Ignore The Base Depths – There’s Great Snow All Across the North Carolina Ski Areas this Weekend!

Man oh man was getting all of the photos of the day images caught up – ONE TOUGH TASK!  About the time we got caught up with the best of the best prior to today…we received 199 MEG MORE images this morning!  We are now all caught up!  Be sure to check out SkiSoutheast for even MORE images from around the region.

Thanks to all of the On-Snow reporters for your great submissions.  Keep them coming. We’re beginning to get good input from most resorts around the region!

It was good meeting Lorrie Tomlinson last night at Ski Beech.  Lorrie hold top honors right now for the best all-around On-Snow Reporter. I was wearing one of our SKINC Hoodies and she inquired. So I have now met our top two points leaders as of right now.  Several reporters are making great contributions this season and it’s early so keep on sending.  Our visitors love the ability to see places that they are planning to visit – and see just how sweet the conditions are right now.  Our On-Snow Reporters are an invaluable asset!  Even if you only ski a few times a season…signup…and share your assessment with others!

As mentioned, I skied at Ski Beech last night and took the whole family and some friends with me. My youngest daughter is not quite six years old and this is her FIFTH season skiing! I so wish that I would have taken up the sport at such an early age.  There is just NO FEAR in her.  This was HER first time out this season and we clicked her into her sweet little Atomics and she skied right off. There were only a few people on the slopes for the first hour or so and then business picked up a bit. Upper and Lower Robbins Run was probably the best slope to ski on as there was only one set of snowguns at the top of it and nothing the rest of the way.  Shawneehaw and White Lightning were lit up with guns blasting. It was so cool to watch though as Madison fired right down Robbins making sweet, connected S-Turns the whole way.

Speaking of snowguns…there will probably be NO-GUNS blasting today as temps are expected to moderate into the 40s today.  We began seeing signs of slightly warmer temps yesterday.  We received a couple of reports from skiers over at Wolf Laurel who skied in shirt sleeves and one that said he could have done shorts.  At Beech last night it was in the 20s, yet this morning the temps are AGAIN all over the place.  Check these out:

At 7am:

Beech Mountain – 36°
Banner Elk – 12°
Sugar Mountain – 29°
Boone – 40°
Blowing Rock – 41°
Maggie Valley – 15°

We’re still expecting to see a WHITE CHRISTMAS around the mountains of North Carolina.  One of those rain-changin-to-snow deals.  Temps will be in the 30s throughout the week ahead and more snow chances late next week.  So the holiday period will be a good one foe all ski areas in North Carolina and really the entire Southeast.

More On Base Depths:

We’ve watched as base depths have crept up each day as we approached the Holiday Weekend now upon us.  We’ve stayed low-key this season, not ranting too much about some of the totals that leave us scratching our heads just a little.  The fact is, as some observers have said in the past, we can only ski on the top five or six inches so what’s the big deal anyway?  Well the big deal is truth in advertising. When one resort plays it conservative and calls totals a more realistic 25-40" and another throws numbers two feet deeper…it just doesn’t seem quite right.  I was fortunate to speak with someone who has managed a Southeastern mountain for more than two decades yesterday and while he began his conversation with me just slightly defensive about our reporting of numbers out there…he did admit a couple of things to me. One was when I mentioned the fact that it gets us when some resorts report 24-48" of snow ONE DAY and when a mild streak hits and grass shows through less than a week later…that the FIRST figures had to be wrong.  He agreed and when I mentioned that while it’s true that since you can’t ski on grass…that ZERO figure shouldn’t be mentioned in the report…you can’t ski on a ten foot tall mound of snow either – and THAT figure shouldn’t be figured into average base depths.  He relaxed, laughed and actually told me that he had actually witnessed his boss look out a window many a morning and call the base depths!

I felt SOOOOOO validated!  Here’s a guy working with the ski area actually telling me that what we had been saying for years was true.  we are not 60 minutes and there is no way that we would state this person’s name because even through he’s been around forever, it would make for an uncomfortable time for him. But the conversation took place yesterday morning (he called me) and there you have it.

The fact is, we’ve stated for years that NO resort is going out there and taking two or three measurements across two or three trails and compiling numbers.  It is just not being done.  So why report numbers at all?  Just claim "great, side-to-side coverage and plenty of snow" and let that be that!  Actually we’ve noticed that one resort is not even posting their slope depths on their own website this season and we think that’s pretty cool.  Check out Wintergreen Resort’s www.WintergreenResort.com website.  No slopes depths anywhere.  Maybe we’re making headway!

Regardless of who is reporting what – ignore it!  Resorts all across the region are displaying some of the best conditions that anyone has seen in years RIGHT NOW.  Whether it’s 18" or 118" – don’t compare what one resort is reporting regarding base depths because they are shear marketing numbers.  Make your decision right now based on the area you want to ski and the terrain you want to play on.

If you are like some and want to make your decision on where you can see the most natural snow on the ground…right now that would be in MY front yard and I’m sorry but it’s not going to be open to anyone except Santa this weekend!

Get out and have fun AND SKI!

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]

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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.