Just in time for the weekend, winter-like temperatures have returned and every single remaining open ski area in the region is right at or below the freezing mark. Temps will moderate a bit today but in general the snow quality should remain solid and provide for some nice turns. No spring slush to be seen today. In fact, the weather forecast is actually calling for a bit of snow today and tonight for some locations. It ain’t much, but a dusting to an inch or so would be a nice treat this late in the season. Snowshoe and Timberline in West Virginia have the best shot at achieving that goal. The North Carolina High Country, meaning Sugar and Beech, has a lesser chance but it’s still there. My buddy is up riding at Beech today and told me it was snowing just a bit ago. That should make for a nice vibe on what is their final day of the season.
What a week it has been! The weather forecasters were calling for a colder March and it took a good 10-11 days into the month for it to happen, but the weather pattern did indeed change and some of the best (and only) snow of the season fell this week. I was a little shocked at how good Snowshoe looked earlier this week.
It’s not been a miracle March by any means, but it is nice to at least see some natural snow bookend what can generally be classified as a subpar season. Our third consecutive year with La Niña has been a battle, and I’m looking forward to something different next year.
Late Season Plans
There are 8 open ski areas in the region today and that number will decrease some today and tomorrow. Here’s a summary of how things stand right now and what the plan is for each resort.
Appalachian Ski Mountain is open today and tomorrow. Tomorrow is their final day of the season though. They have a number of trails open with park features spread out on the mountain as well. They will be hosting their annual Meltdown Games event this weekend. Guests can expect to see and participate in events such as a Cardboard Box Derby and a Trashbag Downhill Race. And of course, you can also watch the Pond Skim tomorrow and potentially see some people get absolutely wrecked.
As I’ve already mentioned, today is the final day of the season for Beech Mountain Resort. They have 7 open trails and the dusting of snow at 5,500 feet should make for a fun final day.
The other remaining open ski area in North Carolina is Sugar Mountain. And as we all know, Sugar will most definitely stay open as long as they can. They have 9 open trails today and I expect them to keep things going through at least next weekend. Props to them for continuing to make snow this late in the season.
Snowshoe Mountain and Timberline Mountain both are open this weekend and have by far the best looking conditions of any remaining open ski area in the region. Snowshoe announced earlier this week that they will remain open daily through April 2nd (IMPRESSIVE), so you have two more weeks to partake in the Cheat Mountain fun.
Timberline will be open daily through at least next weekend. Night skiing will conclude tomorrow (Sunday) though. They still have 80% of their terrain open which is awesome. The transformation that the Perfect family has done to that resort is incredible. Who would have thought 3 or 4 years ago that we’d be talking about Timberline being one of the last remaining resorts open in the region this late into March?
Massanutten Resort and Bryce Resort are both open for skiing and riding this weekend. Admittedly, they both have limited terrain open but the snow is there if you want it. Bryce now has an HD cam that we got up and running this week. I was very happy to get rid of the 10 year-ish old camera that we had there before.
There is no word on when Massanutten will close up shop for the season, but I assume tomorrow might be it. That’s just me speculating though so don’t get mad if I’m wrong and you’re reading this Kenny Hess. They will be making snow tonight according to their snow report though, so that is always cool to see.
Bryce Resort has said they will remain open through next weekend with Sunday, March 26th being their final day. The weather forecast for later this week is on the mild side, with it possibly hitting 70 degrees there on Friday. Coverage is already becoming narrow out there so we’ll just have to see if they can keep things going for another 8 days.
Wisp Resort will continue to be open daily through next weekend. Their hours of operation page on their site has nothing past next Sunday, so I assume next weekend will be it for them. They are currently selling season passes for next season for only $399, which is a good deal in this era of Ikon and Epic passes which are generally at least twice that price.
So there you have it, after this weekend we will be down to only a handful of open ski areas. The season is waning, folks. Get it while you can!