Southeast Ski Areas Brace for COLD and CROWDS!

Boy oh Boy did it feel like Spring when I stepped out of the door this morning!  The light under-developed snow was falling and the temperature was right about 47° as I drove to work.  As I write this morning update at 8:15am, the sun is now out and it is really quite beautiful.

Don’t be fooled because Old Man Winter is lurking just a few hours away!  COLD and snow is in the forecast for this President’s Day Weekend.  Just how much snow is a little bit of a question as the weather gurus are not in alignment this morning.

Ski areas further north will see more wind, and light snow, and some of the ski areas south from Wintergreen down may see less wind, and a little more snow.  We’ll keep our eyes on this one and update you as needed.  ONE THING FOR CERTAIN – it will be a cold weekend at every resort in the Southeast and that means the snowguns will be cranking!

Our buddy Brad Panovich says that we’ll see 2-4” of snow throughout and cold enough temperatures to keep it to an all snow event through Tuesday.  He even says that there’s a good chance of more snow than that!  We’re sidin’ with our man Brad.

If you’re making the trip up today, don’t leave home without the extra layers of protective ski gear and clothing because you’re going to need it.

Another Strong Prediction – HUGE CROWDS!!!

You don’t have to be Nostradamus to get this one correct.  Crowds, HUGE crowds will be at the slopes all weekend.  Want a great tip???  Get up EARLY each day and ski first tracks.  You can get in an hour or so of short lift lines.  After about 10am…things will get backed up no matter where you go.  Expect crowds.

That’s about it for today.  We DO want to give some special notice to Cataloochee today.

Cataloochee is already talking about next season! I was communicating with Tammy Brown last night as she was burning some midnight oil along with yours truly and she said she would be starting the day today by skiing with the Live at 5 television crew at 4am this morning! So by now, some of them have been at the slopes for four hours already!  Cataloochee has been on a roll this season and everyone is wanting to join in on the fun!

Tammy wanted us to spread the word about their Monster Season Pass Sale that will take place on Sunday, March 5th from 8:30am until 4:30pm.  They did this last season and it was a huge success and we want to AGAIN let you guys know that you can save big on your season’s pass for the 2006-2007 season!

Tammy said, “In conjunction with Spring Frolic here and Oldies 96.5 Radio, we will again be kicking off our Monster Season Pass Sale on Sunday, March 5, from 8:30am until 4:30pm.  Season passes will be on sale beginning that Sunday for the lowest price they will be for this year and for next season.  Persons purchasing a pass on Sunday will be able to ski on that pass until the end of THIS season as well as next season under the parameters of the pass they purchase.  Passes prices will go up on April 1.”

On that Sunday only, we will also offer our big ONE DAY sale on Midweek Season Passes for only $96.50.  You can purchase this pass in person or over the phone with a credit card.

A $96.50 midweek seasonal pass will entitle you to the following:

Skiing anyday including March 5 through the end of the 2005/2006 season, this includes Saturdays and Sundays through March 26, 2006.

Skiing anyday except Saturdays and designated holiday periods (this would include Thanksgiving holiday) prior to the beginning of the holiday period on December 16, 2006 

Skiing during the holiday periods of December 16 through January 1, from 6pm until 10pm.

Skiing post holiday period, which begins on January 2, 2007, on any non-holiday Monday through Friday day, twilights or nights except for January 12 and January 15 for MLK and February 16 and February 19 for President’s Day, when you may ski from 6pm until 10pm.

Any questions?  Call Cataloochee at 800-768-0285

There’s been a lot of talk about the great improvements in the conditions this season up at Hawksnest.  As they have always said, “Ski the Difference” and this season there HAS been a difference. Part of it is quite simply that they are closing the slopes between sessions for grooming.  Many people have emailed though and if you haven’t skied or snowboarded the Nest this season, you should give them a try and find out what everyone is talking about!

Hawksnest is open tonight and Saturday until Midnight and TOP GUN is open, as well as their devoted terrain park on Sock-Em-Dog.  Go experience the largest terrain park in the state.

Our guys at Sapphire Valley are just inconsistent as heck this season about keeping you guys informed.  Their website hasn’t been updated since the 13th, when they reported that it was still snowing out.  They haven’t updated their SSAA report and their snow line is talking about yesterday.  However they should be in nice shape on both trails and the Frozen Falls Tubing area with a base in excess of 32”

Ski Beech rather quietly, with no fanfare, opened the Oz Run the other day for the first time in quite some time (maybe two years) and they also very quietly closed it.  There will be NO OZ RUN open today. The word is that they will begin making snow tonight and should be able to make snow around the clock for a few days and that The Oz Run may reopen as early as Saturday.  We’ll keep you posted.  The Oz Run is a popular run, but it also serves to disperse the crowds better on busy weekends like we have ahead of us for President’s Day.  One other quick note on Ski Beech.  A few people emailed us about hitting up Ski Beech on Monday for Ladies Day.  Monday is a holiday and there will be no freebies on Monday.  Ladies Day will resume the following Monday.

Until Next Time!

Be sure to check out 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]

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Mike Doble
Mike is the Editor and founder of, and 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.