Happy Groundhog Day, everyone.

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We could have Three Titles / Sub-titles today:

Groundhog Day: Punxsutawney Phil doesn’t see his shadow, predicts an early spring

SkiSoutheast Si predicts six more weeks of Winter for the 7th season in a row. Go figure, right?!?!

Meteorologist Larry Sprinkle sees HIS shadow and agrees with Si.

As the Photo of the Day (header) shows you – there’s plenty of reason to believe that we’re in for some more of these wild swings of weather that we’ve experienced all winter – for another six weeks.

The critter was covered in hay…click to enlarge capture from their LIVE feed.

I was watching the LIVE FEED up in Gobbler’s Knob, Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania early this morning and they scare the living daylights out of old Phil with loud fireworks, a live concert and other shenanigans.

Regardless, they pulled him (reluctantly) out of his burrow and stuck with their forecast that was predetermined a few days ago – by the group on Gobbler’s Knob, a tiny hill just outside Punxsutawney which is located about 65 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.

To that I will respond with a line borrowed from another of Bill Murray’s films and say – “Gunga galunga… gunga, gunga-lagunga.” So I got that goin’ for me, which is nice.

Very loosely translated, that means – “Here at SkiSoutheast-land we say “Hogwash”.”

SkiSoutheast Si Predicts Six More Weeks of Winter

We’ve posted many videos and photos of “Si” over the last seven seasons. Click to Enlarge!

The High Country is populated by thousands of groundhogs and a few years back I dressed one up in SkiSoutheast garb; taught the furry critter how to ski and ever since then he has rewarded me with his very own predictions.

Interestingly, the last couple of years, we’ve had SNOW on or just before Groundhog Day.

Here is his prediction for 2019

To anyone who will listen, I will share my wisdom with thee.
My handler’s a good enough fellow, who doesn’t pull me from a tree.
He feeds me leftovers from his table, by throwing food from his deck;
He asked me to forecast the weather, so I figured what the heck.

Unlike my brother from PA, who is up at the crack of light,
He let’s me sleep in and be lazy, and doesn’t keep me up all night.
So here is my fearless prediction, and I say this with much glee;
There’s six more weeks of winter left, believe me you will see.

I was also watching WCNC Newschannel 36 this morning and Meteorologist Larry Sprinkle ALSO saw his shadow and predicted six more weeks of winter.

Okay, campers, rise and shine and don’t forget your booties ’cause it’s cold out there today!

If you guys can’t tell, the movie Groundhog Day is actually, for some inexplicable reason, a favorite of mine. Come to think of it, about any Bill Murray flick is a great one.

Nevertheless, now that I’ve gotten the obligatory Groundhog Day stuff out of the way, I’ve got a lot to share with you guys.

First things first…SNOW! …and Lot’s of it.

My youngest daughter was driving home on Friday, from Virginia Tech for the weekend and she reported that it was bombing snow during most all of her drive down…and we even had some flurries here in the High Country. However, this storm really favored West Virginia and Maryland.

Let’s share the snowiest spots first…

Wisp Resort and Deep Creek Lake got dumped on! Click to Enlarge!

Wisp Resort in Garrett County, Maryland was the big winner from the Thursday night-Friday storm as nearly a foot of new powder was dumped on the Deep Creek Lake area. I’ve been sharing a lot of great video coming from the LIVE STREAM up there. I zoomed in to get this one for you guys this morning!

Since we are talking WISP first, I’ll go ahead and report that they are almost 100% open for the first time in a long time with 33 of 34 trails and awesome conditions. Our own, David McCue is eyeing all that snow up there and thinking about heading that way on Monday.

Canaan Valley Resort and Timberline got in on the act with another 5.3″ of snow on Friday and 9.4″ since Friday morning! They have seen measurable snowfall on 23 of the last 25 DAYS!!!! 72.9″ on the season!

Canaan Valley Resort doubled their open terrain to go to 40 of 47 trails today. They have tubing and cross-country trails open as well. Duh!?!

Timberline Resort added more open terrain and now offers 12 of 40 trails. They have a mix of nine greens, two intermediate trails and one expert trail open – the double black “Off the Wall”.

Thunderdraft lift open and ready to take skiers to NOW OPEN: Off The Wall!! Photo from Timberline!

Snowshoe Mountain Resort
picked up ANOTHER 3″ of snow on Friday to go to 69″ on the season by their numbers and 78.5″ by our reporting (we track from November 1st!). They also boast 100% open terrain for the first time this season with 60 of 60 trails open!

I heard from Angie at Snowshoe on Friday and the SkiSoutheast Summit is ON and we’ll share the deal later today or tomorrow. Plan on joining us March 1, 2, 3rd at Snowshoe!

They posted,

Our snowmakers have finished up Flying Eagle, bringing the trail count to a full 60/60. As if that wasn’t awesome enough, we also got another round of fresh snow and the corduroy at rope drop this morning is going to be glorious. Mountaineer and Evolution Park are open as ski trails without features(Builds coming soon). Widowmaker will be delayed today as we play host to a Southern Alpine Racing Association(SARA) event.

Want to add another layer of fun to your trip? Explore the Wild & Wonderful backcountry here at Snowshoe on one of our Offroad Adventure Tours!

