Sunny Skies Will Rule the Weather Forecast for the Next Several Days.
"It may not be cold and snowy, but it isn’t warm and rainy either!" That was the sentiment emailed to me by Sandi Arnette of Atlanta, Georgia. She’s right. In fact, it IS going to be cold enough (according to the most recent forecast) to make some snow Friday and Saturday nights for those resorts that wish to do so. We’ve already heard from Appalachian that they will make snow. It will be interesting to see which others will do so. Wisp Resort in Maryland is still making noise about staying away for two weekends into April, and they look like they could use a little snow to do so.
There’s no cold or snowy weather in the long range forecast but Allen Mast of the Mast General Store told me on Tuesday that he’s kept a "bean jar" at the store for several years and for every fog in August he drops a bean in the jar. Every time it snows in the winter, he pulls a bean out. He informed me on Tuesday, "Mike, winter isn’t over. We still have four beans left in the jar and I’ll tell you that every season for as long as I can remember that system has only been one or at the most two beans off." He added, "So I think we’ll have AT LEAST two more snows this season."
I know it is almost an annual ritual to watch all of the flowers sprout up through the warming ground, and cherry blossoms burst out of newly formed buds – all creating a beautiful display of Spring – only to see them ruined by a substantial burst of snow and cold temps. I know that some of the heaviest snows of the past come in March and early April but right now the feeling that we’re getting is that this season may be different.
Don Dowling of Bald Knob, West Virginia wrote, "First off guys I love your website and it is my startup page every morning for about half the year and I visit it daily looking for my fix for snow news. Great job! I was reading your stories about how this season seems to have come to an abrupt stop and I’d agree. One day it was cold and we had snow everywhere up here and almost overnight somebody flipped a switch and it’s over."
Longtime friend and columnist, Joe Stevens expressed the same thing in his weekly column on Monday. Whether a switch was flipped or one of the circuit breakers within Heaven’s air conditioners and snowmaking plant failed – the cold and snow did just come to a screaching halt.
Even some diehard skiers and riders are already writing this season off. Jan Darnell of McGaheysville, Virginia wrote, "I hit Massanutten Resort about 30-40 days a season and I would agree with your story today that all of a sudden the weather quit coming and so did the people. Your site is my favorite by the way."
Well actually, Jan – the weather didn’t quit coming but we know what you meant. Will we get those other 2-4 snowfalls that Allen’s bean jar forecasted? We’re going with the sentiment of our readers and saying "Nope, we don’t think so." If the resorts are going to be closing down anyway (as most are this weekend and next) then we might as well get some enjoyment from some warmer weather. It’s time to get my boat "summerized" and spend some time doing the OTHER kind of skiing.
Now that I’ve said that – you can bet money that we will, in fact, have another cold burst of arctic air and two or three more snows. As guess as long as it comes in the next ELEVEN DAYS while the slopes are open – IT WOULD BE NICE TO GET IN ANOTHER POWDER DAY OF SKIING!
Those of us who love riding the snow are hopeless!
SOME RESORT NEWS AND NOTES – CATALOOCHEE WILL CLOSE THIS SUNDAY
With one eye on the forecast of sunny skies and mild temps, there’s no chance we’ll get another powder ski day in at Cataloochee Ski Area this season as they have now announced that they will call it quits on the 2008-2009 ski season THIS SUNDAY, March 22nd. They had previously thought that they’d ski and ride through the 29th, but due to the aforementioned abrupt halt to winter – AND the abrubt halt to those interested in hitting the slopes – Cataloochee will now close for the season on Sunday. Tammy Brown writes, "We will closing for the season at the end of the skiing day on Sunday, March 22. Until March 22, we will continue on our late season skiing hours, where we will open for twilight and night skiing Monday through Fridays from 1pm until 10pm and day skiing only on Saturday and Sunday from 8:30am- 4:30pm.
So there you have it "Cat Fans". You only have two more nights and four more days to ride at Cataloochee.
Appalachian and Sugar are still looking good in North Carolina. App will definately ski until March 29th and Sugar has not come up with a date to close – just yet. Sugar has their annual Easter Egg Hunt going on this Sunday and I am determined to find that one egg that has a season pass in it. I will have 200 volunteer egg hunters combing that mountain and if any of them finds it they are committed to giving it to me. Bru-ha-ha-ha-ha! (That’s my evil laugh!)
Just k-i-d-d-i-n-g! I’ll be visiting my mom and dad this weekend, but I do love jerking their chain a little. (Not mom and dad’s!)
