This Just Isn’t Funny Anymore!

Sugar's looking o-k-a-y but certainly thin in spots.

YOU guys may be getting tired of the story-line. Hell I’m tired of it too. I get up every morning around 6:00am or so. I say my goodbyes and get hugs and kisses. I make the same run by the Country Corner to grab one of those oh so yummy and not-very-healthy-for-you bacon, egg & cheese biscuits and my morning tea. The same people are in there every morning and we greet each other pretty much the same.

Hmmmm…

I get to the office at about the same time. I open up, turning all of the lights on in pretty much the same order every day. I say my morning prayers.

…okay this is getting weird.

I sit at my desk and in mere moments it comes in. The same damn Vail Snow Alerts that we started out the season with nearly every morning. As if by design, the alerts seem to be a slap in the face for those of us who live in the Southeast and mid-Atlantic as they display YET ANOTHER DAY where 4″ of snow fell at Vail, 8″ at Beaver Creeek, 7″ at Keystone and 9″ at Breck.

If it weren’t for the fact that the REST of my days were totally different from each other, I would swear that I was dreaming some sort of Groundhod Day movie sequel.

 

Appalachian Ski Mountain IS OPEN!

Appalachian Ski Mountain this morning
Appalachian Ski Mountain this morning

They have not updated their webpage since being closed on Monday. I spoke with Susan the last couple of mornings and they ARE OPEN. They have closed one trail so now they have 11 of 12 operating for day and night sessions.

As the photo to the right shows, App is probably in the best shape of ANY ski resort in the region with the most open and the best-side-to-side coverage and no thin or bare areas.

Coming off the Quad Lift at the top of Beech. That can't be good.
Coming off the Quad Lift at the top of Beech. That can’t be good.

Everyone else? They’ve got ’em – thin coverage and bare areas, that is. To be honest, I am wondering how Beech is even open to the top of the quad lift.

They have a small path coming out of the lift house, down and over to the Upper Shawneehaw slope. From there things are in pretty good shape according to a few people who have emailed me. However unless they can get more snow over there, I don’t see how they are not going to close up pretty soon. I know that some of the Beech residents were telling me this past weekend about Beech staying open into April. There’s just no way. Ryan and their team should be proud though that they made it this far and that they are one of only SIX resorts open on March 16th. I’m thinking that they will have to pull the plug on this season shortly…even with 1-3″ of snow in the forecast for Sunday.

 

Will The Resorts Make Anymore Snow?!?!

I have been getting a few emails from you guys lately asking if any ski areas might make snow with the cold snap that is headed our way. I communicated with a couple of resorts and there could be a couple of resorts to make snow. Shawn Cassell of Snowshoe reported that they MAY turn some low-energy guns on to kind of “pretty things up”. I heard from sources at App that they too may make snow. I was not able to confirm that with Brad Moretz.

2016-mar-16-SNOW
One to Three INCHES of SNOW is forecast for the highest elevations around Snowshoe, Sugar and Beech Mountain for Saturday night and into Sunday with highs in the low to mid 30s and lows in the mid 20s. After that you can stick a fork in this season as temps are predicted to be in the low to mid 60s with no cold overnight temps for the rest of the month.

Cataloochee Ski Area this morning
Cataloochee Ski Area this morning

We’ve had our doors and windows open here at the office to allow the awesome, mild temps to further entrench us in Spring Fever mode. The LAST thing that any of us really wants to hear NOW is a damn pattern change. It seems that every year we get some awesome Spring temps and then one last burst of cold hits. That is destined to happen again Friday and into Monday at Snowshoe as lows are predicted to hit around 21° Friday night and maybe even into the teens on Monday night.

USUALLY that last burst of cold air hits around the end of the month. This time, unfortunately we’ve seen much warmer temps than normal for over a week now and other than a couple of days this weekend, it certainly appears that the season is destined to end like it started…

Here are a few more images of the resorts that ARE OPEN today:

Beech's base area looks pretty good considering the temps lately
Beech’s base area looks pretty good considering the temps lately

 

Snowshoe has 37 trails and 165 acres open.
Snowshoe has 37 trails and 165 acres open.

 

Winterplace is down to (9) slopes open but they look pretty good
Winterplace is down to (9) slopes open but they look pretty good

 

Here's the Summit view of the top of Beech
Here’s the Summit view of the top of Beech

 

2016-mar-16-SUGAR2
Sugar’s looking o-k-a-y but certainly thin in spots.

 

A Member of Our Community Needs Us…

Brandon (front row right) passed away Sunday and the family needs your help.
Brandon (front row right) passed away Sunday and the family needs your help.

I don’t do this often, but a nn Sunday, March 13, 2016, Brandon Harvey Aldridge, age 16, of Foscoe, tragically lost his life in an automobile accident. Brandon was a wonderful young man with an extremely bright future. He was a member of the Watauga High School baseball team and he and his family are very close to many of us in the Foscoe and Banner Elk area.

Like many young parents – they carried insurance on themselves but not on their children and obviously funerals are not inexpensive. Those close to the family have set up a GoFundMe account to raise the funds for his funeral which takes place today. The viewing was on Tuesday evening and there were lines 30-35 minutes long to get into the funeral home to mourn with the family. The GoFundMe account has raised $3700 or so in one day, but more is needed to cover the costs of the funeral. If you are blessed to be able to help and if you feel led to – here is the link to: Support the Brandon Alridge Family

 

That’s it for this morning.

Until next time…

Email me anytime and about anything at: [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.