The National Weather Service has forecasted 2"-3" of snow for the mountains of North Carolina today and 1-2" across Maryland and West Virginia. The weekend should be perfect for the West Virginia ski areas with sunny skies Friday and a 40% chance of more snow on Saturday.
The North Carolina Mountains will have Sunny Skies and highs in the 20s to 30° and lows in the teens and low 20s for Friday, Friday night, Saturday and Sunday should be a degree or two milder, but PERFECT ski conditions.
Meteorologist Brad Panovich sent us his latest Skier’s Forecast for the weekend, but we haven’t had a chance to view it yet, but we’ll get that posted by mid morning. Be sure to check that out on the front page.
GROOMING IS THE NAME OF THE GAME…
When a resort takes their time in grooming a resort, either prior to the day sessions or between day and evening sessions – the result can be THE difference maker in your experience on the snow. If a resort is not that good at it, people will pass the word. One such resort actually has prompted some of their crew to half-jokingly send us comments that they have threatened to saw the second or third gear off of their groomer. Going too fast leaves a lot of chunky conditions.
When a resort is good at it…THAT word gets passed around as well. Appalachian Ski Mountain and Sugar Mountain’s crews have long received a lot of praise by our readers from around North Carolina. Fans of Snowshoe Mountains and Wintergreen Resort have also emailed regularly about how sweet they lay down some corduroy for their visitors. "Snow Quality" are two words that are mentioned often in emails that we receive about those resorts.
If yesterday was any indication of how Hawksnest Resort grooms every day, they should start getting more comments from you guys. I watched between sessions yesterday and two of their groomers made very slow, methodical passes up and down all of their open trails and I can tell you that the difference in conditions from the close of the day session to last night was – well, the difference between DAY and NIGHT.
Several of our office staff made it up to Hawksnest around 3:15 or so and got in five or six runs top to bottom and while the edges of thier trails were nice, the middle sections of every trail were very icy. That happens a lot up on trails like "The Right Stuff" and "Top Gun" where skiers scrape off the quality snow. We all commented about how icy things were during our break in The Nest, Hawksnest’s Lounge.
However, after they did their grooming between sessions, ALL of their trails were absolutely phenomenal. Top Gun still had a few chunky spots towards the bottom but all of the rest of their open terrain was in fabulous conditions with some SWEET CORDUROY! You guys should really check Hawksnest out for one of your next trips as they are doing things right up there!
I want to thank Lenny Cottom and his brother Vance for a sweet ride on the groomer between sessions. We got to ride straight up Top Gun and around to The Right Stuff during one of their many passes and that is an awesome experience. It’s pretty boring for the guys that are out there every morning and between every session making the same passes over and over, and I’m certain that it’s no fun going at a snails pace either…but when those guys go slow — it makes for a great day on the slopes for all us.
When you guys get a chance, check out the groomers at YOUR favorite resort and pay attention to how slow they groom. If they are flying – tell ’em to slow down! You’ll thank me!
STATE BY STATE NEWS AND COMMENTS
Wisp Resort has not updated their conditions as yet this morning, but as mentioned they DO have 2" of snow in their forecast for today and 28 trails open for today.
WEST VIRGINIA NEWS
Snowshoe is a "balmy" 14° this morning and they continue to make snow. They also have a couple of inches of snow in the forecast and Laura Parquette writes, "We get another step closer to being 100% open today, as we add J-hook to the open terrain today. We now have 56 open trails over 215 skiable acres–that’s 95% of the mountain! Snowmaking continues to occur around the clock, and another 1-2 inches of natural snow is in the forecast for today. Conditions are aboslutely amazing across all of our open terrain."
WEST VIRGINIA OPEN THIS WEEKEND!!!
Don’t forget that Snowshoe plays host to the West Virginia Open January 26th.
It’s One Event, with Two Winners, $4000 Dollars
Get ready for the richest rail jam in the region! Yup, Snowshoe is throwing it down at the West Virginia Open. This season we up the ante with a $4000 cash purse. One skier and one rider will walk away with $2000 each! But it won’t be easy. You’ll be competing against the best freestyle athletes in the Mid-Atlantic & Southeast… and you’ll have to step it up to take home the cash.
Event registration – register prior to the event by call 1-877-441-4FUN or at the day of the event at The Depot.
January 26, 2008
Registration – Noon – 3pm – The Depot
Warm-Ups – 4:30pm-5:30pm – Skidder
Event – 5:30pm-7:30pm – Skidder
Awards – 8:00pm
Canaan Valley is at 16° this morning and is expecting 2" or so of snow today. Coop sent us some sweet photos from up there on Wednesday and we will share those with you guys later today. They have 18 trails open for day skiing today.
Timberline Resort – Jessica Scowcroft emailed me this morning and she reported, "Timberline now has 22 trails open!!! I went skiing yesterday and it was absolutely wonderful! You should go out and hit the slopes before the weekend rush if you can, you will not regret it!!!"
I think SHE was excited and you guys will be as well if you hit the mountain up there today. COnditions simply could not be much better.
Timberline also hosts a Country Legends Tribute Jan 25-27 from 10pm-2am at the resort. "Mr. Scott with Harmony Scott performs from 6pm-10pm and then James Michel Woodyard takes over from 10pm-2am."
Winterplace saw a TRACE of snow overnight and it is currently snowing! They wrote, "We plan to have ALL trails and the Terrain Park open this coming weekend! and it’s snowing with snow in the forecast throughout the day on 20 trails."
VIRGINIA SKI AREA NEWS
Virginia’s largest resort, Wintergreen Resort has 19 trails open today with groomed conditions and a great base. They made snow overnight and they write, "ONLY 7 TRAILS LEFT TO GO AND WE ARE 100% OPEN!"
