For those coming here to see the results of Punxsutawney Phil’s ramble out of his fake habitat to screw up the rest of Winter for those of us who want cold and snow to last into late July…forget it! I am not talking about it!
Just kidding! I can’t talk about it just yet, because no news service, nor Punxsutawney Phil’s website have released the results. I have a media breakfast and an hour of first tracks to do before anyone else gets to hit the mountain to go and enjoy…so check back later for our take on Phil’s "decision".
A LESSON LEARNED LONG AGO…REVISITED.
I have been writing this column for twelve seasons now and in that time I have answered hundreds of emails wherein the subject of the email was something like, "I am looking at the weather report for ‘up there’ and it says you guys are getting a ton of rain and my question is ‘should we make the trip anyway’?"
I am working remotely this morning from beautiful Garrett County, Maryland (home to Wisp Resort) and before leaving out at 4am or so Friday morning, I checked the National Weather Service reports for Damascus, Virginia; Princeton; Beckley…and the rest of the route up. We were experiencing a HEAVY icing over in Banner Elk but the forecast for the entire area heading north was for rain, freezing rain, and some mixed precip all the way.
We left out driving through a light sleet and freezing rain, then hit a deep snow/crusty slush at Valle Crucis, and then slippery roads around the Tennessee line. Trees were bowing down onto the roadways forcing us to wind our way around numerous obstacles for the first portion of our trip. I was relieved to be rid of the freezing rain as we drove into Damascus, Virginia (which is about 40 minutes or so from Boone). However, from that point and for the next five hours we drove through heavy rain. Let me reemphasize for effect here – HEAVY rain.
I found myself thinking "will there be any snow left when we get to McHenry, Maryland?"
Even thirty mintues from our destination it was still raining a bit, though the ground was covered in a slushy, white mix of sleet, snow and light rain. As we exited off of the interstate I still thought that we were in for some wet conditions.
Wisp Resort is located just 15 minutes or so from the interstate, but it is a straight drive up and the elevation changed that light rain/mix to more sleet as we got closer. Then 20 minutes after our arrival it began to snow; and snow hard. (I’m taking FULL credit for it! I called it ‘marketing snow’…and since I was the first marketing person to arrive for the Media Weekend that Wisp is hosting…)
It snowed the rest of the afternoon, evening and night. My gang grabbed lunch, unpacked and after chilling for a bit…we hit the slopes Friday afternoon and we were rewarded with phenomenal conditions, clothes and goggle covering snow! The photo of the day on SkiSoutheast.com is my youngest daughter…so check it out.
The lesson to be learned is that the weather UP HERE (up here being the higher elevations of any of the mountains of the Southeast and Mid Atlantic) is just colder and because of that…you should never rule out keeping any reservations that you have – even when the forecast is questionable.
Check the SLOPE CONDITIONS PAGE for the details of slope openings and more.
Enjoy your day…
Until Next time…
Be sure to visit www.SkiSoutheast.com for more news from the rest of the Southeast and Mid Atlantic ski areas!
Send your snow photos, videos, comments or emails to: [email protected]