The First of Spr- What? It’s NOT Spring is IT!?!?

Ahhhh, Spring!  As I walked out my door this morning, wearing slightly too much clothing (I was wearing a shirt, a Carhardtt over shirt and jeans) I had the uncanny urge to begin cleaning up around the yard, to clean windows even. It hit me like a wall of 50° air all around me.  That’s because it WAS 50° and the rites of Spring are SUPPOSED to be AT LEAST three months and some change away!  However, this morning it IS mild and the forecast for this week is VERY Spring like (check out the forecast on the front page).  Suffice it here to say that we’ll see highs above or near 50° all week and non-snowmaking lows in the upper 30s until Saturday night when the temps are expected to drop back into the mid 20s.  We’re also expected to see a 30-40% chance of some light drizzle Tuesday, Wednesday and then again Friday and maybe a mix of drizzle and/or snow on Saturday.

So just deal with it.  The season of 2005-2006 has been GREAT thus far with a GREAT start, some natural snow, and timely cold temps of late that have allowed all of the resorts to maintain a good base with plenty of side-to-side coverage.  The conditions will be very nice, although a little windy today, and then spotty Tuesday and Wednesday although not the kind of weather that should cancel any plans to ski or ride.  Thursday and Friday should be nice, and we have some Friday PM precip coming in that may make the weekend nice.

Slope conditions should be soft to loose granular everywhere as the week progresses and even though all resorts are claiming AT LEAST one-and-a-half feet of snow for a MINIMUM base depth and  nearly five feet of maximum, we will probably begin seeing some thin coverage areas, particularly in high traffic areas.  We’re still not sure how that can happen with more than a reported 1.5 feet of minimum base, but we’re not going there this morning.  The verdict is still out on YOUR voting of whether or not SkiNC needs to stay on point with the base depth argument!  Vote in our Ski Poll and tell us your thoughts!

So expect plenty of snow to ski on, good, side-to-side coverage and nice temps to ski in for this week.  All resorts made snow to beat the band as long as the could over the last few days until the mild air hit again so conditions will be in the “VERY GOOD” category, with variable granular conditions as the day and week progresses.

Here’s Some Notes from Around the Region:

Someone called it to our attention that Appalachian’s front page to their own website is still announcing that "The Ski Season is only Days Away!" – That’s about all you need to know regarding the importance that App and some other resorts put on the internet.

Appalachian is reporting FOUR MORE inches of base than they did yesterday morning, even though they didn’t MAKE any snow since yesterday morning, so we’re not sure how that happened.  Just reporting the facts people, don’t give me heck.  The fact that they only think in terms of radio reports points to the fact that they aren’t considering that some people are keeping tabs on these things. We’d love to help them out, but that’s not likely to happen.  Someone at App would first have to admit that they can’t wear all of the hats there.

Regardless, their conditions ARE among the best in the state with PLENTY of base, GREAT coverage, NO thin areas or bare spots and great snow.  Get out and ski it!

Cataloochee – Now HERE is a resort that understands the importance of keeping their website in great shape and reporting daily conditions. (For the record, we DO NOT do their website, so we have no vested interest in this reporting of the facts.) Cataloochee’s base DROPPED by 4” since yesterday morning. (Elvis must have been tearing up the slopes! I know several of our messageboard guys did!)

Cataloochee is offering their Guaranteed Learn to Ski or Ride Package today.  That is where first time skiers or riders age 8 and above may purchase a beginner lesson, beginners area lift ticket and ski rental equipment for only $39 or a beginner snowboard lesson, beginner area lift ticket and snowboard rental for only $55. And with that guarantee, you may repeat the lesson as often as you like during the same day session. Some restrictions apply but you can check out their website for more details!

Also, don’t forget that this Thursday starts the Cataloochee Challenge Cup Race Series. Individuals race against the clock for the best of two runs. Top three challengers in both men’s and womens’ age divisions win cool stuff. You must be 21 years of age or older to participate. Racing begins at 8pm with a post awards party at 10pm, so dust off those racing skills and test your luck. The Cat is where its at on Thursday night’s Challenge Cup Race Night. Call the ski area for more information. (Hey TehBigCheese and Toast should race here! You messageboard people know what I’m talking about!)

Hawksnest has been looking very nice this season.  The Hawk’s management have really devoted a lot of resources to improving their capability to offer the best possible snow conditions this season and visitors are noticing!  We have received numerous emails praising the popular mountain for its efforts.  Hawksnest is looking quite nice today with nine slopes and trails AND their tubing and terrain features operating full bore!

Uh oh!  Sapphire Valley’s guys have gone back to sleep in reporting again.  They haven’t posted a report since the 7th, when they informed us that they were able to lay down ONE FOOT of snowmaking on their two trails in the previous couple of days.  It IS amazing what those snowguns can do when they can concentrate them on one or two trails!  We’re hoping to be able to get up with Sapphire to remind them to update their website.

Ski Beech closed their CrossWay slope.  That’s the little connector trail between Shawneehaw and Lower Robbins Run.  They are still looking good with 13 trails and today is LADIES DAY.  The gals get to ski FREE today.  Take advantage of it ladies, the GUYS need some incentive to hit the slopes today!

Sugar Mountain is looking good with 18 of 20 trails operating.  That’s the most terrain in the state and although Sugar did drop their base depth by an inch since yesterday, they will be in GREAT shape for skiing today and through this mild period. (We’re so proud of Sugar!  They really have kicked things to another level in staying on top of their reporting this season. Our baby is growing up!)

Sugar and Ski Beech are both reporting a very accurate wet granular to Variable and Frozen Granular surface for today.  Way to go guys and gals!

Hey messageboard crew…maybe we can get the word to “toast” and “tehCheese” that Sugar is running an adult race league tonight!  Check this out!

Monday Night Adult Race League at Sugar!

Every Monday Night January 9th through February 13, 2006

Registration on the 3rd floor

$35 entry fee per person for the entire 6 week league

$17 lift tickets for participants

6:10 – 6:30 Course Inspection

6:30 Race Start

After Race- Meeting in Last Run Lounge to review highlights, and bragging!
For More Information Contact Mark or Morgan @ Ski Country Sports 828-898-9786

That’s it for this morning guys and gals!

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.