Cold and Snow (Maybe lots of it) Hit the North Carolina Ski Resorts for New Year’s Day!

Happy New Year Everyone!

We wish for you all the very best (and snowiest) of 2008!

Before I dive into this morning’s update, and while still on the subject of the New Year, Joe Stevens makes some nice suggestions for a New Year’s committment that we think mot of you would like. Check out this week’s "Joe Knows Snow" column by clicking here> New Year Suggestions for 2008

SNOW AND COLD is on everyone’s mind and rightfully so as this blast of Arctic air that should be here from yesterday through Thursday is much needed and will not only produce some excitement among skiers and snowboarders due to the natural snow that should fall…it will also create some optimal temperatures to MAKE SNOW. The winds that will accompany this storm system won’t be condusive to perfect snowmaking conditions but at this stage you won’t hear many complaints, especially from resorts that would be closing without this much needed snowmaking period. I say "period" but this particular cold blast won’t be long lasting. Forecasters are saying that we will get three strong days of the coldest temps we’ve seen this winter over the next three days and perhaps 2-8" of snow depending on where your favorite ski hill is.

According to Ray Russell of Boone Weather, and Brad Panovich of WCNC we’ll see around the clock snowmaking temps from now through sometime on Friday. Today’s high will be in the upper 20s, then the overnight low should be around 5°. Wednesday will be colder still! Look for highs in the 13-15° range with lows near 6° then Thursday will be mid 20s and lows that night near 10°. Friday will mild up to the mid 30s but overnight lows will be in the teens.

If you have a ski trip planned from this coming weekend, this could be the best ski weekend of the season so far with highs near 40° and lows in the upper 20s to mid 30s. The snowmaking and natural snow forecasted will make for conditions that will be near mid season form for a few resorts and for those that were near ready to close up…the transformation to nice conditions will be nothing short of amazing.

Here’s some resort notes:

Appalachian Ski Mountain is at 29° right now and temps will now start to fall. They did not make snow last night but look for the snow guns to crank up and stay running soon. App has 6 trails, terrain park and ice skating going today and tonight.

App Terrain Park’s first event of its "Shred for the Cup" Series, the Big Air, has been rescheduled for Saturday, January 5th.

With the coldest temperatures of the season so far expected this coming week, look for App Terrain Park to concentrate as much snowmaking as possible in both terrain parks for completely new setups by the weekend. Appalachian plans to utilize the state of the art snowmaking and pumping facilities to provide competitors and riders with the best features and setups of the season thus far.

Stay tuned to www.appterrainpark.com  for Big Air updates and registration information, and we look forward to seeing everyone out Saturday, January 5th for the event! 

Cataloochee Ski Area is showing 32° and Tammy Brown writes, "Our snowmaking team is standing by ready to begin making snow as temperatures permit. Cataloochee guests should expect snowmaking to be in progress during skiing hours if temperatures permit for this week. Please be prepared for winter conditions with hats and goggles and please dress accordingly."

The tubing park will not be ready to open for Thursday morning but will reopen soon.

Look for 6 trails and some terrain features for day and night skiing.

Hawksnest Ski Resort – It’s 26° this morning at The Hawk. They have yet to crank the snowguns this morning but look for that pronto. Hawksnest has not updated their website slope conditions since 12/30, but according the Southeast Ski Association website they will have two trails and tubing today.

We saw the groomer out pushing snow around at 7:30a on the webcam. They did update their frontpage news to say, "HAPPY NEW YEAR’S! What a beautiful morning it is on Hawksnest Mountain. With a winter storm on its way and snowmaking preparations underway to begin tonight, we expect to greet the New Year with great expectations and fresh powder. Come on up and enjoy our snow today. There is enough snow coverage to have a day of fun on the mountain."

Sapphire Valley – There have been no reports since December 19th and that is because there’s been no cold temps down there. However we can expect that Sapphire will make snow later this evening and over the next couple of days and Sapphire Valley fans could be skiing this weekend. Stay tuned for updates.

SKi Beech – Reported 32° at 7am this morning. They made snow on Monday and it is always amazing to see how a little snowmaking can make a huge difference in the look and feel of a ski area. Beech as in horrible shape for Saturday and Sunday, but yesterday was able to "pretty up" the bottom of the mountain and add to their base from top to bottom. They will offer the same 4 trails today, as well as Ice Skating.

As we wrote a couple of days ago, a lot of people were questioning why Beech stayed open and we responded with our take on that by saying that a lot of people were at Beech hoping to be able to ski and Beech was simply providing that alternative.

Beech seems to be responding on their own this morning with this statement on their website, "Winter weather is coming in for a few days again this week. We have used what precious little times of snowmaking weather we have had to get our slopes open for the folks who have traveled long distances to enjoy snowsports, and we have had some marginal ski conditions here lately. (We have also had some really good ski days here this season.) The skiing on Saturday and Sunday was particularly sketchy at the base of Freestyle; however, Upper and Lower Shawneehaw had some fun conditions, and there were many people here on both days enjoying themselves despite the unseasonable weather and conditions. Snowmaking began again Sunday night, and by Monday morning it was as different as night and day up here. We are expecting a few days of much colder temperatures along with a chance of natural snow, so it is looking good for much improved conditions and more terrain to be opening. Think snow, and more importantly, think cold!!"

Well put Gil…

Sugar is already showing 19° at 8am and they are making snow and open with 9 trails and ice skating today.

As of 8:05am Wolf Ridge had not updated their website report but according to the Southeast Ski Association was open with 6 trails, terrain park and tubing for today.

So things should be pretty nice for your New Year’s Day skiing and riding and that should be a great way to start off a new year. Skiing and riding at your favorite North Carolina mountains with some snow falling and what should be nice conditions no matter where you head today.

Best bets will again be Appalachian, Cataloochee and Wolf Laurel for today…but even Beech, which was hurting just two days ago and close to closing…will offer some good skiable terrain for today. Sugar looks darn good and has the most open terrain for today, although they were looking a bit worn two days ago as well. It IS amazing how quickly our talented snowmaking crews can turn things around!

Enjoy your day…

Until Next time…

Be sure to visit www.SkiSoutheast.com  for more stories and skiing in the Southeast!

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