Resorts into West Virginia and Maryland have made snow and seen up to 15" of natural snow since Monday and yet their base depths are holding steady while Sugar Mountain further south may be playing "marketing numbers" with base depths and increase them by 30" with no real natural snow.
WE WON’T MAKE ANY FRIENDS THIS MORNING…
We’ve been singing the praises of our ski area’s snowmaking crews this season and have rated Sugar Mountain’s crew among the top two in the state of North Carolina and among the best in the Southeast and Mid Atantic region in creating a quality of snow that all of our visitors know and love. So it comes with great hesitation that we have to draw attention to some anomalies this morning that we just simply wish would not start happening again. Read on.
All resorts have been making snow under optimal snowmaking conditions with cold temps and very little wind. Before I report some strange base depth reporting let me report that the conditons at ANY resort that you hit today, tomorrow or over the MLK Weekend WILL be phenmomenal. More slope openings are promised by the resorts as we get closer to the weekend.
Having said that, we are also sharing some strange base depth growths this morning. Joe Stevens reported over the weekend that he was afraid that some resorts would begin reporting marketing numbers on base depth reports, rather than actual growth as we head into the important MLK weekend and there certainly appears that may be the case as we have been monitoring AND DOCUMENTING base depths numbers for every resort, every day this season and during the rare, perfect snowmaking periods this season – most of the resorts have only reported 6-8" of base growth over some 24 hours periods and that is "reasonable". We’ve seen pretty reasonable base depth reporting most all of this and the last couple of seasons, but after what has been a tough season to date for MOST ski areas, we are in the midst of the best, prolonged snowmaking weather of the season to date. Snowmaking began in earnest on the 12th and 13th and we have watched as most of the ski areas have upped their base depths a few inches each day over this period.
Even WITH those daily increases of 3-6-8" per resort, we now see on this Wednesday morning prior to a very important weekend ahead – some HUGE increases in base depths this morning. Quite frankly one of them is either a mistake (if so we should see some reductions tomorrow, right?) or they are reporting a SWELL of snow under a couple of guns. For the record we called and their phone report is reporting the same huge increase.
As Stevens shared with me years ago, if you can’t report 0" on a bare spot that can’t be skied, resorts shouldn’t report 80" on one or two swells that won’t be skied either.
The bad news is that now that one resort has swelled their base depth, other will follow and then we’re off to a numbers war that is unimportant anyway.
We just hate it when a resort – resorts to inflating numbers to try to gain an advantage. Let great conditions and growing OPEN SLOPE NUMBERS win the markerting battles, not inflated snowfall and base depth reporting. Enuff’ said.
IN summary HERE is a quick glance display of base depth increases since yesterday and bear in mind that these numbers come even after there have been daily increases in each of the last few days prior, so THESE numbers reflect what each resort says is their base depth growth in the last 24 hours:
Wisp Resort – +4"
Canaan Valley – 0"
Timberline – +2"
Snowshoe – +2"
Winterplace – +6"
Bryce Resort – +4"
Massanutten – +4"
Wintergreen – +6"
Ober Gatlinburg – +8"
Appalachian – +8"
Cataloochee – +6"
Hawksnest – +12"
Ski Beech – 0"
Wolf Ridge – +8"
Sugar Mountain – +30"
West Virginia and Western Maryland Ski Resorts Continue to Get BIG Snows and Resorts South Increase Base Depths with Optimal Snowmaking!
Here is a quick tour of base depths and slope opening increases. Things are GREAT out there!
Wisp Resort – 26° – Offers 21 trails today (+1 from yesterday) and they saw 8" of natural snow yesterday, 10" this week and 43" on the season! Conditions could not be much better. My buddy, Lori Epp up there sent us some great pics yesterday and we’ll share those today.
Canaan Valley – 16° – They offer 10 trails today (+1 from yesterday) and they reported 4" more snow since yesterday and 12-15" from the 3 day storm and 61" on the season. David Cooper sent me some great photos as well and we’ll post those in a bit.
Timberline Resort – 18° – They offer 14 trails today (+1 from yesterday) and they reported 10" of snow from the storm and 60" on the season now. Conditions are going to be awesome up there today and over the next few days with more snow in the forecast!
