First Trax

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The photo of the day today is a nice shot from skiers enjoying the first day of the 2007-2008 season at Wisp Resort in Maryland. With that in mind let’s jump right to there conditions for Sunday.

WISP has three trails and two lifts operating for Sunday from 9-9pm.

SNOWSHOE MOUNTAIN – Added TWO MORE TRAILS to their open terrain for Sunday. They were already leading the entire Southeast and Mid Atlantic region with open terrain and the rich get richer as they now are playing on ELEVEN trails, serviced by five lifts for Sunday skiing and riding.

Before I get jumped on by those less fortunate – I say the rich get richer because Snowshoe has more terrain open than all of the North Carolina ski areas together. (11 trails to a total of 10.)

In fact, Snowshoe has 11 of the 24 open trails in all of the Southeast. GET US SOME PHOTOS!!!


One look at the front of as compared to will tell you that the temps have been somewhat inequitable thus far. (Look it up – it is a word.)

Not equitable; unfair.

The fact is that this early in the game – temperatures around Timberline, Wisp and Snowshoe have been considerable colder than areas just an hour south. Those temps have allowed for snowmaking, where those ski areas further south have had to fight marginal temps.  Wintergreen in Virginia is enjoying 28° temps this morning and they are making snow.  The rest of the ski areas in Virginia, Tennessee and North Carolina are all experiencing temps around 34° or so and they are not making snow.  The lack of snowmaking temps over the last couple of days has those that are open (Appalachian, Cataloochee and Sugar) fighting thin coverage and bare spots.

Thankfully Old Man Winter will disperse his cold, arctic temps across all of the mountains of the Southeast beginning on Monday. Here’s the report for the rest of the Southeast and Mid Atlantic.

APPALACHIAN – We just received an email (minutes ago) from someone inquiring as to why the App webcam is down. Seems they felt that is was because "things look so bad this am". Not so my conspiracy-minded little friend. Actually it appears that not only is their camera down this morning…so is their website.

CATALOOCHEE – Tammy Brown writes, "We will be open on Sunday, December 3 for skiing and riding from 8:30am-4:30pm with weekend rates in effect."

Don’t forget Can-U-Ski on Sunday when 6 cans of food or a warm winter coat in good condition will get you a FREE lift ticket on Sunday! Rentals and lessons are not included. Its a $49.00 value – help Cataloochee help those in need this holiday season!


SUGAR – It’s 34° there this morning and one gets the feeling that Gunther and his talented snowmakers are in a sprinters stance, ready to make snow. They are skiing and riding on 4 trails with thin coverage.


Justin Blythe up at Wolf Resort wrote to inform me that Wolf HAS made snow a while back. Yesterday I reported for a second time that they had not been making snow. (I corrected myself after the first blooper, and evidently I must do so again.)

They DID make snow a week or two ago, but have not since. Justin wrote, "We pushed for a Thanksgiving opening, but the weather just didn’t cooperate."

Justin also commented on my Saturday comment about their use of MySpace to promote, " On the myspace comment – What we are trying to accomplish is an extra online place for people to post and discuss, comps, conditions, etc."

I guess I was generalizing about the resorts that were not open, were waiting until Monday, December 3rd’s expected cold snap to crank them up. You can tell that everyone is a bit on-edge, and chomping at the bit to make snow and get a bunch of terrain open. Can’t blame them…those of us that just take advantage of all of their hard efforts are cranky and ready to ski as well!

Check back a bit later today for some more "What New for 2007-2008" stories as we will be catching up on some of those.


As a closing comment we want to congratulate Joe Freeman of Mistletoe Meadows in Laurel Springs, North Carolina for being chosen to provide the White House Christmas tree for 2007! A 20-foot, 19-year-old Fraser Fir from his farm in Ashe County will be gracing the Blue Room in the capital.

Joe and Mistletoe Meadows is a client of ours and we know personally that Joe truly enjoys his craft and he told us, "This is like winning the World Series for Christmas Tree growers."

Here’s a couple of cool notes for those of you worried about the deforestation of Christmas Trees, etc: Did you know that tree growers plant THREE seedlings for every tree that is cut each year?

Actually REAL trees are much better for the economy and the environment versus FAKE trees and I will tell you why:

FAKE – Fake trees are made mostly in China and contain lead and are primarily made of PVC.

REAL – Real Christmas trees area crop they are cultivated and harvested typically by small family growers. Each tree takes 5-8 years to reach maturity and during that lifetime real trees absorb CO2 from the environment. Once the holidays are over many recycling locations exist to turn these into mulch.

Until Next time…

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