Saturday report

First Trax

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Only one On-Snow Report from yesterday. It came from Cameron McQueen, who was at Hawksnest Resort. He wrote, "I drove up to Hawksnest after work today and the conditions were great, the weather was nice and there was not much of a crowd. Top Gun was a little slick at first, but it was beginning to come in. Hawsnest is a great hidden jewel."

Temperatures are all over the place this morning. The lowest temp that we saw in North Carolina was 18° in Banner Elk…and just down the road (four minutes) to Sugar Mountain it is 29° and just up the road (3 miles) to Beech Mountain it is 28°. Boone reports 26° and Blowing Rock is reporting 30°. I guess it’s one of those temperature inversion things again, which brings me to a story that we are working on with meteorologist, Brad Panovich.

Bob Mitchell, one of our longtime readers, wrote in yesterday asking about snow trends and temperature inversions. Brad is responding with some inside information and we’ll get to that soon.

The weather should be phenomenal for today and Sunday with temperatures running some ten degrees above normal for February. There’s plenty of natural snow laying around for effect…and no matter which ski area is your favorite – you will have wonderful slope conditions awaiting you! ALL of the ski areas are enjoying deep snow bases, groomed conditions and the majority of the slopes open for your enjoyment. Check out the slope report for detailed information.

Here’s some resort notes:

Cataloochee Ski Area – The popular Maggie Valley resort wants you to know that Sunday is Ski Country Sports Customer Appreciation Day and Demo Day with all of your favorite lines of outdoor equipment there and also their house band, WNCW recording artists "Carolina Sky" will be playing in the lodge from 2pm until 5pm, so get out and join the fun and spend your pre Super Bowl day with Cataloochee!

Hawksnest Resort – These guys have drawing some rave reviews from you guys. "Top Gun" is open and on Friday and Saturday Nights, the ultimate ski session in the South is Nighthawk! The happening spot for skiing lights up for late night (open til midnight!) skiing. Ski from 6pm til 12am and enjoy live music in "The Nest" lounge.

The new snowboard park is ready to test your skills. The Park has 30, 20 & 10 foot tabletop, 3 foot mini quarterpipe, 10(2), 15 & 20 foot flat rails, 28 foot flat down flat rail, 24 foot up flat down rail, 18 foot flat down rail, 30 foot rainbow rail, 25 foot up flat rail. 13 rails & kickers for your enjoyment.

Snow Tubing has 6 lanes open, come experience the longest tubing lanes in the South. The Snow Tubing lift is the longest "moving sidewalk" in the U.S.

Sapphire Valley – Sapphire Valley Ski Area and Frozen Falls tube park is open for skiing, snowboarding and tubing this weekend!! Saturday 9:00am-10:00pm and then Sunday Febuary,6 2005 9:00am – 5:00pm. A lot of fun is being reported from down there!

Ski Beech – Made snow overnight but will not be making snow today. That will make for a perfect day to be on the slopes. Phenomenal conditions on all 14 trails. That the whole mountain with the exception of The Oz Run.

Let it go, Louie! I just can’t let it go! – We report…you figure it out for yourself. I’m still on our rampage about reporting straight up – measured – conditions. However, to keep the 10% of you, who voted that we were a little biased in our reporting from getting all bottled up inside, we’re not going to name names this morning. Here’s an observation that we’ve made over the last few days.

Cataloochee MADE SNOW each day and yet THEIR base depth has stayed the same. Good so far.

Hawksnest MADE SNOW two of the last three days and THEIR base depth stayed the same. Still good so far.

Wolf Laurel MADE SNOW each of the last three nights and THEIR base depth stayed the same. You guys still with us?

Ski Beech and Sugar Mountain made snow each of the last few nights and their base depths only increased slightly.

Appalachian Ski Mountain only made snow on ONE of the last THREE nights and THEIR base depth stayed the same??? No melting, no compacting?

I know, I know…I HAD to get too specific. I can’t help it…I just wish that everyone would get this stuff right. We should all probably just do away with base depth reporting and say something like "we have plenty of snow to ski or ride on" and leave it at that since measuring seems to be such a hard task. I’ve vented now! Whew – I do feel better.

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