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David McConnell was at Cataloochee 12-17-05:

I love getting out of the house for a day of skiing before daylight, in the car you do not really know what the weather will be like.  You watch the horizon looking for the first orange glow of the sunrise and checking out any clouds.  Will it be a bluebird day, or totally socked in?  You can’t rush the sun to find out, you just have to wait and see.

Today was not a bluebird day; the sky was mostly cloudy when I arrived at Kendall’s house.  Gear loaded, we were heading down I-40 by 7:30.
When we rolled into the parking lot at 8:30 we were greeted by Wayne Cash, he had come in from Altanta and still made it an hour earlier than we did.  Just down the row, I can see Gresham’s Tahoe; plans for the day are coming together.

We head out to the slopes for some early runs, they are still making snow at the very top of the mountain but over 80% of the area was a snowmaking free zone.  Conditions were not quite as nice as they were the previous day.  Early on the snow was very hard, icy in a few places, with some frozen death cookies thrown in just to keep you on your toes.  Where the soft forgiving snow of yesterday afternoon brought out all the tricksters, today’s snow pretty much had them shut down both in the park and over the rest of the mountain.

After an hour or two, the remaining snow guns were turned off and the frozen crust gave way to nice forgiving surface that lasted the rest of the day.  The top skiers’ right side of Upper Omigosh was showing some thin areas as the day went by but nothing too serious and the groomers and snow making crew should be able to touch those up overnight.  Everything is open with the exception of the Cat Cage Terrain Park and Alley Cat; they still have the boxes set up as a mini park down on the lower mountain.  The mountain was very uncrowded the entire day, the only lift lines encountered were the ones created by our little group.  How often do you to see a group composed of telemarkers, alpine skiers, freestyle snowboarders, and alpine snowboarders together on the mountain?  If we had a snowblader there we would have completed the circle.

We had a good crew of SkiNC’ers there from all over, skiingrules was there with his family, also we had myself, Mr. Stinky, SkiMastercraft, Gresham B, cbkoontz, Mellow Yellow, and waynecash.  It was great getting people from Atlanta, Charlotte, Greenville, SC and Newport and Seymour, TN all together to make some runs together on a Saturday morning.  We had some food (I did not eat THAT many jalapenos at lunch.) and drinks, told some stories on each other, shared some laughs and basically had a great time.

Lorrie Tomlinson reports from Sugar:

On Sunday, we arrived at Sugar Mountain around 7:45am. Seven parking attendants pointed us to our designated space. Seven seemed a "little" excessive, as there was approximately one parking guy per every 5 cars. The jokes were abundant. "How many Sugar Mountain employees DOES it take to park a car?"
We finally hiked to the snow and discovered some really good conditions. Most of the trails were open. No wind existed. From a clear, blue sky, the sun warmed the early morning mid 20s temperature. Around 11:30am, we were getting hungry. We had overslept and neglected to pack our lunch. Sugar’s cafeteria is the worst of all the NC resorts, so that was not even a consideration. Fortunately, I discovered some M&Ms in the pocket of my jacket. Thankfully, there were many activities occurring and that allowed me to forget about my growling stomach.
Sunday was the second day of Sugarfest. Demo Day provided skiers and boarders alike the opportunity to try some new equipment. We observed Alan Romano shape three dimensional sculptures from frozen blocks of ice. Several kids participated in a poster contest. Santa Claus and Sugar Bear were seen walking around the lodge and even making some turns on the snow. The most exciting event was the Rail Jam though.
Edge of the World hosted the competition, which was almost 3 hours late of the advertised start time. Many skilled snowboarders, including Keaton, Jared, Matt, Cameron, and many others, amazed us with their aggressive maneuvers and challenging moves. The performance of 8 year old Lindsea Lumpkin was also impressive. That kid has style and a great attitude too. I had the opportunity to meet her proud father, Tommy Lumpkin. He stated that she is the product of the Youth Learning Center at Ski Beech. I know this is a Sugar report, but when the dad of the #2 ranked USASA snowboarder praises Jeb and YLC of Ski Beech, you have to give credit where credit is due. Anyway, Lindsea has the talent and the drive to rise to the #1 spot. She won 5 medals at Copper last year. She also enjoys wakeboarding and skateboarding, but you should watch for her in future snowboard competitions.
Overall, it was another great day on the NC slopes. If you are still searching for that perfect present, may I recommend a gift certificate to one of the area resorts? Happy Holidays.

