First Trax

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Hooray! It’s definitely still snowing here in Boone-town, home of world famous Well, snowing might be a stretch, but its spitting something. This morning I am back in the office (not sure if I mentioned yesterday that I was stuck at home) and glad for it.

For all of you guys and gals who are looking for more details regarding the upcoming Beech Summit as well as the Snowshoe Summit in March, I will have more info for you REALLY SOON!! Mike and I are sitting down today, so I’ll let you know rate details and more!! I PROMISE I will have more info for you by tomorrow!!

I know I was only stuck at home for a day, but I had a serious case of cabin fever. I snuck out of the house to go to Wal-Mart for chili making supplies. That was my first mistake. You know every time I go in that place I say I may never go back again. It’s cheaper overall, but maybe it’s not worth the headache, and just going to the grocery store would be less expensive as a whole, just for the sense of ease and lack of stress. Anyways, I went to Walmart. The parking lot was a nightmare. It MIGHT have been scraped/plowed/cleared at one point sometime last week. I know there are tons of cars at WalMart all the time and it’s hard to get snow cleared in such a high traffic area, but good grief, there was more snow in the parking lot than at my own house. People don’t know how to park either. Just because you can’t see the lines perfectly doesn’t mean you get to park all crooked like an idiot, pull in as straight as you can, it’s not like you’ve never been in a parking lot before. Or, maybe you haven’t – anything’s possible. So then I go inside, the people greeter (for which the Mart is so famous) was kind enough to offer me a cart right away. I was thankful until I got into the door and started towards the groceries and realized that the cart had a bum wheel and was making the most god-awful screeching noise. The curse of the WalMart cart was upon me.

So, I get my supplies together, it’s pretty easy to navigate the shopping isles because for the most part they’re just like any other low key grocery store. Well, just as I thought my trip was almost over, it’s time to check out. It’s a good thing I had nowhere to go and that I had my whole afternoon ahead of me because there were MAYBE 3 cashiers. It’s the middle of a snow storm, people need bread and milk, shovels, sleds, and ice melt, and THEY HAD THREE PEOPLE WORKING!!! There were lines wrapped around displays, going through women’s clothing, and FINALLY a poor woman, bless her heart, makes a plea over the intercom for register trained associates to please come to the front. People are pissed. I think it’s funny at this point that the people running the shift haven’t gotten it together enough to have more people on registers. So, a few minutes pass and people in blue shirts and khaki pants start converging on open registers. We customers are like volchers, we see one opening up and it’s like a stampede to see whose cart can get to the open line first. It’s ridiculous, the whole thing.

So, eventually nearly an hour and a half after entering a place I fondly call "Deliverance" I was heading back out into the unplowed parking lot attempting to maneuver my busted up buggy, and glad to be done with the whole thing. I’ve said it once, and I am sure I will say it again, I may never go back to WalMart again. It’s probably safe to call my bluff, but I’m done with that place until next week, or until I need toilet paper. That’s my two cents….

This just in, a new Ski Forecast from our snow-loving best pal Brad Panovich down in Charlotte (where they got about 4 inches of snow), and it’s a dooooozie. We’re looking at MORE SNOW starting tonight, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. It’s northwest flow snow…and the two sacred words…SYSTEM SNOW, so we’re looking at some major POW-POW (to quote Brad). Some areas of the North Carolina mountains could see upwards of 8-10 inches and maybe even a foot at some of the higher elevations. Snowshoe Mountain in Pocahontas County could see as much as two feet of snow in the next 72 hours. Brad says to get out an enjoy this one, as it may be the last storm we see for the better part of a week or two. It’s been a crazy winter so far, last year was great, but this year has seemingly blown it out of the water, and it’s not over yet. If you want to check out the whole video forecast click here.

So, to wrap it up, don’t go to WalMart in a snow storm AND look for snow to pick back up later tonight and stick around until sometime Friday. Here’s a look around…

North Carolina…

Appalachian Ski Mountain – 21°- Open today on 11 of 12 slopes (AppalJam terrain park is closed for super-concentrated snowmaking) with an additional 1.7 inches of new snow!! They’re up to 48.7 inches for this season! Appalachian is planning to selectively make snow after skiing areas to continue to build base as well as in an effort to provide the freshest conditions for skiing and riding.

Beech Mountain – 26°- Open today on 15 of 15 slopes with a 44-84 inch base! Beech got another 1.7 inches of snow in the last 24 hours bringing their season total to 93 inches, just a few inches less than the West Virginia ski areas. Because there has been so much natural snow accumulation at, they won’t be making snow during the day for the remainder of the week!

