I was up at 5:30am this morning, trying to get the cobwebs out and get right on the news of the day as I have a lot going on within these day leading up to Christmas. We all do, right?!?! So anyway I first go to login to my SkiMail (cute name for our ski email) and not only could I not get my emails, the domain name didn’t even exist anymore! Of course my heart jumped into my throat for a few moments until I reminded myself that I am IN the internet biz and I knew quite well that the domain name AND email servers were all working just fine. However, some CRAZY anomaly took place overnight that made it such that tens of thousands of domain names were not displaying as they should to everyone in the United States. To stay off the technical stuff, just suffice to say that it delayed the heck out of my morning until I got to the bottom of it.
The problem was resolved and then I checked my email and had to wait while morning ski reports and photos poured in amongst 849 emails overnight (not counting the 14 junk emails – I REALLY have great SPAM filters). Once those came in I had to scan them quickly to see what was on your minds this morning…and it seems that a lot of people didn’t pay close attention to yesterday’s story. You know the one that says that snow doesn’t melt away like some of you guys think.
Chris, from Wilmington wrote, "Bringing some very excited 16 year olds up to snowboard next weekend at Appalachian. Warm weather is making me wonder if conditions will be descent…they have fun when they aren’t ideal…but just wondering. I think you do a fantastic job on your website. Lots of us from Wilmnington, NC count on your site and love it!!! Thank you!!! chris"
Okay, Chris did all that "complimenting thing", so I’ll address the question with my kinder, gentler side…in a moment. Actually one of my close friends from Lexington, South Carolina also called yesterday (after reading Saturday’s story) and asked, "Are we still on for skiing? Will there be good snow over the Christmas break? I sure hope so."
NOW TO THE ANSWER…
Okay Chris (and you too Carolyn) – the slopes look GREAT today. Resorts received 3-4" of snow on Friday; they’ve made snow to beat the band thus far and even though there was a LOT of rain last week, the cold air filtered back in on Friday and resorts made a lot of snow. Most reported a 3" increase in base depths in the last 24 hours. I would rank the snow for today as a 7 out of 10. Only packed powder or powder gets an 8-10 in my book. So we have some sweet surfaces to play on today.
Chris was alluding to NEXT WEEKEND and Carolyn was speaking to the 26th forward – so let’s address their anxieties. (Chris and Carolyn I will send you my bill later today 🙂 )
We DO have some milder temps and light rain in the forecast for much of the area although the temps will not be WARM. The NORMAL temp for this time of year is a high of 48° and the average high forecasted for the week ahead in the High Country of Western North Carolina is 54-56°, which IS 6-8° above normal – but not WARM. The average low is 26° and we are looking at some 40-45° lows for this week ahead. However, those temps will simply make for soft snow. You will not see base depths drop much at all for the week ahead. The rains that are forecasted are also in the TENTHS of an inch variety and that won’t even prohibit a lot of people from hitting the slopes.
THEN COLD AIR is forecasted to hit the area on Saturday with lows in the upper 20s and that means more snowmaking. So relax, your trip to Appalachian should be just fine. You and the kids will enjoy it and the conditions should be darn nice to nearly great. (That’s my technical jargon!) Forecasters are also predicting some colder air as we approach Christmas weekend so let’s just think cold and snow! My 14 year old and several at her school have somehow come up with the idea of wearing their pajamas inside out as someone has evidently been doing that prior to each snowy day that we’ve had this season. (I’m betting that they had a look at the weather forecast prior to doing but what the heck, it’s harmless right?) So in whatever way YOU want to turn on the snow-rally-cap, go for it!
LET’S GET TO TODAY’S NEWS
There are some wide ranges of temps this AM.
App – 24°
Cat – 33°
Hawks – 35°
Ski Beech – 27°
Sugar Mountain – 24°
Wolf Ridge – 32°
Appalachian is 100% open, with a great Holiday atmosphere! They added 3" of new, manmade snow and even though it is currently (8am) 24°, they are not making snow. We watched as their groomers were creating what is certain to be some fine corduroy for the early Sunday sessions!
Cataloochee planned to make snow last night and we’ll speculate that they did, but the guns are off this morning. Cat will ski and ride today on 9 trails for Day Skiing Only from 8:30am – 4:30pm with a morning or afternoon half day rate also available. Tube World located in Maggie Valley across from Ghost Town in the Sky, four miles from the ski area, will not open for the season until December 20, weather permitting. Please check back with us as we get closer to the 20th for an update.
Ski Beech is reporting 27° and we are seeing a few guns still cranking out snow this morning. Beech will be open for day and night skiing sessions on Sunday with 5 of 15 trails open and ice skating. They also have a few freestyle features setup on Lower Shawneehaw to play on. Beech looks really nice this AM
Sugar Mountain is also looking pretty for Sunday. They made snow and still are as of this 8:19am post. Sugar Mountain will be open for day and night skiing sessions and they also have their skating rink open as well. Sunday is the last day of SugarFest and they also have a BURTON RAIL JAM TODAY! Sugar offers 12 trails and TUBING today as well!
Wolf Ridge Resort is open and we will speculate that they are offering the same trail count as Saturday with 5 trails and Snow Tubing. We will make it a point to get up with the staff over at Wolf this week, but they are obviously in an early-season mode where too few people are wearing too many hats. They haven’t returned our calls, they are showing a "photo of the day" from the 2007 season, they have not been updating their slope conditions report often and there some talk of squabbles among their factions that may prohibit all of the trails from opening this season.
The truth is that they look pretty darn nice for Sunday sessions via their LIVE cam, so the snow looks good!
That’s it for now. I’ll go pour through the rest of my INBOX and share more with you guys later so check back.
As always, be sure to click over to www.SkiSoutheast.com for more news about ALL of the ski resorts of the Southeast and Mid Atlantic including more photos of the day, more snow news, more videos…and just MORE! (In fact there’s SNOW in the forecast for this week further north…so click in and catch up!)
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