IT WAS A GREAT MLK WEEKEND; More Snow Fell and More is Falling!

First Trax

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We’ll get right to the quick tour in a moment, but suffice to say that snow lovers are all smiles this morning after anywhere from 3-12" of snow fell across the region over the last 48 hours. Wisp Resort, Canaan and Timberline are reporting the most over the last two days, but all of the ski areas – except those in Virginia – got in on the act!

 It is snowing now although the skies are kind of brightening up. According to forecasters, we’re expecting more snow today and this evening. The WORD IS POWDER for today as that word is in all of the reports this morning! Some resorts also made snow and the word we just heard from Ryan Costin over at Ski Beech is that they will open White Lightning on Wednesday! They were really blasting that trail yesterday!

We share the resort’s reported base depths in our tour, but you’ll notice that we have re-implemented our "Base Legend" for reporting surface depths and conditions. Everyone gets a TEN today as base depth numbers are WAY UP THERE across the board. There IS a lot of snow out on the slopes and conditions are as good as they can get – hence the TENS. If we get the "storm of the century" types snows during the season – we’ll have to rate those up a bit, but the bottom line is that all of the ski areas look AWESOME right now. With the existing weather patterns they will continue to be in GREAT shape for the coming weeks.

There is another Winter Storm Warning posted for much of the mountains and some of the higher snowfall totals may fall over towards Cataloochee, Wolf Ridge and even the Sapphire Valley area today and this evening with as much as 4-7 inches forecasted. Snow is in the forecast and the traditional – heavier snow areas – Snowshoe, et al should be getting more today and this evening.

The week ahead looks great with highs in the teens today, getting to perhaps the upper 20s on Wednesday, near 40° on Thursday, the mid 40s on Friday and all with sunny skies each day! The overnight lows will in the 10° range tonight, mid teens Wednesday night, mid 20s Thursday night and low to mid 30s Friday night. So Friday night COULD BE the "warmest" that it has been in a couple of weeks and that night will be a borderline snowmaking night for the resorts that simply want to make snow. None of the resorts will NEED to make snow as base depths are huge and conditions are awesome everywhere.  (Tweak all the above temps down about 5-7° for the WV and MD mountains.)

By the way SNOW re-enters the forecast next weekend so it looks like the great weather trend continues!

Don’t forget that Ski Beech brings back WINTERFEST next weekend with a bathing beauty contest, cardboard box derby and more. The forecast is for highs in the mid 30s with lows in the low 20s, pink-to-red (exposed) skin and lots of fun!

BEST EVER? BEST IN THREE SEASONS? W-H-A-T-E-V-E-R it was a great MLK Weekend Crowd!

This past weekend will unquestionably go down as THE BEST MLK WEEKEND as far as everything that we’d all use as qualifiers. The quality of snow – was awesome. The weather – awesome. The crowds – massive (but awesome if you’re a bean counter at the resorts!)

It may have been a record skier visit day for many ski areas, but regardless, it was a phenomenal one that saw great conditions on Friday, better conditions Saturday and Sunday – and if you were one of the ones who stuck around a little later on Monday – it was near EPIC!

HERE’S THE TOUR SUMMARY FOR TODAY:  (We’re switching things up somewhat today.)

Virginia may be the state for lovers…but Ma Nature isn’t showing the state any love with natural snow!

Bryce Resort in Virginia is reporting no snowmaking nor any natural snow, but they have a great base of35-61" of groomed conditions with 100% of their mountain open with tubing offered as well.

Massanutten Resort did make snow but reports no natural snow from this weekend’s storm system that provided good snowfall elsewhere around the region. They are 100% open with all 14 trails, snow tubing and great conditions with an average base of 36".

Wintergreen Resort – They are reporting a low of 7° and lots of snowmaking, but they make it a clean sweep of Virginia ski areas not reporting any natural snowfall. It is crazy how these systems keep missing the Virginia mountains. According to our reports the Virginia ski areas have only seen perhaps 2-6" of snow thus far this season. However, with an awesome snowmaking plant Wintergreen has the mountain in awesome shape with a base of 30-50" and 24 trails open. (They opened Lower Cliffhanger today!) Snow tubing is open as well!

West Virginia Continues to be DUMPED ON!

Canaan Valley is reporting another 3" of snow, 10.4" in the last three days, 47" on the MONTH and 117.3" on the season. That spells POWDER conditions on their reported base of 20-40" on 31 trails for day skiing and snowboarding only!

Snowshoe Mountain keeps living up to the first four letters in their name! They received another 4" of snow and that gives them 8" in the last 48 hours and 131" on the season! They’ve cut back on a couple of trails to focus snowmaking on them today as the temp right now is a "coldest-spot-in-the-region" ZERO degrees. Look for 57 trails on the average base of 50" and the mountain should go to 100% open by Friday!

