For the first time this week I’m not going to bust out the snowfall table. It’s been an amazing week and one of the better stretches in March that I can ever remember and I’ve been doing this snow report for 8 seasons now. The first half of this month has been excellent, ensuring that we’ll see quality snow conditions into the end of the month.
After the crazy past four mornings, the final day of the work week is calm in terms of the weather…for most resorts anyways. The exception being the northern portion of the region where the Timberline and Wisp webcams are showing some light snow still falling as of this writing. The wind is going to be an issue today and at times will be very gusty but all of the open ski areas should see a good deal of sunshine by lunch. Things started to clear up yesterday in some locations and it looks like it was a great day to get some turns in, as evident by this photo from App Ski Mountain.
We have ten open ski areas today and this weekend. There’s open slopes in almost every state in the region. For you folks in Tennessee you can get your snow fix by making some tubing runs at Ober Gatlinburg. North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, and Maryland all have plenty of open terrain right now and conditions are much better than normal for this time of year. Some resorts are featuring January-esque conditions thanks to a productive few weeks. I couldn’t believe it when I looked at Snowshoe’s snow report this morning and saw that all 60 trails are open. And the glades. That’s a rarity for mid-March.
It’s hard to believe that it is March 16th. Lost in all of the winter weather excitement this week is that fact that we’re looking at a lot of closings this weekend and the next, only 9 days away now. There will probably be a couple of resorts that try and push into April, but in general the end of the ski and snowboard season in the Southeast is on the horizon. I mentioned the other day that snowmaking has become less prevalent and that is expected for this time of the year. To be honest, the only reason we’ve seen such widespread snowmaking in recent weeks is because of how crappy February was. For instance, Sugar usually doesn’t make snow in March but apparently they bought some extra blocks from the power company. Kudos to them and others for spending the extra time, energy, and money.
Let’s take a look at who’s open and their late season schedules…
- Appalachian Ski Mountain is open daily with normal operating hours. App has received and made enough snow in recent weeks to re-build some medium sized jumps in their park. It looks good out there, real good. Their annual Meltdown Games are next weekend, meaning their season will conclude next Sunday unless they decide to extend it.
- Cataloochee has had a March renaissance and are skiing and riding from the top of the mountain down. They are open with day sessions only from now through next Sunday, when they too will conclude their season.
- Sugar Mountain had a very productive week, with over a foot of natural snow. They are open to the top of the mountain offering both day and night sessions. Conditions look good out there and Sugar is one of the two resorts who could push past next weekend. They always go for as long as possible.
- Bryce Resort is open today and this weekend for day sessions only. They haven’t said anything about operating hours beyond this weekend, but our trusty insider Bill Naber says he is hearing that they will remain open all of next week.
- Massanutten is back open today after taking the past few days off. The turnaround in the last few weeks out there has been remarkable. They are open for day sessions only today through Sunday. They will then close Monday-Thursday and open back up for one final weekend next Friday.
- Wintergreen just announced that this weekend is it for them. Sunday is their final day of the season. I’m kind of surprised by that to be honest. Usually they’ll go as long as possible with weekends only. Regardless, they’ve been making snow this week so the final few days out there this weekend (day sessions only) should be quality.
- As I already mentioned, Snowshoe is 100% open today. It’s been a banner week for them as they saw over 50″ of snow. The video at the top of the post was shot out there over the past several days. Just insane. With the amount of snow they have right now on the mountain, and the possibility for more next week, it wouldn’t come as a shock to see them extend their season into April. We’ll have to wait and see.
- Timberline had a fun week as well, receiving over 20″ of snow. Even with that fact, they are calling it quits after Sunday. A lot of seasons resorts will close not for a lack of snow but for a lack of visitors, and I wonder if this is a case of that. Regardless, it should be a fun weekend out there as they are open on 25 trails. That’s actually one of the higher numbers they’ve had all season.
- Winterplace’s site says that Saturday is their final day and “Bonus days may be added”. I just talked to Joe Stevens who told me that Sunday is going to be a bonus day and they’ll be having some spring fun out there. No word on anything beyond Sunday, so stay tuned. Seventeen inches of snow this week should provide guests with solid conditions this weekend.
- Wisp Resort continues to operate on a daily basis and while their site only has a schedule through Sunday, their latest blog update says they will be open 9am-5pm until further notice. Hopefully that means into next week as it looks really, really good out there right now.
So, this is the final weekend for a few resorts and many others will be done next weekend. Get it while you can. We have some showers in the forecast for tomorrow, but Sunday looks nice. Wherever you go, snow conditions will be above average for this time of year and I promise you’ll have a good time.
Mike is with you all this weekend, but I’ll be back on Monday. Next week looks interesting and has the potential for another snow event. It’s still 5-6 days out so things can change, but it does look promising. Stay tuned.
Enjoy the weekend!