A Wonderful Weekend Ahead for Skiers and Snowboarders at the North Carolina Ski Areas!

First Trax

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I have had a crazy, busy week and had not  looked at how many people are planning to attend the SkiNC / Ski Beech Summit on February 21st. According to NCSUsKING on the messageboard it looks like we have 86+ coming! That is so cool. There’s no doubt that we’ll see more coming on board soon and we’ll update you on that and other news. If you don’t know what the Summit is, simply click over to the SkiNC / Ski Beech Summit page and make plans on making some turns with a bunch of friends (old and new) AND get your lift ticket for one-half off!  Click here to see more about the Summit!

This coming weekend will be one SWEET weekend to ski or ride, no matter where you choose to play! Highs today will be in the 20s to maybe 30° or so with some light snow (maybe an inch or so) and then temps will dive back to a low around 15°. Tons of snowmaking will be happening!

Saturday looks awesome with sunny skies and highs around freezing. Ski areas can make snow around the clock on Saturday but several have so much snow that they’ll not be running the guns during ski sessions! Sunday will be another sweet day with sunny skies and highs in the mid 40s!

Behind that? Snow, cold, wind and God know what! According to most forecast models we WILL get some snow and it will be cold and blustery as well. After the snow clears out on Tuesday and Wednesday it will be colder as another blast of arctic air hits the area. So regardless of the Monday snow storm or fizzle (whichever), we will see continued great ski and snowboarding conditions across the region!

According to the GFS, the UK Model, the European Model and the Canadian Model we’re going to get some snow. However, only two of these models say that we’re going to get significant snow now. Two are forecasting only light snow. I guess we’ll have to hire "Helga, the Scandinavian Model" to wrestle all of these other models to the ground so that we can get the significant snow that we’re all hoping for.

I feel like I got slapped on the wrist with a ruler because now some twelve hours later (since the last weather update) forecasters are saying – "OH NO, NO, NO! This Monday snowstorm is nothing like the system that shaped up and dumped snow on our region back in 1993. "

"There’s no comparison", says another.

Of course, I never said that this approaching storm should compare to the Blizzard of ’93.  Well, I did mention that some of our readers were saying that. Some of our weather gurus were quoted yesterday as saying "It has been a long time since we’ve seen this kind of system taking shape".  Another weather dudette wrote, "It has been several years since we’ve seen the kind of rare combination that this system is setup to deliver on Monday."



 <This recent photo of the Canadian model, Jessica Stam looks pretty "frosty" wouldn’t you say? I say let’s make her our mascot for winter!

Listening to Meteorologist Matthew East’s video update this morning sounds like he’s a host for some kind of a modeling, talent search! He was going on about the European Model, Canadian Model and others and I could envision someone like the Canadian Model, Jessica Stam (pictured here) attempting to describe what the forecast would be for this Monday’s storm. I can’t help but envision something like the Miss Teen South Carolina gal, Lauren Upton (who attends Appalachian State University by the way) when she blew up on a question during the pageant a couple of years ago. It might go something like this:

"I personally believe that U.S. Americans models or the GSF, GFS or something would be able to do so because, uh, some, people out there in our nation don’t have maps to predict the snow coming in and, uh, I believe that our, uh, education like such as, uh, South Africa and, uh, the Iraq, everywhere like such as, and, I believe that they should, our education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S., uh, or, uh, people to know what the weather is, uh, going to do on Monday. You know for our futures and world peace and all!"


I tried to squeeze a number out of a couple of our meteorologist buddies and you’d think that I have the plague or something! Not one of the local meteorologists are ready to come forward with any kind of estimate as to how much snow may come out of this approaching snow storm. Of course, I understand because there are so many of us that want a huge snow event. Some of these weather gurus probably worry about being strung up on the nearest tree. We wouldn’t do that, would we 😉

One thing we CAN say and agree on – The National Weather Service RARELY relates a 70% chance of snow four days away from a storm and that is what they are doing right now. They are forecasting a 70% chance of snow for Monday and a 60% chance of snow on Tuesday. We’re sticking with our guess that more significant snows will fall! Okay, Helga, do your thing!

We’ve given enough press to a storm that may not even happen, so here’s the tour for today!

Appalachian Ski Mountain – 18° – 100% open with both terrain parks and ice skating as well. They made snow last night and report a base of 84-110". They will NOT be making snow during sessions! MAN! We were just watching the groomers on the main hill and that snow looks AWESOME! I’ve got to try to knock off early and hit that!

Cataloochee Ski Area – 17° – They are 100% open with all 14 trails, snow tubing and some terrain park features. They are reporting a base of 42-90" and groomed conditions.

Ski Beech – 14° – They are making snow and will continue as long as temps allow on some trails. They are holding with 11 of 15 trails open, terrain park setup on Powder Bowl and ice skating open as well. Beech is getting some snow right now as well! They are reporting a base of 30-60" of groomed, packed manmade and frozen granular. They have their tubing hill open as well.

Sugar Mountain Ski Resort – 12° – It is snowing there right now as well! They are making snow and will continue as long as temps allow. They offer a base of 38-77" of manmade powder and frozen granular conditions on 100% of the slopes and trails (20) and snow tubing and ice skating too.

Wolf Ridge Ski Resort – 25° – They are reporting snowmaking and groomed conditions on a base of 46-66" and they offer 10 trails, and snow tubing today.

Hawksnest Snow Tubing Park – 14° – They are grooming right now and this weekend should be a lot of fun at their tubing only park.

(Some people have written that Hawksnest is promoting their park as the "largest snow tubing park on the east coast" and erroneously so. Janie Sims of Roanoke wrote, "We had a chance to visit with some friends last week and we went tubing at Hawksnest. We really had a great time, but were somewhat disappointed because they say that they have the largest on the east coast and they actually are smaller than the ones up at Winterplace. Thought you should know.)

Well Janie, you are not the first to report this to us. I think that Hawksnest has plans to have more tubing lanes and terrain open than they’ve been able to thus far. As it stands right now though, we’d have to agree with your critique. Actually as far as size, Wisp Resort in Maryland actually offers more tubing length and lanes than Hawksnest as well. We’re not a tubing park website, but if you guys "talk" we will respond! (That just doesn’t have the ring of "We report, you decide" does it?

Be sure to click over to www.SkiSoutheast.com  to see what’s happening into the Virginias, Tennessee, and Maryland ski resort areas.

Send your comments, photos, videos and trip reports to: [email protected]

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