What a day to be in the mountains! We received reports from several people throughout the mountains of Western North Carolina about snowfalls anywhere from the 2" TO 5" range but most of the ski areas received mpre like 2-3". The winds really kicked up as well and made what DID fall look somewhat less that what it actually was. It WAS beautiful though. I was leaving to head out of town around 4:20am Monday and the snow was really coming down and Seven Devils and Boone already had a good inch or so. Most reports fell in the 2-3" variety, although Sugar is reporting the most (again) with 4". It’s still so close to Christmas…that we’re going to give them that since the winds blew so hard on Monday, no ruler was going to prove or disprove ANY claims.
Tuesday should be one for the record books in terms of ski conditions and crowds. The forecasted high temps today should be close to 45° with the majority of the day staying in the mid to upper 30s and much less wind than was prevalent on Monday.
Ski Beech reported 3" as of late afternoon and added an inch since so they too got about 4". We were watching the live Beech Mountain Parkway cam and it was so dense at times up there. Whew! While we’re omn Beech, they had some troubles again with the Quad lift and shut it down. It is still temporarily down today but they should have it reopening soon. The top of the mountain is being serviced by chairlift # 6 and # 2. Snowmaking is in progress on Oz Run as well and they are hoping to get it open in the next few days. Snowmaking will shut down as soon as the temps creep up today. With the quad problems yesterday, Ski Beech generously extended the day session until 6pm. That corresponded to 1.5 hours of free boarding!
After dark, ski patrol rescued a teenager who decided to ski some fresh powder on the closed Oz run. The kid had managed to call for assistance via his cell phone. He was cold and scared, but he was okay. Although poaching (accessing closed areas on the slopes) sometimes seems tempting, this was a prime example why staying inbounds was the best idea. Oz may open soon, so be patient.
Appalachian Ski Mountain reporting only an inch of snow from Monday’s storm…and they are looking great today. They did make snow last night as well.
Tammy Brown at Cataloochee wrote me at 7:30am Monday with the news that they had received 2" by that time. We’ll update you more when we get that information. They made snow as well and conditions should be marvelous at The Cat.
Hawksnest received 3" of new snow on Monday and they are running with sweet conditions, skiing, tubing and they have some of their new terrain park features going with more available soon.
Sapphire Valley has AGAIN gone quite with snow reporting so we’re going to just quit talking about them until they get up to speed. No report in 6 days.
Sugar Mountain actually showed a drop of a couple of inches in the base depth from Sunday…and that’s probably due to the rainfall. However they have made snow and along with the natural snowfall…expect perfect snow conditions there for today! They also have several lanes open for tubing (five on Monday) and their terrain park features are looking sweet according to reports.
Wolf Laurel is looking great. They reported 4" of new snow yesterday, although one of our On-Snow Reporters, Elsa Barnes was there and reported 1" of new snow. Best bet is that the snow was somewhere in between and wind blown as well. Expect great conditions there with 12 slopes and three lifts in operation. Wolf Laurel is already promoting their New Year’s Eve festivies which include a torch run, fireworks, and a bonfire. Wolf Laurel Slopes and Zero Gravity will sponsor a terrain park competition on January 7th. Registration is at 10 a.m. Outdoor Exposure will be at the base of the mountain for demos as well.
Monday was awfully pretty and very windy according to most emails that I received. Sugar recorded a 39mph wind gust and sustained winds in the 18-22mph range. Linville recorded a gust of 46mph at 10am Monday. Thankfully things died down a bit later in the day, but along with the snow…things were sometimes almost whiteout conditions in many areas. Even with the 2-4" snowfall, the roads stayed in good shape with only isolated icy spots.
The day after christmas is traditionally a busy time for the ski areas and the weather did little to dampen brisk crowds at all ski areas. With Christmas falling on a Sunday, Monday was a travel day for many people…and area lodging facilities reported some near record checkins on Monday. That is great news to all of the ski areas and lodging companies since we are all so dependent upon this Holiday period between christmas and New Years.
Tuesday should be a WONDERFUL day to be on the slopes with light winds and temps in the 30s to near 45 degrees. With the snows of Monday and Monday-Monday Night snowmaking…expect PERFECT conditions at your favorite ski area. Since winds died down a lot overnight, the groomers should be able to get out and manage the snow to fight against the icy areas that often happen during high winds.
Until Next Time!
Be sure to check out www.SkiSoutheast.com for more news and stories for all of the Southeast’s ski areas.
Be sure to email photos, snow reports and comments to: [email protected]