North Carolina Ski Resorts in GREAT SHAPE!

"I HAVE A DREAM".

"I’ve BEEN to the mountaintop".

Those two speeches by Martin Luther King, Jr have significant meaning to us here in the Southeast and Mid Atlantic ski area. We dream of skiing and snowboarding on mountaintops every day during winter! If you’re off work today on a holiday that celebrates Dr. King’s contributions to civil rights then today has even more enjoyment for you.

I too have a dream…of a SUMMIT (or two) to the mountaintops…

We have TWO summits taking place around here over the next two months and I’m beginning to get more and more email about them and the dates. We will be kicking up the promotions of each this week, but for those who need to make plans now, here are the dates.

The Annual SkiSoutheast.com / Snowshoe Summit will take place March 5th, 6th and 7th at Snowshoe Mountain. Snowshoe will again be offering $100 off lodging rates for any two-plus night package. The offer code is: MWD100. Call or go online to make your reservations and mention the offer code and you’ll get $100 off. Additionally, Snowshoe will be providing us with a private Après-ski party again and all attendees will get their Sunday lift ticket for FREE. This is a three day event and we really want to pull a big crowd this year.

SkiSoutheast.com is ordering some new hats, beanies and some newly designed hoodies with some cool new looks and we’ll be giving away some cool stuff. Also one lucky person or group will get a FREE stay at Snowshoe. All you have to do to win is recruit the most people to come, stay and play with us at the Summit.

We’ll work out some potential kinks in that contest with the great folks at Snowshoe and then announce the details later this week! So mark your calendars for that great weekend and let’s make this the biggest summit ever! We’ll be posting a special SkiSoutheast.com Summit page this week…so look out for that!

SKINC / SKIBEECH SUMMIT SET FOR SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 20th

This annual event will again be a one day fun fest at Ski Beech. There will be live music, entertainment and we’ll do another fundraiser to support Breast Cancer. We’ll announce more details this week as well.

If you can make BOTH events PLEASE DO as we’d love to spend some time with you guys and meet new friends. Several messageboard members will be at both events as will our staff. We’ll have some special announcements to share FIRST with summit attendees so be sure to be there.
For those who always email us asking about getting hoodies or tees, these special hoodies, tees, hats, beanies and newly designed stickers will ONLY be available AT THE SUMMITS. We will not put these special items on our store or give them out. You’re going to love these new items, but you’ll only get them if you attend.

MORE ABOUT THAT LATER THIS WEEK…

HAVE THE CONDITIONS AT THE SKI AREAS REALLY BEEN ALL THAT GREAT?!?!?!

That question was posed by a few of our readers in one fashion or another this week. For example, Amelia D. from Charlotte, NC wrote, "I know that the resorts are in great shape with lots of snow, but it’s been so windy and icy cold out that I and my two young sons could only stay out on the slopes for maybe 20 minutes at a time before having to go back in and warm up. Is that what you guys call great conditions? I call great conditions lots of snow, no wind and sunny skies with the temperature around 32 degrees. Call me JUST WONDERING."

Well JUST WONDERING, you have a point I guess. In a perfect world, we’d have about six inches of pure powder to carve with perfect consistency, a base of two feet of snow under that, with perhaps six or eight friends to ride with, no wind whatsoever (except the wind in your face from the zips down the mountain) and 32°.

Those conditions happen in heaven daily (I HAVE TO BELIEVE THAT!) and about once every season if we’re real lucky. Outside of heaven and that one day a year we have to "PICK OUR POISON" and make the best of it. I’d rather have the awesome and deep snows that we’ve had and have to tolerate some gusty winds and zero degree temps than to see bare spots and great temps and no wind. I think most will agree. Just invest in some good boots, good gloves, hand and toe warmers, a good balaclava, and wear layers and you’ll barely be aware of the adverse conditions.

In our book GOOD SNOW means good conditions regardless if it is raining, windy, cold or twenty below.

SPEAKING OF WEATHER…

We are providing a little different kind of tour today. We’re sharing the temperature at each resort at 9am and the forecast for today, along with the slope openings etc.

According to our weather contacts winterlike temps won’t return in full force for another seven days or so. As you’ll see in the tour, some areas are forecasted to be TWENTY DEGREES colder than others for today. That is quite a range that is a bit out of the norm, but it is what it is. Check out the tour and read on for more news and information. We’re long winded today…

HERE’S THE TOUR:

Appalachian Ski Mountain: 36°- Mostly Sunny later high near 49. App is 100% open with a 91"+ base, 11 slopes and trails and ice skating.

