Rise and shine folks! It is another beautiful morning here in the High Country. I know I’ve said it before, but man I really do love waking up to a mountain sunrise. It’s going to be another bluebird day on the slopes for those lucky individuals who make it out to the resorts. Temperatures will be a little colder today than yesterday, with highs in the 30’s at most of the ski areas. Snow quality should be very good at all of the ski areas today with these colder temps, especially at the resorts who made snow last night. The same handful did so again (Wisp, Massanutten, Wintergreen, Snowshoe) and it appears that they might have to wait until Sunday night to resume snowmaking ops.
Either way, conditions are really good for skiing and riding in the Southeast in March! I was up at Appalachian Ski Mountain last night and they are in great shape right now. There is absolutely four to eight feet of snow on that mountain. They are one of the few places whose base report I actually know is legit. The park setup was really cool and very well maintained. They had people out there all throughout the night making sure everything was shaped right. I don’t get to go there that often, but every time I do I am always impressed. While they don’t have the most vertical drop or number of trails, they do a better job than most other places of making the best of what they have.
<<<No bare spots or thin coverage to be seen at App last night!
Snowshoe! The Summit is tomorrow! We’re only a day away now from the 4th Annual Ski Southeast Summit. If you haven’t made your reservations yet, you can still do so as there is still lodging available. Click here for more information.
Seeing as it is March now and we have had a stretch of some mild weather, I’ve been asking around at the resorts to see about closing dates. Here’s what I have got so far. App is definitely going to make it to their scheduled closing date of March 27th. They have plenty of snow to make it til then and are planning on making some more on Sunday and Monday nights. Beech Mountain is planning on being open until AT LEAST next Sunday, possibly til the following weekend depending on the weather. As we already know, Cataloochee is closing up shop this Sunday. Sapphire Valley is already closed. Sugar didn’t give me a definitive date other than later this month, so I’m thinking they have another three weeks or so. Wolf Ridge is supposedly reopening for the weekend if the weather permits it, but the general consensus is that they are done for the season.
Elsewhere, Snowshoe is scheduled to close on March 27th, and I see no reason as to why they wouldn’t make it to that date. They have plenty of base to easily make it there. Wisp has told me they are planning on being open until April 3rd. April 3rd! That is awesome and judging from pictures I have seen from recently up there, I’d say they can definitely stay open until then. Ober Gatlinburg is ending their season this Sunday and will be having some festivities as a part of their Spring Fling Weekend. Canaan will be done for the season next Sunday, March 13th. Timberline says they will close on March 27th. I’ve never been there so I don’t know their situation, but since Canaan is closing two weeks prior to that I’m curious as to whether they can make it that long. I haven’t heard back from the other ski areas yet (Massanutten, Wintergreen, Winterplace), but as of right now they are in great shape and I’m expecting that all of them have at least two, maybe even three weeks left.
We’ll keep you guys updated if any of these dates change. On to the resorts…
Appalachian Ski Mountain – 33°- Open today on 11 of 12 trails with a frozen granular surface. Ice skating open today too. They have their 4th Friday Friday of the season tomorrow, and they do plan on making snow on both Sunday and Monday nights (weather permitting of course). They also have a promotion right now where you can buy next year’s season pass and ski and ride for free for the rest of this season. That’s a pretty cool deal.
Beech Mountain Resort – 36°- They are open today on 14 of 15 trails with a gromed surface. Oz Run is closed today and probably for the season. The grooming has looked superb on the cams the past few days. As I already mentioned, they will be open until at least next weekend, so get out there and enjoy it while you can!
Cataloochee – 34.3°- They are open on 8 of 16 trails with a groomed surface today. There will be night skiing tonight and tubing reopens today at 4pm. Just a reminder that they are going to be having their BIGBIGBIG One Day Season Pass Sale on Sunday, March 6th. Pass prices will be the lowest of this year and next and if you are a new pass holder you can ski and ride for free for the rest of this year!
Sapphire Valley – Closed for the season.
Sugar Mountain – 35.6°- Open today on 100% of the mountain with a loose and frozen granular surface. Tubing and skating are also open. Sugar is still going strong. Their Spyder Sample Sale is still going on and will continue through the end of the season. Boss Hawg will be playing some bluegrass music on Saturday in the base lodge from 4pm to 6pm, and their March Madness rates being on Monday.
Wolf Ridge – Wolf is closed for the week and will re-open on Saturday, weather permitting.
Snowshoe Mountain – 18°- They are open on 59 of 60 trails today with a groomed and frozen granular surface. That is practically the whole mountain! Here’s what they have to say – "We hate to be repetitive, but today’s report is almost identical to yesterday’s. We have another sunny, somewhat mild day on tap, perfect for enjoying some gorgeous snow conditions. Once again overnight we took advantage of cold temperatures and made snow in select areas. Our grooming team, who has been showing off their talent all season also got out and worked their magic. All 59 of our open slopes were groomed overnight. We should start the day with some firm, frozen granular conditions, and then sun and skier traffic should soften that snow up just a bit. By mid-afternoon we should be enjoy spring-like conditions under another bluebird sky.
