It isn’t often that I let somebody in this region get the jump on me in terms of storylines, but today I have now read a couple of ski news stories (one by West Virginia Ski Areas Association spokesman (and SkiSoutheast Columnist), Joe Stevens) that alluded to the fact that we are now in March and that’s the time that ski areas and news media start promoting the fact that Spring is a great time to ski.
TYPICALLY the BIG PITCH is to promote the fact that there are less lines, less wait time at the chairlifts and pretty nice conditions to carve up.
THIS SEASON, the only "pitch" is to share the news and THE NEWS is that the ski areas of the Southeast and Mid Atlantic are all in better-than-mid-January shape! Right now, some of the best conditions in the entire United States are being found in our region!
The WV and Maryland resorts keep on getting hammered by these last few systems that have skirted the NC and VA resorts and deposited more snow further north.
There’s a natural snowpack of 41" on the ground in most areas of central West Virginia and above. One quick look at David Lesher’s official weather station based in Davis, West Virginia – home to Canaan and Timberline – shows:
1.9" more snow on Sunday
5.8" in the last 48 hours
12.9" in the last 72 hours
25.8" in the last 4 days
29.2" in the last 5 days
They saw 116.6" of snow in February alone!
The WV and MD resorts aren’t the only ski areas with perfect conditions even though they’ve received the most natural snows. Ski areas in Virginia and North Carolina have all got such good conditions that they’ve not been making snow. I posted over the weekend that I’d bet our ski areas have set a record this season for the LEAST amount of manmade snow made because, quite simply put – they haven’t had to make snow.
Even though the ski areas further north have gotten the MOST snow, the ski areas in North Carolina have picked up measurable snowfall literally nearly EVERY OTHER DAY all winter long. As an example, consider Beech Mountain. We’re on day 95 of the 2009-2010 ski and snowboarding season and they’d had measurable snow on 44 of those days! Actually they’ve seen snow FALL on many more days than that, but we’re talking measurable snowfall!
So while on MOST March 1st days we’d be beginning our promotion of spring skiing…what we’re talking about TODAY are EPIC SKI CONDITIONS!
We still have 42 more days of opportunities to hit the slopes as several ski areas have extended their snow ops seasons. Appalachian will remain open through April 11th and there’s enough base depths at all of the ski areas in the region to remain open into MAY!
Remember that even during NORMAL seasons it isn’t a lack of snow that causes ski resorts to cease ski ops. It is a lack of people coming to the slopes that causes management teams to begin punching buttons on their calculators. This has been an awesome season and there’s many days left within it but you guys should know that some of the region’s ski areas WILL CLOSE at a moment’s notice if they perceive that the skier visits are not warranting their continuing to stay open.
So if you want to see your favorite hill stay open – go ski or ride. It’s as simple as that.
Here’s some quick notables today:
We’re on day 95 and there are 42 more days of opportunities to enjoy the snow for the 2009-2010 ski and snowboarding season!
Other than some snow flakes and a dusting here and there (Beech reported no new snow although the official snowfall up there was one-half inch) none of the North Carolina, Tennessee or Virginia ski areas saw any new accumulations on Sunday.
Timberline’s website is reporting 20" of snow in the last 24 hours. That is a glitch. They have had that much in the last four days!
I liked Snowshoe’s Laura Parquette entry today so here it is in full:
"It’s hard to believe today is the first day of March because it certainly doesn’t look like it outside. March is typically the month that southern skiers enjoy lower prices to put up with spring conditions. It’s a time to get in those last turns of the season. But this season March could offer some of the best conditions of the year. With over 100" of snowfall in February, including 2" during the day yesterday, we’re kicking off the new month with amazing conditions, some of the deepest base depths in our history and more snow in the forecast! Not to mention, we’re offering great March promotions, like Kids Ski Free with any 3+ night lift/lodging package. And the fun isn’t going to stop this month, as Snowshoe has already announced plans to ski until April 5th, giving you an extra week to enjoy some of the best conditions in the resort’s 36-year history. Today we could see another 1/2" or so of snow, and the two and a half feet that has fallen since Friday will continue to offer amazing conditions across our 60 slopes. Our grooming team worked their magic across most of our terrain overnight, although we’ve continued to allow a handful of expert slopes to bump up. After a busy weekend, those bumps should a great workout! All in all, it’s hard to have a bad day with the amazing snow across the mountain right now."
Cataloochee Ski Area is day skiing today – not tubing and if you have been wanting to go tubing this season and Cataloochee was in those plans, you only have one more weekend to make that happen as Cat will reopen their tubing hill for one more weekend – this weekend.
Sapphire Valley Ski Area is NOT OPEN today as some other reporting services are showing. They are closed until Friday as part of their normal operations. Their ski and tubing ops are only open Friday, Saturday and Sundays and the word is that they will be open for TWO MORE WEEKENDS ONLY. This weekend of March 5th and the weekend of March 12th…closing for the season on March 14th.
Sugar Mountain Resort is still hosting their 2011 Spyder Sample Sale. Quantities and sizes are limited but if you’ve been wanting to get some great discounts on skiwear and gear you’ll find prices (30% off retail).
This weekend is also Sugar’s annual tribute to longtime staffer, Dick Trundy.
Ski/Snowboard To Benefit The American Cancer Society At Sugar Mountain Resort
SUGAR MOUNTAIN RESORT, NORTH CAROLINA – Since 1987 the Sugar Cup Competition has been a fundraising event to celebrate the lives of special people whose contributions have made a lasting impression at Sugar Mountain Resort.
Richard Trundy was Sugar Mountain Resort’s Director of Operations from 1987 until 2000. He passed away in February 2002 from cancer. Since his death, 100% of the entry fees from the Sugar Cup Competition have been and will continue to be donated to the American Cancer Society in Dick’s memory.
The Richard Trundy Memorial Sugar Cup Giant Slalom Competition is open to skiers and snowboarders and will take place on Sunday, March 7, 2010. Registration is from 7:30 am until 8:30 am. Competition begins at 9:00 am on the Big Red Slope. Entry fee is $15.00 and participant lift tickets are $25.00. Prizes are awarded to the top three ski and snowboard finishers in 13 categories from four and under to 60 and over.
For more information please call 800-SUGAR-MT or visit their website: www.skisugar.com/calendar .
Wolf Ridge Resort – We got a few emails this morning about Wolf saying that they were CLOSED on the website this morning, "due to high winds" and the announcement on their front page said they’d reopen on Thursday. THAT IS A GLITCH. We called and they ARE OPEN with 14 trails – which is what they’d been doing during weekday operations for the last several weeks – and they are in groomed condition with night skiing and tubing available.
Wintergreen Resort is open for day skiing and snowboarding today on 26 trails. No tubing on The Plunge today. It should reopen on Tuesday.
That’s it for today. Go enjoy the snow! Check out the Snow Report at http://www.skisoutheast.com/skireports.php and please send us your favorite ski photos, ski videos, trip reports and comments to [email protected]