On Snow reporters talk of VERY NICE Spring conditions!

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Dave McConnell reports from Wolf Laurel on Saturday –

I’ll have to admit that I was a bit worried when I saw the webcams from Friday and the bare spots were HUGE.  But I made the trip up anyway, just for kicks and giggles.  I’m glad I did.  CB and I turned in our vouchers for some free lifties courtesy of SkiNC (Big Thanks, Mike!) and hit the slopes.  The morning was filled with carvable corduroy, basically lapping the Streak, Viewfinder, Powder Hill, and Whistling Dixie.  The crowds were absolutely non-existent and we pretty much had the run of the place.

Kent Jackson reports from Ski Beech on Sunday –

I was at Beech Sunday for a PSIA exam. First I would like to thank Beech for hosting the event and Scott (ski school director) for coordinating everything. When I arrived I could tell it was going to be a good day. The temperature was still a little cool and the sun was shining bright. The early morning runs were really nice. The surface was hard, packed granular. The temperature warmed up throughout the day however the trails still stayed pretty good. The snow got a little soft after lunch and some snow had gotten pushed around which exposed some ice. The icy spots weren’t too bad except for on the White Lightning run and that was mostly in the middle. We found that the right side of White Lightning was still pretty nice, even late in the day. I did not see any lift lines on any of the lifts except for the quad. The line for the quad was relatively short and the speed of the quad getting us to the top more than made up for the little wait. It was a really good day at beech. I wish I had taken my sunscreen though, I look like a raccoon nowƒº. To steal one of Mike Edward’s lines, 2 thumbs up today!

Kent Jackson Reports again from Beech on Monday –

Was at Beech again today. It snowed a couple of inches overnight but it was gently raining when the slopes opened. The fog was also thick and the wind was blowing pretty hard at the top. The snow was a wet snow and it was also very soft so it was pretty slow. Once the snow got packed a little it was a little faster but I had to be careful when I went from the packed snow to fresh snow. It was like putting on the brakes. As the day progressed some of the snow got pushed around and exposed some ice underneath. This was mostly on White Lightning trail. I didn’t encounter much ice on the other trails. The rain continued throughout the morning but it was just a little more than a mist. I guess that kept people from coming out because there weren’t many skiers on the hill and I was able to ski to any lift and jump right on. I had a really good time at Beech today. I would also like to thank the staff at Beech for allowing the Professional Ski Instructors of America, Eastern Division, to have the level one exam and a workshop clinic. There are now several more level one certified instructors, 16 I believe, teaching at various North Carolina and Tennessee resorts.

Lorrie Tomlinson reports from Appalachian on Sunday –

A clear blue sky and warm temperatures were the focus of the day on Sunday. I left with a bit of sun burn on my face. App is 100% open and there are no thin areas. Yet, another resort that has bare spots continues to deceive with the impossible base depth reporting. Makes you wonder why that "not so sweet resort" feels the need to lie about the actual snow amounts. Conditions at App are outstanding and plenty of snow remains. A lot of ski patrollers were on the mountain and I think another training practice was in progress. A few changes have taken place in the terrain park from the last time that I visited. The park crew has removed the wall ride. On the far left side (looking down) they have combined the long flat rail and the flat down rail for one challenging park feature.

Dana Bolden reports from Cataloochee on Sunday –

We skied Cataloochee Sunday, March 5.  We arrived shortly after 8am so we could get our 06/07 season passes before the lifts opened.  We made it quickly through the sales line and moved upstairs to have our photos done for the passes.  Well before 8:30 we had passes in hand and were on the snow.  (One note to Cat – you really could include the armband pass holders as a little perk with the full season unlimited passes instead of selling them at the gift shop for an additional $6.50 each.)

There were absolutely NO lift lines all day – the most we waited was maybe 1 full minute after the quad had stopped briefly.  The snow was firm and well groomed first thing in the morning but a bit soft and pretty chopped up by late afternoon.  We quite literally made laps on the quad and the double to mid station until our legs gave out.  With so few people on the slopes I think we skied harder and faster than at any time this season.  There’s still plenty of very good quality snow but most slopes are now groomed very differently than they were in mid-season – less steep drops and terracing, more continuous slope.  Rock Island Run is in great shape but is quite a bit lower along mid-slope than at the edges in places.

I noticed they were grooming the terrain park just after opening and it appears that they still have most of the park features in place.  I know the C-box and mail box were getting lots of use Sunday.

By lunchtime the temperature was so warm we put the jackets away and enjoyed skiing the rest of the day in shirt-sleeve weather. .Even with the warm temperatures, Cataloochee still has plenty of snow and made more both Friday and Saturday nights.

David Long reports from Ober Gatlinburg

Well the easiest way to say the conditions at Ober Gatlinburg from Wed are Spring Conditions.  The website says Spring-like.  Uh…no.  Very Spring conditions.  All the skiiers at the area were complaining because they couldn’t turn or hold an edge for anything.  The good skiiers all complained of not being able to carve.  Now the snowboarders on the other hand were loving the conditions today.  Very slushy and mushy which was perfect for doing the stupid tricks that boarders and free style skiiers never had the guts to try and pull during normal conditions for fear of the hard landings.  The coverage is much better than I expected to see.  Today was my first day on the slopes since Sunday and my first day to the top since Friday.  I was expecting to see thin spots on Ober Chute and I was very pleased to find plenty of snow up there.  At the very top on far slope right the snow is a little brown, but it is in an area that is blocked off.  At the top of the lift normally you can go either right or left.  Well they have the left side blocked off which leads to the brown snow so it isn’t a problem at all.

The rest of the slope has a much deeper base than I thought it had with at least 14" throughout the run.  The sides are starting to creep in more and more but the center of the runs are still great.  It looks as if the slope could easily remain open for another week with the snow depth they have.

But I can easily understand the early closing date as there was no one there today.  Like I am talking TOTALLY empty.  I think I may have seen 50 people all day that were not season pass holders.  That may even be to high of a number.  If you don’t mind the mash potatoes to ski in then Ober is the place right now as there is no crowds and temps that make you want to ski in your bathing suit…or birthday suit for that matter.

Christian Davies reports from Snowshoe

I arrived here today and the conditions are really quite amazing.  I have to admit that I was hoping for a little more in the way of freshies, due to the recent snows but even though there was some icy areas and loose granular (corn) buildup such that you go from firm to slush to firm…it was still great.  No thin areas and no bare spots and The Cupp Run was remarkable.  Several bumps have formed on it and the good skiers were tearing it up.  I’d give Snowshoe a seven out of ten and that’s mid season ratings here in mid-March!  Great time today!

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 03/09/2006 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. Kent Jackson
3. Mark McKelvy
4. David Long

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