Great Conditions and Snow is Falling Across North Carolina Ski Areas!

First Trax

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UPDATE AT 12:44pm:  The snow has not fallen at near the intensity they were expecting as yet.  We are seeing about 2" so far around my neighborhood between Boone and Banner Elk, much less down in Boone (been there) and ONE LOOK at the Hwy 184 camera in Banner Elk will tell you that they are looking at about 2" of snow so far. The cam up on the slopeside at Ski Beech is showing about the same 2" or so.  So far the NWS is still claiming that we should see another 3" today, 1-3" tonight and another 1" on Sunday so we could still be looking at 9-12" when it’s all said and done.  MORE THINKING SNOW PLEASE!

If you get a chance check out Christian Davies story on The Perception of Southern Skiing on the On-Snow Reports just posted.  Very nice article Christian.

So far most areas are only reporting about an inch or so of snow this morning as I write this report.  If you guys are like me, I’m sitting here thinking all sorts of negative thoughts with one-half my brain, while the other half is trying to convince the negative half to shut up and think positive!

The snow is falling and as daybreak hit I could see that at times it is alternating from a light snow to a moderate variety.  The detailed forecast is over in the middle column so I won’t repeat that, but forecasters are calling for from 6-12” of snow today and more tonight, Sunday and possibly a little light dusting into Monday.  We’re expected to see snow pickup such that it should be gaining about an inch an hour over the next several hours.  It IS a very pretty snow.  No wind and it is settling beautifully on the trees around my neighborhood.  Right now this is one of the snows that has captured the respect of all of the noise makers around the area.  It is amazingly QUIET!  Even the birds, which are screeching in the surrounding forests must be kicked back and enjoying this one!  It is serenely beautiful! Let’s hope that maybe God will provide an even sweeter gift of a foot or more!

We’ll keep you posted on snowfalls.  As per the roads, the interstates are clear right now according to the DOT crews.  In Avery County , around Banner Elk and Beech, the main roads and secondary roads ARE covered with snow.  4WD is recommended.

As we look over towards Cataloochee and Maggie Valley , the DOT crews over that way are saying that the interstates, main roads and secondary roads are PARTIALLY covered with snow.

Get out and enjoy the great conditions at ALL SKI AREAS of the Southeast today.  Pick one, any one…and you WILL have an EPIC day!  Conditions have not been better since back last February and March.  Right now conditions are a strong 9.5 out of 10, and we’re holding onto that last ½ point for deep powder!

We want to continue to thank all of you who have written us about our new policy about only promoting participating resorts.  Now that some 36 hours have passed, we have now had more than 5000 of you read the press release, and hundreds of you have emailed and dozens post on the messageboard and to date all but ONE person have given us a hearty two thumbs up.  One guy made some good points…he was just wrong!  I kill me!  Anyway, we REALLY appreciate you guys!

Let’s get to what you’re here for…the notes from around the region:

Appalachian is no longer making snow except at night, because they don’t need to!  Conditions are as good as they can get right now, without God’s help!  The only thing missing is a foot of nature’s powder and we may get that (or near it) today.  App is in primo shape on all 9 trails.  The terrain park is primed and ready and the Ice Skating rink should be sweet with some snow to add to the ambience!

Tammy Brown at Cataloochee is smiling from ear to ear these days as massive snowmaking and some help from Mother Nature have made for the best conditions in years.  Tammy invited me over to hang out with them.  I’m going to have to become an unofficial member of the Cat Crew!  They are 100% open with all ten trails in sweet shape.  Tammy, Chris Bates and Tony Waddell run a great operation over there and you guys should pay them a visit.  If you haven’t skied at the Cat you’re in for a treat.  These people know how to treat visitors!  Tube World should also be a ton of fun today with 6-8” of snow falling today as well!

Hawksnest now has everything open with the exception of Old Blue. Lenny and his staff are strutting these days as everyone is talking about the great conditions up there.  Also with TOP GUN open, they now boast what MANY claim is the best advanced slope in North Carolina !

While we’re on Hawksnest, Lenny Cottom wanted me to get the word out about a great event that Hawksnest is hosting to help support local teachers.  The event is for the Watauga Education Foundation.  The group supports local teachers with additional supplies for the classroom.  The school board can only do so much, so the Watauga Education Foundation, headed by Executive Director Sara Massey and President Missy Harrill, works to provide additional educational grants for teachers.  It’s a great group and Hawksnest has decided to give them a special boost by hosting an event and ALL of the proceeds are going to the foundation!

The Event is Feb 16th and Night lift tickets are discounted to $12 for the 6-10pm session.  Normal rental rates apply. Hawksnest is also offering free beginner lessons for snowboarders or skiers at the 6:15 and 7:30pm lesson times. For tubing they are discounting the price to $15 for an 1hour and 50 minute session.  Sessions are 3-5pm, 5-7pm, and 7-9pm.

So make plans to attend, get in some GREAT skiing and help raise some money for a great group, who in turn is assisting ANOTHER great group – our area school’s teachers!

If you’d like to help in other way, contact Sara Massey for more information or email her at [email protected].  You can also call 828-268-1273 if you’d like to call her.  Tell them that sent ya!

We didn’t see a report from Sapphire Valley this morning, but with conditions as great as they are, RJ and crew probably figured they’d  just be bragging 😉  Sapphire is skiing on great conditions on both trails and the Frozen Falls Tubing area is open as well.

Ski Beech is in epic shape for today.  They have seen 1” of snow by 6:30am this morning and another inch since.  There’s no word yet as per the opening of The Oz Run, but we’re expecting that anytime.  One source up there tells us that they open Oz on Sunday! Conditions are perfect for skiing on all 14 trails that they ARE working with and snow continues to fall!

Wolf Laurel has seen a bit of snow thus far this morning and they too are enjoying the BEST conditions in a couple of years!  Snowmaking and natural snows are making for SWEET conditions on all 12 trails that ARE open today on a base of 20-42” of natural and packed powder.

We KNEW it was going to happen, and we hate the timing but…

I swear I think Sugar is testing us this morning!  For the FIRST time this season, Sugar is over-reporting the natural snowfall.  While all other areas and reporters are reporting 1-2” of snow, Sugar is claiming 3”.  Not only have we already received three reports from UP TOP and the bottom of Sugar that are reporting 1-2”, we zoomed the cameras in at the top of the mountain and sorry guys, but they have not received 3” of snow. They will probably have that within an hour or two, but not as of this report 8:30am. We just confirmed that with our reporter and the Sugar Mountain Police Department.

FYI – One source on Beech reported that even though Gil was reporting 1” up there, that she had nearly 5” of snow at her house.  Just goes to show you that Sugar’s not the only ones off this morning!  We called and confirmed Beech’s snow totals just now at 8:45am with ski patrol and Bernie up there said, “No, no…we’re looking at MAYBE 1.5” right now.  It is still snowing, but nothing more than that just yet!”

Until Next Time!

Be sure to check out for more news and stories for all of the Southeast’s ski areas.

Be sure to email photos, snow reports and comments to: [email protected]

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