I can attest to how GREAT those Adventure Tours are. Mikey Valach and his team put on some great mountain adventure fun. The Backcountry Hut tour is unequaled in the area.

Winterplace Resort saw 1″ of new snow (that gets them to 30.5″ on the season) and they also are nearly 100% open with 25 of 27 trails available. Everything is open with the exception of the green trail (Almost Heaven) and Turkey Chute (a black). Tubing is open as well!
That’s it for those resort that saw significant snowfall on Friday. However, conditions are mid-season perfect everywhere else as well, due to cold, snowmaking weather and recent snows that have fallen across the entire region.

We saw snow, on and off, all day on Friday but it just didn’t accumulate. However, here’s the rest and the best….

Appalachian Ski Mountain – Dusting and they made snow and have 11 of 12 trails open today.

Beech Mountain Resort – Dusting of new snow. They made snow yesterday but have the guns off today. They are in fabulous shape with 14 of 17 trails and everything except The Meadows, the Oz Run and Upper White Lightning open today. Great day to play at The Beech!

Bryce Resort – 100% Open with great conditions and great tubing. They saw an inch of snow from the storm.

Our buddy, Bill Nabers, reported:

Worked ski patrol today. 1″ snow today (02/01/19) at Bryce. Dry snow and the flakes did not stick to the roads. No travel issues. Good snowmaking the last three nights have upped the coverage. Collegiate races this weekend and next but with all the slopes open there should be plenty of terrain to enjoy. Tubing looked to be in good shape but I did not make it over there today.

Cataloochee Ski Area – Flurries were falling on and off on Friday AND they did some additional snowmaking. That will make today AWESOME with 18 of 18 trails open, snowtubing and more. Tammy Brown posted:

It’s Saturday and it’s NASTAR Public Racing

We are open on all 18 slopes and trails with a base of 71-105″ and a groomed surface. Although the terrain for Cat Cage Terrain Park is open each day now, there are days depending on snowmaking that it may or may not have features or rails. Don’t forget on Saturdays we offer NASTAR Public Racing from 11am-2pm on Alley Cat Race Trail, you can register at either our Ticket Center or at the top of the race course. Alley Cat will be closed from 9:30am-3pm for racing.

Massanutten Resort – They too are 100% open with 14 trails and 14 lanes of tubing as well as terrain park fun. Kenny Hess and their team posted:

A weeks worth of snowmaking, sunshine & 45 degrees make for a perfect Saturday! Ditch the extra layer and grab the sunscreen, it’s going to be stellar!

Ober Gatlinburg – Man they are having an awesome season. They are playing on 9 of 10 slopes today, a great tubing hill and the best ice rink in the region. The only thing not open today is “Alpine Way”. Ober posted:

Today, Grizzly, Ober Chute, Yeti’s Run, Upper Bear, Lower Bear, Mogul Ridge, Cub Way, Castle, Ski School All open at 9am with a 30-45″ base. Slopes are all groomed except for Mogul, which is in fantastic shape! The Terrain Park has a big roller set up with a few features, definitely fun! We have switched over to our warm weather snowmaking again based on the temps in the forecast. Let’s hope Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow today!

Well Kate – Phil didn’t see his shadow…but SkiSoutheast Si did! Six more weeks of winter.
Sapphire Valley Resort – 100% open with both trails and snow tubing. They report:

Best conditions of any year!!!! We have lots of snow!
(Most snow on the slopes we have had in years – one spot has over 12 feet!)

Omni Homestead Resort is 100% open with all 9 of 9 trails! They also have their unique, mini-snowmobiles going today! Today, all of our winter sports are open. Plus, we’ll have special activities such as a DJ and photo booth at the Mountain Lodge as part of our Winterfest weekend.

Lynn posted:

Good morning! Regardless of what the groundhog says, we’re ready for more winter fun!

Wintergreen Resort is ALSO 100% OPEN with all 25 trails, snowtubing and terrain park fun! I never tire of their Mountain Blog. They posted the two photos below. Gracious aren’t they gorgeous!

Wintergreen wrote:

100% Open = 100% Fun
After a very cold and productive week of snowmaking, our Mountain Ops Crew was able to drop the ropes on those last few trails. All ski and snowboard terrain is 100% with edge to edge coverage and superb surface conditions! The extremely cold air temperature this week allowed us to churn out an excellent snow product. Skiers and riders will see the best conditions of the year today – Enjoy!

Happy Ground Dog Day! Our hope is that fabled prognosticator sees his shadow so we can keep skiing and riding for as long as possible which was the goal of all the hard core snowmaking happening this week. We had a few whale sightings on the mountain, in fact, there were pods of whales all over the trails. That’s what we call those large piles of accumulated snow that eventually get pushed out to make our base which helps us weather the weather.

Wolf Ridge Resort is playing on 10 of 15 trails today with excellent conditions. Tubing is open as well!

Closing Notables…

Danny Wilcox updated us with this cool, promotional banner for the Daniel Boone Railjam going down, March 16th in Boone. We’ll be sharing a LOT more about it…but check out the banner and plan on joining us there! We’ll be broadcasting LIVE!

Click to Enlarge


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