Loads of GREAT conditions and FUN to be had at Southeast and Mid Atlantic Ski Resorts on March 25th!

First Trax

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THIS JUST IN AT 10am – Michael Meissner over near Cataloochee was asked by Tammy Brown to inform me that Cataloochee has had a FOOT of snow so far and due to that they are opening HIGH MEADOWS trail for TODAY ONLY!  Michael said that he is two ridges over and at the same elevation and only got 4-5" but as he said – you can’t ski on 4" of snow so I guess Cataloochee got it. AMAZING! If you want to ski High Meadows…its today only.

Andrea Smith at Snowshoe Mountain just emailed me that they had 2" of snow thus far.  We’re still seeing flurries but only 3-5" here depending on elevations so far.  STAY TUNED and we’ll keep you updated.

Ahhhhh…the first weekend of Spring!  The gorgeous Spring flowers are budding and blooming…and SNOW is falling like crazy across the region!  That too can be Spring in the mountains!  150,000 visitors are shivering in the cold about an hour away in Bristol Tennessee as Nascar fans are waiting on a “window” of non-precipitation so they can get in the Busch and Nextel Cup races…and racers of a different kind are gathering at mountains across the Southeast.

Mark McKelvy, one of our top On Snow Reporters and avid messageboard devotee is preparing a racer of his own. He wrote me yesterday afternoon to say, “I just picked up my monster cardboard box from Joe’s (Joe Harmon, AKA Snowbird) house (he is on the plane to Utah now) and I have to figure out how to put this bad boy together,  I think I am going to try to rig up some stuff from the hardware store to make it faster.  Maybe put a coat of white base paint on it and then I can paint up some SkiNC logos.  So little time….”

There’s bound to be a lot of last minute creations on the slopes today at Appalachian Ski Mountain as visitors flock there to enjoy this Weekend’s “Meltdown Games” – only there isn’t going to BE any meltdowns as SNOW and COLD temps are forecasted for today and tomorrow!  We’ve had 5-7” of snow fall since Monday of this week and that includes about 3” that fell since last night.  Weather forecasters are predicting 2-3” more snow for the Blowing Rock area around Appalachian…and up to 6” more snow along the favored NC / TN line and their higher elevations.

As I am typing this story, I am seeing peeks of sunshine and blue sky against a backdrop of snow and all the while, I am hearing the birds singing their morning wakeup calls.  Spring certainly can be an amazing season!  It won’t look and feel much like Spring if you’re headed to the mountains to ski or ride (or play) today, so bundle up, dress in layers and wear your normal mid-season gear and you’ll be set to have a great day!

A few emails came in from people who had ridden yesterday and most proclaimed that the conditions were more like mid-January. This latest burst of cold air and snow further supports my statements of late, wherein I have proclaimed the 2005-2006 ski season as one of the best, most perfectly timed Winters that I can remember.

Jeff Schmerker of The Mountaineer News in Waynesville, North Carolina interviewed me yesterday and he began his call with some news of his own.  I can’t divulge what he hinted to me just yet, because Public Relations Babe, Tammy Brown of The Cat asked me not to. There’s some potentially exciting news coming (yet again) out of Maggie Valley after next Saturday’s April 1st ski and ride date.  You’ll have to wait for that bit of news.  Jeff Schmerker also questioned me as to Cataloochee’s announcement about adding THREE NEW TRAILS for skiing next season. (Nope that isn’t the secret that Tammy asked me not to share!) But you read it correctly…Cataloochee is adding more terrain to ski on for next season.  We’ll get the low down on that news and provide you with more insight after we close out this ski season.

Cataloochee has been a marketing machine this season after being the first to open, having an above average snowfall season (one of the few in the Southeast to exceed average snowfall this season) and then announcing that they will ski April 1st and let you ski and ride that day for $2.75! Now they announce the opening of three new trails!  What can this newest idea be?  You’ll have to wait another week for that one!  See Tammy…as much as I want to be the first to say it, I’m keeping your secret! You owe me!

Appalachian is 100% for the “Meltdown Games” and they are reporting 1” of new snow and a base that has GROWN this past week to 29-68” of groomed and ready surface.  They also have Ice Skating, and one of the top two Terrain Parks in the Southeast available today.  We MAY make it out there today for some photo ops!

