Some Resorts Stopped Cold Turkey, While Others Play On With Natural Snow and Great Conditions!

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That’s the general tone of the emails that I personally received over the last week while Kenny Griffin handled the daily, FirsTrax duties this week. My last FirsTrax entry was boasting about how awesome the conditions were at Snowshoe Mountain for our SkiSoutheast Summit weekend and since that time things have gotten only better. However, SEVEN of the seventeen ski areas located in the Southeast and mid-Atlantic pretty much closed, cold turkey, after the prolonged, three week barrage of rains and mild temperatures hit about the same time that the groundhogs of the region predicted six more weeks of winter.

Those seven closed ski areas prompted a lot of Facebook and Twitter comments that were less than favorable or complimentary from their fans. However, I’m a glass-half-full kind of guy, so let’s cover those ski resorts that are carrying the torch and remaining open for fans of “all things snow”. In fact, not only are those resorts carrying the torch, they’re looking almost back to mid-season form.

Let’s talk about the open resorts:

Appalachian Ski Mountain – added about 7″ of new, manmade snow on top of the steady flurries that fell on and off all day on Friday. App is open with no snowmaking during open sessions today and tonight on 9 of 12 slopes and a base that has grown back to 36-50″.

Bryce Resort – open with 5 of 8 slopes for day sessions only on an average base of 38″. They are promoting their season-ending Winterfest event for this weekend.

8:00 – 11:00 a.m. – Pancake Breakfast Pancake Breakfast in the Restaurant | $7.50 per person | Includes Two Pancakes, Choice of Bacon or Sausage, and Coffee or Hot Chocolate

9:00 a.m. – Polar Plunge
12:30 p.m. – Costume Parade
2:00 p.m. – Pond Skimming

Cataloochee Ski Area – added 6″ of new, manmade snow along with a dusting of natural snowfall on their 8 of 18 slopes and trails open for day sessions.

Massanutten Resort – added 2″ to their base depth with manmade snowmaking and now are running on 5 of 14 trails for day sessions. Massanutten reported, “We’ll be open daily through Monday, March 12, close March 13-15 and reopen Friday, March 16 – Sunday, March 18. As always, check our snow conditions page for the most up to date information regarding snow conditions and operating hours. We are optimistic about a possible snow storm on Sun? Saturday 3/10/2018 Scout Day Part II.”

A shot from January but we just found it so it’s worth sharing!click to enlarge

(Massanutten kind of shocked a lot of us by making snow and reopening after a couple of down days.)

Snowshoe Mountain – is being Snowshoe Mountain. I mean 16″ of snow in the past 72 hours! That makes for powder and packed powder conditions! (Are you kidding me?) They are boasting 50 of 60 trails and on top of all that, they made snow and increased their average base by 2″. Snowshoe is hosting Spring Break this weekend and reported, “16 inches of snow over the past 3 days has led to some truly fantastic late-season conditions, and it looks like it’s going to get even better over the next several days. Be sure to check out the FREE Village concerts from Theory of a Deadman and The Floozies tonight. Over at Silver Creek, all 3 parks will be open as ski trails without park features. The Snowshoe Ski Team will be training on Widowmaker until 11:00AM. Time is running out to grab your 2018/19 Ridiculous Pass for just $229! Buy it now and you’ll be set for next season, AND the rest of this one!”

Check out this awesome video!

Want to see another one that’s even better?

Sugar Mountain – is being Sugar Mountain. They are (again) over-reporting the natural snowfall that has fallen across the High Country on and off for most of this past week. They are reporting 6″ of natural snowfall and for some reason this season they have reverted back to exaggerating snowfall totals. Only 2″ of snow officially fell on the 7th at Sugar Mountain. Maybe they are pulling their snowfall totals from over in Hot Springs, NC which is only 83 miles and one hour and 54 minutes away. (Hot Springs saw 4.5″ of snow!) Sugar reported another 3″ of snow on the 8th – and we’ll give them that, although the official snow reporter with CoCoRaHs atop Sugar Mountain’s “Reserve” community reported 2″.

To be honest, Sugar Mountain should be happy boasting “what it is” because “what it is” is plenty great when you consider that their “sister/brother” resort less than 2-3 miles away as the crow flies (Beech Mountain) is closed for the season. Sugar made snow and is playing on 10 of 21 trails with a base of 36-71″ (probably exxagerrated as well). However, let’s also do some bragging for them – Sugar looks freakin’ awesome this morning. Wish I was there!

Timberline Resort – They have seen 14″+ of snow in the last 4 days. No need for exaggeration here as the snows have been frequent even if not up to their usual standards of 180″ on the season. So far, Timberline leads the way of all area ski resorts with 122.2″ of snowfall. They have 12 of 40 trails open today and Timberline reported, “DEPENDING ON THE WEATHER, WE PLAN TO BE OPEN NEXT WEEK – PLEASE CHECK OUR WEBSITE TUESDAY NIGHT FOR DETAILS.”

Snow is in the forecast, so we’re thinking that Timberline will probably take advantage of the fact that Canaan Valley is not open for skiing and snowboarding and play on.

Wintergreen Resort – is a “snow farming savant” of a ski resort and they made snow enough to add another open trail to their mountain and they are now playing on 9 of 25 for day sessions today. Wintergreen is open for 9am until 3pm today and posted, “Cold temps have allowed us to extend the season, and we will keep working to continue the season as long as possible. Thanks to talented and hardworking snowfarmers, we regained Upper Wild Turkey last weekend, and continue to keep it open. The slope surface is improving daily and people of all ages are having lots of fun. We’ve got limited snowmaking (fan guns only) running round the clock through Sunday afternoon. Mother Nature has been cooperating with cold temps, and she may even bring us the gift of some snow on Sunday. Forecasts are constantly changing about snow predictions, so THINK COLD and do your snow dances!”

Winterplace Resort – they picked up another 1″ of “White Gold” as President, Terry Pfeiffer calls natural snow. Winterplace also made snow and is open with 9 of 27 slopes and trails for day sessions according to their website. Earlier in the week there seem to be some noise that this would be their last weekend of operations for the 2017-2018 season, however Winterplace posted, “Keep checking the web site for updated information and additional bonus days of skiing and boarding!”

Wisp Resort – added another 1″ of natural snowfall and that makes 11″ of snowfall on the week and 83″ on the season. That and some snowmaking made it such that Wisp has added two more open trails to get to 12 of 34 trails for day sessions. Wisp is also operating their popular snow tubing park and mountain coaster as well.
A Photo Tour…
Appalachian Showing Off Awesome Grooming Yesterday!

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This was posted 1 hour ago at Cataloochee!

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Wintergreen showing an unusual snowmaking photo from yesterday!

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Winterplace Resort looking nice!

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Wisp Resort showing some SNOW!

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Beech Mountain Resort – while closed for the season, they continue to promote their music series as great bands continue to show up to play today. Next weekend for St Paddy’s Day, Beech is promoting a “Daniel Boone Rail Jam” that will take place in downtown Boone at the Daniel Boone Amphitheatre…where the “Horn in the West” show takes place each Summer.

click to enlarge

If you have anything to share (photos, videos, comments, questions), the best way is to email me at [email protected]

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