Great Conditions Today at Most ALL Southeast Ski Areas

First Trax

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Some of you have already noticed that we are now posting the weather forecast as the first part of our morning updates.  That is because the WEATHER is THE most important ingredient in what makes for a great ski season.  Therefore look for the weather to be posted each day around 7am or so, then the slope conditions, then our daily notes. (Thanks to those who noticed!)

While on the subject of weather, you guys will be noticing several other new features that will be figured into the mix later in the week.  As we wrap all that up – it will become very evident that we are growing that aspect of our network. More on that later.

The Good News (and Bad News) About this weeks Weather –

We began getting a bunch of emails yesterday expressing frantic input about the fact that we seem to be stuck in a trend of mild weather.  It happens.  The good news is that we’re not expecting much in the way of precipitation for the next several days. There’s a 40% of rain Tuesday afternoon and a slight chance on Thursday…but nothing of any significance.  The other good news is that there IS plenty of snow with the added input of tons of manmade snow that resorts put down over the previous several hours.  In fact at 8am this morning the guns were still going at Sugar Mountain, Hawksnest, and Ski Beech.  They are already OFF at the rest of the ski areas…as we watched the cams early!

So keep your chin up people…conditions will be such that we have NICE weather to play in…and plenty of snow on which to ride out this mild stint of weather.  Let’s enjoy TODAY and what should be PHENOMENAL conditions no matter where you choose to ski or ride today. Take advantage of TODAY as tonight and Monday is expected to be VERY windy.

Resort Notes for Sunday –

Remember that on Sundays that Cataloochee Ski Area only offers DAY SKIING from 8:30am until 4:30pm with a morning or afternoon half day rate also available. Weekend rates are in effect.

Tube World located in Maggie Valley, across from Ghost Town four miles from the ski area will be open from 10am until 6pm with 1hour and 45 minute sessions available beginning at 10, 12, 2, and 4pm.

Don’t forget that today, is Everything Elvis Day at Cataloochee, with Roger Perry, world famous Elvis impersonator visiting Cataloochee for an appearance on Sunday afternoon at 2pm and Elvis sightings on and off the slopes throughout the day. And Cat will be having peanut butter and banana sandwiches for lunch as well so go and ride with Elvis until he leaves the area!

Also, don’t forget that this Thursday starts the Cataloochee Challenge Cup Race Series. Individuals race against the clock for the best of two runs. Top three challengers in both men’s and womens’ age divisions win cool stuff. You must be 21 years of age or older to participate. Racing begins at 8pm with a post awards party at 10pm, so dust off those racing skills and test your luck. The Cat is where its at on Thursday night’s Challenge Cup Race Night. Call the ski area for more information. (If you have been following the messageboard challenge between "Toast" and "TehBigCheese" (no typo there) then MAYBE those guys will take advantage of Cataloochee’s setup and make their race happen! (See the messageboard for more details.)

Bryce Resort finally changes their base depth!  As you guys know, we’ve been monitoring base depths for some time and this little resort never changed it’s base depth for the last week, until they made some snow yesterday and moved it UP! Now if we can only get them to monitor the downward trends! Expect nice conditions at Bryce today with Groomed conditions and six slopes open. Great conditions…but we have to get them to work on regular base reporting…up and DOWN.

Massanutten Resort is another one that has been stuck on 20-40" for weeks now.  Nice conditions and 13 trails open…and magical snow.

The Homestead is yet another Virginia resort with magical snow.  They have been stuck on the same 18-24" base for weeks and yet they have closed some trails as they are now only offering four slopes to play on "what they have called WET SNOW for days now."

Wintergreen Resort (also in Virginia) reports that Snowmaking continued through the night and conditions are great thanks to 100% snowmaking automation. Snowmaking efforts will continue in an effort to provide the BEST snow suface around and increase our base amounts. Come and see for yourself why snowsports enthusiasts all over this region rave about our snowmaking. They will be open today from 9am until 10pm skiing and riding on 23 trails. The Plunge will be open from 10am until 9pm for some exciting tubing. The Slide will be open from 10am until 6pm. Check out Freestyle’s Double Cross Competition for skiers and boarders on Upper Diamond Hill today.

Numerous people have noticed (after we wrote about it) that Wintergreen Resort isn’t even reporting base depths on their own website.  We think that’s actually cool.  It’s better than not changing it – no matter the temps or weather!  Way to go Wintergreen!  (We HAVE noticed that they periodically include the base depths in their daily message.)

Canaan Valley received an inch of so of snow yesterday and reopened a couple of trails to give them 21 for today.

Snowshoe received another 1" of snow, giving them 3" for the weekend and that brings their season to date snowfall total up to 66" of natural snow. The new snow combined with the aggressive snowmaking over the last few days will make for great conditions today. Snowshoe Mountain continues to be 100% open offering the most, and best, terrain in the region. A reminder, Bear Claw trail will be closing today at 12:30pm for a Boarder / Skier Cross competition. Slaymaker and Spur trails will also be closed to the public today for a ski race. GET US SOME PHOTOS!!!

Timberline is looking good with a little more snow yesterday and 61" on the season.  They have 27 trails open today (some reporting services are saying more) and a base that has been adjusted to 24-66" (some are reporting more).


What Does "Conditions Change with Weather and Skier Traffic" Mean?

Gil Adams, Ski Patroller and Marketing Director at Ski Beech writes (Taken from’s website) a great explanation about this, and with the weather pattern that we’re in right now…we thought we’d share it with you guys.

"Conditions change with weather and skier traffic." That is a true statment, and the reporting services that ski areas employ to send snow reports to various media use that statement along with the report. After 38 years of skiing, I think that I have experienced every surface condition described in the list of surface descriptions used by snow reporters. I have my favorite kind of ski day, and some days are just better than others, but I enjoy a wide range of ski conditions. A well rounded skier should be able to ski in all conditions, and a day on the slopes is usually a good one. – Gil Adams

There can be one day when conditions are nearly ideal, and the very next day they can be completely different; in fact, the conditions can be very different from morning to night. Conditions can change during the day due to weather and skier traffic. Snow making can also change the surface during the day. At Ski Beech, just like many areas, grooming with a machine usually takes place before opening in the morning as well as between the day and night sessions, and that can make for a very good ski surface. Ski areas work hard to provide a good ski experience for the visitors, and since they depend on the weather to provide that experience, it is sometimes tough. With modern grooming and snow making, the ski areas are able to provide a better, or easier to ski, surface much more often that they were several years ago.

In case you have wondered what is meant by primary surface and secondary surface, here is the explanation. The primary surface describes about 70% of the surface at the area, while the secondary surface describes about 20% of the surface at the area. Typically the conditions are reported in the morning prior to opening, and the conditions can change with weather and skier traffic. Checking weather forecasts as well as conditions reports can help you with the decision about going out on the mountain. Skiing can be fun on almost any day that the slopes are open.



Until Next Time!

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

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