Beech Mountain Resort: 31° – Mostly sunny, with a high near 49. Beech is pretty much 100% open with only the dedicated park area that they cut two off seasons ago not open yet. For marketing purposes they should delete that trail until they’re ready to debut it. Anyway they have 14 trails open including White Lightning and Oz with a base of 55"+ and tubing and ice skating.

Cataloochee Ski Area: 30° – Sunny, with a high near 56. 100% open with all 16 trails for DAY SESSIONS ONLY TODAY with a 65"+ base. Tubing is open as well.

Wolf Ridge Resort: 34° – Mostly sunny, with a high near 54. Open with 18 of 20 trails with a base of 54"+ and tubing as well. Rick Bussey wrote, "Its Monday morning, Martin Luther King Holiday and its 34 degrees on the mountain. Weather man says its clearing up today and it should be another great day to ride the 18 incredible runs open. For the brave at heart, come challenge our infamous black diamond " Bowl" run and for the casual fun skier, the one of a kind ski through tunnel Breakaway slope is a must. Get here early and be the first to hit the slopes. See you at the Wolf!!!"

Sapphire Valley Ski Area: 39° – Sunny, with a high near 56. 100% open with both ski hills and tubing from 9am to 9pm today.

Sugar Mountain Resort: 34° – Sunny, with a high near 56. 100% open with all 20 trails on a 47"+ base. Ice skating and tubing are open as well.

All NC ski areas have reported and reflected a drop of from 4 to 10" of base depth over the last two days, while NONE OF THE VA, WV or MD resorts reported anything different. Evidently snow only melts in North Carolina and Tennessee! Hats off to our resort ops for updating regularly. Great job guys and gals!

SOME QUICK NOTES FROM SUNDAY

It was 45° at noon on Sunday. The weather / rain was not nearly as bad as some had forecasted. Skier’s and snowboarders who made the trek to their favorite ski areas on Sunday might have had a good day after all. We did receive reports of some rainier areas. But things were pretty good here in Banner Elk until later in the day. Last night was not a good time to be on the slopes.

The Watauga River was swollen from rains further upstream AND the ice and snow melt that increased river levels. A short few days ago most of the river was iced over near my Sleepy Hollow bridge. Today that is all clear of ice. Ponds and small lakes in the area are still frozen over, though
unquestionably with thinner ice than of just a few days ago.

If you’re visiting the area and seek a chance to walk out on the ice along some of these ponds…don’t. In many cases you’d probably be fine, but with the milder temps and light rains come melting of that ice layer and there’s increased chances for life-threatening accidents.

SAVING A LIFE…HOPEFULLY

We’ve unfortunately lost one of our own ski family recently in an accident of this nature. 52 year old Robert Todd of Blowing Rock drowned this past Wednesday afternoon when he fell through ice into Trout Lake. He had been walking with his 9 or 10 year old son and some family dogs. One of the dogs went out onto the ice and Robert went out to retrieve him. He fell through while his young son watched. He drowned and wasn’t found until nearly an hour later. I share this horrible incident for two reasons. First, several off mountain reporting services inaccurately reported that Robert and his son died. His son and dogs were unharmed. The dog he’d gone after made it back to the shore. However Todd’s body was found nearly 25 yards offshore.

Second, if one life can be saved by sharing the Todd family’s horrific story, then some good will come of it.

We understand that some of Robert’s family works at Appalachian Ski Mountain. We were sorry to hear of this incident and our hearts go out to the Todd and Appalachian Ski Mountain family.

We’re on day 53 and there are 83 more days of opportunities to enjoy the snow!

WE’RE ON DAY 32 and 54!

We’re tracking how many days in a row that we’ve experienced measureable snow pack in the area. We’re not talking snow base at the ski areas. They’re loaded with snow! In this case we’re talking snow pack in the communities around the ski resorts.

In the Mountains of Western North Carolina (we’re tracking the High Country specifically) we’ve now had natural snow on the ground for 32 straight days. It has now snowed 18 of those 32 days. (There’s lots of snow around Banner Elk, Blowing Rock and Beech Mountain as well as many of the surrounding communities.) If you’re headed to Wolf Ridge or Cataloochee you’ll find the same is true!)

David Lesher’s Canaan Valley / Tucker County, WV weather center has reported 54 straight days with snow on the ground and snowfall on 35 of those 54 days. That record is dittoed at Snowshoe, Wisp and Winterplace Resorts!

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]

Visit www.SkiSoutheast.com for all the rest of the ski news and details about the resorts in Virginia, Tennessee, West Virginia and Maryland

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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.