WELL NOW WE KNOW WE CAN BLAME SKI BEECH FOR THE LATE START TO WINTER!!!

It is now apparent who we should blame for the late start to winter in the state of North Carolina. An insider who works up at the resort stated emphatically that Gil Adams’ wife’s, uncle’s, brother has a great friend who has a VERY CLOSE relationship with a young woman, who knows someone who is a second cousin to someone who is occasionally able to get a word with Mother Nature.

Our source, albeit nine levels deep, states that Beech asked Mother Nature to hold off a bit on the start of the really cold temps until they could get some new snowguns delivered. Around noon on Wednesday a huge truck delivered six new York Snowmaking Machines. I spoke with Ski Beech Marketing Director, Gil Adams this morning and he told me that those machines were already being transported up the hill and onto Freestyle. Adams stated, "It looks like we may get to put them into action pretty soon, Saturday, and crank out a ton of snow!"

Adams’ speculated (nothing official here) but he figured with good snowmaking opportunities coming in the weekend, that they could probably open back up on Monday, but thought that they might wait another day or so (Tuesday or Wednesday).

OKAY – N-O-W WE’RE READY FOR WINTER, RIGHT!?!?

Now maybe we can get some consistent cold temps and snow to kick the 2007-2008 season into full gear. It will nice to see what kind of snow these additional machines will crank out at Ski Beech. A Valle Crucis friend of mine who is the third cousin of a lady who knows…JUST KIDDING! One of my Valle Crucis friends (Skyler) lives up on Beech and is a member of the Ski Beech Ski Patrol and he and his daughter, Naomi told me that they skied a ton of runs on Friday and Friday evening and that the snow was simply great after just a couple of days of snowmaking. So maybe with the new machines that they put into service last season, COMBINED with these newly delivered ones, Ski Beech can blast away beginning Saturday and make for some sweet conditions.

WE STILL HAVE TO "WEATHER" ONE MORE DAY OR SO…

In terms of even the ski resorts in the Southeast with the best of conditions…there is no question that every resort in the region is in need of some cold air, snow and a consistent return to Winter. Snowshoe Mountain with 16 trails and Wisp in Maryland with 11 open trails have the most terrain open, but nobody is doing any real bragging about how pristine the conditions are. Resorts such as Appalachian Ski Mountain in Blowing Rock, North Carolina are open with five trails and probably the best conditions in the state (with a base of 10-26") have not made snow for several days. In fact App has not had the snowguns operating since December 6th and this week of light rain, and near early summer temperatures has paid a price. While Appalachian still looks pretty good, the other resort in the area (Sugar Mountain) looks like it should be closed. For those that might think we are taking a swipe at Gunther…think again…HE would tell you that himself. They are open for the hardcore, handful that might want to ride today…and they are open to keep the 37 consecutive day skiing streak alive. From what we’ve heard, Sugar is even telling people at the ticket windows to have a look before purchasing a lift ticket. You would have to want it bad…to ski at Sugar today.

The way it’s looking right now… areas up around Sugar, Hawksnest and Beech MIGHT get cold enough to make snow beginning Friday night, but it is going to be a close call. Snowmaking might now begin until Saturday night in the North Carolina and Virginia mountains as temps are forecasted to drop into the 20s sometime Saturday. That is about the same time that SNOW should be falling across the region. So Sunday and Monday will see vastly improved conditions.

Thursday will bring to an end a four day period that has seen temperatures that have been nearly 15° above normal for the area. The North Carolina Mountains should see SNOW on Saturday continuing into Sunday. Sunday and Monday will be MUCH colder.

In closing, I don’t want to get too caught up in all of the talk about HOW MUCH snow we’re going to get. We’ll see…but the main thing is it is looking great for snowmaking for next week and that means more terrain openings!

Until Next Time…Send your comments, photos and videos to: [email protected]  

Also visit www.SkiSoutheast.com  for more news from the rest of the ski resorts of the Southeast and Mid Atlantic.

See You On The Slopes!

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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.