Massanutten Resort is showing 19° and they are making snow in selected areas with 11 trails open today with groomed conditions.
Bryce Resort made snow and is 100% open for skiing until 9pm.
TENNESSEE SKI RESORT NEWS
Ober Gatlinburg is reporting 28° this morning and 5 trails open for today. They are making snow and are looking to open more terrain as soon as possible.
NC SKI AREA NEWS
<App does some grooming this AM
Appalachain – 24° – App is reporting that they did not make snow, but appears to be making some at the top of Upper Big Appal. They are 100% open with a GREAT base, terrain parks and ice skating. UPDATE: As of 7:55am they are making snow. I spoke with Amy over at App and she said that they were making snow and would do so until about 11am or shortly after.
Cataloochee made snow overnight and still is as of this report. They have a groomed surface on a GREAT base and have 10 of 14 trails open today.
Tammy Brown, Cataloochee’s personable Marketing Babe (that is her OFFICIAL title – just kidding) writes, "Don’t forget to join the Cat Crew on Thursday nights here for 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 it’s at on Thursday night’s Challenge Cup Race Night. Call the ski area for more information."
HEY WE NEED SOME PHOTOS OF THOSE RACES…SOMEBODY!
Hawksnest – 31° this morning, snowing and they made snow overnight. It does not appear that they are this morning though. Hawksnest has 9 trails open with a GREAT base and tubing as well. Duggan and Lenny have done some sweet grooming for your pleasure today. Bruno and several of the other crew up at Hawksnest passed me the word that they would be opening Sock Em Dog for this weekend. The Upper portion is open, but the main run (the fun part) is not open as yet.
Sapphire Valley – Contrary to some other reporting services such as the Southeastern Ski Areas Association and others that IT feeds info to – Sapphire is NOT open today…and they did not get 4" of snow yesterday, etc. They are closed Wednesdays and Thursdays and will reopen on Friday.
Ski Beech – It’s 19° atop their 5,506′ elevations this morning with light snow and snow in the forecast. Beech has 12 trails open for today and more importantly they are OPENING THE RED BARON TERRAIN PARK (something new for Ski Beech) THIS EVENING. Gil Adams writes, "RED BARON PARK TO OPEN FOR THE SEASON THURSDAY NIGHT!!! We are excited to open the new Red Baron Terrain Park for the 07/08 season. We will be hosting a FREE rail jam on our signature Lift Tower. On top of the rail jam we will have 12 new features highlighted in one of the smoothest layouts in the southeast. To celebrate this inaugural event, we will have $10 night lift tickets (1/24/07 only, available at Group Sales Office) and a raffle in the Beech Tree Restaurant. With some great prizes up for grabs, this is the perfect time to come check out all the hard work that has been going into our new terrain park!"
Go check it out and get us SOME PHOTOS OF THE FUN!
Adams also writes, "Mike, we plan to open Oz on Friday if all goes well."
(Just in time for a great weekend up at Beech.)
Sugar Mountain – It’s 18.6° up there this morning and they are making snow but only in selected areas. Sugar has a great base, topped by Machine Made Powder and Frozen Granular conditions on 19 of 20 trails for today. They also offer their terrain park and ice skating.
Wolf Ridge is OPEN TO THE TOP with what their crew says is the best conditions of the season on 13 trails, serviced by 5 lifts. They are not making snow this AM, but will as temps allow.
Wolf is also hosting a SLOPE-STYLE COMPETITION THIS WEEKEND. Justin Blythe writes, "This Saturday 01-26-08, Wolf Ridge Resort will be hosting our first park competition of the season. The Comp will feature both ski and snowboard classes. Riders will register as advanced, intermediate, and Women’s within their class. Registration will be from 9am to 11am inside the Upper Lodge. Practice from 9am-12noon in the park. Competition is set to start at 12:30. The format will be Slopestyle with riders scored best two of three runs. Entry fee for the comp is $15.00 with special discount $20.00 lift tickets. The special ticket price will be for competitors only as an extended day ticket. We will continue to be the only WNC Mountain to present cash prizes. We are also featuring a Wolf Ridge Rider Points series accumulating over all planned competitions. Any questions can be emailed to [email protected] Get out and enjoy the fun! Spectators welcome!"
PHOTOS PEOPLE! WE NEED PHOTOS OF THIS EVENT AS WELL!!!
NEW BASE DEPTH REPORTING RECEIVES NO COMMENTS. HMMMM!
We debuted a new system for reporting base depths at our Southeast and Mid Atlantic ski resorts yesterday and I wrote and/or spoke with a few ski area staffers about it. I won’t name names just yet, because I am hoping to still hear from them, but I asked, "Do me a favor and take a look at what we have implemented regarding a new way to report base depth coverage and let me know what you think."
I asked that of one longtime industry leader, Joe Stevens, and three other resort management people. One that I asked replied, "I won’t like it will I?" I answered, "No I think YOU will because you’re one of the ones that reports pretty straight-up numbers."
I haven’t heard from him yet!
However, marketing guru and co-owner of The Media Center in Charleston, West Virginia – Joe Stevens, wrote, "Let it roll as it makes all the sense in the world, good for you!"
Go enjoy some great conditions and a bit of snow for today…and GET US SOME PHOTOS OF THE TERRAIN PARK COMPS!
Go enjoy the day and…THINK COLD AND SNOW!!!
Until Next Time…Send your comments, photos and videos to: [email protected]
For resort news, photos and videos from ALL of the Southeast and Mid Atlantic ski areas, visit www.SkiSoutheast.com
See You On The Slopes!