Lots of On-Snow Reports from yesterday!

On Snow

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Lorrie Tomlinson was at Ski Beech last night (Thursday):

Thursday was a warm night at Ski Beech. Not sure whether many guys were taking advantage of the free night or the MLK crowd arrived early, but there were a lot of people on the slopes. I am not used to waiting in line during the night session, but it happened. Granted the wait was only a few minutes, but I guess this was only a glimpse of what this weekend will bring. People lined up waiting to hit the park also. The second jump was blocked off with an orange ‘x’, but some of the boarders were getting some serious air on the first jump. The mountain still looked pretty good considering the warm temperatures and the rain this week. Crossway, the connector trail between Shawneehaw and Robbins Run, was closed. Oz, has not opened, but with the forecast for snow this weekend and snow making temperatures returning, maybe it will happen within the next few weeks. The natural snow, combined with MLK, should make for an interesting weekend. I must add that it was really cool to meet Matt and Nathan from Johnson City, TN. Thanks for the laughs guys and hope to see you at Ski Beech again next week.
Gresham Barker skied at Cataloochee last night:

Went to Cat tonight with Mr Stinky, SkiMastercraft, and asc for the Michelob Light Challenge Race Series. Conditions were tolerable for the weather we’ve had over the past couple of days…..piles of frozen granular i.e. Ice BB’s i.e. warm chemical sleet. NO CROWDS and Cataloochee has a HUGE base and will not loose that much snow due to the recent warm up. Some icy spots here and there (exposed compacted base), but very manageable.Temperatures at the base ranged from 36-41 degrees; a great night for skiing. The race consists of 4 events, sponsored by ML and Cataloochee, that will be held for 3 more Thursday nights. Everyone over 21 is invited to come out for a good time. All age categories are available, as well as a womens division, and a snowboard division. I expect Cat to be able to make snow with the diving temps tonight, and could see some natural snowfall from the upcoming "blizzard". Conditions should be nice for tomorrow, but the winds could play a big factor in the enjoyment of the day.

Doug Burnett reports from Massanutten on Thursday:

Skiing Thursday on Massanutten Mountain was GREAT!  Soft snow plenty of coverage, and few people made the slide a sweet one.  Para-dice was in good shape top to bottom this morning but late in the day some pretty heavy piles of grind had formed and you had to pick your line.  Mass has held up well this week with few thin areas.  Plenty of base and wide coverage side to side.  The width has shrunk each day, but grooming every night makes things sweet.  Got to go home tomorrow, but there is still plenty of turns left up here! – Happy Trails 

Theatre4C (On Snow Reporter) was at Ober Gatlinburg:

Another light day on the slopes of Ober Gatlinburg.  With the base melting off fairly quickly the grooming crew is starting to push the snow from the outsides of the trails into the center to help keep the base strong where the most people run.  Even with the melt off the snow is fairly nice.  The temps today were in the 60s and the snow was the expected mash potatoes but as soon as the sun began to set it firmed up nicely into the typical frozen granular of spring skiing.  I am a snowboarder who did the unthinkable today and actually tried skiing.  I went with my girlfriend and was very sad when she actually did better than I did.  (It was also her first time on the snow)  I was glad for the soft snow because it helped keep the speed down quite a bit.  The day was very nice and we had a great time with the light crowd.  The forecast is favorable for snowmaking this weekend with the storm and front that is coming in so hopefully Ober will be able to strengthen the base and be able to make it until winter decides to come back to the Southeast.  (hopefully that will be soon!!!)  Sunday should be an amazing day on the snow…that is if the weather does what the forecasters say it will do.  Have a great MLK weekend.

Appalachian 1-11-06

Joe, my General manager at Party City had said he wanted to try snowboarding sometime and  since we both had the day off today we went and represented Party City at App today.  I did the "set the alarm, but not turn the alarm on" thing again today, so by the time we got his gear rented and hit the slopes it was about 10 AM.  I was very glad it was not raining (we went through some rain on the way up), but I must say it was so foggy we could hardly see 20 feet away. 

I had to "describe" the top of the mountain to him since he couldn’t see it.  I was actually glad it was so warm though as the soft snow is more forgiving for falling beginners.  I also must say how much I love the new magic carpet lift.  It is so much easier to get beginners to the top of the trail.  I brought my girlfriend snowboarding for the first time to App last year and that rope tow was really hard to use on a snowboard, especially to learn on.  I have been boarding a long time and still had trouble with it.  All worries are now gone as you just step on the magic carpet and get magically lifted away.  We rode the bunny slope until Joe got the hang of it, and he learned pretty quick.  Then we rode the lift up to Strudel and did that run a few times before we went to the top and rode Orchard and Big Appal.  While we ate lunch the sky suddenly cleared to a nice blue sky, so it turned out to be a nice day after all.  The coverage at App is still great with no thin or bare spots on the trail, and they have added 2 huge jumps to the bottom of the park.  We had a great time  today and Joe is looking forward to snowboarding again sometime.

On-Snow Reporters:

We will keep a log of the best reporter’s submission, photos and reports. Trust us it is way to time consuming to post every pic…but send them…because we are tallying the scores.  The winner of the Best On Snow Reporter for 2005-2006 will win $1000 in cash, a FREE Getaway Vacation and more.  The contest will run from now through March 1st and we will choose the winner.  Our choice will be based on the following and IN THE ORDER of importance.

Quality of Photos
Quality of Reports (well written, informative, unbiased)
Number of Photo Submissions
Number of Reports

Extra points will be given for getting smiling faces in the photos and including names and cities where you can.

Extra points will be awarded for creative ideas.

We will choose the winner based on how helpful and informative the reports have been.

As of 01/13/2006 here are the top vote getters. (We will only document the top three to five here throughout the season…and we may begin posting the top ten, depending on how close results are.)

1. Lorrie Tomlinson
2. Mark McKelvy
3. Kent Jackson
4. Gresham Barker

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