Cataloochee and Snowshoe Mountain Fight Mother Nature to Stay Open!

First Trax

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We are just a couple of days away from seeing the cold temperatures re-invade the region and on this Wednesday, November 29th, 2006 we find most of the resorts in the Southeast and Mid Atlantic playing the waiting game…waiting on those cold temps that will allow them to crank up the snow guns.

The waiting may be until Friday night for areas around West Virginia and Western Maryland…and another 24 hours later (Saturday night) for the Western North Carolina Mountains and into Tennessee and Virginia.

The low temperatures are forecasted to drop into the low 20s in the Alleghany Mountains of West Virginia on Friday night, and only to around 30° in the North Carolina Mountains. Depending on the wet bulb and all of that other scientific stuff…we could see the snow guns fire up everywhere Friday night. If that doesn’t happen…it will do so by Saturday evening for the rest of the resort locations.

Even better news – is the fact that this next round of cold temps looks to be sticking around for the next several days thereafter and in many case will allow almost around the clock snowmaking which will turn the slopes of your favorite ski area white before you know it.

While most of the ski areas are playing the waiting game – Cataloochee Ski Area in North Carolina and Snowshoe Mountain in West Virginia are playing the fighting game. Their groomers and snow management crews are fighting Mother Nature to keep what snow they have ridable. Cataloochee has dropped to three open trails today. Tammy Brown reported, “On Wednesday we will be skiing on three slopes, Intermediate Lower Omigosh, serviced by the Omigosh Double Chairlift, and Beginners Easy Way and Beginners Rabbit Hill serviced by the Easy Way Triple Chairlift on a base of 8-32” on Easy Way and Rabbit Hill and a machine worked surface. Please note that Lower Omigosh has enough snow to ski on right now but there are thin spots, encroaching edges and some bare spots. We will continue to ski on it as long as conditions will allow.”

On Wednesday Cataloochee will offer two sessions of skiing only, twilight skiing from 1pm – 10:00pm and night skiing from 6pm until 10pm with an afternoon half day rate also available. Weekday and student rates will be in effect.

While talking about Cataloochee don’t forget that they will be hosting their 5th Annual Can- U-Ski Food and Coat Drive scheduled for Sunday, December 3. In conjunction with Haywood Christian Ministries and the Maggie Valley Visitor’s Bureau, Cataloochee Ski Area seeks to help with the increased need for food and warm winter coats for special families throughout the region. They ask all Cataloochee skiers and snowboarders to bring at least 6 cans of foods or a winter jacket of any size that is in good condition to the ski area on Sunday, December 3rd and you will receive your lift ticket on that Sunday for FREE! Skiing on that day will be from 8:30am – until 4:30pm and rentals and lessons are not included.

Snowshoe Mountain in West Virginia is the only other ski resort open in the Southeast and Mid Atlantic. Andrea Smith reports, “The groomers are hard at work, continuing to fight the warmer temperatures with 5 open trails, all groomed overnight. Conditions vary from groomed granular at the bottom to wet granular up top. Be aware of thinning areas on the slopes! The Skidder and Grabhammer Lifts will be running from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The terrain garden on Whistlepunk is open with 1 box and 1 rail!

That’s IT for today snow fans.

Until Next Time…


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A snowboarder enjoys the features at the bottom of Snowshoe’s Whistlepunk Trail – Photo by Andrea Smith – Enlarge for a great photo from Sunday
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