Great Conditions at Appalachian and Cataloochee today!

First Trax

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Appalachian Ski Mountain continues to make snow, which admittedly had ME wondering if those guys may be pulling a surprise marketing move of their own – maybe staying open longer than their announced date of Sunday, March 26th. I could see them making snow maybe Monday and Tuesday nights…but when they made snow again last night I had to wonder whether or not they may be thinking about prolonging their season.

I spoke with App General Manager, Brad Moretz and while he DID say that one should never say never, he also said, “No Mike, we’re closing Sunday, March 26th as planned and we’re just making snow to give our visitors the very best of possible conditions right up to the end.”  He added, “We’ve been fortunate that eight of the last nine seasons we’ve been able to ski into the fourth weekend of March and this year will be no different…and we have also made snow numerous times on the Saturday morning before closing on Sunday.”

There is no question that Appalachian has what may be the best snow conditions in the Southeast with a base of 27-67” and that base has GROWN in the last week, while base depths have been receding at other resorts.

Brad did say, “Yea, Mike we’ve heard a couple of people complaining about your reports questioning resort’s base depths, but you know it’s not a bad thing to have someone out there questioning things.”

You don’t know how good that is to hear.  Of course that’s coming from a resort that has probably been under-reporting at times this season. The bottom line is that Appalachian has been making snow…and made snow again last night and conditions RIGHT NOW on March 23rd are probably just about as good as they have been all season…at Appalachian Ski Mountain.  You won’t find any thin coverage, no bare spots and nice manmade powder to play on 100% of their terrain.  So App is set for a great Meltdown Games Weekend.

Moretz summed up our conversation by saying, “This year has been a good one.  We made more snow in December than in ANY ONE MONTH in our existence.  We made more than 350 HOURS of snow in December and we’ve kept very good conditions all season long.”  He also added, “While March has been milder than we’d like, it has been one that has not included much in the way of rain, and any March without rain in it…is good for slope conditions.”

So get out and enjoy the super conditions at Appalachian today and this weekend!

Cataloochee Ski Area ALSO made snow last night and they are in great shape on 8 of their 10 trails with a base of 18-42”.  They are self-reporting a few thin coverage and bare areas…but conditions are pretty sweet for March 23rd!  In case you missed it yesterday, Cat IS closing on Sunday…but WILL REOPEN for one day only on April Fool’s Day, April 1st and that is NO April Fool’s joke!

Honoring the Fallen Firemen –

We’ve had HUNDREDS of people email since yesterday afternoon about the fact that we turned the Banner Elk Highway 184 camera to point to the fire station. Yesterday a special memorial ceremony was provided to honor the four firemen who died tragically in a boating mishap off the coast of North Carolina last week. Kevin Bell, Griff Lyerly, Arch McFaden and Michael Shope died when their boat capsized more than a mile from shore and they couldn’t make it back before hyperthermia took them.

Fire departments from all over the state and beyond came to pay their respects to their four fallen brothers. A Coast Guard Helicopter, a second chopper and numerous fire trucks and hundreds of people came to pay tribute to these young men and their families.  A memorial service was held at Lees McCrae College and the auditorium was packed to capacity.

William Klinger, the son of the Chaplain for the Banner Elk Fire Department took control of our live cam from his home in Pinellas Park, Florida and he kept repositioning the camera and provided thousands of visitors with a touching view of the lone bag-piper and Honor Guard as they led a procession from the volunteer fire department…to Lees McCrae.  The fire truck behind the Honor Guard carried the helmets of all four fallen firemen on its bumper. Upon arriving at Lees McCrae the procession was led between two ladder trucks and a huge American flag that had been erected between them.

Like many we were saddened to hear of this tragedy and we know that it will be some time before their families find relief from their grieving. May God Bless with them.

Until Next Time!

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

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Southeast Ski Resorts in GREAT shape today and going into this Weekend!
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