It’s Cold Today; More Snow is in the Forecast! Great Conditions Everywhere!

I don’t know about you guys, but occasionally it is GREAT to have a slow news day! Lately with all of the snow that we’ve been getting and with impending winter storms lurking around every corner – it has taken several hours to simply log all of the snowfall and post all of the snow report and weather content. We’re now done with the Christmas Holiday period; MLK Weekend is in the books and only President’s Day weekend is ahead of us in terms of "big weekends". Of course every weekend is potentially a big weekend in terms of skier’s visits so thankfully we still have plenty of them ahead of us.


I was speaking with a business owner located at the foot of Sugar Mountain on Saturday and he told me that this winter’s weather had been "weird" in the sense that while traffic had been brisk, it was down in his opinion. He shared, "Mike, when we get the heavier snow that we’ve had this season and when the roads aren’t great off the mountain it has kept our traffic down."

I was at Sugar at around 1pm on Saturday and typically the parking area out on Hwy 184 is nearly full (if not overflowing) on weekends, but there was not one car parked in it mid day on Saturday. For those unaware of Sugar’s parking situation – they have several parking lots up and down the entrance road – and trust me they were very busy this weekend, however I’m betting that traffic was below their typical high-traffic weekend.

We’ll have to follow up on this thought and see if there’s something to this. I know that many of the ski area ops have shared that they’d much prefer 2" of snowfall, sunny skies and 26° than to have a foot of snow and travel issues for guests.

Personally, I think this winter’s weather has been just fine! I’ll take a little "too much snow" any day!


The fix is in! Punxsutawney Phil of Groundhog Day fame will waddle out of his little manmade cave sometime on Tuesday morning up on Gobbler’s Knob, just outside of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania and he will see his shadow. Even if there is no sunshine, he will see his shadow. Even if the skies are bombing snow and there isn’t one spec of sun escaping the cloud cover – he WILL see his shadow and predict that we will have six more weeks of winter.  Go ahead and make your bet in Vegas and you can thank me later.

For those unaware, we have "connections" in Banner Elk, NC. A few years ago we began enlisting some of our "influential brothers" to make certain that ole Phil "made the right call" and we already have it on good authority that Punxsutawney Phil, that Seer of Seers, Sage of Sages, Prognosticator of Prognosticators, the all weather-knowing rodent – will see his shadow – even if my brother Guido has to provide artificial sunlight via our trusty winter-producing flashlight.

Since Groundhog Day is now a "dead issue" (pun intended) have you guys paid any attention to the fact that PETA wants groundhogs to be left alone and they are suggesting that promoters use ROBOTS to pose for the real thing?

PETA maintains that the animals are being mistreated–put on display year-round; denied the ability to prepare for and enter yearly hibernation; and forced to endure screaming throngs of thousands, media attention, and human handling.  Sounds like the Jonas Brothers!

Ummmm…that’s ONE DAY A YEAR! For payment, Phil and other rodents like him are paid handsomely. As I understand it Phil’s little manmade cave has a connecting tunnel to another room that is stocked with his favorite adult beverages and an all female rodent harem!

It just hit me that there’s a gopher/groundhog actor that played a vital role in the movie Caddyshack with Bill Murray – who coincidentally enough also starred as the main character in the movie Groundhog Day. Maybe Bill Murray could talk the Caddyshack rodent into replacing Phil since perhaps PHIL contacted PETA. I just know that Guido and the Caddyshack rodent would get along – j-u-s-t   f-i-n-e!


Everyone familiar with the Groundhog Day movie knows that the plot of the movie involves the main character reliving the same day (Groundhod Day) over and over again. There are many who will feel that we’re stuck in the same kind of thing with our weather of late. Watauga County and Avery County schools are out AGAIN TODAY! I’m sure that’s the case in many of our mountain communities as school kids around here have not had a full week of school since mid December! (That isn’t an exaggeration!)   Mountain residences have awakened to snow on the ground every day since mid December as well. Hey, maybe we ARE stuck in time!

If you’ve glanced at the weather forecast you probably already know that we have more wintry weather and snow in the forecast for this week. Some mountain communities into West Virginia may see more snow from this weaker disturbance Tuesday into Wednesday. Others in Virginia and North Carolina may see some freezing drizzle that ends as snow.

Then the BIGGER storm comes in on Thursday into the weekend with a wetter than this past weekend forecast. More moisture means more snow…or so it seems. We’ll see.


Laura Parquette of Snowshoe writes, "CUPP RUN IS CLOSED TODAY FOR THE ANNUAL CUPP RUN CHALLENGE. GOOD LUCK TO ALL RACERS. FINISH LINE VIEWING WILL TAKE PLACE AT ARBUCKLES CABIN AT THE BASE OF THE WESTERN TERRITORY. SHAY’S REVENGE IS OPEN TOP TO BOTTOM.** **Soaring Eagle lift will have a delayed, 10am opening for routine maintenance. Flying Eagle lift will be open 12pm-4:30pm.

We kick of February this weekend with the annual Jose Cuervo Games of winter. This is one of the biggest party weekends of the season, with great on-snow fun like snow volleyball and plenty of adult nightclub games inside the Connection. Davvisson Brothers Band will once again join us for the fun and some live performances. Great package deals are still available, and the conditions couldn’t be better, so call 877-441-4386 to plan your Snowshoe escape TODAY!"


Blowing Rock hosted their Winterfest festivities this past weekend and part of the fun was a Polar Plunge where those who chose to participate could jump into the freezing waters of Chetola Lake on Saturday. We have a LIVE CAMERA on aimed right at the lake and we zoomed in and showed some of the action LIVE. Even though we had some major server issues on Saturday – thousands of people saw it via the live cam. We received a ton of emails about it, but one from "Jon" in Wilton Manors, Florida took the cake. He wrote, "About 11 oclock on Saturday It looked like someone went into the semi frozen lake on your blowing Rock webcam! There were emergency personell there also, did everyone make it out alive? It was unbelievable to watch!"

I HOPE. I REALLY HOPE he was pulling our leg. It is possible that he didn’t realize that the emergency personel that he alluded to was in the water on purpose to assist anyone with issues on getting out of the water?

We’re on day 65 and there are 72 more days of opportunities to enjoy the snow for the 2009-2010 ski and snowboarding season!

That’s it for today. Go enjoy the snow! Check out the Snow Report at  and please send us your favorite ski photos, ski videos, trip reports and comments to [email protected]  

SSAA: 4 for 65/several/self 63/65

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Mike Doble
Mike is the Editor and founder of, and 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.