Clearing Weather and Plenty to do This Weekend!

Heck yeah it’s Friday! We’ve almost made it to the weekend. It looks like the weather is going to clear up just in time to make for a perfect weekend of riding. Yesterday and last night were pretty nasty out with a good amount of underdeveloped snow. The ski areas undoubtedly lost several inches off of their base, but they still have enough snow to provide really good skiing and riding conditions.
 
<<<<Sugar this morning.  As you can see, they aren’t showing any bare spots and conditions look really good!

It will begin to clear up gradually throughout the morning and by later in the day we will see the sun again. Coming into the office this morning I could see some blue sky already peaking through the clouds. It’s going to be pretty windy though so be prepared for that. It will be cold enough tonight to make some snow at a lot of the ski areas so I’m curious to see which ones will do so. I’m hoping most everyone will fire up the guns if possible. As I said, the weather looks great tomorrow and pretty good for the first half of Sunday so get some turns in if possible. I’ll be at Beech Mountain on Sunday with some people so say hey if you see me. You won’t be able to miss us, TRUST ME.

There’s a lot of events going on this weekend at the resorts so I figured I would just mention a few of them. Wisp is having the Maryland Open tomorrow. It’s a rail jam/park jam format for both ladies and the guys. It sounds pretty cool.

Thanks to messageboard member marzski for bringing to my attention the fact that Massanutten is having their Massanutten Meltdown event tomorrow.

It will be HEAD Celebrity Weekend at Wintergreen where they will be having their final Freestyle Double Cross event on Saturday. You will also be able to meet pro skier Tyson Bolduc.

App will be having their Ladies Park Night tomorrow where they will have a terrain park area with features specifically designed for learning and progression that will be open to ladies only. That is very cool I should try and convince my girlfriend to get out there! They are also having a Shred for the Cup Rail Jam on Sunday.  Both events will have Meg Pugh in attendance as a special guest judge. Sounds like a fun weekend at App.

Cataloochee is in the middle of having their Fire and Rescue Appreciation Days. Yesterday and today they are offering discount lift tickets and rentals to all fire and rescue personnel, including their families.

Finally, Beech Mountain will be hosting the Under Armour 3rd Rail Jam tomorrow. There will be a rail competition during the day for both guys and girl, and then at night there will be some other festivities going on in the Beech Tree.

As you can tell, there are plenty of events going on this weekend at the ski areas. Conditions are still really good and the weather should be cooperative, so you should definitely get out on the slopes this weekend! Here’s the resorts…

Ober Gatlinburg – 52° – Open on 8 of 9 trails today with a groomed surface and all lifts operating. The day session begin will begin at 9am and they will be skiing and riding until 10 pm tonight. Tubing and skating are also open today.

Wisp Resort – 44°- Open on 31 of 32 trails today with Bobcat Bowl being the only one not open. As I already mentioned, tomorrow the Maryland Open is going on starting at 11am. Registration will take place at 9am and there is a $20 fee but lift tickets will only be $38 for participants.

Snowshoe Mountain – 40°- They are open on 59 of 60 trails today with a loose granular surface. Here’s what they have to say – "Today is going to be all about waiting for the temperatures to drop and the rain to change to snow. Our high temperature for the day will be reached first thing this morning and then temps will fall throughout the day. We should see some mixed precipitation by early afternoon and by 2pm we should be seeing ALL SNOW!!! That snow should continue into the evening and then taper off overnight, giving way to sunshine for tomorrow! Cold temperatures should also allow us to make snow overnight, and we’ll definitely get back to grooming, which we limited last night.

Due to the "underdeveloped snow" falling, we stayed off everything but the greens and just a handful of blues at the Snowshoe area last night. Nothing at the Silver Creek area was groomed and no blacks and the vast majority of blues at Snowshoe were left ungroomed as well. We didn’t groom because when you stir up the snow, it allows the water to be absorbed into the snow surface much more easily. The hope is that by leaving it alone, some of that rain will just run off. If you want to learn more about decisions like this one, be sure to join us tomorrow night for Snowmaking and Grooming 101 at 5pm in the Depot. Our snowmaking and grooming manager will introduce you to the art and science behind making all this snow and keeping it looking so good! There will obviously be heavy wet snow this morning, and we may also have some sandy, loose granular conditions across the mountain. Areas that were left ungroomed will be showing some bumps. If you head over to our Facebook fan page, you’ll see that those guests who have been on the mountain the last few days are reporting that even with some less than desirable weather, the snow is in GREAT shape. This is just one example of the comments we’re seeing;

