The LAST of the Thin Coverage and Bare Spots?!?! Maybe!

Although there have been some widespread, scattered light showers across the southeast, most MLK weekend visitors have been rewarded for their gamble of coming despite the early week forecast of rain. Areas further north (within the Southeast and Mid Atlantic region) have seen some light rain, however areas further south have missed it entirely.

Thus far the weatherman has been 0-3 and we like it that way. Visitors in North Carolina have not had to dodge one drop of rain thus far and it appears that Monday maybe pretty nice as well. Skies are rather clear this morning and by the time the expected rain does come in, most MLK weekend visitors will be checked out and on their way home! That is great for them!

If you’re sticking around all week, you’re REALLY in for a treat as cold air and even some snow is in the forecast from this evening all the way through AT LEAST Sunday. The warmest temperature that we’re seeing in the Western North Carolina forecast for the next seven days is 34° on Thursday and the lows will be in the teens and low 20s all week long. A little snow is also in the forecast for Tuesday and possibly Friday and Saturday as well!

Conditions Across the Region…

This might just possibly be the last day in quite a while that we have to talk about reductions in base depth and/or thin coverage and bare spots. Yesterday we mentioned that not all of the resorts were reporting bare spots and we congratulated the few who were. Some are still self reporting thin coverage and bare spots today, but not all of them. Those resorts who are not reporting them may just be assuming that with the weather, most people would know that there are areas of ground popping through. Maybe some resorts are choosing not to be forthright for marketing reasons. We’ll let you be the judge, but we’d summarize this portion of our morning update by simply saying that it’s safe to say that only ONE resort in the entire Southeast and Mid Atlantic is operating today without thin coverage or bare spots and that would probably be Appalachian Ski Mountain. The rest have very good, side-to-side coverage and plenty of good terrain to ski on today – but they DO have thin coverage and bare spots regardless whether they self-reported them or not.

I’m feeling in a good mood this morning (I don’t know why, maybe it’s that I LOVE MLK Day.) so instead of ratting out those who did not self-report thin coverage and bare spots, I’m going to turn the marketing tables slightly and recommend doing business today with the ones who DID report them.

So today, our recommendations would be:

Appalachian Ski Mountain and Ski Beech in North Carolina. They have decent conditions and plenty of coverage.

In Virginia we’ll strongly recommend Massanutten. They are struggling but being honest about it.

In West Virginia, Snowshoe Mountain and Timberline gets our recommendation today. Both have decent conditions despite the temps and light rain of late…and we love their honesty.

Check out the slope conditions for all of the details.

Sunday was a horseback riding kind of day…

As mentioned before, Sunday was a nice Spring or Early Fall kind of day. At 4pm or so I looked around the region and saw:

61° our my home office.
54° on Beech Mountain
59° and FAIR SKIES at Snowshoe
58° and light rain and fog at Wisp
61° and cloudy at Winterplace
64° and FAIR at Cataloochee.
70° and FAIR at Wintergreen in Virginia

As you can see, there was a lot of 60s and even a 70° reading or two out there. That did a lot of base melting (along with whatever rain did fall in scattered areas). Those drops in base depth also prompted to slope closures…so be sure to review the slope conditions page before heading out. A few other reporting services are not accurate so stay with us to “know before you go”.

Most of the resorts are reporting a 2-4” drop in base depth since yesterday, although some are reporting huge drops in base within the last 24 hours or so. Wintergreen’s base dropped 10” – as did Wisp’s. Sugar Mountain’s base depth is showing 12-32” this morning which is 13” lower than Sunday morning’s report. We’re wondering if some of these larger reductions are reflecting some mass, mid-season corrections.

Regardless, with the weather ahead, we’re all hopeful that this the last time we have to report base reductions, thin coverage and/or bare spots. Maybe we can get back to complaining about resorts OVER reporting base depths! You know the 100” claims, etc. We’d really appreciate being able to moan about that for the rest of the season!

Sunday was a BUSY Day!

We posted THREE stories on Sunday, so if you missed any, be sure to check the archives.

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Until Next Time…


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Next articleAustin Beeghly’s Trip Report for Cataloochee on January 14th
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.