Tuesday’s Southeast Report –

Old habits die hard. Like dragging your ski poles in some double-snow-rooster-tail creating fashion. Don’t snicker, we’ve ALL done it. All skiers that is. Snowboarders BECAME snowboarders because they think the carrying poles around looks silly. I’m kidding of course. But back to the subject – old habits die hard.

I checked my email INBOX late last night and noticed about two-thirds of them were about snow melting and several asked specifically if there would be snow for such and such dates that they would be skiing. I’m going to break one habit today; I will not answer those concerned and soon to be visiting souls in a sarcastic way. It’s HARD though, because you’d think that after answering that question numerous times in nine years of providing this website…that we would not have to answer it. However, just as people are new to skiing; they are new to our websites. So I will answer their questions in a minute.

Why am I being so kind this morning? – After reading through just a few of my emails last night I was thinking to myself, "Here we go again…with the S-A-M-E – snow doesn’t melt on the slopes as fast as you think" speil. I was prepared to be obligatory with my story this morning. And then on my way in to the office I did my normal stop by the local country store for my morning OJ and cookie. (The breakfast of champions, huh?) Anyway, as I was in line at the register one of the old timers was commenting on the weather and how nice and Spring-like it was today and the cashier answered him in a "this is my 200th time talking about the weather this morning" way that I could not help but think was the way that I might sound to first time visitors asking the snow melt question. As the old gent was picking up his purchases, he said, "I guess the ski resorts are taking a real hit this year though…with this kind of weather."

Then I get to my office and after I finished posting the updated ski report to SkiSoutheast.com and SkiNC.com I read the rest of my emails and then looked through the messageboard posts to see what kind of pearls I could share from there. Then I saw one of our OWN employees leading a thread of conversations alluding to "how long the resorts would be able to stay open with this kind of warm weather." I couldn’t believe it! One of our own people was thinking, incorrectly I might add, that the ski resorts would be looking to close due to this SHORT mild spell that has lasted all of three days!

Soooooooo, here goes the ANSWER that so many of you who have planned ski excursions for this weekend want to know.

If you watch the base depths as we do each day, you will notice that most of the resorts (not all!) have reduced their snow depths by anywhere from 1" to 4" over the last couple of mild, near 50° days. Although some of the maximum base depths being reported ARE inflated, the minimum measurements are rather dependable figures. One look at the ski report will tell you that all of the North Carolina ski areas have at least 22" of snow on all of their slopes. So there is PLENTY of snow on the slopes and, in fact, it may surprise a lot of you guys, but there is NATURAL SNOW still on the ground OFF the slopes. There’s still snow in my neighborhood, and I know that there is plenty of snow laying around in Banner Elk where I keep my horses, and there is natural snow around Sugar, Hawksnest and Ski Beech. One look at the new Blowing Rock Cam on www.HighCountryWebCams.com and you can see patches of snow still around Blowing Rock as well.

We have TWO more days of mild temps today and Wednesday…and we’ll even see some light rain on Wednesday and that will certainly eliminate some of the natural snow patches around the area…and it WILL drop the base depths on the ski slopes another couple or so inches. However, Wednesday NIGHT it is forecasted to drop to 25° of so and that will crank up the snowmaking crews at all resorts…and along with grooming Thursday (and this weekend) skiing will be GREAT. Notice I said GREAT — not just good.

Natural SNOW is in the forecast! – We even have some 2-3" of snow in the forecast for Thursday and Friday…and that will make for a great ski weekend getaway.

Okay so there IS a LITTLE bad news around the Southeast – Cloudmont Ski Area in ALABAMA is "closed until further notice." It is amazing to us that those guys stay open as much as they do with limited snowmaking temperatures, but they do a good job with the little elevation and cold temps that they have. We’ll let you know as soon as they are able to reopen.

Ober Gatlinburg located in Gatlinburg, Tennessee has been treated unkindly by Mother Nature this winter. More often than not this winter, they have had temperatures some 10-15° warmer than that of their close neighbor, Cataloochee Ski Area, which is literally just down the mountain. Ober Gatlinburg reported that they ARE showing some thin coverage and bare spots on Mogul Ridge.

* That is the only thin coverage report we have received.

It’s just BAD TIMING! – Timing is EVERYTHING! We watch base depth and surface reporting from all of the ski areas of the Southeast EVERY DAY. We have reported about how Timberline Resort in West Virginia has been off on their reporting from time to time throughout this season. The more we watch, the more we are realizing that their problem is not deceptive marketing practices…it’s JUST BAD TIMING and a lack of resources. They don’t update their OWN report everyday and SOMETIMES WHEN THEY DO…it JUST LOOKS BAD. For instance: Yesterday, their website reported 32-54" of base depth and even though they didn’t make any appreciable snow over the last couple of days, they reported 36-60" of base depth this morning. Their depth GREW 4-6" overnight! Either they finally got around to measuring from last week’s snowmaking and posted that this morning…or they got a look at what neighboring resorts are reporting and felt that had to keep up with the Jones’.

Conditions ARE looking quite FINE at your favorite resort today…so get out and enjoy and send us some photos and reports! We added a lot of great photos yesterday and last evening. If you have a few minutes…you should browse the Photos of the Day.

Email me at: mail@skisoutheast.com

Don’t forget to visit: http://www.skisoutheast.com