Keep Your Travel Plans – This Weekend Will Be Nice at NC Ski Resorts!

Yes, it’s raining out.
Yes, it’s raining pretty good this morning.
No, there’s plenty of snow.
Yes, there will be plenty of snow after it quits raining.
No, it doesn’t melt like that.
Yes, this weekend is looking pretty good.
Yes, snow is in the forecast for Saturday.
No, it’s not a foot.
Yes, maybe 1-4" at the higher elevations.
Yes, Sunday should be great.
Yes, next week is looking mild again.
No – yes – yes – I mean no. whew!

Between getting more than a thousand emails requesting free SkiNC stickers overnight and getting a rash of weather related – "what’s it gonna do?" – emails, it has been quite a busy morning! By the way, Good Morning everyone. May this rainy morning be a great one for you. On a quick note, this rain does appear to be moving out pretty quick later and this afternoon is supposed to be rather nice. Some forecasts are saying that we will see another 60° reading around the region. I think it’s more likely that we might get to the mid 50s today, but with sunny skies in the forecast for Thursday across the state, we will most definitely see a 60° reading.

That brings me to the question of the day. “I have plans to travel to the mountains Friday and we’re wondering if it will be worth it with all the rain and mild temps?”

The followup is most often, “Will there be decent enough conditions to ski on?”

If you haven’t seen how snow holds up around here over the years and if you’ve invested a hefty chunk of change on reservations and such…then this weather probably is causing some anxiety out there.  Yesterday, grouped in a huge batch of photos that people sent us was one photo of an unnamed resort that showed a very rarely used connector trail that two skiers were traversing in what was about 0-3” of base and 80% grass and the other 20% wasn’t pretty.  I didn’t use that photo, but it got posted by one of our On-Snow Reporters in an answer to a comment that I made on the board and set off a ton of emails to me.  The REASON I didn’t post it was because although that WAS a photo from Monday, it was NOT indicative of what the conditions were like.

Let me explain it this way.  I want to sell a car on Carmax.  Let’s say I send a photo of my car. It’s a gorgeous car and is 95% in perfect shape.  The paint’s good, but on ONE fender there is this little two inch ding. If Carmax only posted a ZOOMED in shot of that two inch ding my car would never sale. That two inch ding is not indicative of what my car looks like.

That’s the deal with the photo mentioned above.  One connector trail was photographed and taken by itself; you wouldn’t want to ski tomorrow.  To defend our very good, On-Snow Reporter he was simply asked to post the picture in question (referencing a novella that I had posted).  Our On-Snow Reporter had actually submitted a good quantity of beautiful images of this resort and of course when you looked at all of the pictures you have a nice representation of what to expect when you visit that resort.

In answer to the many anxiety-riddled inquiries from overnight let me put it another, very clear way. KEEP YOUR RESERVATIONS – you will LOVE this weekend. Most of the resorts ARE looking a little tattered around the edges (where you don’t ski) but there is plenty of depth, good side-to-side coverage and only a small percentage of thin coverage or bare spots.

The forecast is for SNOW MAKING TEMPS Friday night and with temps in the low to mid 20s, snowguns will “pretty up” the snow in ONE NIGHT.  Add to that the fact that we have God given, natural snow in the forecast for overnight Friday night and most of the day on Saturday and THAT will make for one pretty day of skiing or riding at your favorite resort.  Those tattered edges that I alluded to will be gone on Saturday morning. Sunday looks like a beautiful day of skiing.

So ditch those worries, pack your bags and get your rear out on the slopes. It will be a VERY nice weekend, weather-wise and snow conditions-wise.

Here’s some quick notes:

Don’t forget that this Thursday starts the Cataloochee Challenge Cup Race Series. Individuals race against the clock for the best of two runs. Top three challengers in both men’s and womens’ age divisions win cool stuff. You must be 21 years of age or older to participate. Racing begins at 8pm with a post awards party at 10pm, so dust off those racing skills and test your luck. The Cat is where its at on Thursday night’s Challenge Cup Race Night. Call the ski area for more information.

Two people emailed me this morning about a “Snow rainbow” that was spotted at Beech, Sugar and Hawksnest on New Year’s Eve.  This is the first I heard about it.  To have TWO people email me tells me there’s something to it.  Did anyone out there in SkiNC land get a picture of it?  I’d love to see it.

It is LADIES at Hawksnest.  Ladies ski FREE today and tonight!

Sapphire Valley hasn’t posted an update since January 7th, so don’t trust the reports…call ahead if you’re thinking of going there.  We’ve received one On-Snow Report that looked pretty bad down there except on the one main trail.

Today is Retro Rate Wednesday at Ski Beech.  Ski at discounted rates.

We continue to be impressed with Sugar Mountain’s reporting over the last several weeks. Hats off to them.  This is becoming a daily thing so I guess we’ll not mention it anymore after today.  Just GREAT job Sugar.  Sugar Mountain closed another trail, taking them down to 16 of 20 slopes open. They’ll have 13 trails open for night skiing tonight when the weather clears. They also dropped their base another 2-3” overnight. My boys!

Now if ONLY we could get Wolf Laurel in gear!  Wolf hasn’t adjusted their base in a week or more of mild and now wet weather!  They also show that they’ve made snow each of the last couple of nights (on their website) and of course they haven’t. Come on Jennifer, give those guys a kick in the rear for us! Conditions are okay up there with a receding amount of snow. Like everywhere else, it will be great once snowmaking and snow kick in on Friday.

I’ve done my thing this morning so you guys have a great day.

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.