Cataloochee – 26°- Open today on 16 of 16 trails and slopes with 2.1 inches of fresh snow! Cataloochee has gotten 62 inches of snow this season! They are open for skiing and riding for day, twilight, half-day and night sessions. Tubing remains closed until Thursday, January 13.

Sapphire Valley – 28°- Sapphire Valley is open today on all terrain. They got another 1.8 inches of new snow in the last 24 hours bringing the total from this storm to 8.9 inches and 22.3 inches for the season! It’s crazy!!

Sugar Mountain – 15°- Open today on 100% of the ski hill. Sugar got another 1.1 inches of snow, that’s almost 17 inches in the last three days! Sugar’s season total is 76.3 inches! Today is Septuagenarian Day at Sugar. Any day of the week with photo ID skiers and riders 70+ years old can get their lift passes for free, and today Sugar is throwing a party in the Last Run Lodge for these guys and gals! It’s awesome they are still able to get out there and shred the glorious powder. Congrats!

Wolf Ridge Resort – 27°- It’s the "Best Winter Ever" at Wolf Ridge according to their morning report! I would agree it’s been a great one so far. Wolf Ridge got ANOTHER 1.5 inches of snow in the last 24 hours, that brings their season total to over 77 inches of snow!! That’s more snow than Sugar Mountain!!! Conditions are SUPERIOR!!


Bryce Resort – 28°- Still no new natural snow to report for Bryce but snowmaking ops are keeping conditions fresh for skiing and riding!!

Massanutten – 27°- Open today on 100% of the Mountain with limited snowmaking! No natural snow to report at Massanutten, but thanks to snowmaking ops and groomed slopes, conditions should be excellent for skiing and riding. Massanutten is also open for tubing today!

Wintergreen – 24°- They are OPEN today with continued killer skiing and riding. They will be open today on 25 slopes and trails for DAY session skiing only, from 9am-5pm. Tubing remains closed for intense snowmaking and will re-open on Thursday! TERRAIN PARK: The Progression Park is open with: small and large propane tank rails, small battleship, small flat down rail, 2 small jumps, medium jump, 2 progression fun boxes, 10ft rail, 15ft rail and 2 progression tables

Western Virginia…

Canaan Valley – 28°- Only a TRACE of snow to report this morning at Canaan, but they can expect a lot more snow over the next day or two! Canaan is open with powder conditions on 36 of 39 slopes and trails. It’s 28° which means perfect temps for great skiing and riding on killer snow!! Canaan is offering a great Midweek Super Saver ski package – just $49 per person/double occupancy. Call them for more info!!

Snowshoe Mountain – 23°- Open today on 54 of 60 slopes and trails with 12 lifts running. Just a TRACE of new snow at Snowshoe, but they’re looking at a possible bombing starting late tonight, and conditions are awesome!! Here’s a brief message from LP up at Snowshoe, "Snow is on its way! We didn’t see the snowfall we expected overnight, with only a trace amount on the ground this morning, but that snow should move in during the evening hours tonight. Between tonight and Wednesday we expect up to 10" of natural snowfall, which will create amazing conditions for the upcoming Holiday weekend. In the meantime, we continue to take advantage of snowmaking temperatures with continued concentrated snowmaking on Widowmaker, Knot Bumper and Flying Eagle at the Silver Creek area. These slopes are currently closed, but should open soon. Mountaineer is also closed at the Silver Creek area as our terrain park crew finishes up their large park build. With the addition of some natural snow over the last few days, as well as some milder daytime temperatures, conditions are absolutely amazing right now with beautifully groomed carvable snow."

Timberline Resort – 28°- A TRACE of snow fell at Timberline Resort where limited snowmaking means excellent conditions and lots of terrain with lots of snow!! Timberline is open on 38 of 39 trails for day skiing and riding only!! Look for fun events like a Telemark Workshop and Giant Slalom competition in the next couple of weekends!

Winterplace – 25°- Just a TRACE of new snow at Winterplace and slope conditions are listed as packed powder & groomed. With more snow in the forecast, Winterplace is open for both day and night sessions today with just GREAT slope conditions!!


Wisp Resort – 18°- Open today for day skiing and riding on 31 of 32 slopes and trails. Snowmaking is taking place on limited terrain! Wisp is offering several mid-week specials so be sure to give them a call to find out more information. Groomed and packed powder conditions make for awesome January conditions!! Check out ice skating and other fun activities at Wisp, too!


Ober Gatlinburg – 30°- With a trace of new snow, Ober is open today with awesome conditions on 8 of 9 trails! Ober is making snow on Grizzly with hopes to get that last trail open and be at 100% open as quickly as possible!! Tubing is also open today!!


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