Mild Today – A little wet Friday – Snow Saturday at Southeast Ski Resorts

First Trax

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Even after yesterday’s lengthy update, wherein I attempted to dispel all anxieties over what the conditions were, I received a couple of emails – one mere MOMENTS after posting the morning report.  It read, “I know that you just reported about how the conditions were pretty good and that we shouldn’t be worried, but you don’t know.  We’re driving up five hours and I was thinking about canceling our plans for this weekend until we read your report.  However, if you could, please understand that we just don’t want to drive up and not see any snow. If we come all that way and can’t ski, what else is there to do?”

In the immortal words of Jonathan Higgins, the old guy on the Old Magnum PI show, “OH – MY – GOD!”

How can I get any clearer?  Oh I know.  How about you guys take a look at the WEBCAMS!!!

Since it’s the “eve” of MLK Weekend, I’m going to devote a little extra time to this morning’s update and try to assist the gazillion people planning to come up for this extended weekend.

First, let’s broach the subject of the AMOUNT of snow that all resorts have. They have PLENTY! ALL resorts have experienced timely cold snaps and enough snowmaking and even a little natural snows over the last couple of weeks…mixed within this thaw that we have had…to MAINTAIN quite a nice base of snow across most all of their trails.  RIGHT NOW, all resorts WILL have some thin coverage and bare spots. However, very few.  We watched the groomers running up Appalachian and Cataloochee this morning and we can tell you that the snow looks pretty sweet right now.  I wish I could hit it today.

I spoke with Cataloochee General Manager, Chris Bates this morning because there was some speculation that Cataloochee was going to make snow last night. It ALMOST got cold enough.  According to Chris, “Man we tried.  The temps just were all over the place last night from 32 °  to 36 °  and we just weren’t able to crank them up.”  He added, “We have good coverage right now.  The last few days hurt us a little, but the snow coverage is really good.”

We’d agree.  Just take a look at the front webcam shot!  The best snow in North Carolina might be a toss up right now between Appalachian Ski Mountain (our pick) and Cataloochee. The messageboard Cat Crew might switch that order around.  However they both look pretty good. One look at the webcams for Hawksnest, Ski Beech and Sugar and we’d have to say that all look pretty inviting to us right now.

Moving North, the best snow in Virginia is most definitely at Wintergreen Resort.  They are still looking nice with more than two feet of base and 22 trails.

Best snow in West Virginia has to be Snowshoe Mountain…although Timberline and the rest look quite good.

Wisp closed two trails but evidently it wasn’t due to base depth…as they are still locked on 28-66” but two less trails today (32 trails).  Conditions are quite nice in Maryland though.

So if you’re planning your trip around whether or not there’s enough snow – get to packing because a lack of snow you will not have. No it will not be at peak conditions, but we’d put it at a strong 7 or 8 out of ten. Base snow is not an issue.  Clear!??

Next, let’s tackle the subject of the weather.  It will be mild today, cooler but not cold Friday for your trip up,  COLD AS HECK Saturday with SNOW much of the day (maybe 2-4” of snow at the preferred high elevations of North Carolina and MORE the further north you go – MAYBE several inches into West Virginia).  The thing that you guys should also know is that you’ll need to dress in layers and bring some tie-downs because it will be as windy as Dorothy’s plot of land in Kansas – on Friday night and much of the day on Saturday.  Forecasters like Ray Russell, Brad Panovich and others are forecasting 25-35 mph winds Friday night with gusts to 55mph!  Saturday will also be windy 25-35mph and lessening late in the evening.  So it will be WINTER on Saturday.  A COLD, SNOWY, WINDY, RAW day.  It may be windy enough to close a lift or two.  That is the reality.  The GOOD news is that snowmaking crews from all of the resorts will be making snow to beat the band beginning sometime late Friday and then all day on Saturday.  Yes, bring your goggles.  Saturday will not be a pristine, Chamber of Commerce, Ski Resort Marketing Department kind of day…but it will be WINTRY, SNOWY and COLD. The snowguns will do wonders for the conditions and the overall “Winter Feel” that visitors are looking for.

Sunday and Monday will be nearly PERFECT ski days for our MLK crowds. After the skies clear and the winds die down Saturday night, Sunday should be one for the cameras! Beautiful Sunny Skies, backed by Blue like you haven’t seen unless you visited us many times after snowfalls.  The temps will be in the 30s and 40s on Sunday (perfect) and no winds to speak of.  The Snow will be firm, and the surface…just the way you want it. Saturday night snowmaking and grooming (along with the wind quieting down) we’ll allow snowmakers and groomers to setup what should be a perfect day on the slopes on Sunday.  Monday will be more of the same. That means that more than 60% of your stay will be near perfect, 25% will be cold, snowy and pretty windy…and the rest…well you HAVE to sleep sometime!

Until Next Time!

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

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