called me around 9am or so earlier in the day. I quickly returned his call…only to hear a very similar story. Joe said he’d been at his home down from Snowshoe, supervising some repairs on his mountain house, and driving around. Moments later at a bit higher elevation and at 35° – it began to snow. Really hard. He shared that while many of the West Virginia communities had received anywhere from 1-2" of rain on Friday night and Saturday – that Snowshoe really had not seen much in the way of underdeveloped snow (that’s us media peeps term for rain). I think old Joe came up with that some years back but apologies to whomever did if it wasn’t Joe.
Anyway, that’s the way it is here in the mountains. Winter comes a little earlier here and it typically hangs around longer as well. Most of our readership comes from nine or ten Southeastern states and those of you who live OFF the mountain are already seeing flowers bloom and it won’t be long before the Dogwoods, Cherry trees and others are flowering like crazy. We’ll be behind you guys a few weeks. However it almost never fails. We’ll see our mountain wildflowers and trees sprout vegetation and blooms – followed almost as if on cue with a 4-6" snowfall.
We’ll see this year – but the point of today’s post is that we might have just switched the clocks forward overnight last night – implementing daylight saving time. Spring might officially begin next Saturday, March 20th and yes, it might have even gotten started a little earlier than we ski and snow enthusiasts would have like this season. However, it isn’t over until we say it’s over! (I’ve heard that somewhere before…)
We’ll probably see a little more snow, but whether we do or don’t there’s a ton of snow on the slopes of the ski areas of the Southeast and Mid Atlantic. Heck, there’s still NATURAL SNOW on the ground from Western North Carolina up through Wisp Resort in Maryland.
So don’t give in to the temptation of Spring just yet. Give our ski areas another visit or two of YOUR allegiance. There’s some great turns to be made across the region. One visit over to www.HighCountryWebCams.com will show you some really SWEET looking conditions at the ski areas and in some mountain communities there’s still up to 12-15" of natural snow laying around ready for you guys to go play in!
That’s it for today…here are a few notables:
Appalachian – 100% open for day & night sessions.
Sugar Mountain Resort – 100% open and day & night sessions. Reported a TRACE of new snow.
Cataloochee – 100% open for day sessions only today.
Beech Mountain Resort – 13 of 14 slopes open & day sessions only
Wolf Ridge is open for day sessions with 14 of 20 trails for Sunday. They will be closed Monday through Friday this week and next and open for the next two Saturdays and Sundays.
Sapphire closes for the season at 6pm today
Ski Beech’s last night session of the season was Saturday night and now they will be open for day sessions only through Saturday, March 20th. They have closed the Oz Run and now offer 13 of 14 trails. Beech is reporting 1" of new snow in the last 24 hours. 1.35" of rain was recorded on Saturday morning on Beech.
Massanutten is open today from 9am-7pm with 100% of their terrain open and 7 lanes of tubing as well.
Wintergreen Resort has had a great season with 93" of snow thus far. They are offering day and night sessions on Sunday with 19 of 26 trails available. Tubing is open as well.
Bryce Resort is open for day sessions Sunday with 7 of 8 trails available. The last word we received from there was that today was a tentative closing date and that they MIGHT go one more week to the 21st. We’ll let you know of their decision asap.
The Homestead is open for day sessions only today with 8 of 10 slopes available.
Canaan Valley Resort is not reporting even a TRACE of snow in the last ten days, but they STILL show a snow depth of 15" of NATURAL SNOW on the ground in Tucker County and a minumum base depth on their slopes of 24". Davis, WV has seen three straight days of rainy weather and another one-half inch of rain fell on Saturday (1.37" in the last three days).
Canaan Valley IS HOWEVER 100% open with all 39 trails for day sessions today.
Snowshoe Mountain is open with 59 of 60 trails for day sessions only on Sunday and then Silvercreek will close for the season at 4:30pm today. Tubing is now closed as well. So no night skiing tonight or for the rest of the season at Snowshoe and Silvercreek will close for the season after day sessions today. Snowshoe picked up a trace of new snow to "pretty up" all that snow that’s still laying around! A little snow is in the forecast for Sunday and Monday at the Pocahontas County resort. Remember that Snowshoe will remain open for skiing and snowboarding until Monday, April 5th.
Winterplace Resort is open for day and night sessions on 27 of 28 trails plus tubing on Sunday.
Timberline Resort will offer day sessions only today on 100% of their 37 trails.
Wisp Resort is open for day sessions on Sunday with 30 of 32 trails, tubing and mountain coastering open as well.
Ober Gatlinburg is open for day sessions and until 7pm on all 8 trails and tubing is open as well.
We’re on day 108 and there are 29 more days of opportunities to enjoy the snow for the 2009-2010 ski and snowboarding season!
That’s it for today. Go enjoy the snow! Check out the Snow Report at http://www.skisoutheast.com/skireports.php and please send us your favorite ski photos, ski videos, trip reports and comments to [email protected]