Less Slopes, A Closed Resort and Some New Year’s Resolutions to Keep!

Editor’s Note: Due to time constraints today, we are combining this morning’s report to show both on SkiNC and SkiSoutheast.com. Check the slope conditions page for the latest details for all resorts across the southeast and mid-Atlantic region.

We going to attempt to keep a smile on our faces this morning and simply report some facts regarding the conditions. We’re also making a New Year’s resolution or two within today’s update – so read on.

First to the conditions –

The rain and nasty weather of Sunday IS leaving the area. Most of the region saw close to if not more than an inch of rain yesterday. It was also blustery at times and down right raw. We watched the live cams and personally witnessed some diehards on the snow. I even inquired of one coming off the slopes at Snowshoe yesterday, “How was it out there?” I fully expected something like “TERRIBLE!” However, the two young girls responded, “It was pretty good!”

There’s that “perspective” thing again. When you want to ski or ride bad enough, all you need is snow. There’s plenty of snow at most resorts although base depths certainly dropped across the board in the last 24 hours.

The good news is that Monday should be a transition day where will see some clearing out of the clouds and any leftover rain/drizzle and decent weather with highs n the 40s and 50s. It will probably gusty and windy at times but behind those winds and clearing is some chances at snow making temperatures. From the Western North Carolina mountains, up through Virginia, West Virginia and into Maryland should see some chances to make snow as lows should be in the 22-28° range tonight; 25° or so Tuesday night; and close to freezing Wednesday night. After that it may be this weekend again before more snowmaking ops. (We’re still in that roller coaster pattern til mid January.)

There’s even a chance for some light snow or snow flurries tonight into Tuesday. Nothing special as far as any accumulation, but SNOW nonetheless! If it’s cold enough to snow…maybe it will be cold enough to make snow.

We NEED that snow making, and some resorts need it very bad. Yesterday we reported which resorts were in the best and worse shape and we predicted that we’d begin seeing some closures of slopes…and perhaps a resort or two. That has indeed happened as several resorts have had to alter slope opening and schedules.

Some have turned to day skiing, many have reduced slope openings and Ober Gatlinburg in Tennessee has closed due to the weather. Most of the resorts are all reporting a drop in base depth from 2-5”. Sugar Mountain is reflecting a TEN INCH drop in base since Sunday. Appalachian also reported 6” of drop in the last 24 hours.

Here are some quickie observations:

Cataloochee dropped one trail and now has 6 slopes open and is DAY SKIING ONLY on Monday.

Hawksnest has closed their snow tubing hill and only have 2 trails operating.

Sapphire Valley has not reported or updated their reports since December 29th. Call Ahead.

Ski Beech definitely looked the worst shape of any of the North Carolina resorts yesterday. They have now closed three more trails and only have 2 slopes open – Free Style and Play Yard.

Sugar has closed three slopes and now has 6 slopes operating.

Massanutten dropped one trail and now has 3 slopes open.

Wintergreen dropped one trail and now has 4 slopes open.

Snowshoe Mountain remains strong with 33 trails open. There are some thin coverage areas and bare spots.

Lets hang our hopes on some snowmaking temps tonight and over the next couple of days and things will get better.

Now that we have the depressing news out of the way – Happy New Year! Today is the first day of a new year and with it will come MANY resolutions to change or break old habits. Hopes are high for cutting calories, booze, smoking and inactivity. Snow lovers will vow to ski or ride more. We’ll all make resolutions that are nearly impossible to keep. Yet we’ll still make them.

I’ve never been much on resolutions. About the only one I make seemingly every year is to get in the best shape of my life. Of course I’ve made hardcore attempts at it and last year even kept at it until sometime in mid June. But it didn’t last. It was an unrealistic goal anyway. So this year I’m not going to make any resolutions – for myself.

I will, however make some resolutions for you guys and you can decide to keep them or not.

Resolution #1: Have fun while shedding those unwanted holiday pounds. Forget the treadmill and spin class, take a break from sweating indoors and become a lean, mean skiing machine. Skiing and snowboarding offer fun, exhilarating ways to shed pounds and stay in shape during the winter months. Skiing is said to burn 250-700 calories per hour.

Resolution #2: Spend more time with family. Skiing and snowboarding are two forms of recreation that are fun for all ages. The entire family can ski or ride together.

Resolution #3: Ski somewhere new. Try trails that you haven’t before. Try resorts that you haven’t before. We’re not advocating that you abandon YOUR favorite; just ski somewhere different every once in a while. With 17 true ski areas in the Southeast…there’s plenty of new terrain to try out.

Resolution #4: Convince a friend to try skiing. You know how much YOU enjoy it – why not share that love and enjoyment with a friend? Also it’s a lot more fun to ski or ride with friends than to go by yourself.

Resolution #5: Increase your total ski days. Set a goal to ski at least double the amount of ski days you did last year. If you’re a ski nut who gets in more than 20 times on the slopes, push for more and feel free to brag about it. A year filled with skiing is a year worth living! Check out the messageboard and you’ll see that some members post the number of days on the slopes each season. Brag!

Resolution #6: Stop trashing resorts that simply don’t meet your enjoyment criteria! It serves no purpose to trash one resort or another, simply because they are too expensive for your budget; or because they focus on real estate more so than skiing in your mind. If you have a favorite type of resort, great. Enjoy it. Embrace it. But don’t trash the others. Every resort offers one thing in common for all of us – SNOW to ride.

Resolution #7: Don’t set resolutions! We saved this one for last because statistics show that most resolutions are broken quicker than snow melts! That reminds me of a baker that once told me that their business declines close to 50% the first month or two each year. He said that the sale of baked goods drops every New Year, until those resolutions to keep unwanted pounds off melt with the snow! A personal trainer friend agrees, “It’s sad to say, but oh so true. So many people set goals to get in shape, join a health club, etc and within a couple of months we don’t see them again. At least not until January 2nd the next year.”

So don’t make resolutions…unless of course you want to try my suggestions!

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Until Next Time…

THINK COLD AND SNOW!!!

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For more information about the ski resorts of the Southeast and Mid Atlantic visit www.SkiSoutheast.com  

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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.