Lots of GREAT reports and images today!

Mark McKelvy reports from Cataloochee on Saturday:

Woke up at the crack of dawn at 4:30 to make the 3 hour trip to Cat with Tommy and Snowbird and still weren’t the first there. Snow started somewhere along the way and there was one brief fishtail in Bird’s Jeep. Met up with Stink, TD, Drmnofpow and his friend, Cbkoontz, and GaTom and his son. Snow continued, they blew snow and the wind blew snow hard. It was a little icy underneath from the rain the night before, but we still had a blast. I never waited more than about 3 minutes for a lift. There were drinks and a few collisions between board members, but the two were not related. We went to Guatemala afterwards for lunch and that will be an untold story. I practically had a hangover by the time I got home, but I didn’t drive, and managed not to pass out in the Jeep.

David Duling reports from Winterplace:

Good day, good Winterplace, good Panthers.

Drove up to Winterplace last night with son #1. Despite dire warnings, the conditions and crowd control were quite good. Saturday night was just a flurry blizzard – totally miserable weather, looked like something out of a sci fi movie with the bright lights, full moon, racing clouds, snow guns blazing, moderate flurries, and EXTREME WIND.

Today was much improved.

Arrived at 8am, got the best parking spot, oh yeah! Tickets, click in, and go. Bright sun, howling wind, and snowguns still blazing. Surface was alternating crunchy ice and southern powder. Woods run was most pleasant and snowbowl had the best snow. No liftlines until 10am. Crowds then arrived but the max liftline was 10 minutes and the average about 5. Not much action observed in the park. I talked to a snow patrol at the top who told me that the temp was 20F, the wnd was 20mph, and the wind chill was 20 below; he then went off and executed some lovely tele turns – that really does look like fun. Finally, they were doing a really good job of lift line control with actual employees manning the lines – it worked much better than last year. Lifties were even in a good mood. Met alot of people from Atlanta, Columbia, Nashville, Orlando, etc…. All in all, a very good day.

Joe Harmon reports from Cataloochee on Saturday as well:

Today was by far the best fellowship day of the season. Great to meet new people.  That’s what the messageboard is all about.  Who cares about random pics, we are making things happen by actually meeting up riding and having the best times of the season.  Whoever is skipping out on the Utah summit is missing what will be the best thing SkiNC will ever and I mean ever see.

Logan Tuura reports from Appalachian on Saturday:

I skied appalachian yesterday in the morning, and it wasn’t as crowded as it usually is on MLK weekend, due to the snow and wind.  The conditions were variable with about 6 inches of good snow on top of the last night’s ice (because of huge rainfalls).  There were a few patches of ice on almost every trail, but they were small and spread out.  The snow on hardcore was excellent, and later in the day skier traffic was pushing the snow up into bumps.  With a few more hours of skier traffic, they would have had some good moguls.  There were a few places were the wind deposited the snow, and those places had good fresh snow.  They also had every gun on the mountain going, so most people were in the lodge, rather than on the slopes.  Overall, it was a good day, with good conditions.

Lane Passmore skied at Hawksnest Saturday:

I went to Hawks Nest this morning and I have two words for you – COLD & WINDY! I arrived about 9:30 am this morning only to find a long line for a lift ticket. Looks like it was going to be a good MLK weekend for these guys. I got on the slopes about 10:00am and must say the conditions were GREAT!! They were blowing snow and had really good coverage on the trails that were open. I went down Merlin first and only saw one big bare spot. Other than that, it was smooth sailing all the way to the bottom. Next up was the Sock-Em-Dog Snow Board Park and it was in terrific shape!! They have done a great job keeping it up. As the day progressed, it got warmer and more people  showed up for skiing & tubing. Like I said earlier, it looks like Hawksnest a solid weekend.
In closing, I would like to add something that I heard today from a source close to the mountain. It was about Hawksnest’s big announcement for the 2006-2007 season. The source told me that they are going to add 1.5 miles of trails (mostly intermediate) which will be super for the beginner/novice skier. The additional trails will be on the lower side where the golf course is located.  Sounds like Hawksnest is getting ready to really go places.