We continue to turn to our Facebook fan page, because we know all of you out there don’t believe us when we continue to say just how good the snow is. Yesterday’s "comment of the day" comes from long-time Snowshoe visitor Louis. He says, "The conditions today were beyond perfect. As I’ve said before, they have probably the best groomers South of Vermont. And with absolutely no lift lines, I got more skiing before noon than in an entire day otherwise. Lower Shays was amazing."
We’re so glad our guests continue to enjoy our great late season conditions. The forecast might not be quite a "skiers forecast", but our mountain operations team did such a great job throughout the season laying down a sustainable base and carefully caring for it, we still have amazing snow conditions, despite a natural snow drought for the later half of the season. When you look at the weather we’ve had to endure the last few weeks, it really speaks to the talent and dedication of the team we have in place. We can’t thank them enough because the snow is still good enough to get us out of the office a couple times a week!
This weekend the snow will still be great, but we’ll have so much going on, you just might forget you were here to ski! The INFAMOUS Jose Cuervo Games of Winter return to Snowshoe starting with the kick off party tonight at 6pm at Hoots at the Top of the World, just off the Soaring Eagle lift. This legendary event has been rocking the mountain for almost 30 years. If you haven’t joined the party, you’re missing out! From snow volleyball to boxcar racing, nightclub games to great live entertainment, it’s a weekend filled with over-the-top fun! This weekend is also our annual Skisoutheast.com Summit. If you haven’t checked out skisoutheast.com you’re missing out on a great resource for skiing and riding in the region, as well as an active, enthusiastic message board. Hop over to the site and check out daily snow reports, plenty of chat topics and pictures from regional resorts. Plus, if you join the message board and join us for this weekend, you’ll receive great discounts on lodging and FREE lift tickets. Check out the skisoutheast.com message board for fun details and maybe even meet some new friends! Other upcoming events include our Burton Women’s Snowboard Camp. This ladies-only event will have you learning new skills from expert female riders and hanging with other girls that share your passion for ripping it up! The camp will also allow ladies to test the latest and greatest gear from industry favorite Burton, and you’ll walk away with some sweet prizes! Call 877-441-4386 for full details!
Even if you can’t make it to the mountain this month, it’s time to start thinking ahead; 2011.2012 season passes are now available at their lowest rate through April 30th. You’ll save up to 28%, and if you do have time to get in another trip to Snowshoe this season, 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 out there and plenty of time to enjoy it. So head over to snowshoemtn.com or call 877-441-4386 today!”
Wisp Resort – 22°- Open on 29 of 32 trails today with a frozen granular surface and they did make snow last night! There will be tubing sessions today and night skiing tonight. Ice skating is also open tonight. Today is Season Pass Swap Day, where you can get a $21 extended day lift ticket when you present a valid 2010/2011 season pass from anywhere else.
Massanutten – 25°- Open today on 100% of the mountain with a groomed and granular surface. They did make snow again last night! They are still going strong! Both terrain parks are also still open with a number of features set up. Tubing is also open today.
Wintergreen – 19° – Open today on 24 of 26 trails with a groomed surface. Did make snow last night and will continue to do so at nights if it gets cold enough. They will be night skiing tonight and tubing will reopen tomorrow. I really want to check this place out next season after looking at the site every morning and hearing things from other people. It seems like a great place to ride.
Ober Gatlinburg – 37° – Open on 6 of 9 trails today with spring conditions. The day session begin will begin at noon today and they will be skiing and riding until 10 pm tonight. Tubing and skating are also open today. As I mentioned, they are closing this Sunday and will be having their Spring Fling festivities all weekend. Click here for more information.
Canaan Resort – 16°- Open today on 24 of 39 slopes with a frozen granular surface. Tubing and ice skating are open. Today is Heroes Day Thursday, where firefighters, EMS personnel, and police officers receive discounted lift tickets with valid ID. They also have specials going on right now where between now and next weekend you can stay and ski for free for just $49 per person/per night! That is a great deal.
Timberline – 16°- Open today on 33 of 39 trails with a groomed surface. Today is College Day, where you can get a lift ticket for just $18 with a valid college ID. Also, the Governor’s Cup Race is this weekend so make sure to get up there and check that out.
Winterplace – 25°- Open today on 100% of the mountain with a groomed and frozen granular surface. Both of their terrain parks remain open and tubing is also open today. They are still holding on pretty well!
Bryce Resort – 24°- Open today on 7 of 8 trails with a groomed surface and the will only be having a day session. It does not appear that tubing is open either.
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