Jeremy Dickerson was at Hawksnest Friday:

Just finished riding The Hawksnest Night Owl session till midnight! It was a blast! All lifts were up and running. They now have a flat box, a flat rail, a spine jump, and a small kicker jump. All but one or two runs are now open. The park crew have already done a great job with the park that they have made! every one should take a day and check it out! The temp stayed around 30 all night and the wind never got too bad. The blowers were on full blast but tolerable. Ill be out again early in the morning with another update at night. Thanks for the great work SKINC keep it up!

Lorrie Tomlinson was at Ski Beech Friday: Atop Beech Mountain, the trees were frosted with a trace of overnight snow. Thursday’s fog had lifted and the expansive mountain scenery boasted gorgeous, snowcapped peaks. A Carolina blue sky was obscured by wispy, white clouds. We could have easily spent hours enjoying the breathtaking view, but the time arrived to hit the slopes.
I guess the visitors are waiting for the holiday rates, as Ski Beech was crowd free. No time was wasted standing in a lift line because one did not exist. The high speed quad quickly moved skiers and boarders up the mountain. No wait + the quad = more time spent carving turns on the hard packed, frozen snow. The guns were operational and White Lightning should open this weekend.

Jake Parrish was at Sugar Mountain Saturday:
The day started out awesome, the temp was 27 degrees in the parking lot of Sugar Mountain. There wasnt much ice to begin with, but it seemed as the day went on the amount of ice was growing. They were blowing snow all day, and they have a good base on Upper and Lower Flying Mile, Switchback, NorthRidge, Tom Terrific,Big Birch and easy street.  Tom Terrific was in excellent shape early on, the steepest part where no one really skis had awesome snow. Big red could have used some work, however the right side of the slope was in good shape. They were blowing in the board park, but I believe they only had one jump. The crowds weren’t a problem, there were a few times I had to wait 3 or 4 minutes, but it wasnt bad. SugarFest was also this weekend, it was cool trying out all the different skis, I skied 3 differnt pair. I think a little amount of snow is predicted for tonight, so tommorow should be a good day of skiing. Be prepared for lots of snowblowers throwing out snow all day long. Tommorow they have a Rail Jam, Demo’s, fireworks, and lots of other things. Get out there and ski !!

Jeremy Dickerson was at Hawksnest Saturday:

We rode all day up at hawksnest today! had a great time! no blowers all day and even at night the only ones on were on unopend trails! The snow was almost perfect and lines were non existant. It looks like the far left (snowboard park) should be open within the next few days. The lift and other staff at hawksnest are nothing but first class and always smiling! thanks for being the best hawksnest and SKINC! see yall next weekend
Wayne Cash was at Cataloochee Saturday 12/17:

I woke up at 4 am this morning to drive from Atlanta to Cataloochee. The drive was one that I made two weeks ago for the Can-U-Ski Food and coat drive. I arrived at 8:30 not knowing that TeleDave and Mr Stinky just parked beside me. I got out of the car and asked Dave if he was a memeber of SkiNC and he said yes I am and then he introduced me to Mr Stinky and Ski MasterCraft. I also met CBKoontz, Mellow Yellow and GreshamB. I must say it was nice meeting them after posting for almost a year with these guys on the message board of SkiNC. I also wore my SkiNC hoodie.

