First Trax

Story by Mike Doble – [email protected]

UPDATE: Kenny Hess of Massanutten Resort in Virginia just updated us with the following post, "Hey Guys – Winter Storm watch for tonight. Planning on one more day of skiing March 18th."

That will be great news to 'Nut fans.

Saturday was one beautiful day here in Western North Carolina and the mountains of the Southeast and Mid Atlantic. Temps soared away from the higher elevations (off the mountain) to around 70° over here at SkiSoutheast'com's "satellite office" based here at Watauga Lake in east Tennessee.

With temps like those, Spring Fever was AGAIN in full force. The sun was shining which brought out the turquoise, blue-to-green waters of the lake. Those that have followed me through the years know that I spend more time on the lake each summer than I do the slopes each winter…which is a lot. I have to admit that it kind of always intrigues me to do the SNOW REPORT for the entire region from here on a boat, docked at the lake.


Spring OFFICIALLY begins Wednesday of this week, but those groundhogs (both Punxsutawney Phil and Southeast Si) were wrong about an early Spring despite the mild days recently. Cooler to cold conditions will be the theme for the foreseeable future in terms of weather forecasts for the region for the rest of the month.

I've commented all season long about how "screwball" this season has been in terms of weather patterns. It's been a perfectly timed weather season with good weekend and Holiday weather that insured a successful one financially for the resorts.

This morning's temps from around the region pretty much sum up what kind of season it has been. Beech Mountain is reporting 47° this morning while Canaan Valley is at 27° and forecasting a Winter Storm Warning for tonight and Monday! In fact, that area could see as much as 3-6" of snow and ice accummulations. All of this while Gatlinburg is showing 57° at 9am!

Despite that Canaan Valley Resort is CLOSING for the season after today's DAY SESSIONS.


Open with 56-60 trails and tubing and snowmobiles and snow cat tours and about anything else you can dream up to do in the snow. Snowshoe is expecting 3-6" of snow and wintry mix tonight into Monday so conditions up there will continue to be great.

Snowshoe is celebrating St Paddy's Day with a $17 Lift Ticket for today. I have to say that Snowshoe's pricing has been AMAZING this season. Those $199 Season Pass deals STILL have my head spinning. I think they are still selling season passes for the rest of this season and all of next for $249.

Go get yours and enjoy riding from now through March 31st and then all of next season as well.

Blanzy and crew are riding on 38 of 40 trails and they are expecting 3-6" of snow and mix tonight and Monday. Day Sessions only today. I still maintain that I think THIS>>> http://www.visitcanaan.com/timberline/snow-report-spreadsheet.html

is the best snow report out there. Check out the comments of where BUMPS and thin areas are. Just love the deets.

100% open (STILL) with 27 of 27 trails, all terrain parks and snow tubing as well. Winterplace still looks in mid season form despite some soft snow due to the temps. Conditions will be great with some cold weather coming in this week through the 24th which is their anticipated closing day.

It's COLD up there with a 27° reading this morning at 9am! Canaan is closing the season TODAY in style with 42 of 43 trails open and tubing for DAY SESSIONS ONLY.

28 of 32 trails open for DAY SESSIONS today. Wisp posted this, "Happy St. Patrick’s Day Everyone!!! Wisp Resort will be celebrating it's 57th birthday today and Monday with $10 lift tickets and half price rentals and half price lessons. Wisp Resort will be open today from 9am – 5pm.

This upcoming week ski operations will be as follows Monday, March 18 Open Chairs (2,3,4,5,6,7 & Belly Flop) Tuesday, March 18 Open Chairs (3,6,7 & Belly Flop) East Ridge Closed Wednesday, March 19 Open Chairs (2,4,5, & Belly Flop) North Camp Closed Thursday, March 20 Open Chairs (3,6, 7 & Belly Flop) East Ridge Closed See you on the slopes, ski & ride safely.

7 of 9 trails open as well as tubing for this, Ober's last day of the season. It has been a good one for the Smoky Mountain resort and remember that although ski and snow ops are closing after today, Ober is open year round for ice skating, their amusement park, the Alpine slide and their monster aerial tram with scenic shots of the Smokies. There's nothing to compare with the ride up to the top and back down to the city center in Gatlinburg.

Don't forget the St. Patty’s Day Jam Session being held today at Appalachian Ski Mountain. The event should be kicking off at about 1pm. The Alpine Ski Shop crew will be on site to award prizes for best trick on each individual feature for both skiers and snowboarders.

Operating DAY SESSIONS ONLY with 14 of 15 trails. Beech posted, "Starting Sunday, March 17th, Beech Mountain Resort will operate from 9am to 430pm daily, for the remainder of the season.  Join us Saturday, March 23rd for our final day of skiing, including games, music and other activities!"

So if you're looking to spend a day at "The Beech" you only have seven more days of this season to do so.

Operating on the same 15 of 17 trails for DAY SESSIONS. Cat is doing something pretty cool today. They posted, "Feeling lucky today? Follow your friends to the CAT and remember for those of you who have season passes to any other area we will give you $10 OFF a Cataloochee lift ticket, ANYTIME! 2012-13 season pass must be presented to get discount. So if your home mountain has already closed, bring your pass and come see us! Also starting today, Cataloochee will be offering our “One Run, We’ll Refund” policy now until the end of the season. Guests unhappy with conditions will receive a full refund after one run! Refunds will not be given after that."

They are operating with one less trail today (that of the Sugar Bear) and with 19 of 20 for day and night sessions. Sugar posted, "Easter Egg Hunt is today on the slopes. Kids 12 and under are welcome to participate. The event is free with a valid lift/slope pass. 9 am start. Lots of prizes, even a 2013-14 Sugar Mountain Resort season pass."

8 of 8 trails for DAY SESSIONS now through March 22nd – their last day for this season.

Today is their last day of the season and they will go out in style with all 14 trails, ten lanes of snow tubing and all terrain parks open for DAY SESSIONS.

7 of 10 trails open today for DAY SESSIONS today. The Homestead had previously indicated that they would be closing after today for ski and snow ops. They are now reporting that they will be be closed during the week and REOPEN for Saturday and Sundays for next weekend, March 23-24th and March 30-31st, weather permitting.

They are also telling guests to CALL AHEAD for tubing. Snowmobiling is now closed for the season.

26 of 26 trails open for DAY SESSIONS ONLY. Tubing open as well. Wintergreen has announced their late season schedule. They will ride DAY SESSIONS ONLY from here til the end of the season. They will CLOSE DURING THIS WEEK from the 18th-22nd and REOPEN for March 23rd-24th.

That's going to do it for me today. Have a sweet one on or off the slopes. There's still little pockets of snow on the ground around the highest elevations of North Carolina and of course more snow on the ground up in West Virginia. Go play in it or on it while you can.

Email me if you have any beefs, photos, kudos or images and what not: [email protected]

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