Spring Fever, Spring Discounts, Great Conditions – we have it all!

Boy howdy was Tuesday a Spring Fever kind of day. Within our morning report on Tuesday I forecasted numerous spring fever outbreaks and some people playing hooky from work. Around midday the talk around our office was about just how beautiful and great it felt outside. The temps soared to 57° in Banner Elk and it was milder than that at many locations. David Lester’s Canaan Valley, WV weather center showed a high of 55° in Davis on Tuesday.

I thought it would interesting to look BACK one year ago today just to see what kind of weather we were experiencing and how about a high of 64° in Banner Elk on March 10th, 2009?

Last season we were weathering thin coverage and bare spots pretty much everywhere in the Southeast and Mid Atlantic ski region and for the seven day period ONE YEAR AGO we saw no snow and highs in the 50s and 60s and lows in the mid-to-upper 30s and mid 40s.

Fast forward to today and the week ahead and while we may be experiencing some mild, Spring-like temps right now – things look to be turning colder in the days ahead and SNOW reenters the forecast.

Bear in mind that while we’re experiencing this welcome "breather" from all of the frigid temps and heavy snow that we’ve been experiencing over the last two months – there are still 30 more days of potentially snowy and cold weather ahead of us.

While average highs and lows begin creeping upwards a little bit, March is typically a pretty wet month with an average precipitation of 4.74" or more in many of the mountain communities. Case in point – Beech Mountain averages another 17" of snow during the period ahead (average since 1910). However the area has seen as much as 57.3" of snow back in 1993 and about that back in 1960.

By the way – for those of you living in flatlander locations – I can only imagine how heavy the dose of spring fever you guys have off the mountain. I had to be in Hickory last night around 10pm and the temperature at that time was 64°! It’s no wonder why you guys don’t have a lot of thought about how great the snow is up here in the mountains, because you can’t believe that literally 50 minutes away there’s a foot of snow still on the ground and more than that in some protected locations.

My nephew drove up to the mountains from Chapel Hill on Monday night to camp out with a friend over at Jonas Ridge (coming in around the Linville Gorge side of the High Country). He told me that first they had to work to find a piece of ground to pitch their tent where there was no snow and they left EARLY because they were freezing.

That’s the mountains for you. It MAY be much more Spring-like in your neck of the woods, but there’s plenty of winter here in the higher elevations. I was looking at the Canaan Valley weather center data this morning and David’s still showing a SNOW DEPTH OF 30" still on the ground. We’re talking NATURAL SNOW.

Snow conditions at all of the ski resorts can be summed up as plentiful, deep, softer but plenty firm for a great day on the slopes.

Joe Steven’s "Joe Knows Snow" column this week mentioned the fact that March is the month known as the industry’s discount season and there are tons of deals for skiing and riding cheaper than at any time this season. The point to be made here is that the conditions are awesome and you can enjoy 100% of the terrain open at most resorts at greatly discounted prices.

Here are some notable discounts that we’re aware of:

Appalachian Ski Mountain is holding a Spring Sale at Alpine Ski Shop at the resort. There are spring sale prices on a vast selection of ski and snowboard clothing and equipment. You can find Snowboards, Boots, Bindings from 20-30% off! They are offering all of their skis at sale prices. They carry Atomic, K2, Rossignol, Salomon, Nordica, Armada, 4FRNT and Line.

Additionally App is offering Volcom at 35% off; Burton at 40% off; Sessions at 35% off, Rip Curl at 35% off; 686 at 35% off; Spyder at 40% off; Columbia at 40% off; Ride at 35% off and Roxy at 35% off.

Beech Mountain Resort is offering rates at $20 for a day or twilight lift ticket and $10 for a half day or night ticket. These rates will be in effect until their closing date, which they report, "is to be determined". Their website was showing March 14th as their closing date, and several Beech personell informed us that they were hoping to be able to stay open through March 21st, but that they would look at the weather forecast later in the week (for next week) and make the call accordingly.

So GO take advantage of those liftie discounts!

Sugar Mountain Resort is offering their Winter Value Packages wherein you can now save 30-40% on Lift Tickets, Rental Equipment and Lodging! Their March Madness lift ticket prices are crazy cheap compared to a normal ticket. As an example you can ski or ride on Saturdays for the rest of the season for a full day session or twilight sessions for $48 compared to the $64 normal price. See http://www.skisugar.com/rates/ for a complete list of discounted lifties and ski & snowboard rentals.

Wolf Ridge Resort is offering their year end special of "1/2 price lift tickets" for everyone this weekend.

Wintergreen Resort is offering their Super Saver rates that go into effect March 12! Save 25% on lift tickets, equipment rental and tubing March 12-18. Save 50% March 19-21.

Canaan Valley is offering their Value Season Lift Tickets that are now available for $30 daily. They also have Value Season Lodging Rates Available to stay and play at discounted prices. Call 800-622-4121 to make your plans to visit West Virginia’s Winter Playground in the mountains at Canaan Valley Resort.

Snowshoe Mountain has some sweet deals. During Snowshoe’s “extended season” of March 28-April 5th, they will be offering FREE lift tickets to anyone staying 2 or more nights!

Additionally, anyone with a season pass to ANY other resort will receive a lift ticket for $20 (if they’re just skiing for a day or only staying one night).

Also, anyone purchasing a ‘10-11 Pass will ski for free for the remainder of this season. And by purchasing before 4/30, you can save up to 25%. For the first time ever this year Snowshoe is “tiering” their baker’s dozen passes—so they’re less expensive before April 30th. Until then, it’s just $339 per pass when you purchase 13.

You can also take advantage of great deals like Kids Ski Free with any 3+ night lift/lodging package, Free Lift tickets with 2+night stay March 28th-April 5th and saving up to 25% on next year’s season passes, while skiing for FREE for the remainder of this season. Call 877-441-4386 TODAY!

Ober Gatlinburg is offering Lift tickets for all full sessions in March 2010 for $20. Be aware that slopes will not be open March 15-18 and March 22-25. Weather permitting, the last day of the season will be March 28.

So when you combine great snow quality and discounted pricing and lodging specials – you’re in for a great time no matter which resort you head to.

Even after we posted Tuesday’s firstrax story that included ALL of the resort’s tentative and posted closing dates – we still received a fair number of emails asking if Beech or other ski mountains would be open on May 21st, etc. Okay that was an exaggeration but you get the drift. Click HERE to see all of the posted ski and snowboarding operation closing dates – and remember that you can see those posted on our Snow Report as well. 

We’re on day 104 and there are 33 more days of opportunities to enjoy the snow for the 2009-2010 ski and snowboarding season!

That’s it for today. Go enjoy the snow! Check out the Snow Report at http://www.skisoutheast.com/skireports.php  and please send us your favorite ski photos, ski videos, trip reports and comments to [email protected]