This is officially "GEAR DOWN" Monday as only three of the state’s seven ski areas are operating today. Hawksnest began their late season schedule last Monday of only being open on the weekends, and Sapphire Valley has call it quits for the season over a week ago now. Cataloochee and Wolf Laurel joined Hawksnest is staying closed during the coming week (today through Thursday) and they will reopen on Friday. Actually, Cataloochee and Hawksnest have definate plans to open Friday – Wolf Laurel says they will reopen for this weekend "weather permitting".
So that leaves us with Appalachian, Ski Beech and Sugar Mountain for skiing and riding options today. Sugar is in the March Madness discounted rates and of course TODAY IS LADIES DAY at Ski Beech…where the gals can ski free! Skiing or riding does not get any cheaper than that!
"Gear Down Monday" is as good a time as any to address anticipated resort closing dates.
Appalachian – Anticipates closing March 28th. That IS a Monday for you calendar buffs. They have their annual Meltdown Games going on the weekend prior to that and if all goes according to plan…they will close for the season the next day.
Cataloochee – Will reopen this weekend and be open Friday, Saturday and Sunday. They will then close for the season this Sunday, March 13th.
Hawksnest – There’s no official date set for Hawksnest to close. As mentioned earlier, they are open weekends only right now. Don’t be surprised if they don’t call it quits for the season this Sunday as well…or they might try going one more weekend to the 20th.
Ski Beech – Traditionally Ski Beech closes up mid month, but as many of you know from our daily articles, there has been some talk that Ski Beech would extend their season a bit. It all comes down to economics, but the word up there is that, "Ski Beech is looking forward to skiing well into March." That’s the official word. Just what date that means is up in the air…but we’re thinking that they will stay open through at least March 20th…with a long shot chance of staying open until the 27th. Conditions are great up there and with more snow and cold in the forecast…they should remain phenomenal for this late into the season. If you want to affect their decision…get up there and ski or ride.
Sugar Mountain – There is no official date set as yet, but look to either March 27th or the following Sunday, April 3rd as the most likely dates. There’s plenty of snow and as long as the traffic holds out Sugar will stay open.
Wolf Laurel – As mentioned earlier…they are closed this week and their own website is stating "Reopening this weekend, weather permitting." That certainly hints that they may not reopen. We’re thinking they WILL reopen for this weekend and then close for the season. We’ll get a final word on that asap.
The Weather – This week’s forecast is one for the record books. Take you pick as to when you want your snow. Check this out:
Today – Mild early…turning colder with 1-3" of snow tonight through Tuesday morning. Maybe more at the highest elevations.
Tuesday – Snow early…clearing late.
Wednesday – Variably cloudy early – Snow LATE.
If that isn’t good enough for you and you can’t decide what part of the day you want your snow to fall…the forecast for Thursday might suit you. Thursday’s forecast calls for Snow EARLY — Clearing a bit midday — and the clouding up late and SNOW.
Friday – Ah….Friday’s forecast is for real snow lovers. The forecast for Friday is – you guessed it – SNOW pretty much all day.
Saturday’s forecast? – That’s a little far out…but right now it’s saying SNOW EARLY.
As to how much snow and how dependable the forecast is…we’ll leave that for meteorologist Brad Panovich. As soon as we hear from him, we’ll post it up. He’s probably recouping from his Winterplace trip!
See you on the Slopes…
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