Resorts Ready for Snowmaking to Return No Later than Tuesday Night!

Notes around the region:

First of all, again we’d like to thank Lori Epp for a great weekend at Wisp Resort in Maryland.  Conditions there were really nice on Friday and better still on Sunday morning.  Like a lot of the resorts, they got a little rain on Saturday but all in all they have a lot of good terrain and decent conditions across all trails.

Lori is quite a personable young lady who has been rewarded with the job of public relations at Wisp and the management there did a great job in putting her in that position.  We’ll elaborate more later in the week, but I didn’t want to get going this morning without mentioning what a great time we had and to mention how nice Wisp Resort really is.  More to Come.

Now to the news…

None of the Virginia reports showed a base drop although it rained in Virginia on Saturday and even a little on Sunday.  Somehow Massanutten actually GREW a 2” base on the maximum side.  Not sure HOW the heck that happened.

Expect Loose Granular conditions across much of West Virginia as some rain fell there on Sunday and this morning.

Canaan Valley reported no drop in base and frozen granular conditions.  Nope.  Expect Loose granular conditions there.  Plenty of good coverage, but loose to wet granular with some rain.

Snowshoe Mountain did a nice job of reporting this morning.  They showed a drop of 2” across the board and the following, “After some rain showers this morning, look for a change in the overall weather pattern. Colder temps will return for Tuesday and should last through the weekend. The colder temperatures will allow for plenty of snowmaking to ensure the slopes are in great shape for this weekend’s SCION West Virginia Open.”

Timberline hasn’t updated since Saturday so we won’t go there this morning.

Winterplace has been paying attention in class.  Nice job guys.  We drove through a DRIVING rain storm on Sunday as we hit Ghent, West Virginia.  Winterplace is reporting 2” less of base today and loose granular.

Ober Gatlinburg is also reporting a drop and some thin coverage and bare spots.

Appalachian didn’t budge an inch on their base depth even though we’re seeing the sides creeping in as with all ski areas.  Let’s see, it rained on and off for the last few days AND we’ve had mild temps and they’re staying status quo. O-k-a-y.

While App probably has the best snow in the state right now (Cataloochee might equal) they have seen a base drop.

We were watching their grooming going on this morning and they are maintaining good coverage side to side…but they don’t have an average of 48” max across all nine trails.  Sorry.

Good job Cataloochee.  They showed a 2” drop and 100% of their mountain is open.  Some of the Cat Crew emailed us saying that the snow there was looking a little brown and thin in some areas.  Like all the rest of the NC resorts, they will be in great shape later in the week as snowmaking temps return Tuesday night.  Cataloochee will not be open for night skiing tonight.

Hawksnest Resort is telling it like it is this morning. They are calling their base as “wet granular” and they mentioned thin coverage areas in their report…and showed a drop in base as well.  Way to go guys!  Reward these guys with your business!  They are working their snow very good this year and they have plenty of good terrain to ski.  Conditions will be vastly improved with snowmaking temps Tuesday night through Thursday night.

We’re just not going to comment on Sapphire Valley anymore until they get with reporting.  Our advice – call ahead.  No reports since the 19th.  Probably doesn’t look too good down there.

Ski Beech is another resort wanting your business by telling it right.  They are reporting a drop in base and reporting some bare spots and thin coverage.  Today is Ladies Day at Ski Beech.  They have plenty of decent skiable terrain on 13 trails.

We’ve been bragging on Sugar of late, so we should be able to call a spade a spade and mention that while Sugar DID show a base drop since yesterday, they are STILL not showing any bare spots or thin coverage in their reports.  Some of our On-Snow reporters reported yesterday that some slopes have more grass than snow.  Sugar did close two trails since yesterday, but they still have some thin and bare spots that should be reported.

Ditto our comments about Sugar toward Wolf Laurel. There are thin coverage and bare spots at Wolf Laurel as well. and has the answer to the problems with base reporting!  After long deliberation, we have come up with an idea that we think will work!

I have had the opportunity on several occasions to meet and speak with ski area operators, mountain managers, marketing staff and general managers and as much as I love meeting all of these guys and gals…it sticks in my craw to hear them, without exception, chuckle when statements are made about ski resorts lying about base reporting.  They ALL admit that they are doing it, but you can’t get one to budge off the status quo.  Why? Because their competition won’t.  Don’t these guys meet a couple times a year?  Can’t THEY come to some sort of agreement?  They’ve met for years and come up with nothing except to keep doing what they’re doing.

Here is our entry into this realm of snow reporting.  We think it is probably too logical to get consideration…but here it is:

I’d love to see the resorts of the Southeast set a precedent for all other ski areas and simply do away with the numbers game.  Report base reports like this:

“Groomed / Manmade” or “New Natural and Manmade Snow” and then add in a short descriptive statement like, “Great side to side coverage with ample snow”, or “Good conditions with some minor thin coverage areas” etc.

We’re thinking of doing it ourselves regardless whether they do it or not.  We think it would be cool to simply come up with a rating system that makes it easy to be honest AND yet make sure than visitors know that there is plenty of snow.

We’ll be working on it and we’ll announce it when we can get the kinks out.

Until then…see you on the slopes…around Thursday.

Until Next Time!

Be sure to email photos, snow reports and comments to: [email protected]