Happy New Year

First Trax

Happy New Year everyone.  I hope you had a fun and safe time ringing in the new year.  I’m typing a little slow this morning so please bear with me.

Fireworks at Wintergreen
Wintergreen bringing in the new year

January is learn to Ski and Snowboard month and many of our member resorts are offering packages.  I mentioned Beech’s Skiing 101 program a couple days ago.  Canaan Valley is getting in on the action by offering a $99 learn to ski package that includes lodging and breakfast.  I don’t think you can beat that with a stick.  Wisp is also offering a special lift and rental package every Monday for the entire season.  We’ll highlight more specials in the coming days, but be sure to check with your destination resort for deals before finalizing any plans.

Every year, since 1978, Appalachian Ski Mountain hosts the Special Olympics NC Winter Games.  I’ve helped out with this in the past and I’ve got to tell you that you walk away a different person after seeing these guys and gals give it their all.  The games are upon us once again starting with the opening ceremony on Sunday, Jan. 5th at 1:45.  Nearly 140 athletes and coaches will compete on Monday from 10am – 4pm.  Appalachian is looking for volunteers for 1-4 on Sunday and 10am-3pm on Monday.  I’ll be there and hope to see a few of you as well.

One more bit of news before we get to the conditions today.  A 12 year old girl was injured yesterday while skiing at Ober Gatlinburg.  According to some of the early reports, she was transported to UT Medical Center via LIFESTAR with a bad leg laceration.  Not a good way to end out the year for sure, and our thoughts are with her this morning.  Along the same lines, Powder Ridge resort in CT is the first resort in the nation to require helmets for all skiers and boarders regardless of age.  This is a good thing I believe.  I’m sure we all have stories of cracking our head during a fall.

For the most part the ski reports today are a refresh of yesterday.  Just about everyone made snow and freshened up.  Here in North Carolina, Cataloochee and Sugar both added about 2” to their base.  Sugar also opened up 2 more runs including Easy Street Extension.  Up in West Virginia, Canaan closed 3 runs including Easy Does It which just opened last week.  Snowshoe did a bit of juggling as well.  They opened up the blues Moonshine and Single Tree at Snowshoe proper this morning but also went from 176 acres of open terrain yesterday (with the opening of J-Hook) down to 174 acres this morning.  This is due to them closing down the Timberjack terrain park at Silver Creek so they can build it up.

Snowshoe Ski Resort
Good morning sunshine – Snowshoe

A fairly quiet morning at the slopes so far.  It is going to be yet another great day to be on the mountain with mostly sunny to full on sun and highs ranging from the low-20s up at Wisp to the mid-50s at Ober.  However, things are going to happen this week.  A Winter Storm Watch has been issued for Beech, Sugar, Cataloochee, Wolf Ridge, and Ober.  For the North Carlolina resorts, the alert states that rain will change to snow across the higher elevations Thursday afternoon and continue through Thursday night with accumulations of 3-5 inches.  Ober’s warning is calling for 4-6 inches with possible accumulation of up to 8 inches at higher elevations.  Keep your eyes open for a trip report from me later in the week.

Take care out there today and enjoy the great weather and conditions that await you as you make your first turns of the year.

Tim Bahlke
Drop me an email at [email protected] to let me know what you think or with suggestions on what we could be doing better.

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