Natural highs will be in the near single digits to teens and low 20s depending on what part of the Southeast and Mid Atlantic you ride on Saturday! The NC Mountains should be in the 10-16° range for highs with some light snow and perhaps another 1-2" of accummulations. It should be around 23° with sunny skies around Wintergreen Resort in Virginia. Portions of the WV ski mountains into Wisp Resort in NW Maryland will see highs temps in the single digits with another 1-3" of snow. All of this great weather and cold temps will come with 20 mph winds so bundle up, wear the proper gear and ski protection and hit these awesome conditions.
Check the Snow Report link for the details around the region for today. I have an hour before I’m scheduled to be at breakfast and then hit the snow myself, so here’s some (hopefully) interesting comments and you guys can check back later for more news and information.
I’m working remotely from Snowshoe Mountain this weekend and we have some of our staff scheduled to be at Appalachian Ski Mountain and Beech Mountain Resort for races and activities at those ski areas today and we’ll try to coordinate up and get you some good pics and video whenever possible. Chase Hendley is at Beech’s Winterfest today and I KNOW that he’ll try to get us some good pics of those activities uploaded later this afternoon. Blake Couch and SkiCop from the messageboard are at Ober Gatlinburg today and promise to get some good pics from there as well.
It was great seeing some of the media peeps who made early arrivals on the mountain on Friday at Snowshoe. We got to the top of Snowshoe’s 4848′ elevations around 3pm and it was 0°. Needless to say that it was wonderful to make use of Allegheny Springs’ Valet service. For $20 they’ll park and retrieve your car and make the walk across tons of snow and howling winds. That might be the best bargain on the mountain the way the wind was howling and with the sub zero wind chills we were experiencing!
Later in the evening Snowshoe’s Village was a beautiful site with about twenty feet of snow piled in the middle of the Village center. The winds were combining with the sub zero temps to literally take your breath away. Even the best winter clothing made the trek from Shavers to the other end of the Village an adventure. (We made the walk three times. On purpose. We’re gluttons for adventure!)
The drive from Banner Elk to Snowshoe was interesting as well. I think we MIGHT have driven perhaps twenty miles that wasn’t on snow covered roads, including I-81, I-77, I-64 and Hwy 219. Some of the banks of snow along 219 from Lewisburg to Snowshoe were impressive and literally looked as though they were about to create mini avalanches. The drive up Snowshoe Drive was
impressive with popcorn snowballs in the branches and deep snow all the way up the mountain. Bear in mind I was here one week ago, but the snow that has dumped on this mountain since just last week is unreal! Nearly three feet of snow has fallen since January 1st and the phrase that’s on everyone’s lips (particularly all the media types visiting here this weekend) is that this might be "THE BEST WINTER EVER in terms of cold and snow".
I’m not certain that I’ve ever seen this kind of run with this kind of POWDER this many days in a row…but you want to hear something C-R-A-Z-Y! I was having dinner at The Junction with Joe Stevens after a pre-media weekend meet and greet and he leans over and says, "Mike, I’m surprised that you haven’t written about all of these people who are calling this the best season ever." Before I could say anything he added, "I have been waiting for you to make a comment that I haven’t seen you make yet."
I was lost.
Then he shared this pearl of wisdom, "We had more snow at this point in time last season than we have to date this season."
NO WAY!!! (I thought.)
The cool thing about web databases and the way that we have archived EVERY SINGLE daily story since 2004 is that I could quickly prove old Joe wrong.
The BAD thing about web databases is that upon arriving back to this laptop and performing a quick search for stories around the latter part of December and early January showed this:
Mon, 22 Dec 2008 15:30:00 – The resort has now had 90" of snow fall this season.
Then I found this post from exactly ONE YEAR AGO!
01.9.09 09:03 AM – Snowshoe Mountain – 7° and 11" of snow over the past 1.5 days of the storm.
That extra 5" of snow since Thursday morning takes Snowshoe to 110" on the season.
How soon we forget I guess. We did have an amazing start to the 2008-2009 season that had many of us skiing on Halloween. Christmas was a lot less snowy than this past Christmas and by January 9th of last year things weren’t NEARLY as open and awesome as we’re experiencing right now, but as far as snow on the season…Joe was dead on. How does he remember this stuff?
Okay so we’re THIRTEEN INCHES LESS snow than last year at this exact same date! True enough. H-O-W-E-V-E-R, I still maintain that I don’t think many people in the region have seen this kind of snowfall and conditions and a stretch of weather like we’ve had recently…maybe ever. Unlike last season – this season didn’t want to get started until nearly the middle of December. We had people emailing us talking about cancelling Christmas ski getaways because there wasn’t much in the way of slope openings and base conditions even around December 10th. Since then, we’ve had a stretch of snow and cold to rival any season in the past.
Another dusting to 4" of snow has fallen in the last 24 hours. Check out where and how much via the snow reports page.
As mentioned earlier, several ski areas have great activities happening TODAY! Hopefully you guys have been checking the events calendar and made plans accordingly. The Homestead is hosting THEIR Winterfest Weekend; Beech is doing the same; Snowshoe is hosting a ton of College kids for Winter Break Weekend, App is hosing races. There’s too much happening today!
Go ski. Go ride. Go do something on all this snow today!
Until Next Time…
SSAA: 0 for 42/saphopenNOT/b/ ///self 41/42