Timberline Resort is at 10° and reporting 10" of snow over the last couple of days. Since they are one range over, the same snow totals that we just reported for Canaan are good for Timberline. They have received 117.3" of snow for the season and have 28 trails with great conditions!

Winterplace Resort – 10° and they have 21 of 28 trails open today with tubing as well. Winterplace completes our tour of the WV resorts and the theme for those areas today seems to be the focus to cut back on a couple of trails openings for today and focus snowmaking on them and reopen later in the week. Conditions are phenomenal at Winterplace today!

Wisp Resort – 7° and they report another 6" of snow! That takes Wisp to 80" on the season which is way ahead of pace to surpass their seasonal average of 100". We’ll need to up their seasonal average if the trend holds for another year or so as Wisp has BLASTED their seasonal natural snowfall total in three of the last four seasons! Wisp has 31 of 35 trails open today! Wisp is reporting a base of 19-60"

Yahoo…. Tennessee sees some snow!

Ober Gatlinburg is reporting 3" of new snow! DAMN it is great to see them get some of the natural stuff! That nearly doubled their previous tally thus far on the season as they now have 7" so far. They also opened another trail and have 6 of 8 open with snow tubing open as well.

North Carolina Continues to See the White Stuff Lately!~

Appalachian – 2" of snow and 12° overnight. They have a base of 82-108" and that is off the charts within our Base Report Legend. We’re simply giving them a 10 which is as good as it gets. They are 100% open and conditions are awesome with packed powder!

Cataloochee – 2" of snow and 6° overnight. They are reporting a base of 48-85" and we rate it a 10! They are open for day and night sessions with 100% of their terrain. Snow tubing is closed until Tuesday now. Cataloochee falls within the area that may get significantly more snow than the rest of us in the state this afternoon. We’ll update you when we hear from them.

Ski Beech – It’s a COLD one again this morning atop Beech Mountain with a low of 2° and they are reporting 7-8" at the Beech Mountain Police Station according to Wendy and Gary over there. The official snow reporting station up there has not reported in this morning so we’re not certain what the official total is, but after being up there on Monday there was a good 6" or so most everywhere around 6pm yesterday. So we’re thinking there’s a strong chance that the higher peaks around Beech probably have a good 8" of new snow in the last 48 hours. That will make for yet another POW POW day at Ski Beech for those lucky enough to hit it today. They have 9 of 15 trails open and some nice terrain features over on the Play Yard side of the hill.

I. my family and five office staffers and friends hit up Ski Beech on Monday afternoon and evening – and all I can say is that everyone was smiling. There was a moderate to heavy snow falling all day and at times what several of us were calling a "SNOG" (kind of a snowy fog) that kept visibility of the surface – low. Once that cleared around 3pm or so, man was it nice carving that snow!

We’ll elaborate more later, but I have to quickly add that seeing Ski Beech on Monday – it is so obvious that they are really working to make a lot of positive changes up there! All of the buildings at the base looked so much nicer than a couple of years ago with new siding; bathrooms all had a fresh coat of paint and you just got the feel that Beech was getting a lot of TLC these days. By the way the cafeteria is serving up some GREAT, homemade chili and yesterday they were serving up some italian dishes, tasty burgers, barbeque and more.

We want to give a special shout out to Ryan Costin, Ryan Garris, Jeb Brown and some others who showed us great hospitality on Monday. Jeb I got your message and even though I didn’t take you up on your offer – it was cool to do so.

Don’t forget that Beech brings back WINTERFEST this weekend with the old Cardboard Box Derby and Bathing Beauty Contest so if you have not played at "The Beech" lately – maybe this week would be a great time to do so.


We shot some video on Saturday and again on Monday over at Sugar and then gave Beech most of our attention and that video can be viewed by clicking below or on the front page VIDEO LINK.

Ski Beech Video 

Sugar Mountain – They are reporting a little more snow than the Sugar Mountain Police Station is reporting. After reporting 2-3" on Monday morning, they are telling us that they have a total of 6-7" this morning! That gives Sugar 37" of snow on the season which already surpasses the 35" that Sugar got all of last season. They are within 2" of the 2006-2007 total and nearly half of the normal 78" that Sugar Mountain received annually. AND WE HAVE THE REST OF JANUARY, FEBRUARY AND MARCH TO GO!

Sugar goes to 100% open today as they now offer 20 of 20 trails, powder conditions, tubing and ice skating. It will be an awesome day on the slopes at Sugar!

Wolf Ridge Resort is a cold 6° this morning at 8:50am and they reported 3-4" of snow in the last 72 hours! They are in the path of what forecasters are saying may be more significant snowfall today and Wolf Ridge has received 25" on the season thus far. They offer 10 trails open today and report, "We have had over 3 to 4 inches of snow in the last 72 hours and the slopes are in great shape. We are presently making snow on The Howling,Powder Hill,View Finder, Whistling Dixie,the Ridge,and Broadway! Look for more terrain to open later this week!"

Until Next time…

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