Snowshoe Mountain – 14° – They offer 46 trails today (+1 from yesterday) and they reported 2" of new snow and 7" since Monday, and 56" on the season.
Laura Parquette writes, "It’s going to be another gorgeous POWDER DAY! Seven inches of fresh powder has fallen on the resort since Monday afternoon, and more is still on the way. Today we should see a break in the storm, but that will mean a beautiful day of skiing and riding in sunshine and slightly warmer temperatures. Temps will stay cold enough to continue snowmaking throughout the day, and natural snow should restart tomorrow, ensuring conditions will be absolutely fantastic for the upcoming holiday weekend. Our base is 2-3 feet across the mountain, Silver Creek has some of the best conditions available and the tubing hill and night skiing and riding are both open."
Winterplace is offering 20 trails today (+2 from yesterday) and another 1" of snow on Tuesday (2" since Monday) and 26" on the season. Winterplace increased their base depth by 6" in the last 24 hours.
They also wrote, "Absolutely Awesome Conditons with more snow on the way!!! Winterplace is Open to the Top of the Mountain with Tons & Tons of Snow -There’s something for everyone from beginner to expert!! So, grab your skis/board, grab your friends and head on up to Winterplace Ski Resort."
Bryce Resort in Virginia is offering the same 7 of 8 trails for today and they added 4" to their base depty since yesterday. They have seen a TRACE of snow since Monday.
Massanutten Resort is reporting 17° and they are offering 7 trails today (+1 since yesterday) and they added 4" to the minimum base depth. They also wrote that they will be opening more slopes for Thursday.
Wintergreen Resort is reporting 16° this morning and they are offering 10 trails today (+2 from yesterday) and they upped their base depth by 5".
Anne Marie Jones wrote, "The consistent winter weather forecasted for the rest of January, will allow for a big increase in open terrain between now and MLK weekend. Even more trails will open the following week!"
Ober Gatlinburg is at 28° this morning and is reporting 5 trails open (same as yesterday) but they are reporting Mogul Ridge as open. They increased their base by 8" since yesterday.
Appalachian – 19° – 8 Trails Open (same as 24 hours ago) and +8" of Machine Made in last 24 hours.
Cataloochee – 13° – 8 Trails Open (+1 from 24 hours ago) and +6" of Machine Made in last 24 hours.
Hawksnest Resort – 14° was the low overnight but it is now already 22° at 7:30am – 6 Trails Open (same as 24 hours ago) and + 12" of Machine Made in last TWELVE hours since they updated their report at 8:42pm last night!
Ski Beech – 13°was the low overnight at 1:21am but it is now 25.3° at 7:50am. They are making snow and will as long as temps allow today. Ski Beech show no growth in their reported base of 8-16" but they have made a ton of snow. Beech tends to reflect only a small increment of base throughout the season. They show the same 5 trails as were open 24 hours earlier.
Sugar Mountain was at 11° overnight and now show 17° at 7:52am. They have the same 12 trails open that were open 24 hours ago but grew their reported base depth by a WHOPPING 30" overnight! They reported a base of 18-42" on Tuesday morning and now report 26-72". To borrow a phrase from a popular news network – "We report, you decide".
Wolf Ridge is at 16° this morning and offer the same 6 Trails service by two access points on the mountain and grew their base by 8" in the last 24 hours.
In closing, ALL resorts are at the BEST SHAPE of the season right now and if you have plans for a ski getaway this week or weekend, you are in for a GREAT time. We’re expecting more snow (2-4") this evening into Thursday and Snow Showers are forecasted for Saturday with highs in the 20s and lows in the single digit range for the weekend.
Bring your layed clothing, face protection and goggles!
CLOUDMONT still closed. They wrote, "Did not get cold enough to make snow Monday night. Snow making weather is forecast for tonight. THINK SKI BAMA! .
THINK COLD AND SNOW!!!
Until Next Time…Send your comments, photos and videos to: [email protected]
For resort news, photos and videos from ALL of the Southeast and Mid Atlantic ski areas, visit www.SkiSoutheast.com
See You On The Slopes!