There’s PLENTY OF SKIABLE TERRAIN out there; However, Bare Spots and Thin Coverage Exists

I don’t know why but I am fighting off a bad mood this morning. Maybe it’s the weather, the forecast, the fact that the season is winding down quicker than we’d all like – maybe it’s all of the above. Maybe it’s the appearance of more and more thin coverage areas on my favorite ski areas or the fact that several ski areas are not reporting them. Maybe it’s the declining base depths or maybe it’s the base depths that are being reported as 30-60" that have not dropped one inch in the last week with 70-75° temperatures. Maybe it’s the fact that the "Little engine that could ski area" – Cloudmont is closed with no snow. Maybe it’s Wolf Ridge Resort that is closed WITH SNOW. (They are hoping to reopen for this weekend.)

Maybe it’s just THAT TIME OF THE SEASON.

Maybe it’s just due to the fact that my skiMail INBOX is flooded for the third day in a row from people asking when the ski areas are going to close … when that information was clearly covered in our posts of the last few days. For the 316 emails that came in overnight with questions related to that – please click here. 

Maybe it’s the person who wrote that we are incorrectly reporting that Appalachian Ski Mountain is closing for the season on March 29th and claim that they will "do everything possible to stay open one more week longer than another resort in the region." This young lady wrote us on Monday that we were wrong. We wrote back "Nuh, Uhhh – App is closing on Sunday, March 29th."

She wrote back, "Uh, huh. I’ve heard that they will do anything to beat us and stay open one more day if needed." (Hmmm, I wonder who she was alluding to when she wrote "us"?) Young lady, let me assure your little conspiratorial soul that first – Brad Moretz and his crew don’t operate that way, and second, App will not be open past March 29th, 2009 for this season. They HAVE announced that they WILL be open through APRIL 11th, of 2010. For the record, Appalachian sets their closing dates way in advance and to my knowledge sticks by them each year, weather permitting.


The sloping park, great calamity,
Through “the Lands of the West and Lombardy
The fire in the ship, plague and captivity;
Mercury in Sagitarius, Saturn fading.

(Century 10, Quatrain 79)

David Arnette sent us this yesterday and claims that there’s a reference in there that many believe is predicting a major earthquake for Italy and the United States in 2015. However, he claims that "scholars" have misinterpreted the quatrain. He claims that the "sloping park" is the ski areas and the "west" reference refers to the ski areas in western North Carolina. The "fire in the ship" is the sun and he admits he doesn’t have a clue to what the plague and captivity reference means, but speculates one ski area that tends to hold it’s businesses captive by admonishing them (plaguing) for doing business with those they choose to do business with. Personally I can’t BELIEVE that any of our ski areas would operate that way – would you guys?

Will Nostradumus’ Prediction Come True?

Actually, we borrowed David’s timely and clever comments because in our mind it doesn’t take Nostradamus to see that there will very likely be a ski area or two that will pull the trigger and close up ski and snowboarding ops after this weekend. We’ve posted the announced closing dates for all of the ski areas and there were a couple that were more tentative in nature. Of those, we’re thinking that one or more will have a look at this weekend’s weather and the early forecast for next week, and probably announce a closing a week earlier – meaning that they will close THIS SUNDAY, March 15th.

Our weather gurus are reporting, "We’re going to see some rain, rain showers and wet precip beginning Thursday afternoon and popping on and off each day through the entire weekend and into Tuesday night. By that time they are expecting anywhere from an inch or two of "liquid", rain, rain/mix or yuck to fall. The "yuck" should be 2-4" of wet snow into West Virginia before changing back and forth to some rain even for those areas.

We’ll see if David’s reading of the Nostradamus is accurate 😉

Only two ski areas made snow last night and those were Snowshoe Mountain in West Virginia and Wisp Report in Maryland.  Sugar’s predicting a chance of snow tonight and tommorow. I appreciate the heck out of a "glass half full" kind of guy, and we’ll p-r-o-b-a-b-l-y see a few flakes and maybe even a short period of snow covered grassy areas, but it’s highly unlikely we’ll see anything good from this mostly rain event.

"Thin Coverage and Bare Spots" are included in our quick notes for today at all but one ski area. With some rain (maybe substantial rain) in the forecast for the next few days look for a few more bare areas surfacing. FYI, there’s PLENTY of good, skiable terrain to play on and lots of good trails at each mountain, but even though all of the ski areas are not mentioning the thin and bare areas – they have them.

Appalachian Ski Mountain – 47° – Base of 66-95" – 100% Open – NO BARE SPOTS or thin coverage.

Cataloochee Ski Area – 31° – Base of 31-66" – 10 of 14 trails open – Some thin coverage areas

Ski Beech – 31° – Base of 18-55" – 8 of 15 trails open – Some bare spots and thin coverage

Sugar Mountain – 27° – Base of 24-74" – 100% Open – Some bare spots and thin coverage areas

Wolf Ridge Resort – Base of 38-58" – Closed Until Saturday…tentatively. – Some bare spots and thin coverage

Bryce Resort – 32° – Base of 22-42" – 5 of 8 trails open – Some thin coverage areas

Massanutten Resort – 30° – Base of 36" – 13 of 14 trails open – Some bare spots and thin coverage

The Homestead – Base of 18" – 2 of 5 trails open – Substantial bare spots and thin coverage

Wintergreen Resort – 28° – Base of 30-60" – 18 of 26 trails open – Substantial thin coverage areas.

Canaan Valley – 28° – Base of 6-24" – 12 of 39 trails open – Substantial thin coverage and some bare spots. They dropped seven trails from where they were on Wednesday.

Snowshoe Mountain – 17° – Base of 47" – 50 of 60 trails open – They reduced their open terrain by 6 trails from Wednesday. Snowshoe MADE SNOW overnight and is expecting up to 4" of natural snow by Friday evening. That and the snowmaking should get them in pretty darn good shape again within the next 24 hours. They DO have some thin coverage areas and bare area or two or three. Today also marks the start of Snowshoe’s Spring Break party on the mountain. Check out DJ dance parties, live entertainment, and plenty of Happy Hour bar specials. Join them for a winter getaway while taking advantage of some of the lowest prices of the season – starting at $149 for 2 nights lodging and 2 days of lift tickets. That’s a deal that just can’t be beat! So don’t waste any time, get in your car and get up there! Call 1-877-441-4FUN to book your stay today!

Timberline Resort – 29° – Base of 30-60" – 26 of 37 trails open. Did not make snow and they do have some thin coverage and bare spots.

Winterplace Resort – 52° – Base of 36-76" – 100% Open – Some thin coverage and bare areas.

Wisp Resort – 17° – Base of 6-38" – 23 of 32 trails open – Making Snow! – There is some substantial thin coverage areas and bare spots.

Ober Gatlinburg – 37° – Base of 38-68" – 6 of 8 trails open – Some thin coverage and bare spots.

Cloudmont – CLOSED

Sapphire Valley – CLOSED

To see the closing date information for ALL of the ski areas of the Southeast and Mid Atlantic, check the SLOPE REPORT page or click here

Send your comments, trip reports, photos and videos 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.