First the weather. What a WILD swing it has been from yesterday mornings temps to this morning. Most areas are seeing a 30° rise from then until this morning. Stranger still is the fact that at 3:05am this morning, the temperature was 12° and then at 5:44am this morning it was 36°…and then at 6:35am it was 30°. Weird but true.
The forecast for today is for Sunny skies and highs around 43°. Overnight tonight should be 30°. All of the ski areas made snow last night and are in GREAT condition.
While on conditions…Appalachian Ski Mountain is the first mountain in the Southeast to be 100% open! Cataloochee should be by Christmas…as will a few others. While on Cataloochee, they are opening up Upper Omigosh on Tuesday. That slope is a local legend and favorite, as you could probably tell by the name. Santa will be here shredding on Christmas Day and the Asheville Aces hockey team will be tubing at Tube World on Christmas Day as well!
Now to some of your questions from yesterday – We actually ran this part of today’s update on SkiSoutheast.com yesterday and not on SkiNC.com. Then overnight we received another inquiry that related to it…so we figured we’d run it here this morning. We have received several emails asking about our reports being different from the radio reports in the region…or reports generated by the Southeastern Ski Association or even different than some of the resort websites themselves. The only way that we can answer that is by saying that the Southeastern Ski Areas Association is STILL reporting Canaan Valley and WISP as opening soon…when they’ve been open for some time this season…and they are still reporting Sky Valley in Georgia as opening soon, when THEY have announced that they will not be opening this year.
Additionally, the SESAA reports only what the resorts provide and usually the night before or in some cases overnight, where we obtain the ski areas report at the latest point before posting our morning update.
Regarding why our reports may differ from the ski resort’s own website…often the resorts themselves have not even posted their own report…and we have to call and confirm what they have and while they may not have updated THEIR site…we do…everyday, sometimes a couple of times a day.
So just KNOW that if you want the MOST UP-TO-DATE information…you can only get it here.
Which resort has the most natural snowfall so far? Typically each season, that honor goes to Ski Beech. Right now, however they are at one-inch under what Cataloochee Ski Area has received in the season. Cataloochee has been blessed with 20" of snow thus far which leads the state’s ski areas. Snowfalls have stayed more westerly in the state and places like Blowing Rock have seen about a foot or more less thus far this season.
Will you guys have a WHITE CHRISTMAS? The answer is YES and NO. The weather forecasts have hinted that we might see a flurry or two fall from the sky on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day…and that still COULD happen, but not enough to sneeze at. However, we have quite a bot of snow on the ground right now and with the cold temps forecasted for the rest of the week and into Christmas Day…we WILL have snow still on the ground from this weekend’s snowstorm.
We do have some light, scattered rain in the forecast for Wednesday and Thursday…but not enough to get rid of the snow around the area. Christmas will be COLD.
I read somewhere last week that Ski Beech is the oldest ski area in the Southeast. Is that correct? Nope, not so. We have received some other emails this season that claim that they too read in a travel publication and website based in North Carolina that Ski Beech was the first to open. Others have written us that Appalachian Ski Mountain in Blowing Rock was the first. Wrong again! The first ski area in the SOUTHEAST was none other than Ober Gatlinburg in the Great Smoky Mountains town of Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
Originally opened in 1961, Gatlinburg Ski Resort had two double chair lifts, a rope tow, a small ice arena and base lodge. That opening date makes Ober Gatlinburg the oldest of all of the area’s resorts.
The oldest ski resort in NORTH CAROLINA was Cataloochee Ski Area in Maggie Valley…which is only an hour from Gatlinburg. Appalachian Ski Mountain opened on December 15, 1962.
What was the year that everyone talks about, when the area had snows every Wednesday and it got to be over 100"? Coincidentally, someone sent us a photo that THEY got somewhere else and we don’t know who the photographer was so we cannot credit them. We’ll post it later today. However, those snows came in February of 1960 and as many oldtimers tell…it snowed every Wednesday for weeks and snowtotals reached epic proportions (over 100" was on the ground). We are compiling a story on that event in time and we’d love to ask that if any of you out there knows anyone who was around at that time and might have more photos and comments about it…we’d LOVE to hear from you. Email us at [email protected]