November 1st, 2010: We’re Getting All Fired Up!

First Trax

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We hope that all of you enjoyed a great Halloween weekend! I personally did some high school football down towards Statesville on Friday night and then headed to Columbia, SC to watch my beloved Gamecocks whip Tennessee after a close game for three quarters.

We headed back to Banner Elk Saturday evening and then I hung out with Len Bauer of Sugar Mountain and his family for some "Trunk or Treating" at the Town Park on Sunday evening.

Len Bauer (far right). That’s his wife, Michelle in the vampiress outfit far left. Not sure who was throwing me a kiss!>>>

This time of year always offers a challenge as to how to dress for anything. For example, it was chilly Saturday morning so I wore a long sleeved shirt under my Under Armour football shirt. By halftime of the game I was miserable and had to come out of that long sleeve shirt as temps "soared" to the mid 70s in Columbia. Then as we arrived back home in the mountains Saturday night it was 35° and although it felt great – it was c-c-cold.

The same thing happened over at the Town of Banner Elk Park Sunday evening. Temps were in the 60s and the sun was warm as things kicked off around 5pm. Two hours later as the sun dropped behind the mountains and the goblins, ghosts, robots and pirates came out…the temps dipped cold enough to head home.


<Those M18s were blasting snow this past weekend at Snowshoe. Photo by Ed Schneider

During one of those colder temperature swings this past weekend Snowshoe Mountain decided to fire up their snowguns. 

Ed Schneider, Producer for Snowshoe Mountain decided he’d rub that in (I mean promote that) a little and sent some nice video and photos. The photos are posted and the video will be in just a bit.

Ed wrote, "Hey Mike!

The temps dipped into the upper 20s last night and i was out there as they kicked the guns on! Unfortunatly looks like the cold air wont be back for a few days, but boy its nice to hear and see those guns blazing once again!

Think Cold! THink Snow!"

We’ll definately do that my friend!


As mentioned early I was hanging out with Len Bauer and his family on Sunday afternoon and the first thing out of his mouth was to mention his excitement about the forecast for this weekend.

<Len Bauer and wife Michelle both work at Sugar Mountain – Photo by Justin Grimes

Len is the Snowsports Director of Sugar Mountain with more than 30 years of on-the-snow teaching on his resume. He’s been at Sugar Mountain forever and as we ran into a few other Sugar Mountain employees (including Sugar’s President, Gunther Jochl who is beginning HIS 34th year at the helm of Sugar) all I kept hearing was things like, "it’s going to be cold enough to make snow this weekend". Bauer and others (including several members of the messageboard) are speculating that Sugar will open this weekend.

The temps are forecasted to dip into the upper 20s Friday night with some mix of snow and rain. Saturday, November 6th is forecasted to be a cold one with rain/snow mix and highs in the upper 30s. Saturday night’s low is forecasted for 22° in Banner Elk.

Cataloochee Ski Area in Maggie Valley might have something to say about which resort gets the bragging rights as to who opens first. It’s ALWAYS between Cat and Sugar, and this season should be no different. While the daytime temps for Friday and Saturday at Maggie Valley are forecasted to be slightly milder than those at Sugar and Snowshoe, the overnight temps are forecasted to perhaps be a bit colder for Cataloochee with lows Thursday night forecasted to dip to 24°. Friday night’s low is expected to drop to around 20° and then perhaps into the teens at Maggie Saturday night.

So the race is on…

Meanwhile, App, Beech, Snowshoe and others will look at the long range forecast a bit more carefully and if things look favorable we may see all of them making snow in preparation for their openings later in the month.

For you weather peeps out there – here’s some Monday AM readings:

Beech Mountain – 43.9°
Sugar Mountain – 40.4°
Our Office – 35°
Appalachian – 36.3°
Bryce Resort (Virginia) – 30°
Canaan Valley – 30°
Wintergreen – 30.6°
Snowshoe – 27°


Some good friends (thanks Carolyn and Kevin of Lexington, South Carolina) sent me a text the other day. She was reading the AAA "Go" Magazine and reading about all the ski area deals that AAA Auto Club is offering nationwide. As she came to all of the news about the East, Southeast and Mid Atlantic it seems that AAA was recommending all of its readers to check out for all of the best ski and snowboarding information for the region. Interestingly enough we were the ONLY link that they provided about the region. (Pretty cool and thanks AAA.)

So we’re all on "snow and snowgun watch" here! Now that the calendar reads "November" we’ll be updating the website everyday. Yes, everyday and sometimes more than once as we share "What’s New" at YOUR favorite ski area, etc.

Be sure to check back often for more photos being posted as well as our video blog. If you have not yet visited our Ski Messageboard Forum you should do so.

We’ll be sharing TONS more input about our plans for this season, but for a little sneak peek visit:  – Watch the snowguns fire up!  – Check the weather at your favorite ski resort!  – All the ski and snowboarding updates you need!

Send your comments, photos, videos and trip reports to:  [email protected]

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