Great Conditions On Tap for December 9th at North Carolina Ski Areas!

Quick Update: We just gave away THREE vacations for Dec 14, 15th and 16th! Congrats to John Terry and his family from Campobello, SC; Alice Lee and her fiance’ from Charlotte, NC and Dani Vines from Baltimore, MD on being our three winners! We will update a bit more later…

Man, talk about a cold day yesterday! Friday was as cold as we’ve felt it around here in a couple of years! Many areas didn’t see anything higher than the teens and the warmest highs were in the low 20s. We were out at Appalachian Ski Mountain yesterday evening and at around 8:30pm or so, and it was still only 13°! We met up with General Manager, Brad Moretz who was like a kid with a new toy at Christmas…because, well he had a new toy to share! He showed us their newest live camera which is focused on the terrain park. That particular camera allows for visitor control and from what we’re being told up to 1000 concurrent viewers can look at a LIVE STREAMING IMAGE at a time! That IS pretty sweet.

Before we get a ton of email asking SkiNC / SkiSoutheast to turn all of our cameras onto Live Streaming, we have an amazing viewer ship on this website. At times over the last two seasons, we’ve had as many as 2800 people looking at one camera at a time! So a LOT of people would not be able to see the live images if we went to streaming. We’ll have to look into it because it WAS COOL as heck last night to watch some of the terrain park visitors live!

By the way THANKS TONS AGAIN BRAD for your nice gift last night! You guys really do things right at Appalachian. My kids enjoy the heck out of the mountain. There’s a lot of you reading this morning who haven’t visited Appalachian…or visited it in years. You REALLY should make it a point to pay App a visit as many in the industry will tell you…if EVERY ski area operated as professionally and with attention to detail that the Moretz family does…we’d all have a more pleasurable experience no matter where we skied!

While we’re on the subject of “Live” Video…while we were over at App, we took the opportunity to capture some of the sites and sounds of the season…both the Ski Season and the Holidays and we share that with you guys on the front pages of both SkiNC.com and SkiSoutheast.com today. We’ve received a ton of comments about how nice it is to get a taste of what skiing around here is really like. The Photos of the Day and all of our Webcams are great…but nothing quite measures up to capturing the feel you get on the slopes…so make plans to visit your favorite hill SOON! WHEN you do, capture some photos and video for us and email it to: [email protected] . If your video is too large, let us know and we’ll accommodate you with FTP privileges. Also, take a moment to email us your thoughts about this new video feature. We’d love to hear from you!

Let’s Move On to some Slope Conditions and News:

Has anyone else noticed that a couple of resorts have now begun to display their slope conditions report without mentioning base depths? It’s true. We’re still publishing them from other input, but for example take a look at Appalachian’s Slope Report. They mention Groomed conditions, they mention slope and lift openings; terrain park info, etc…but no base depths. We HOPE that’s not an oversight, because truthfully we don’t think base depth is important anymore. We’ve written about it for years so we won’t beat on that dead horse right now, but you can only ski on the TOP of whatever snow is on the slopes and as long as THAT snow is nice…that’s all we care about! Way to go Appalachian! For those that want to know, App is still operating with the three slope openings right now, but they will open more terrain very soon and they have a base of 18-30” down right now.

Cataloochee is open for DAY SKIING ONLY on Saturday. We’re not sure what that’s about as they HAVE been open for night skiing for a while now. We’ll look into that asap. Tammy Brown reports, “On Saturday we will be skiing on four slopes, Intermediate Lower Omigosh, serviced by the Omigosh Double Chairlift, Beginners Easy Way and Beginners Rabbit Hill serviced by the Easy Way Triple Chairlift and Beginners Luck Learning Area serviced by the Moving Carpet Conveyor Lift on a base of 24-48 inches and a packed powder surface.

On Saturday we offer one session of skiing, day skiing only from 8:30am – 4:30pm with an afternoon half day rate also available. Weekend rates will be in effect on Saturday. Once again, don’t forget our Saturday and Sunday schedule will be day skiing only from 8:30am-4:30pm and there will be no night skiing on Saturday evening.

Tube World located in Maggie Valley, across from Ghost Town four miles from the ski area will be open from 10am until 10pm with 1hour and 45 minute sessions available beginning at 10, 12, 2, 4, 6, and 8pm. Cost for tubing is $20 per session and you must be 42” tall to ride alone.”

Hawksnest – Lenny Cottom reports, “When you get a couple inches of natural snow and single digit temperature for snowmaking you will get great conditions. We have great conditions. Snowmaking will continue to improve the base and open more trails.” Hawksnest also has their popular snow tubing hill operating early. Check out that with its 7 lanes of fun! Hawksnest patterned their hill after a roller coaster and you’ll have one exciting ride if you hit it! Check it out!

Hawksnest is enjoying FOUR trails today and we’ll be open until midnight!

Sapphire Valley – We had previously heard that Sapphire would be opening its Frozen Falls Tubing Hill today and look to open for skiing next weekend. However we haven’t received word that they are in fact open yet for tubing. Call ahead.

Ski Beech is open for day and night skiing with FIVE trails today. Upper and Lower Shawneehaw, Powder Bowl, Freestyle and Play Yard, which makes up the main ride from top to the bottom is open. Beech told us that snowmaking would be continuing as long as temps allow today and that they are looking to open more terrain soon!

Wolf Laurel is not open as yet. Boy we’ve received a lot of emails asking WHY Wolf isn’t open. We’ve spoken with a couple of people over at Wolf, and admittedly have not had a chance to ask Marketing Director, Tim Bryant about it so we won’t speculate. We have been told numerous reasons as to why they decided to wait until next week. So let’s just take it at face value and say, that for numerous reasons, Wolf Ridge isn’t quite ready to pull the trigger and open.

Wolf was doing a lot of last minute work on the tunnel portion of the new construction. Once that was finalized, they had to wrap up some conveyor installation…and things just didn’t go off on a perfect schedule. They will be open very soon and we’ll share that information with you guys.

IT SHOULD BE A GREAT DAY ON THE SLOPES!

With the temps pushing up into the 30s and 40s, things should make for a beautiful day to be on the slopes. It IS early in the season so there IS limited terrain available…but the resorts tell us that they will be opening more up soon! So get out and make some turns and get us some of your best photos and video! Email it to: [email protected] We’ll share your good times with those who can’t make it!

BY THE WAY – GO APPS!

Appalachian State is playing Youngstown State. Two of college football’s most storied programs at any level will square off for the first time when No. 1 Appalachian State University meets No. 5 Youngstown State Saturday in the 2006 NCAA Division I Football Championship semifinals. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m. at ASU’s Kidd Brewer Stadium and the contest will be broadcast live nationally on ESPN.

Top-seeded Appalachian (12-1) and fourth-seeded Youngstown State (11-2) have combined for 11 Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS — formerly Division I-AA) semifinal appearances and five national championships, but have never met on the gridiron. Appalachian WON IT ALL last season and with a win today, will play for the National Championship AGAIN! Good luck Apps!

Until Next Time…

THINK COLD – THINK SNOW!

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For more information about the ski resorts of the Southeast and Mid Atlantic visit www.SkiSoutheast.com  

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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.