Cataloochee Resort is 80% open with 8 trails and 4 lifts on an 18-42” base and the craziest news of the day at The Cat is that THEY MADE SNOW LAST NIGHT!!!  Conditions there will be s-w-e-e-t.

No other ski areas are open in the state of North Carolina as Sugar closed last Sunday thinking that this week was going to be a downer… That’s too bad because one look at the cams…and Sugar’s looking pretty good today. Oh well…

Moving on up…to Virginia and we come to Wintergreen Resort. You can HEAR the excitement coming out of the print up there when Sarah Lovejoy, their new PR guru says, “NATURAL SNOW IS FALLING ! ! We have 4 inches so far and it is still coming down. Come ski & ride in the fresh powder we’ve got covering our slopes. Just 2 days left til the end of our 05-06 regular season. We will be open for day session skiing and riding through tomorrow at 4:30pm and then will reopen for our Wicked Huge Park Party April 1st and 2nd. Today, we have 15 freshly groomed trails with packed powder surface and 4 lifts will be running.

These guys have fought the fight against weather that hasn’t quite been helping them out the way that it has in the higher elevations of North Carolina, West Virginia and Maryland . Wintergreen hasn’t had snowmaking ops and thus they have been holding out with what they’ve had (which is still more than 3’ in spots) but they have been seeing more thin coverage and bare areas showing up.  But the snow today will make for a great finish to a very good season there.

Northward we go to Winterplace Resort in West Virginia – They received an inch of new snow and that takes them to 80” on the season.  Today they offer a Primary Surface of Groomed; Secondary Surface – Packed Powder/Loose Granular. Missy Cline says, “Even though there might not be any snow in your backyard there is Tons and Tons of snow at Winterplace! Mother Nature and Winterplace’s high capacity snowmaking system has buried the slopes with snow! We then pack it into a durable base that last and lasts!”  They have 24 trails open today serviced by 5 lifts and nice conditions for today.

Snowshoe Mountain just keeps getting more and more snow.  They too picked up 2” of snow overnight, taking them to the 159” mark and while that is a sub par season for them (they normally average 180”) they still have seen more than all other ski areas in the Southeast and Mid Atlantic this season and this weekend they are offering a region leading 36 trails of groomed, packed powder!  Andrea Smith, the “interim” Communications Director at Snowshoe (Come up management!  Give that lady the job permanently!  She’s good!) says, “2" of snow fell overnight and more is expected throughout the day on Saturday and in to tonight. The calendar may say spring, but winter is in full force at Snowshoe. 36 trails remain open at the Snowshoe area – this is by far the most open terrain in the region. Don’t miss out on all the fun – there’s only one week left in the season!”

Timberline Resort in West Virginia also got an inch of snow and they’ve groomed about 70% of their 26 open trails according to Pam Long. Timberline is looking very nice today and check their website for all of the fun and clinics planned for today.  www.timberlineresort.com

We’d like to talk about Canaan but they have gone kind of quiet as they have begun gearing up for golf season.  They ARE open, but only until tomorrow.

We head one more state northward and slightly east a few miles and we come to WISP RESORT in Maryland .  They have seen 2” of snow so far and more is on the way today and Lori Epp and gang have actually seen more than 18” MORE than normal snowfall this winter!  With 118” of snow on the season, they are in great shape for all the fun planned this weekend.  They have 22 trails to play on and for details on all their activities, check out their website at www.WispResort.com

So we’re grinding down to the close of the 2005-2006 ski season with a great finishing kick of weather that is certain to bring smiles to the faces of snowlovers everywhere…except maybe up at Sugar Mountain. (Ouch!) A few ski areas are going to call it quits on Sunday with some of the best conditions ever on the 4th weekend in March!  However, skier traffic is dwindling to the point that it doesn’t make sense to stay open…and we’ve seen our website traffic fall to 18,708 visitors per day this week. That’s about 25% of what we averaged all season so we’re seeing a huge drop ourselves…and a lot of that traffic has been devoted almost exclusively to the webcams…so skier traffic is off substantially.  We’ll play a little longer…and hope to see you on the slopes. If you’re headed to App…look for us, we’ll be wearing SKINC hoodies!

Until Next Time!

Be sure to email photos, snow reports and comments to: [email protected]

Visit www.SkiSoutheast.com  and www.HighCountryWeather.com  for more information.





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