It is another COLD morning around the region. Minus 7° at Snowshoe! Minus 1° at Ski beech, 4° at Massanutten, 0° atop Sugar Mountain, and 3.5° at Wolf Ridge. It is COLD everywhere!
When I climbed into my truck this morning at 5°, I was astounded to find that I had nearly an eighth of an inch of ice on the INSIDE of my windshield. I’ve never seen that before. When I left my truck Monday evening the windshield was perfectly dry and clear. This morning it took me five minutes to clean and scrape the INSIDE of it. Yep…that is COLD!
I received a lot of stories on Monday about how deep the snow was here and there. Some emailed about snow drifts "three to four feet deep", others emailed about one place beside their driveaway that was nearly four feet deep. Well let me relate a story from my own experience yesterday.
Here’s a quick "Trip Report" from Monday…
It was a FRIGID day atop the peaks of our ski areas on Monday! I’ve often written about "where snow goes to die" which is a sweet piece of land over near the foot of Beech Mountain that I currently lease for my horses. That land has my name on it if I can ever talk the gentleman who owns it into selling it to me! It is THE perfect piece of property for a snow lover like myself. I know it sounds crazy but if there is going to be even the slightest chance of snow falling, it WILL be snowing at that spot. I was up there late yesterday (around 5pm) and it was already 7° at the top of one of the ridges up there, and about 15" of snow blanketed a lot of the terrain. There were also many areas that the snow depth could be measured in "Gnat hairs" since the winds continued to howl taking snow from one side of the ridge and depositing it on the other side. I have seen times when we had received only 3" of snowfall, where the snow depth on that ridge (an area about 200 yards long and 50 yards wide) was over a foot. A couple of seasons ago we had a snowfall that was maybe as deep as Sunday’s fifteen-inches, but with less wind, that had the snow on that ridge literally "arm-pit" deep. Again, I know it sounds crazy…but as crazy as that might sound, it was EVEN DEEPER on Monday evening! I have only seen snow as deep as what I witnessed yesterday – back during the Blizzard of 1993, and on one other occasion at Beaver Creek in Colorado, when I had to jump off a trail side ledge to rescue one of my daughters who had skied off into a treetop. Several of the passes of Colorado had been closed off due to the heavy snows and that snow was deep!
However, right at the foot of Beech Mountain, on Monday evening, I drove my Artic Cat up around around the bottom of the ridge where a foot or more of powder was the norm. I criss-crossed to the top of the ridge because the snow was deepening as I climbed and the four wheel drive wasn’t enough to pull through it. I finally worked my way up to the top of the one side of the ridge where there MIGHT have been four inches of snow. I revved the engine and pressed on the gas and purposesly headed down the nearly 45° slope at full speed knowing that I was getting ready to hit what I thought was maybe three feet or so of snow. WRONG! I buried the Artic Cat going D-O-W-N-H-I-L-L into a bank of snow that ended up being FIVE FEET DEEP! After attempting to dig the thing out for about a half hour, I finally gave up and left it stranded there for sometime Thursday or Friday when the temps should take care of what I couldn’t. I dug out and down shoulder deep on me (I’m slightly over six feet tall) and even doing so, could not free the buried vehicle! Now THAT was some heavy snow. Deep and very heavy. For the record, I didn’t drive the cat down the deepest part of the snow, because that part of the ridge is even steeper. There was snow depths on parts of that ridge that had to be over six feet deep.
The winds were howling, constantly driving snow across the ridge and into my face and the few times that I pulled my gloves off to snap a photo, my hands began to hurt immediately. I was wearing some GREAT gear, boots, ski pants, gloves, boggin, etc and I can tell you that I am not certain how long a person can live in those kinds of harsh conditions. It was brutal.
ANOTHER COLD DAY TUESDAY…then it MILDS UP…
According to our meteorologist friends today will be another cold, sunny one. Look for highs in the teens and 20s again today with overnight lows dipping down to the single digits once again! Wednesday will be sweet with highs near average for this time of year (highs in the upper 30s to 40° and lows around 22°. That means lots of snowmaking ops for the resorts that choose to make snow.
According to the long range forecast that MAY be the last of the snowmaking through the next several days as milder temps are headed our way. Saturday appears to be an amazing day in the mountains of North Carolina with highs in the low SIXTIES. There is TONS of snow around, plenty of great base depths and conditions will be awesome no matter where you choose to visit. The resorts further north into West Virginia and Maryland are looking at temperatures some 10-15° cooler, but they also have some slight chances of scattered rain on Saturday. It is only Tuesday and things change quickly here in the mountains so keeping checking back as we’ll keep you updated!
As my buddy Joe Stevens wrote yesterday – if you have not visited one of the ski areas this season, you should be ashamed of yourself! You OWE IT to yourself to get to your favorite ski hill and hit it often! The conditions are perfect right now and will remain awesome for quite some time as this cold and snowy spell have conditions about as good as it gets.
The word of today will be PACKED POWDER nearly everywhere. We’re seeing some awesome grooming atop Big Red on Sugar Mountain via that cam. Sweet corduroy is prevalent via most of the cams at all of the resorts…so be sure to check those out over on www.HighCountryWebCams.com . With the sun out, we’re getting some amazing shots this morning.
Check the SLOPE REPORT page for all of the details today and GO SKI!!!
SKISOUTHEAST.COM / SNOWSHOE SUMMIT is this weekend at Snowshoe Mountain!
If you have been WANTING to make another trip to ski or ride this season and you’ve been hold out for the best situation to do it – right NOW is the time to get off your rear and make reservations and come join 130+ of fellow ski and snowboard lovers during the 2nd Annual SkiSoutheast/Snowshoe Summit. You can get $100 OFF any on mountain lodging and Snowshoe is throwing an Apres Ski Party of Friday night (it’s family friendly!) and if you attend that FREE party with FREE Hors d’oeuvres, drink specials and more – you will get a FREE SUNDAY LIFT TICKET! We’ll be giving away some items and having a blast, in addition to making a weekend of turns on the mountain with a bunch of fellow snow peeps! Come join us! To get the FREE Sunday Lift Pass and $100 OFF LODGING, just click over to the Summit page, Join the Messageboard (it’s FREE as well) and make plans to come and have FUN!
The party will be on FRIDAY NIGHT at Hoots (up at the Top of the World and Soaring Eagle) this year. CLICK HERE TO JOIN US!
That’s it for today. Go check the SLOPE REPORT and get to the mountain!
Send your comments, photos, videos and trip reports to: mail@skiSoutheast.com