Story by Mike Doble – [email protected]
I’ve had a lot of fun this weekend! If you’re into snow like I am, then I COULD HAVE had fun simply driving around the area. However after another 5" of snow fell around Beech Mountain overnight Saturday night into Sunday – we decided to get up early and crank up our older-than-dirt, retro snowmobiles. These bad boys run like scalded dogs (not that I know what a scaled dog runs like – nor would I WANT to know!)
I bought a couple of well worn snowmobiles at the end of last winter and really hadn’t gotten to use them much until yesterday. One of them doesn’t have brakes and the other has a throttle that sticks. Neither situation offers safe riding, but if you’re out for a SAFE TIME, then you’re probably not going to have as much fun, right? Every snowsport carries some risk of injury. No matter what you’re riding the snow on – a sled, skis, snowboard or a snowmobile – you’re PURPOSELY sliding on an icy, snowy surface, right?
We spent a couple of hours on those bad boys and even with the mechanical issues those things were FUN! I’ve done some snowmobiling at various resorts and those guided tours always offer a great way to see the snow. However these old-school sleds don’t have governors on them and on more than a few occasions we were cruising at better than 65 mph! The speedometers on these things display a chance at doing 100 mph, but I’m thinking I’ll wait on brakes!
I posted a short video of some of the fun on the snow yesterday and you guys will have to check that out. http://www.skisoutheast.com/videos/
The video from Saturday up at Beech was pretty sweet as well. Be sure to check out those and ALL of the videos on the website! Make note that there are unique videos on the individual ski resort pages as well!
THE SKINC / SKISOUTHEAST CREW IS HEADED TO BEECH MOUNTAIN RESORT TODAY!
If you’re riding today and are at Beech Mountain, look for us. Kenny Griffin, myself and several of our office crew, family and friends will be up there around lunch time. We’re planning on having some fun and making a bunch of videos. If you’re out there and see any skiNC or SkiSoutheast hoodies or stickers, give us a yell so we can get you on film!
CONDITIONS ARE THE BEST THEY’VE BEEN ALL SEASON – RIGHT NOW!
<Travis Roberts of Winterplace Resort sent us this photo showing how DEEP the base is on the mountain!
With primo snowmaking ops over the last several days, all of the ski areas have taken great advantage and made a ton of snow.
Several ski areas are now at 100% open for the first time this season and even those that are not fully open – are open with the best conditions of the season today!
On Sunday morning I wrote that judging by the parking lots on Saturday – that the MLK weekend crowds were off a bit. I’m not so sure after seeing the parking lots out on Hwy 184 at Sugar on Sunday. At around noon the parking lot all the out to the main highway was nearly full and there was a LONGGGGG line of people waiting on busses to transport them to the resort!
We went out to eat again last night and there was NO WAIT again at about 7pm, so I saw conflicting data…at least first hand.
Regardless, the conditions are awesome and if you’ve been putting off going skiing or riding – waiting on great conditions – then you need to hit your favorite mountain right now.
Conditions should remain very, very nice for a while now but if the prognosticators are correct – things will be milding up a bit (AGAIN) over the next week or so. So I’d really – REALLY – make plans to hit the slopes asap.
Here are some notables:
Appalachian is 100% OPEN! They made snow last night and still look to be on Thin Slice or Hard Core, but things look AWESOME there this morning!
Beech Mountain Resort is open with 13 of 15 trails. They were still making snow and grooming at 8:20am, but the guns should be off later today.
Guys, be sure to check out Beech Mountain’s handling of the "January is National Learn a SnowSport Month". http://www.beechmountainresort.com/media/events/lssm/index.html
That’s a sweet deal and you could win big!
Cataloochee Ski Area also goes to 100% OPEN! All 16 trails. Cat will be day skiing and snowboarding only on Monday. Tubing is open as well! Awesome conditions await you for the Cat Crew and all others 😉
Sapphire Valley is OPEN with both slopes and tubing. We’re thinking that they are only open for day sessions today, but call ahead if you’re looking to night ride there. Sapphire has gotten worse about not updating their website or any other for that matter. We looked over on the NC Ski Area site and they haven’t updated their report on that bad boy since December of 2009!
Sugar has 16 of 20 trails open and tubing as well.
Wolf Ridge is looking good with 12 of 22 trails open and snow tubing as well.
Bryce Resort made great snow over the last 24 hours and at 17° this morning was still making snow on selected trails. They are 100% OPEN for the first time this season today. Bryce will be day skiing and riding ONLY today. Snow tubing is open.
Massanutten Resort – It is a cold 18° at Mass this morning and Kenny Hess posted, "Massanutten’s snow makers have been hard at work with the recent cold spell. The mountain is in great shape with new slopes open; ParaDice, Easy Street and Pacesetter. January is Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month. Massanutten is offering $10 off weekday 8-HR Pathway Packages. The Pathway Package includes your slope-use ticket, rental equipment and two one-hour lessons. On MLK Monday, regular season weekday rates will be in effect."
Massanutten has 10 trails and 8 lanes of snowtubing open for Monday!
Wintergreen Resort is looking sweet and they now have 11 of 26 trails open. They will offer day and night sessions on Monday and tubing and terrain parks are open. Word is that Upper Cliffhanger is looking GREAT!
Canaan Valley – 14° – 11 of 39 trails open as well as tubing, air boarding, ice skating and more!
Snowshoe Mountain is a notch milder at 23° this morning. They have 45 of 60 trails open. Snow tubing, snowmobiling and tons more await you!
We’ll be elaborating more in the week to come, but for now:
Mark your calendars for the U.S. Airbag Demo and WV Open slopestyle competition January 27 to 29 on Mountaineer at Silver Creek! Stomp that trick you’ve been perfecting or try something brand new. Cash purse, prizes and three days of fun… Brought to you by Snowshoe’s Mountaineer Park crew!
Timberline Resort is at 18° this morning and with more snowmaking and a TRACE of new snow they’ve upped their open trail count to 23 of 40 trails. They will be open for day sessions only today!
Winterplace Resort – Travis Roberts wanted me to tell you guys, "Hey guys, we have had a great MLK weekend here at Winterplace. The snow has been fantastic, with some natural powder to top things off! We were able to open three more trails today (Buttermilk, Milkshake, and Snowfield) plus we’re making snow on Woods Run and Turkey Chute right now. We hope to have them open soon, depending on how much snow we can get laid down on them."
They now offer 23 of 27 trails and snow tubing and terrain parks. Great fun is waiting on you!
Wisp Resort will operate for day sessions only today. They have upped their open trail count to 25 of 32 for the day. Snow tubing, ice skating, mountain coastering and more are available today!
Ober Gatlinburg made snow in the last 24 hours but the guns are off now and they offer 6 of 9 trails, snow tubing, ice skating and great shoppes and dining!
Email me your comments, thoughts, photos, vids or anything else you like at [email protected]