It was a GREAT First Weekend of the 2006-2007 Ski Season at Cataloochee!

Weekend number one of the 2006-2007 Ski Season is in the books thanks to Cataloochee Ski Area in beautiful "downtown" Maggie Valley, North Carolina. From all accounts from members of the Cat Crew and others…it was a s-w-e-e-t first weekend of riding the snow!

Cataloochee announced late Sunday that they will NOT be open today or this week. They took a look at the weather forecast for the week and decided to take the week off. It did get down to 26° last night but the forecast for the week ahead over there is for an 80% chance of rain on Tuesday, 40% on Wednesday with a high of 63°. Thursday and Friday are forecasted to be in the 65° range with overnight lows only in the normal range of upper 30s and low 40s.

They did say that they will see hold the 24-40" of snow that they made since Wednesday holds up and if it does, they will re-open for Saturday and Sunday (Nov 11 & 12). Hats off to Cataloochee for providing a great weekend of skiing!

Setting the Record Straight…

Yesterday we reported that in a Saturday interview with the Asheville Citizen News, Chris Bates of Cataloochee stated that if the weather permitted, that Cataloochee would remain open until the END of April. Tammy Brown wrote us late Sunday that Chris was misquoted and that he actually said, "If the weather permitted that Cataloochee wanted to stay open until the first Sunday in April."

Way to go Tammy! (wink, wink) we’ll play along. You want it to be a secret, right!?! Just kiddin’ people! Expect Cataloochee to shoot for Sunday, April 8th as a closing date. Traffic (and typically the weather) just wouldn’t hold out until the end of the month. If it happens though – that April 8th date would set another record for the LONGEST SEASON for any Southeast resort. Let’s not jinx things…we’ll just continue to THINK COLD and take it one day at a time.

Snowshoe "Blew" Snow as well…

I don’t know how many times that we have written that ski resorts don’t "blow snow" – THEY MAKE SNOW. However, we received several emails from visitors over the weekend about how much snow Snowshoe Mountain in West Virginia – BLEW. One messageboard post alluded the "BLOWN" snow. Snowshoe Mountain DID make snow and a lot of it. Snowshoe’s Communication Manager, (and my buddy) Andrea Smith reported, "the snowmaking is over for now, but not before our veteran snowmakers were able to get in 42 straight hours of snowmaking Thursday evening through Saturday." She added, "With 20′ piles of snow in some places, it’s looking good for opening day, November 22nd!"

We’d agree! The image on the front of Snowshoe’s website this morning is actually taken from yesterday! Again, this is a testament to how great snowmaking technology is these days. Snowshoe made snow across several trails since Thursday and they’ve got a lot of coverage in…and some 20′ mounds to boot!

Setting the Record Straight…Part Two…

Ski resorts MAKE SNOW. Snow BLOWERS are those machines that transfer snow from one spot where you DON’T want it (like sidewalks) and BLOW it somewhere else (like off the sidewalk). Snow MAKERS are the machines (and the people who run them) that CREATE snow from water and pressurized air. We wouldn’t be enjoying the wonderful conditions that we are used to over the last few years if we counted on snow-BLOWERS. Pass it on people…let’s give these talented and hard working people credit for what they do…and that is the MAKING of snow. Thank you very much.

We received a lot of great photos and reports from over the weekend…but none better than Doug Burnett. Be sure to check out the photo of the day…thanks to Doug, a great digital cam…and of course God Himself, who set it all up!

Until Next time…

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