Conditions at your favorite resort

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Conditions at your favorite resort are likely to be THE BEST they’ve been all season thus far. Snow is plentiful, conditions are great, daytime temps will be in the 20s and 30s and we even have some light snow falling. It could not get much better.

Resort Notes

Appalachian – App still has their magic snow machines creating more snow across all of their slopes than anyone other resort can make. Appalachian is reporting that they made another 9" of snow across ALL of their slopes since yesterday morning. That means that they have added 53" of snow in FIVE days across ALL of their slopes. You believe that? App will offer (8) trails today and absolutely FABULOUS conditions on whatever the base depth really is. They do not have their popular terrain park running yet, but we’re guessing that they will by the weekend.

On-Snow Report for App – Barbara Jamms reports – "The snow was very nice at Appalachian last night and I could not have enjoyed myself anymore…except if they had the whole mountain open. They are small enough when it’s all open. Hopefully they open up everything by the weekend."

Cataloochee – Cat is also offering (8) trails to ski and ride on today and additionally they have their Guaranteed Learn to Ski or Ride Package where first time skiers or riders age 8 and above may purchase a beginner lesson, beginners area lift ticket and ski rental equipment for only $40 or a beginner snowboard lesson, beginner area lift ticket and snowboard rental for only $55. WITH THAT guarantee, you may repeat the lesson as often as you like during the same day session. A $300 credit card deposit is required to participate in the Learn to Ride package. Package lessons begin at 10, 12, 2 and 3:30pm and you must be there at least 30 minutes prior to the time the lesson begins to sign up. Thursday is also Ladies Day here at Cataloochee and all ladies purchasing a full price adult day, twilight or night lift ticket will receive a free any level ski or snowboard lesson.

On-Snow Report for The Cat – Denny Havro reports – "I have skied at Cataloochee a lot in years past but not recently. I will be back here again soon. The conditions were the best I’ve skied on here and although the snowmakers were making snow on US, it was really, really great stuff to ski on. I highly recommend you guys coming out. You will love this mountain and the people that work here."

Hawksnest Resort – You’ll notice they are only running (5) slopes today. That is because the lift going to the top is being serviced. They hope to have it running to open the top trails later this evening or at least by Friday morning.

On-Snow Report for Hawksnest – Jesse Smole reports – "I went skiing at Hawksnest last night. And to be honest, with all the hype about the snow and cold, conditions weren’t as good as I had hoped they would be. The layer of snow was very thin above the ice, with quite a few icy spots, but it is better than what we have had the past few weeks, so I am not complaining. And with more snow tonight, and over the weekend conditions will only be getting better. One thing I will say though is that on the slope reports it shows that the terrain park is open at Hawsknest which is why I chose to go there, although it technically is open, meaning you can go down it, they don’t have any rails, boxes, or kickers set up, just a couple of little hills you could catch some small air off of, so you guys may want to look into that, although it was evident that they were getting ready to get everything set up, for what looked like will become an awesome park."

Sapphire Valley – FINALLY Sapphire Valley has their new Frozen Falls tube park open. It is their newest addition and they have really struggled with the weather down there to get that newest fun on the hill open. For all of you who have emailed us about it — IT’S OPEN — GO TRY IT OUT!!!

Ski Beech – Ski Beech has Upper and Lower Shawneehaw trails open now…as well as White Lightning and is skiing on (8) trails today as well.

On-Snow Report for Beech – Kevin Dreher reports – "It was a cold night up on the windy mountain tonight. The snowmaking efforts are paying off with Robins Run looking close to reopening. The snow was fast tonight, but just enough soft stuff on the hardpack to make it forgiving. The snow over the next few days should help things out immensely. Those of us up there were delayed leaving the mountain for an extra hour however. To all those who venture into this mountainous terrain, PLEASE drive carefully."

Wintergreen Resort – Open 9 am – 10 pm. The Plunge tubing park is open from 2-9 pm. The Terrain Park opens mid-day on Friday. Look for 15 slopes on Friday and 17 by the end of the weekend.

Snowshoe Resort – It looks like Mother Nature and Old Man Winter are operating hand in hand again. Meaning, normal cold temperatures and lots of natural snow. We have been making snow around the clock since early Friday morning and we have received over a foot of snow since that time. Don’t look now but there is another foot of snow for the mountain in the forecast for this weekend. Are you ready for some freshies?

49 trails total are open today at the Snowshoe and Silver Creek Areas. This marks the most open terrain south of New York. The snowmakers and groomers are putting out 110% in our rebuilding process.

WISP – Conditions could not be much better than they are right now. WISP has seen a foot of snow in the last week which takes them to 44" on the season and they have (13) trails open today with an average base of 38". See how easy that is!

Ober Gatlinburg – It was 29 degrees this morning and Ober is Making Snow! Sessions Thursday are Noon-10pm with $28 Lift Ticket. Weeknight 6pm-10pm Lift Ticket Only $15. Upper Half of Bear Run Open.

Maybe our last comments on Base Depths – While it is our desire to see all resorts equitably reporting conditions and base depths…the IMPORTANT thing is that conditions are great and everyone is happy. One of our visitors wrote the following statement yesterday and it probably sums up most people’s thoughts. If you have an opinion…we’d like to hear it.

"Ok, so I just don’t get all the fuss. Sure, it is misleading guests, but about what really. Base depths in the southeast are used for the following reasons in the southeast.

1. They can give someone an idea of how well a resort will hold up if a warmup is occuring or expected and they are planning a trip in a few weeks.

2. It is used to make inexperienced skiers choose their resort over another based on something that isn’t all that important.

Thats about it. Experienced skiers are much more interested in number of trails and the presence of thin areas and bare spots since we all know that if a resort has a base depth from 24" – 60" we’ll never even touch inches 1 thru 18 anyway.

Wouldn’t it be much more suitable for ski areas in our area to report:

1. Number of trails open
2. Are there thin areas
3. Are there bare spots
4. percent coverage on the open trails.

For instance, during this warmup, resorts started pulling all their available snow into one strip on a trail to make it last. Isn’t it more informative to know that of the trails that are open, there is ??% coverage on those slopes. Basically just have the resort measure a few points along the length of a trail the width of skiable snow and the width of the trail and give us an average snow coverage for that trail. EX. a 40 foot wide trail has a 10 foot wide swath of snow then there is only 25% snow coverage for that trail. They could do that measurement 3 times along the length of the trail and get an average for that trail. Do that for all the trails and get an average for the resort. That means a heck of alot more to me than someone saying how deep the snow is. As long as there is snow deep enough not to scrape the ground I could care less if its 15 inches or 15 feet for a particlular day.

Why don’t any resorts record this??? because if you say you have 12 – 24" of snow on 12/14 slopes everyone is excited. But that 12-24" of snow could be 10 feet wide and the report doesn’t show that. It really tells the story much more than a base depth does."

Jeremy Regester
Marion , Ohio

Feel free to write me at: [email protected]

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