Great Weekend of Skiing For Southeast Ski Resorts; After that no guarantees!

First Trax

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We have a fair amount to cover this morning and the BIG news is the weather swings that we’re in for, so I’m going to dive right in this morning.  I’m swamped today so I’m compiling the morning update for both and this morning.

The Question of the Day is “Will the Ski Areas Stay Open Through the Next Expected Mild Up?”

We had a run on the question late yesterday and overnight.  I counted them and 64 individuals asked nearly that same question.  The answer is unknown to all but God and the mountain managers at each resort.  We KNOW that most all of the resorts have an expected date that they will attempt to reach, however they always temper those announcements with “weather permitting”.  THAT is the question as a lot of you must be looking at the long range weather forecasts.  Before we play Nostradamus, let’s get to another couple of needed statements.

First, enjoy TODAY – what is today’s to enjoy! The conditions should be pretty nice at all resorts as Ski Beech in North Carolina made snow and the temps in the Western North Carolina are in the 20s, which means that with some grooming (which all did) conditions will be s-w-e-e-t as my six year old likes to say. Massanutten and Wintergreen made snow as well and they are certainly in great shape for this weekend’s enjoyment as well.

The dogs – I mean resorts in West Virginia are actually enjoying some snow since yesterday and Andrea Smith with Snowshoe is reporting 2” of snow already with more falling.  Canaan Valley and Timberline are reporting 4” of snow thus far.  Temps have held MUCH colder over the last week up north.  It has been a weird weather pattern, but it IS what it IS.  So they will be in near EPIC shape with the cold temps forecasted for the weekend.  Wisp Resort in Maryland has had some of the coldest air of the region in the last weekend and with those consistent temps, are looking quite nice right now and they have a good base.

So the weekend ahead should be GREAT no matter where you go.  Resorts WILL BE MAKING SNOW as temps allow and if you’ll check the forecast for the weekend there are PLENTY of overnight snowmaking ops for the resorts.

…and THEN what?  Obviously a lot of people have been looking at the long range forecast and all we can say is that resorts into West Virginia and Maryland will certainly have the advantage of more base right now to weather the next ten days of forecasted milder temps.  Tiffany Keith at Wintergreen Resort in Virginia contacted me yesterday and sent me a nice photo showing really nice snow yesterday up there so they may be in decent enough shape to weather – the weather ahead.  They plan on staying open until APRIL 2nd to celebrate their annual “Wicked Huge Park Party”.

Appalachian Ski Mountain in North Carolina has probably THE BEST base right now even though Sugar is reporting a foot and half more than Appalachian.  App was looking quite nice yesterday while Beech and Sugar were looking a little worn thin in spots.  Appalachian has their annual “Meltdown Games” planned for March 25 and 26th (their planned closing date).

So the IDEA is that resorts will stay open through their hoped for closing dates. However one look at the forecast will tell you that Mother Nature might have other plans to bring Spring in a little early.  Officials at Ober Gatlinburg in Tennessee have looked closely at the forecast and their trails…and they have now announced that they will be closing for the season on March 12th, which is a week from this Sunday.  Again, that’s not too different from the norm for Ober…but it IS a sign that mountain managers ARE looking ahead.  It has been a GREAT season in terms of skier traffic. We have predicted here WEEKS AGO that MANY resorts will have set single season attendance records when this season closes down.  With that financial success already in their hip pocket AND with the high costs of making snow…combined with the stretch of mild temps from Monday through AT LEAST March 12th — don’t be surprised to see some resorts (particularly in North Carolina and Virginia) call it quits on a moments notice…and prior to their original dates.

None of the resort’s managers are showing their hand quite yet but there’s some talk going around that they are struggling with those decisions with an eye on the weather and the financial statements! So our recommendation is to get out and enjoy what should be a GREAT weekend of skiing with VERY NICE CONDITIONS.  If you can’t make it this weekend, then try to hit your favorite resort during the next week.  Expect sweet conditions this weekend no matter WHERE you choose to ski.  Expect more loose, Spring-like conditions through next week and the following weekend.  The great conditions of this weekend will look 180° different as some thin coverage and bare spots will begin to show, particularly at some of the Virginia and North Carolina resorts with the exception of Appalachian and MAYBE Cataloochee.  After that…our guess is that it will depend on OLD MAN WINTER making another cameo appearance and it could be a day-to-day thing.  What we CAN tell you is that if any resort begins to look pretty thin they won’t shut and reopen as they would do during the main part of the season.  They’ll ride it out until closure.

Old Man Winter usually dumps some of the best snows of the season in March and if any of you will look back to last season…we had MOST of our snow during that time.  However, as we have said on MANY occasions this season – it has been a season of PERFECT TIMING.  Perfectly timed snow and cold snaps have kept all resorts looking good most all season long.  We’re going to have to see what the timing is for the days AFTER March 12th (that’s the last day of our long range weather outlook) to determine how the resorts will play their remaining cards.

Many of those who emailed yesterday asked us for our take on it.  Right now, it’s too hard to predict.  Based on what we’re seeing RIGHT NOW…the Maryland, West Virginia and some Virginia resorts will be in good shape for the next couple of weeks and then it will certainly depend on the weather.  North Carolina ski areas are not quite as “healthy” right now and with the exception of Appalachian…the rest will need some help from Mother Nature if they are to make it much past March 12th.

So keep an eye on the weather and your computer tuned to and!


We have bragged a couple of times this season on Jake Parrish, the young teen that SKINC sponsors.  Jake will be racing in Colorado on March 22-27.  We will be posting some image from him shortly after.

We also just heard from Tommy Lumpkin, snowboarder Lindsea Lumpkin’s dad, about the fact that Lindsea won two more GOLD MEDALS in Aspen last weekend!  She took golds in boardercross and the ½ pipe.  Lindsea, who hails from is now ON the Aspen Valley Snowboard Team.  That is the same team that Olympian Gretchen Bleiler, who won the Silver Medal in the Halfpipe, came out of!

Lindsea will be competing in the Nationals at Northstar at Tahoe on March 22-April 2nd.  Tommy promised us some photos from the events with Lindsea representing SKINC with her hoodie and SkiNC stickers so we’re looking forward to that!  So our SkiNC sponsored athletes are excelling again this season!

One of these days when Lindsea and Jake are competing on television they will be able to say that their FIRST sponsor was us!  This is the third season that Lindsea has gained sponsorship with SkiNC and we hope to be able to continue to support these fine young people!

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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A young lady and ski patrol at Snowshoe Mountain pose as snow falls this morning and she was waiting for the instructor to drop the ropes – Photo by A
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