Wintergreen Resort in Virginia has a lot of fun planned for their closing weekend. Anne Marie Jones writes, "Our final Slide and Splash Bash the weekend of March 21st, will be our final HOORAH for the winter season. Fun over the weekend will include: GREAT DEALS, the last skiing, riding and tubing, Terrain Park features the length of Dobie, great music, contests, prizes and the very popular Pond Skim Contest! For those of you that get excited about the park and nothing but the park, we will spend all week this week designing and building great features. By Saturday, we will have transformed all of Upper and Lower Dobie into a massive park. Come up for the fun and check it out! All of the cold weather this winter has allowed us to pile up snow on our core trails in anticipation of skiing and riding all the way through this coming weekend."
Ditto on the FUN-style activities for Snowshoe Mountain. Laura Parquette wrote, "This weekend we’re hosting our Shades of Cream Champagne and Chocolate Weekend, featuring free samples from chocolatiers from around the region, as well as yummy champagne and sparking cider for the kids. Stop by and satisfy even the strongest sweet tooth! Also this weekend, our annual Last Hurrah festivities will take place on Skidder Slope. This beach-themed party is a can’t miss event featuring music, beach ware contest and pond skimming competition. With some of the lowest prices of the season now in affect, dont miss out of the perfect opportunity to take those last turns of the season! Call 1-877-441-4FUN and close out the season in style!"
"…yummy champagne and sparking cider for the kids." Well, that should keep the kids occupied! But I wonder if that’s legal! Of course, they meant that the champagne is for us "older kids – over 21" and the sparkling cider is for the kids. I think 😉
Jessica Scowcroft of Timberline Resort also reminded us of one of the cooler, annual closing season events that takes place at Timberline. That don’t close for another couple of weeks, but this coming weekend is Timberline’s annual "SNOWY LUAU" Weekend.
Jessica Scowcroft says, "Aloha Skiers. It’s that time again. Round up your best Hawaiian outfits for our costume parade, prepare your best sleds, shovels, and sliders for our Hawaiian Derby and come join us for some fantastic fun."
Timberline’s Snowy Luau Festival is March 21-22 this year.
Scowcroft says the longstanding Timberline tradition has grown each year to the current reputation as the biggest festival in the region.
"This family oriented weekend features authentic Hawaiian music, Polynesian dancers, pig roast on the deck and a huge bonfire. There will be prizes for the best and most unique costumes and downhill races. Saturday night there will be fireworks display on the summit of Herz Mountain and a torch light parade flowing like lava from the top of the mountain to the base lodge. Then still more Hawaiian music and followed by even later rhythm and blues music until 2 am. There is no cover charge for any of the performances," she said.
Events include the Lahaina Triathalon, Pig Roast on the Timber Haus Deck, Luau Nastar, Lava Garden Children’s Obstacle Race, Hoaloha Polynesian Review, Rail Jam Series Final, Synchronized Skiing Contest, Sleds, Shovels & Sliders Hawaiian Derby, Polynesian Entrees, Apres Ski Bonfire & Drumming Party, Lava Light Parade & Fireworks, Entertainment by Hoaloha Performers, Boarder/Skier Cross, Costume Parade, Snow Sculpting Awards, Hawaiian Lunch Specials, Kid Fest in the Lava Garden, Bump Contest, Hoaloha Drumming Exhibition & Polynesian Dance Lessons, and an Awards Ceremony that crowns the Snowy Luau Kahuna.
Almost Heaven Weekend follows on March 27-28, with Allegheny Mountain skiing, music, and food in the Fireside Grill.
Kind of makes you want to go doesn’t it? Get us some pics!
Winterplace Resort has closed 4 trails today and that’s the first time they’ve not been 100% open in quite some time. However, they wrote, "The groomers will be out this evening and we will be reopening the 4 closed trails."
Winterplace also let us know that they WILL be closing for the season this Sunday, March 22nd. There was some speculation about extending the season, but they will close up Sunday at 5pm. They will host a "Spring Fling Race" on Saturday.
Wisp Resort is STILL claiming that they will have enough snow to ski on past Sunday, March 29th. They plan on being open this weekend with some huge events, then operate two weekends into April. They are reporting "CAUTION: Thin Cover and Bare spots" and they are down to 16 trails but they seem pretty confident.
As for the weekend of fun, Wisp is hosting their annual "Beachin’ Weekend/Cardboard Box Derby" this weekend. They will have Live music, games & the infamous Cardboard Box Derby! Here’s a schedule of the fun planned.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
10 am – 4 pm: Music & Games in the Main Lodge
1 pm: Cardboard Box Derby Registration at the Bear Claw Snow Tubing Park
1 pm – 1:30 pm: Cardboard Box Derby Judging
3 pm: Cardboard Box Race
5 pm – 8 pm Air Brush Tattoo’s in the Main Lodge
5 pm – 8 pm: ‘The Buffet Man’ Tom Watt Live Performance in the Main Lodge
Sunday, March 22, 2009
10 am – 2 pm: Music & Games in the Main Lodge
That’s it for today. Check the SLOPE REPORT for more news and have a great day!
Send your comments, trip reports, photos and videos to [email protected]