Brad’s Skier’s Weather Forecast is out and he’s talking snow totals. Brad shared what we all knew and that is that this storm was the biggest storm in 10-20 years with 28" falling up at Marlinton in WV, 30" at Wintergreen and 28" at Mount Mitchell in North Carolina, the tallest elevation east of the Mississippi. Those were the highest OFFICIAL snow totals in each state. Maryland’s Wisp Resort picked up 14" of snow during this past snowstorm.
Panovich said, "These totals were the biggest that we’ve seen since 1996 and they came up just shy of the 1993 Blizzard in a lot of locations."
A little more snow should fall today up around West Virginia and Maryland. They could see 1-5" of new snow and perhaps a dusting to 1/2" in the North Carolina mountains.
As far as the forecast into this Christmas Holiday week and weekend it looks like it will be PLENTY cold enough for the ski areas to make snow and the slopes should be AWESOME today through Wednesday with plenty of snowmaking temps at night.
Right now it’s looking kind of "iffy" for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with the possibility of an ice storm into some of the resort locations with a little more in the way of snow further north. Then Saturday and Sunday look SNOWY again (everywhere) with highs in the mid 20s and lows in the teens.
So things are setting up GREAT for a great Holiday ski getaway! Brad is calling this coming weekend another REALLY BIG BLAST OF ARCTIC AIR! It looks like VERY COLD TEMPS WILL STILL BE AROUND AT LEAST THROUGH THE FIRST OF NEXT WEEK AS WELL!!!
Check the SNOW REPORT page for all of the trail openings and snow totals across the region. More terrain is opening up and conditions will be simply outrageously AWESOME!!
We’re hearing that there is still some Christmas lodging open, but you need to make those reservations today!
CONDITIONS GREAT! VISIBILITY POOR!
That was the word I heard from "JB" when I was checking in up at Beech Mountain Resort on Sunday around midday. After digging my Expedition out of the snow we piled our gear in and drove up to Beech. BOY WAY HE RIGHT ON THE NOSE! The slopes were CRAZY GOOD, but at some locations you could not see more than a couple of feet in front of you! The "SNOG" (that’s snow fog) made it tough to recognize some of the great rollers and snow hits that were all across Upper Shawneehaw and Robbins Run. We had a BLAST though and really enjoyed ourselves.
I heard from JB that some of our crew and some messageboard members made it up there on Friday night and had a great time as well. That "SNOG" dropped another one inch of snow on Beech on Sunday and the visibility should really improve today and certainly Tuesday and Wednesday and we should begin to get some awesome photos of those great conditions!
SOME Q & A TODAY!
We fielded some questions over the weekend and you can check those out via Sunday’s Column
Today we field these rather straightforward questions:
Don B. of Statesville wrote, "This you will not believe. Cataloochee CLOSED at 4:30pm the day of the biggest snowstorm in years! I only have heard of a ski slope closing because of too much snow when there is an avalanche danger! In this area we get a storm like this once every 10 years and this place who claims to be open more than anyone, closes when we get the biggest storm of this Century? I called them, and they said they are only letting people w/ 4 wheel drive or chains on the road. DUHHHHHH. I told her that skiers know how to pack their cars, drive in these conditions and you CLOSE!!!! I will NEVER ski there EVER!!!!"
GOOD GRIEF CHARLIE BROWN! (or Don B.) – First, ski areas have closed NUMEROUS times in the past during very heavy snowstorms. They do so for the safety of their own staffers as well as for visitors. It is only temporary closures and typically only for night sessions. When travel conditions and/or visibility is so poor that it becomes dangerous, ski areas will temporarily cease snow ops for a short time. We’ve also seen them close up due to high winds that might cause chairlift malfunctions.
Sking or snowboarding in Blizzards are not advised and the slope conditions are FAR BETTER once the storm ends anyway!
…and your quote of, "…skiers know how to pack their cars, drive in these conditions…" – ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I WISH all skiers knew how to drive in these conditions. Driving to Banner Elk Friday night was like playing a pinball machine!
Jason T of Central, SC wrote, "I’m not trying to be greedy, but I’m confused why Sugar and Beech don’t have the whole mountain open. After a massive amount of natural snow, and on the
heels of what has been more or less a week of snow making temps at night…shouldn’t they have all the trails open? I’ll be up at one of the two on Monday, and am just wondering if there is a reason the whole mountain isn’t open at both resorts? I would think just the natural snow alone is more than enough to open the whole mountain at both places. Thanks for the great site…I view it daily!"
This is a great question that we’re asked a lot. There are many reasons why both Beech and Sugar (as well as most other ski areas in the region) are not 100% open yet.
1. Natural snow does not hold up to skier traffic the way that manmade snow does.
2. There are many rocks and other features on the slopes that have to be BURIED in manmade snow such that the entire slope or trail is uniformly covered. Then the snow maintenance crews work those slopes to pack the base such that it will stand up to skier traffic.
3. Wind blows the natural snow around such that there might be some obstacles that would endanger skiers or riders where the snow blown terrain might be exposed.
We were up at Beech on Sunday and can tell you with absolute certainty that White Lightning would not be fun to attempt to ski or ride top to bottom. Ditto that for many trails at all of the resorts.
We were speaking with Brad Moretz from App the other day after the heavy snow hit and he said that they would open for THAT day with 100% of the terrain but then close right back up so that his team could build base and pack it to stand up to the skier traffic that our resorts receive.
WE’RE POSTING A BUNCH of videos and photos, so be sure to check out both SkiNC and SkiSoutheast.com
You can check the snow reports for all of the ski resorts of West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Tennessee and North Carolina via http://www.skisoutheast.com/skireports.php as well as videos, photos and more.
Send your comments, videos, photos, trip reports and questions to: [email protected]
SSAA: 0 for 24 app8not7/sappclosenot/timbclosenot /self 23/24
Sug 30.5bech 23/12/21
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