The day was overcast, the temp in the morning was a cool 32 as soon as we hit the slopes the snow blowers were turned off for the day. The snow at first was icy up top, as the day progressed it got better. The temps for the day were in the mid 30’s.
The mountain was empty until 10am or so, even then there were no lines ski up to the lift and get on, I must have made 25-30 runs today. It was a nice day to be at Cat.

I am so glad I met everyone today, I know I have skied by everyone several times and looked at you funny thinking that I have seen this guy before. The thing that tipped me off to Dave was his car. Everyone posted a thread on their rides and I remember his car.

Lorrie Tomlinson reports from Hawksnest:

On Saturday, many winter activities were enjoyed at Hawksnest. The tubing setup was impressive. No wonder it has received such recognition. Many kids, and adults too, were observed laughing and smiling, as they cruised down the long tube runs. The attendant ensured every one entered the appropriate lanes. He spaced the individuals to avoid collisions. Speed bumps, as we fondly called them, maintained a safe speed, and at the same time, created a roller coaster thrill. The Magic Carpet provided easy return access to the top, for repetitive trips down the tubing park.
A gentle breeze accompanied an overcast sky. The slopes were not crowded and no lift lines existed. The terrain park was in early season development, but still included a few features.
Hawksnest has made many improvements over the past few years. They have always been known as the locals’ favorite. Now, the resort is quickly becoming a quest for all winter adventurers.
I must end by congratulating my alma mater, Appalachian State University, for the National Championship win yesterday.

Mark reports from Hawksnest on Saturday:

I go to Hawknest a good bit every season and today was my first trip up there this season.  I arrived a little before 9:00AM right on time with a front row parking spot.  The slopes were deserted so I pretty much had the whole place to myself.  The sky was slightly cloudy most of the day with the temps in the 30s.  The snow was decent with packed powder and some loose snow on top.  No guns were blowing on the open runs which was nice.  Pretty much all the runs besides Top Gun and Lower Soc-Em-Dog were open, and the terrain park features on Ravens run were a tabletop jump, a flat rail, and a spine plus at the bottom near the lifts there was a flat box.  I was riding alone for an hour or two and then I found Luv2board (Matt) from the messageboard and his friends Chase and Ashley.  We had never met before, but Matt posted on the message board that he would be there so I was looking out.  We rode the flat box for a long time with some runs mixed in and then later we moved over to the park.  We also met several Hawksnest employees throughout the day who were out riding and working on the park.  They said they hope to get the new rainbow box up soon and get the full park up over on Sock-Em-Dog pretty soon.  All in all I had a fun day and it was made much better by having some people to hang out and ride with.  I look forward to getting up to Hawksnest again.

Matthew Mottershead was at Hawksnest:

I was up at hawksnest on Sat. Dec 17.  While I kept hoping for the sun to pop out like the weather report said it would we enjoyed some good conditions at the Nest.  They have good coverage with only one small thin spot in the park.  I expect more trails to be opend by next weekend.  As for snowboard features they have a small table top, a spine, an 8ft rail and a 16ft box.  Next weekend they should have the rainbow box set up.  I’m looking forward to that.

Teresa McKinney reports from Wintergreen Resort:

conditions were perfect on Saturday as I was able to get out early and ski snow corduroy conditions.  Wintergreen has really been great at maintaining near-perfect ski conditions everytime that I have been out this season.  Saturday was yet another example of great skiing.

Ted Manfred reports from Canaan Valley:

Saturday was really nice.  There were a few areas where Canaan needs to work into better shape, but all in all conditions were extremely nice for visitors. We hit the slopes early and there wasn’t much of a crowd so we were able to make many runs. I’m sure the holidays will change that as the crowds will come!


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 12/19/2005 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. Lorrie Tomlinson
2. Kent Jackson
3. Mark McKelvy
3. Joe Harmon
4. Dave McConnell
5. Heidi Hatcher
6. Gresham Barker
6. Matthew Mottersby
7. Jesse Smole
8. Clinton Koontz
9. Jeremy Dickerson

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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.