Some Resorts Closed Today but look to Reopen Thursday; Up to 5 inches of Rain has NC Ski Areas Fighting to Keep Good Conditions

After 5.5" of rain hit the High Country on Tuesday, we are now seeing light SNOW overnight and this morning! That was some amazing wind and rain yesterday and last night! I had a few gusts of wind that literally shook my home and we heard from numerous friends who were stranded IN or away from their homes due to bridges being blocked by torrents of rushing water. We posted in quick video to show how the rain made for some swollen streams and rivers in the area. Check that out at Watauga River Video (It’s not a professional vid, but provides a look at what 5" of rain can do!)

LET’S GET TO WHAT HAPPENING AT THE RESORTS!

I know the subject on everyone’s minds this morning. The question of "what’s left" of the snow base at the resorts. The GREAT news is that it’s snowing although that is expected to be short-lived. The GREATER news is that we are seeing snowmaking going on and COLD temps which makes it perfect for pushing some snow around and repairing the trails from Tuesday’s rains.

<I’m ready to go ski App!

Appalachian Ski Mountain – 25° – They are making snow and will as long as temps allow and actually look DARN GOOD right now! They are 100% open with both terrain parks and VERY NICE CONDITIONS.

Cataloochee Ski Area – 31° – They look fogged in early this morning but they look in pretty good shape with groomed conditions. They’ve dropped a couple of trails to offer 8 for today from 1pm-10pm. At lunchtime on Tuesday Tammy Brown sent us an update that announced, "Due to the inclement weather in our area, Cataloochee will not be open on Tuesday but will reopen on Wednesday, March 5 at 1pm."

That rain was amazing! The Cat looks pretty good today, but expect some Spring Conditions.

<They are closed Wednesday but making snow to open Thursday!

Hawksnest Resort – They were closed on Tuesday because of the inclement weather and high winds. That 3" of rain really did a number on their hill and Lenny Cottom has made the call to REMAIN CLOSED today. THEY ARE MAKING SNOW and will focus snowmaking as long as temps allow and plan on reopening on Thursday!

Ski Beech – 22° – They saw nearly 3" of rain yesterday and that revealed some thin coverage and bare spots. That triggered a couple of trail closures and they offer 8 trails open for today. They are making snow and are reporting 1/4th and inch (dusting) of snow so far and frozen granular conditions.

NOT THE BEST OF TIMING… (More Beech groanings  🙁

Beech has had some issues this season and has caught the ire of fans of the mountain. We received a BUNCH of emails yesterday just after Ski Beech sent out one of the email broadcast literally Tuesday morning while the rains were pouring. The email stated, "Let it snow! Half-a-foot of fresh powder just this week and more on the way!"

They pushed traffic to their website which reads, "Great snow as we head into March… We started off the month of March with some great conditions. A snowfall last week brought us 9-12 inches of fresh snow, and we added to that with snowmaking so that we could head into March in a really good way. It is still winter up here, and there is still time to take advantage of the opportunity to enjoy snow sports at the highest ski resort in Eastern North America."

Man I know these guys have caught some hell, but I’m guessing that the email broadcast was scheduled earlier and while they could certainly update their website to more accurately reflect what’s going on…THEY DID HAVE A GOOD START TO THE MONTH. Of course that was wiped out with Tuesday’s rains.

David Renner wrote probably the most pointed email of more than 100 that we received. He stated, "My wife is on the Beech email list and we just got an email that says they got a half a foot of snow this week. Isn’t that a misrepresentation because isn’t Sunday the first day of the week and wasn’t it last week that they got snow? Isn’t it blasting you people with rain right now? Are not those bald spots on the webcam right now? You guys should be ashamed."

Wow, David…I don’t know where to start, except to say that we did get a few emails like yours and rather than try to answer all of them individually, let me try to answer your statements and questions (and others like his). First, you’re right in that Beech’s snow was last week, but that’s being a bit picky. I’m certain that Ski Beech didn’t mean to say that the snow was THIS week or the last three days. The comment was a reference to the snow that fell within the last week or seven days.

As far as their website comments, Beech (like many resorts) does not update their front page commentary like we or some others do. Beech is pretty straight up in that they provide a live webcam and they also have self-reported "BARE SPOTS" on their morning slope conditions report. NO, they do not have GREAT SNOW today…but with cold temps in the forecast and snowmaking happening as we speak, they will be in good shape in a couple of days.

As far as SkiNC / SkiSoutheast.com being "ashamed" we didn’t report that information.

MOVING ON….

Sugar Mountain – 23° – They are making snow and they are fogged over right now (as is Beech) making it hard to get a look at the slopes just yet. However, they have only reduced their trail count by one today. They have 18 trails open, snow tubing and ice skating as well. They are not reporting any bare spots but there’s probably a few thin coverage areas…although the will no doubt have very good conditions for today with only a possible, isolated thin area or two…or three.

Wolf Ridge is still closed for this week with the idea that they will reopen if they get the chance. We’ll keep you informed.

SUMMIT INTEREST IS BOOSTING NEW MEMBERSHIP SIGNUPS…

The 1st Annual SkiSoutheast.com Summit promotion has definately increased our membership. As of 8am this morning we’ve seen perhaps 50-60 new member signups over the last two weeks or so. Those new members take our online messageboard membership tally to 1279 members and they have posted 121,933 articles or posts since we put the new board into place back in January of 2003. That is far and away the largest and most frequented ski forum on the East Coast and ranks right up there with all but the largest national ski forums. That is pretty cool!

We had a couple of last second cancellations, but a number of new people booked to make the trip and we now have 104 making the 1st Annual SkiSoutheast.com Summit! We picked up a ton of people in the last week or so!

ONLY 2 DAYS TO GO BEFORE WE EXPERIENCE THE 1st ANNUAL SKISOUTHEAST.COM SUMMIT!! MAKE PLANS TO JOIN US AT SNOWSHOE MOUNTAIN THIS WEEKEND! We are up to 104!

You can get $100 off any on-mountain lodging, and join us for a group photo on Saturday morning and make some turns with fellow readers and messageboard bloggers. All summit attendees are invited to a FREE Wings Après-ski Party at Moonshine in the Shavers Center from 4-7pm. We’ll be giving away a bunch of the brand new SkiSoutheast.com Hoodies, what’s left of the SkiNC hoodies and some stickers as well (as long as the supplies last).

Plus ALL ATTENDEES will be given a FREE lift ticket to ski Sunday!

We’ll also be doing some first tracks on Sunday morning compliments of Snowshoe’s President and COO, Bill Rock and crew.

MANY of the most frequent messageboard bloggers will be there including the top dog TeleDave, jbc26, Mellow Yellow and others will also be there as well as some of the newer, most active members such as TheGnar.

Click here to Join Us for All of the Fun of Spring Break and/or the SkiSoutheast.com Summit Weekend!

Until Next time…

Be sure to visit www.SkiSoutheast.com  for more news from the rest of the Southeast and Mid Atlantic ski areas!

Send your snow photos, videos, comments or emails to: [email protected]

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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.