North Carolina Ski Resorts Make Snow and Fight the fight for Conditions!

First Trax

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Boy, you guys really LIKE US! Thanks to all who wrote us yesterday alluding to the young man who wrote us about how “misleading” we are in our reporting. We won’t rehash the details here (you can read the last few articles and catch up!). However, we received 105 emails in the last 24 hours and every one of the them supported our reporting as being dead on…and we really appreciated you guys taking the time to tell us how you feel. It’s always nice to get a pat on the back!

Special thanks to Tony Wohlgemuth of High Point, NC and James Klostermeyer of Hickory who were a couple of the more in-depth emails. You guys and gals rock and we appreciate you guys as well!

More Misinformation Out There?!?

I was watching a newscast last night wherein the weather-lady stated, “There’s no snow at the North Carolina ski resorts. The rains of yesterday really killed the slopes and we received a report of a number of resort closures. I don’t know when they’ll get the temperatures needed to blow snow.”

I called the station and set her straight, because there was numerous errors in her comments. First, there IS snow on numerous slopes in the state. Second, only ONE North Carolina resort is closed (Sapphire) and three they ALL made snow last night and look amazingly better today. NO, not one resort is 100% open, but most resorts have five or six trails to ride.

Another person went on the messageboard and posted a message that ski season in the Southeast was over. We deleted the message. Still another person emailed me (I won’t use his name because I haven’t had time to get his permission) and wrote, “Dear SkiNC, It’s over for now in the SE. Why should folks want to ski slush and stay in a $200 per night condo with a fireplace and turn up the A/C. I hate it too, I live in Gatlinburg and Ober just closed. I’m off to Taos, NM in January. Perhaps you should provide a page on your site for great deals to Denver in the event these sorts of things happen…and it’s happening for sure. No place in the southeast is good enough to advertise at this time. I love your website and reporting, yet, consider providing alternatives to the west, outside of our region when the alarm goes off. Thanks, Gary F. Gatlinburg, TN”

Jeesh! Nothing is further from the truth! Take ONE look at the live cameras this morning and tell me that you don’t want to ski that sweet looking terrain!

Look, it is a New Year and I don’t want to beat a dead horse this early in 2007. However, whether you are a television personality or a concerned visitor to the ski resorts of the region…you guys have to do your homework a bit better! Just because it rains or is 80° in your neck of the woods, that doesn’t mean that there is no snow at the higher elevations. Additionally, just because ONE resort closes or has terrible conditions, that doesn’t mean that another resort isn’t pretty decent. One perfect illustration of that was Monday morning. Ski Beech looked horrible. The only reason that they were probably open was to give the New Year’s Day visitors SOMETHING to slide down since they were there. The slopes were in terrible shape. Yet just fifteen minutes away and maybe a mile and a half as the Hawk flies, Sugar Mountain was in decent shape. While Sugar had to close a couple of trails, they still had pretty good coverage for their guests to play on.

As per Gary’s email (and others like it), there is plenty of good skiable to terrain to “advertise” around the Southeast this morning. There are 29 trails open in North Carolina this morning and I can assure you that the people that ride it today will attest to the fact that conditions on those trails are pretty sweet this morning. (I wish I didn’t have to work today so that I could do some product evaluation of my own!)

“Playing Devil’s Advocate for the other side…”

We all admittedly frustrated with the lack of natural snow and cold temps. (We’ve documented that numerous times lately so if you want to catch up read the archived articles.) Resort management, marketing gurus, and owners are all hoping and praying that things turn around pretty quick. Maybe we need to work out some deal with whoever this El Nino character is! Maybe we could work out something with Denver. They don’t want the kinds of heavy snows that have been shutting down the airports out there! Maybe we should invent some economical way to refrigerator truck in some of that snow to the mountains of the Southeast.

Now this morning we learn of Kansas being dumped on with a freakish, THREE FOOT snowfall that according to news reports will have people without power for a week or more! News broadcasts this morning are showing 15-16 foot drifts of snow! FIFTEEN TO SIXTEEN FOOT DRIFTS! …and all we can wring out of Old Man Winter is a dusting or two!

Here we are more than 35 days or so into the season and most areas have only seen from three to nine inches of natural snow. Even worse is the fact that there have been more days during the month of December wherein the low temps were above freezing than below.

So things certainly haven’t been wonderful, pristine, winter-wonderland-like for sure. However, is ski season OVER for the Southeast? Absolutely not. In fact, if you guys will take a moment and look at this from a “glass half full” perspective it should be noted that it is amazing how decent the conditions are with the kind of weather we’ve had. So with ANY kind of weather pattern change into January, we should begin seeing some sweet conditions coming to fruition.

All resort operators and snow enthusiasts are hanging our hopes on the forecast that many meteorologists are saying that things appear to be changing around mid-January. Maybe we can begin getting some of the freak snow dumps! I can hear the resort operators screaming at this column saying, “No we don’t want that!” However beggars can’t be choosers. Right now, we snow-lovers will take anything…but I guess we should be careful what we wish for!

So let’s get through this together. We have some continued roller coaster weather to get through. All of the resorts made snow last night; some even received a dusting of snow. All will continue to make snow as long as temps allow today.

Most resorts in North Carolina should be able to make snow tonight as lows drop into the mid 20s, so expect a nice Tuesday and Wednesday of skiing and riding the snow. Thursday and Friday bring more dreaded rain and mild temps. Saturday looks good to ski whatever we have on the slopes. Sunday looks okay for the first half of the day. Monday of next week is forecasted to be COLD with highs in the 30s to 40°, with lows in the mid 20s.

If we can get through these next several days then maybe, just maybe we can get into a more normal winter shift that will produce some nice snows and cold such that December will become a bad memory.

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Until Next Time…


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