Cold and Snow Returns to the North Carolina Ski Resorts

First Trax

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We’d be remiss of our duties of providing the biggest news of the day, if I didn’t begin today’s column with some kind of header entitled “What a difference ONE DAY makes!” Another appropriate title could be, “Hard working, snowmakers work all night to provide open terrain!”

That is one of those things that go unnoticed a lot of times. Most of us look at the snow report each day to see if our favorite ski area made snow and let out a quick “YES!” when we see that they have. However, little thought is given to the countless overnight hours that are put in by dedicated snowmaking crews – while the rest of us are getting sleep so that we can hit the slopes early and enjoy them. So, we’ll start today’s column by saying “THANK YOU GUYS for your hard labor last night!”

Temperatures allowed for snowmaking most all day on Monday in some areas of the Southeast. Others had to wait until last night, but as far as we can tell, most or all of the resorts across the region made snow – and plenty of it – in the last 24 hours.

The “Other” Big News – SNOW!

Some areas saw a brief burst of snow early Monday and then the sun broke out. While temps allowed snowmaking around the state, the skies cleared. Today starts out sunny and the highs are expected to stay in the mid 30s. Clouds are forecasted to pour into Western North Carolina by noon and bring what the National Weather Service is calling a “Heavy Snow Warning”. That heavy snow is in the 3-5” variety (not quite the heavy snow we skiers and snowboarders would like) but SNOW nonetheless. Add some natural snow to the mix and great snowmaking temps for tonight (17°) and then highs on Wednesday should allow for around the clock snowmaking! High of 32° and lows Wednesday should be near 18°!

(We’re still looking at some under-developed snow on Saturday, but it should not be a day-killer. We’ll update as we get closer.)

Let’s hope that the NWS “misses” this forecast and that we get more snow than called for. Yesterday afternoon, Brad Panovich of WCNC NBC 6 in Charlotte emailed me that we could see substantially more. We’ll see if we can get an update from him asap. Our SkiNC Weather guy, Marcus Lynch is calling for 2-5” from noon Tuesday through tonight. We’ll see!

Resort Notes…

Appalachian is blasting the slopes and readying themselves for a great re-opening of skiing operations on Wednesday.

Cataloochee Ski Resort began making snow at 7am Monday morning and you can expect pretty nice conditions on the five trails that they are operating on Tuesday. We have already received two emails since posting the early slope conditions report asking about other sources claiming that Cat only has three trails open. Our response? Why the heck are you guys even LOOKING anywhere else? Cat is enjoying 5 trails today and they added 4-6” of manmade snow in the last 24 hours! Tubing operations should re-open on Thursday!

Hawksnest has been blasting the slopes since Monday morning and one look at this morning’s live camera view tells us that they will be looking p-r-e-t-t-y sweet by Wednesday resuming of ski operations.

Ski Beech has made the most amazing 24 hour turn around! They were closed yesterday and we provided you guys with an early photo as they cranked up the snowguns early am. Today they are OPEN with 4 trails, including Lower Shawneehaw and they have 4-10 inches of base. Expect some thin coverage, but that is being repaired with snowmaking all day today and over the next 24-48 hours!

Sugar Mountain reopened five trails and now have six being offered for today with snowmaking in progress. Expect a few thin areas, but again those should be gone by Wednesday am.

We spoke with the guys at Wolf Ridge. They have STILL not updated their own website which says that they are open with three trails. They are STILL closed. They have been making snow and are “discussing” reopening either Wednesday or Thursday. Stay tuned.

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Until Next Time…


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