First Trax :: Daily News
It's Not Supposed to be THIS Easy...
12.8.12 08:18 AM
Only Three Ski Resorts open Today...
WHAT shouldn't be this easy, you ask? The snow report update. I slept in a little later than I would when doing the morning snow report because I knew it was only going to take me about 5-10 minutes. That's because there are only THREE ski resorts open today, Saturday, December 8th.
Cataloochee and Sugar - which have both been open since H-A-L-L-O-W-E-E-N other than a day or so when things dictated some snowmaking - are still operating. Cat is down one trail from Friday and they decided to only open for day sessions today with their 4 trails. Cataloochee actually looks decent from their webcam.
Sugar Mountain looks worse for the wear, but they DO have a strip of snow to the bottom and they are open today with 4 trails, tubing and ice skating. Honestly we've seen them open with a lot worse, so if you have the Joneses for some snow...
Snowshoe Mountain is open for day and night sessions and they have 21 of 60 trails open today. That's more than a third of their terrain that is open today. We don't have ANY WORD on the web cams and why they aren't running yet, so you'll have to take our word that things actually look pretty good at The Shoe for today in terms of coverage and quality of the product.
We got a couple of emails asking US why Silver Creek is CLOSED today. We see where the confusion could be coming from as their front page update says Silver Creek is CLOSED. However Silver will be open from 2pm until 9pm this afternoon and evening.
Here's the official update from Snowshoe this morning:
We have 78 acres of terrain available at the Snowshoe Basin and Silver Creek areas today. Progression Session Park is open with 8 features including 5 rails and 3 jumps. Robertson's Run Park is open with 6 features including 4 rails and boxes and 2 jumps. Skill Builder Park, formerly Cubb Run, is open as a beginner trail. Be aware of variable conditions across the mountain.
Our Season Kick-Off Celebration is here! Season Passholder Appreciation starts at 7:45am with exclusive first tracks until 9am. It is a WV Ski Free day and Mountaineer Parks is hosting the first terrain park event of the year. Join us on Skidder this afternoon for the Rat Tails and Hand Rails Early Season Rail Jam sponsored by SPY, Volcom and Skull Candy. There will be awards and an after party in Moonshine directly following the contest.
The Snowshoe Basin area will be open from 9am-4:30pm. Silver Creek will be open from 2pm -9pm. The Coca-Cola Tube Park will be open from 1pm -9pm. Silver Creek and the Coca-Cola Tube park will open daily starting December 14th.
We're going to hit the PAUSE BUTTON. Admittedly I'm not certain if Tonette chose a winner for the Blowing Rock vacation on Friday. I will let her make that pick and announce the winner on Monday AM.
However for the 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th day of Christmas we are going to hit the PAUSE BUTTON and do what most all of the ski resorts in our area are doing and wait for the cold air to come in.
So on Thursday, December 13th we will give away FIVE DAYS worth of lifties and another vacation. Help us pass that word around and be sure to check back as we'll probably throw in some additional goodies just for the heck of it.
Sugar Mountain this morning...
However with NO snowmaking temperatures AND showers in the forecast from now through Tuesday, things will go downhill pretty quick. Showers enter the forecast tonight for the North Carolina ski areas and Monday looks the worst of it with a 70% chance of rain.
Tuesday night is when the temps look to be dipping down to 28° and that should crank up the snowmaking systems at Cat and Sugar. There COULD even be some rain to snow mix on Monday night and Tuesday.
The colder temps cold make for some snowmaking Monday night at Snowshoe and Tuesday is when the snowmaking (in earnest) temps arrive at the 4848' elevations of Snowshoe.
I know that Brad Panovich and others have been reporting on the fact that COLD AIR and a more SNOWY pattern are in the offing...meaning soon. Earlier this week they were all reporting that it could happen around the middle or end of this next week. We WILL see some more normal temps for this time of year coming in Tuesday through Thursday of next week and three nights of snowmaking will be welcomed by skiers, snowboarders and the resorts alike. Temps through December 17th look very seasonal with highs in the mid 40s and low 50s and lows in the mid to upper 20s around the High Country of North Carolina.
Tweak those temps down a notch going into the WV resorts with highs in the upper 30s to mid 40s and lows from 20° Tuesday night, 19° Wednesday night and the low to mid 20s through Monday, December 17th. THOSE kinds of temps are needed across the entire region and hopefully we'll see a lot more of that from mid December through the Holidays to make for lots of open trails and great conditions as we head into Christmas Holiday ski and snowboarding season.
Right now the upper Mid West is getting a good bit of snow. There's lots of cold air up in Canada and from what Kenny, Brad and Herb said last week, we should start seeing that pushed down into the Southeast and Mid Atlantic over the next couple of weeks and beyond. Right now the best chances for snow look to be coming in around Sunday, December 16th or so.
If what Meteorologist Brad Panovich forecasted the other day comes to fruition we should see a snowy pattern from mid month to the end of the month and from what we're hearing this ski and snowboarding season could be very back-loaded with most of the coldest and snowiest period being in February. From all indicators January is looking good as well.
Let's keep the COLD and SNOW dances and prayers going as we all want and need a cold winter for certain.
THIS WEEK LAST SEASON...
It was pretty cold during this week last year with lows on this date in 2011 of 12°! We also had a couple of inches of snow to boost some Christmas spirits.
That's going to do it for me today. Shortly I will be heading outside to do my best Clark Griswold impersonation. Lots and lots of lights going up today.
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