Ethan Joseph Melton: "Just got back inside from skiing all day. Rain is not a downpour, more of a drizzle. Clouds moving at the top, with a little wind. There is a lot of powder, with small icy spots that are easily avoidable. The snow that was made Tuesday is still there, providing great conditions. Make sure you wear waterproof clothing!"

We’re glad to hear that our guests are enjoying themselves and thinking positive! The weather does take a turn for the better later today and tomorrow should be a gorgeous day with sunshine and hopefully some freshly made snow and a great groomed surface! Because it sees less skier traffic, you may find a more desirable snow surface at the Silver Creek area, especially first thing this morning. Silver Creek will also be more protected from some possibly high winds we may experience, especially this morning. Depending on how strong those winds get, we may see a lift delay or two, particularly on the Western Territory and other detachable lifts.

We have a good weekend ahead and some great snow to enjoy! Things will only get better as the weekend goes on, so get in your car and get up here. If you’re looking to wait out the weather this morning, swing by the Big Top for some family fun, or head over to Split Rock Pools. Starbucks is also a great spot to hang out in front of the fire, perhaps with a good book and a warm treat. But as soon as that snow starts falling, Snowshoe will once again be transformed into a winter wonderland!”

Canaan Resort – 44°- Open today on 32 of 39 slopes with a frozen granular surface. Cross country and snowshoeing are closed today, but tubing and ice skating are open. Also, today is College Friday. Lift tickets and rentals for all college students are half price with a valid ID.

Timberline – 44°- They have not updated their site yet this morning, so I’m not sure how many trails they will be riding on. Yesterday, their site said 37 and another one claimed 34. Either way, there is plenty of terrain open today. They have a Telemark Festival Workshop on Saturday too if that’s your thing.

Winterplace – 45°- Open today on 100% of the mountain with a groomed and granular surface. Both of their terrain parks remain open and tubing is also open today.

Bryce Resort – 47°- Open today on 100% of the mountain with a groomed surface and they will have night skiing tonight. Tubing is also open today at 6pm.

Massanutten – 45°- Open today on 100% of the mountain with a groomed surface. Both terrain parks are still open with a number of features set up. Tubing is also open today from 9am to 9pm.

Wintergreen – 45° – Open today on 25 of 26 trails with a groomed surface. They will have night skiing tonight, and tubing will open at 2pm today. This weekend is their final Freestyle Doublecross event and you can also meet pro skier Tyson Bolduc.

Appalachian Ski Mountain – 44°- Open today on all 12 slopes with a wet granular surface. Ice skating is also open today. They 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 – 41°- Open today on 100% of the mountain with a wet granular surface.  Ice skating and tubing will also be open.


Cataloochee
– 47.1°- They are open on 100% of the mountain with a groomed surface today and all lifts are operating. Tubing is open as well. 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! Also, just a reminder that it’s Learn to Ski and Snowboard Season at Cataloochee and with the purchase of rentals you get a free 1.5 hour beginner lesson.

Sapphire Valley – 54°- Open today on 100% of the mountain with a groomed surface. They day session will begin at noon today so it’s perfect for those who want to sleep in and still make first chair. The will have night skiing and tubing will also be open.

Sugar Mountain – 37.6°- Open today on 100% of the mountain with a loose and frozen granular surface. Skating and tubing are also open today.

Wolf Ridge – 46° – Open on 13 of 23 slopes today with a groomed surface. Here’s what they have to say – “Its Friday, 46 degrees on the mountain and the weather man is calling for colder temperatures by this evening. We will have 13 runs and 2 lifts open today with the Upper Lodge Opening at 4.30 pm. along with the Ridge Runner and Nature trail runs. The Lower Lodge is OPEN all day for ticket/ rental and food purchases. Come join us for another incredible weekend at the Wolf. See you on th slopes!!!”

Send me stuff at [email protected].  Have a good weekend everyone!

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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.