11AM Update: The Sugar Mountain Cam is back online and showing pretty good conditions!
A lot of people have emailed about what happened last season weather-wise…in comparison to what we are experiencing this winter. The answer is there IS no comparison. Last season we had numerous periods in the beginning of the season when there was NO snow on ANY slopes. This season got off to a great start and that is WHY we are skiing today. It won’t be pretty out there. We saw the webcams and received enough close-up shots of bare spots and discolored snow to last us a season!
However the point that needs to be made is that we are STILL skiing AND this winter has been a good one in terms of the number of days with closed resorts – which stands currently at ZERO! This has also been a winter that HAS to be classified as “perfectly timed”. About the time we’ve needed cold and snow, we have gotten it. With the magic and science of snowmaking, combined with perfectly timed cold fronts…we’ve had uninterrupted ski days.
Today may be the worst ski conditions that we’ve seen thus far this season and they are not all that bad…really. One tour through the webcams and most recent photos of the day from many areas around the state will show you all the proof you need.
Appalachian is looking the best right now. Relatively clean snow, no bare spots to speak of and the only thing you’ll notice at App is the sides creeping in around the lift poles. The snow is soft and plentiful there.
Ditto for Cataloochee. It was looking pretty worn late afternoon yesterday at the base, but this morning the groomers have done their magic and Cat is looking darned inviting this morning. No bare spots to worry about and very few thin coverage areas.
Cat and App are probably our pick today.
Ski Beech was looking pretty yucky yesterday afternoon with major bare spots and lots of thin coverage at the bottom, in plain site of the webcam at the base. This morning they have done some house-cleaning and it looks better, although ripe for more bare spots to show later in the day. The Slopeside Cam at Beech shows more thin coverage. However, there is still plenty of skiable terrain and it isn’t like you’re having to dodge bad snow. Snow is snow…ski it!
Sugar Mountain is actually making “snow” this morning. We were watching the Big Red cam when the guns were cranking and some of that “snow” hit the camera lens. It’s borderline and maybe a little more on the wet side. It is 37° at Sugar right now, maybe a bit colder up top (32°) so Sugar is fighting it. They are making snow around the Big Birch area as well, but not at the base. Sugar groomed so the worst bare areas of yesterday afternoon are at least temporarily covered. The Extreme Cam that shows the front of Sugar is not out because we don’t want to show the bad conditions. It is out and Mountain Electric has been called so they should have that running sometime soon. Sugar has quite a lot of bare spots and quite a bit of thin coverage…but as we said with Beech…they have about 95% coverage and that makes for PLENTY of good, skiable terrain.
Hawksnest is pretty much a ditto of Ski Beech and Sugar. We’ll drop it to 90-95% coverage and some major bare areas and thin coverage. Here again, plenty of snow to ski on.
The worst conditions may be happening at Wolf Laurel right now where Jennifer, Orville and crew have just not quite had the cooperation of the weather. A couple of degrees warmer and slightly less natural snow can make a lot of difference. Wolf Laurel is probably working with 60% good coverage which is making for a lot of bare spots and thin coverage. It ain’t “purty” but it’s still skiing.
Enjoy The Snow Like Christina does!
We were sitting around yesterday and I happened to have just spent a moment looking at the live cams and noticing how things were going south over the last couple of days. Then I looked at the front page photo of the day and there was a young lady (Christina) who was our Photo of the Day yesterday…and there she was being “escorted” at Sugar Mountain with an instructor on each arm (hand in hand). She had the tips of her skis hooked together such that she’d have an easier time skiing without the worry of keeping her skis from spreading apart. She was skiing. We received other photos of Christina on the Magic Carpet lift – all smiles from ear to ear. Christina was enjoying a day on the snow. She was experiencing a great day like those of us who love snow get to experience with great frequency. Oh yea – I forgot to mention that Christina is blind!
Christina wasn’t complaining about the few thin coverage areas and bare spots. Christina was enjoying some wind in her face. She was enjoying the glide of her skis on snow…and she was all smiles. I’m sure her heart was pounding and there was maybe even a lump in her throat from the joy of it. I’m sure the instructors were as impressed with her fearlessness as I was. I’ll bet they had a lump in their throats as well.
As I am typing this I realize how spoiled we all are…wanting a little prettier color to our snow; wanting a little less grassy spots mixed in. It was all just perfect for Christina.
Let’s all ski like Christina today.
We’re on the mend!
The cold weather returns this evening. Heck Sugar has already begun the healing process! Manmade snow will be flying this evening and conditions will be MUCH improved Wednesday and by Wednesday night you will not believe how good the conditions will be. By the weekend, things will be pretty sweet.
Have a great day on the slopes…
Until Next Time!
Be sure to check out www.SkiSoutheast.com for more news and stories for all of the Southeast’s ski areas.
Be sure to email photos, snow reports and comments to: [email protected]