Welcome to the 1st Day of Spring and Spring Skiing and Snowboarding

Tom Bonazza (SpydeeTJB on the messageboard) posted this nice shot at Snowshoe this morning at rope drop.

My Saturday morning FirsTrax Morning Blog was highlighted by two things. First it was snowing about as hard as I had seen it all season long – at Snowshoe Mountain. The second thing I noted was that at every resort location except Snowshoe – the slopes were scarcely ‘populated’ with skiers and snowboarders.

That is true again this morning as I toured the many webcams. Dense fog blankets really all of the ski areas that are open this morning. Appalachian Ski Mountain looks pretty good in terms of base coverage on their trails. Cat looks decent – though not quite as good. Sugar looks r-o-u-g-h.

Snowshoe picked up 3.5″ of new snow. It is AMAZING what snow will do to ‘pretty-up’ everything. They were the only open ski area to see snowfall on Saturday, which poses an “if a tree falls in the forest kind of question”. If it snows at a ski resort and they are not open, does it count?

In this case Canaan Valley Resort and Timberline Resort in Davis, West Virginia picked up 6.2″ of snow to take them to 104.8″ of snow on the season. Unfortunately, both areas are closed for the season.

 

Five Ski Areas Are Open Today; At Least ONE More Will Close Sunday

We are down to FIVE ski areas that are open for skiing and snowboarding today. Wintergreen Resort and Beech Mountain Resort closed after Saturday’s sessions and Sugar probably could have. I passed by Sugar multiple times on Saturday and I started to turn up Sugar Mountain Drive and snap a photo of the “deteriorated carnage”. However I thought better of it because after I thought about it for a moment I realized that Sugar might just hang on with what they have for Sunday (even if only a handful of patrons hit the slopes) and crank up the snowguns on Sunday night as temps are expected to nosedive one last time to 22-23°.

We’ve already heard from Snowshoe and Appalachian that they plan to make snow if temps allow and the only reason I could think of that Sugar would remain open today was to stretch the season with some perfectly timed snowmaking tonight. One good night of snowmaking COULD allow Sugar to stay open through one more week or for at least a few more days.

Sugar DID drop their base depth overnight by 8″ on the low side and by 30″ on their maximum base depth. On Saturday morning they were reporting a base of 16-65″ and this morning – 8-35″.

To defend Sugar, the rest of the open ski areas have reported the same base depth for a week. Just more proof that base depths are nothing but marketing numbers for the public.

As Joe Stevens always says, “Does my 30″ base ski or ride any different than your 72″ base?”

Here are some rambling notables:

Winterplace Resort – They have decided to pull the plug on the season after today’s day session. So they will end their season with 9 slopes and trails.

Snowshoe Mountain – 3.5″ of new snow. 46 trails open today and some fresh snow. Need we say more? The entire mountain is engulfed in dense fog at 8:30am.

Appalachian Ski Mountain – Is now open for DAY skiing and snowboarding only for the rest of the season. They have 11 of 12 slopes open. They have plans to make snow Sunday Night, March 20 & Monday Night, March 21 as temperatures allow! They posted, “Base Depths and snow coverage are holding up very well currently; this additional snow will serve to provide the best possible snow conditions for our guests.”

Last we heard – they are HOPING to remain open until April 2nd.

Beech Mountain Resort is closed for the 2015-2016 season. Talia Freeman posted, “A big thank you to our loyal customers for a successful year!  We will continue to work through the summer to upgrade our facilities and better our operation.”

Beech Mountain Resort will open this summer for mountain biking, disc golf, scenic lift rides, and live music.  Stay tuned for updates regarding summer activities.

If You Are READING THIS, Go Vote for Cataloochee NOW!

They are one of SIX ski areas in the running for Snowmaker of the Year nationally. There are only a few days left to vote. Here is a good snowmaking video from the Cat team and below the video is a bit more information (as if you needed it).

Here is the link to GO VOTE: VOTE FOR CATALOOCHEE!

2016-03-19-cat1

In Cat’s Own Words…

“Greetings, we make snow at Cataloochee Ski Area in Maggie Valley, North Carolina. If our snowmaking crew was a professional sports team, our mascot would be a Wildcat. We have 267, yes…two hundred and sixty seven YEARS of combined snowmaking experience on our team. Our ideal long-range weather forecast at our mountain is MARGINAL.

We work three shifts with 5 people on day crew, 2 on swing shift and 6 on night crew.”

When asked what they are proudest of, the team responded with, “Here in the South, where it does not snow…we make it snow.”

Here is the link to GO VOTE: VOTE FOR CATALOOCHEE!

Until next time…

Email me anytime and about anything at: [email protected]

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Mike Doble
Mike is the Editor and founder of SkiSoutheast.com, SkiNC.com and ResortCams.com. 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.