Wayne Cash reports from — Cataloochee:

This morning started out early and cold, I left my house in Atlanta at 4:42 am, I arrived at Cataloochee at 8:02 am, it was 22 degrees in Maggie Valley and 28 degrees at The Cat, I got my usual parking space next to the ski school building, I am glad I got there when I did by time I walked up purchased my lift ticket and walked back to the car the lower area was full. I raced to dress to be the first on the lift, I was like 5th up.

The morning was sunny and the blowers were off. Cat had nice coverage from top to bottom. It was not busy yet as everyone had not purchased their lift tickets and ski school had not started yet. As the day wore on the crowds gathered, they came in buses and  in vans by the dozens. Lots of church buses today. This brought inexperienced skiers to the slopes (see some of my pics I will send and post on the board, the ski patrol was very busy today), I saw a girl fall from the lift and then tell her friend to jump. I saw several people carried down in the sled. One thing I have never seen before that I saw today, Ski Patrol helping people off the lifts and clearing the way for people to get off. All in all I saw a lot of people fall and need attention today, Hats off to the Ski Patrol at Cataloochee they did a great job.

I left The Cat at 2:30 to head back home, the crowds were out in masses, the slopes were full. The personel at Cat did a great job working with all the crowds today.
Oh I did run into rockinragu around 1:30 she was sporting her SkiNC sticker on here snowboard. I approached her and said cool sticker (which I have not received yet) she looked at me and said hi, RockinRagu and u are. So I have met yet another SkiNC member at Cat. Great times today.

Mark McKelvy reports from App on Sunday:

Appalachian 1-15-06
Today was a beautiful day at App with the sun was shining in a blue sky.  The day or so of cold temps, snow, and snowmaking made for some really great conditions.  It started off cold enough to make snow and they did until it warmed up a little bit later.  There was lots of loose manmade pow to ride on until it heated up.  I rode the park most of the day with my friends Tommy and Logan.  There are plenty of rails in the park, a wallride, and 2 different sized jumps.  One of them is MASSIVE.  I will look forward to another day of conditions this good around here.  

Lorrie Tomlinson lived at and reports from Ski Beech for the weekend:

I lived at Ski Beech this weekend, which is expected of employees during MLK. I was able to snap some pics on the way to work Saturday and Sunday. I did not step foot on the snow, so there is no report from me, but thought I would share some snow pics anyway.
I do have a funny story to share also. On Saturday, I received this phone call from a lady. Her first statement was "I am a tourist". She then proceeded to explain that they were visiting and just wanted to see the snow. They were at the bottom of Beech Mtn Parkway and saw the flashing sign stating "4wd or chains recommended". She asked me, "is that really necessary?". I basically begged her not to make the trip in her out of town ‘rear wheel drive’, but I do not know what she decided to do. Now that I shared that story with the co-workers, people are asking "is that really necessary?" all the time.


On-Snow Reporters:

We will keep a log of the best reporter’s submission, photos and reports. Trust us it is way to time consuming to post every pic…but send them…because we are tallying the scores.  The winner of the Best On Snow Reporter for 2005-2006 will win $1000 in cash, a FREE Getaway Vacation and more.  The contest will run from now through March 1st and we will choose the winner.  Our choice will be based on the following and IN THE ORDER of importance.

Quality of Photos
Quality of Reports (well written, informative, unbiased)
Number of Photo Submissions
Number of Reports

Extra points will be given for getting smiling faces in the photos and including names and cities where you can.

Extra points will be awarded for creative ideas.

We will choose the winner based on how helpful and informative the reports have been.

As of 01/16/2006 here are the top vote getters. (We will only document the top three to five here throughout the season…and we may begin posting the top ten, depending on how close results are.)

1. Mark McKelvy
2. Lorrie Tomlinson
3. Kent Jackson
4. Joe Harmon