Saturday update –

First Trax

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10:00am update: As mentioned earlier…the messageboard is having issues this morning…but if you want to get to it follow this link: Messageboard

I was up between Banner Elk and Beech Mountain yesterday about 5pm and it began to snow pretty strong. The snow blew through their pretty quick and the skies cleared again, but it was snow instead of the forecasted possibility of starting as rain. I got home later and it began a mix of rain to snow to rain…but it was all rather light. We I woke this morning I discovered it had all turned to a very light mist rain. That seems to have cleared now and the skies are mostly cloudy…on the bright side though…and the forecast is for more of the same. Clouds, light mist to snow at the Higher Elevations and then change to all snow late today. No great amount of accumulation is expected BUT Banner Elk and surrounding areas have already reported a trace…and Beech Mountain received another 1" of snow as of this morning’s 6am update. The higher elevations should see another one to two inches this evening and through Sunday morning.

Oh oh! – As I am finishing up the morning update (8:45am) it began to really RAIN HARD here at my home and I expect that all of the resorts here in the High Country are seeing this same (hopefully) little burst of rain. WHAT!?! It just quit as quickly as it started!

Bursts like that will mess up what would otherwise be the best conditions of the season out there. I’ll still give them a good 8 to 9 on a scale of 10. Without this temporary light rain they’d be a ten for certain.

Not to worry though because it is expected to turn colder later in the day and change to all snow and according to forecasters…MAY be all snow above 4500 feet. That would make it snow only at Sugar and Beech…and probably at Cataloochee as well.

Get out and enjoy what should not be a wash out day today and really good conditions on Sunday. The forecast for this next week looks to be more of the same wild ride that we’ve been on of late. Monday and Tuesday looks mild. Tuesday evening looks snowy and then Wednesday through next weekend is looking like MORE SNOW is on the way. As to how much…we’ll leave that to meteorologist Brad Panovich. Brad will update us again Monday morning as he is taking a weekend off to enjoy skiing up at Winterplace. He sent us a photo overnight and we’ll post that later this morning.

Get out and make some turns!!!

Weekend of glitches! – The world of the internet is full of glitches. Yesterday we left a one in front of a couple of ski report temperatures and made 22 degrees look like 122! Okay that wasn’t a computer glitch, that was an operator error. Most of you who emailed knew that it was either 12 or 22! We also are having a PHP error that is prohibiting the Messageboard from working this weekend. That’s probably my programmer’s error as we were working on some upgrades yesterday and I’m betting that he forgot to cross a "T" or dot an "I". Anyway the board will be down til Monday. Sorry guys and girls of the board world.

FREE TICKETS – We communicated with messageboard veteran and On-Snow Reporter, Joey Bowman who is trying to organize our last HUGE FREE TICKET GIVEAWAY. We have a few handfuls of tickets to give away NOW so that you guys can enjoy them before the season ends…and he will be assisting us in making that happen. If you are a messageboard member with regular posts, or if you attended the SKINC SUMMIT and have not been contacted by Joey…you can email us your name, boardname or whether you attended the SUMMIT, and your address…and preference of remaining tickets that we have for Cataloochee, Wintergreen or Ober Gatlinburg tickets that we have left and we’ll get them out to you on Monday. The Ober and Cat tix have to be used by the end of the season and they will most likely close after NEXT weekend. So don’t email us unless you can use them. Email me at: [email protected] Be sure to let me know how many tickets you wish and we’ll coordinate that with Joey’s contacts and make that happen Monday!

Resort Notes:

CATALOOCHEE – They will not operate during the week from Monday, March 7 through Thursday, March 10 but will reopen for day skiing only on Friday, March 11 through Sunday, March 13. We will close for the 2004-2005 season on Sunday, March 13 at 4:30pm after almost 90 consecutive days of skiing.

HAWKSNEST – They are now in their March schedule. They are open Friday 12:30pm to midnight, Saturday 9am to midnight & Sunday 9am – 4:30pm. Snowmaking will continue weather permitting and they say they will remain open as long as possible. Take advantage of their discounted March rates.

SUGAR – Sugar has a lot going on this weekend. The Dick Trundy Memorial Race today at 9am, registration from 7:30-8:30am on the 3rd floor. $15 race fee. $43 lift tickets for competitors. Proceeds go to the American Cancer Society. The event is open to the public.

They also have a HUGE (previously announced here on SkiNC) Spyder Sample Sale that runs through Sunday. The merchandise looks great and is selling Fast! Guaranteed 40% off ALL 2006 Spyder merchandise. The 2006 Spyder line is now available for purchase only at Sugar. Quantities and sizes are limited, so come early. We have prices you won’t find anywhere else or at any other time! Other sport shop items on sale too like select Nils ladies ski wear 20% off suggested retail. Even if you don’t ski or snowboard there may be something for you; winter socks, turtlenecks, snow boots, long underwear, sweaters, hats, gloves, sunglasses, kid’s jackets, kid’s snow boots and more.

Closing Notes: – We’re getting a lot of questions regarding closing dates for the season and we’ll try to get you an updated list by Monday…but you can count on Ski Beech, Appalachian and Sugar to stay open until March 27th or so. That’s normal for Appalachian and Sugar…but unusual for Beech…but that’s the word coming down from the top. Ski Beech plans to stay open and they have made snow each of the last couple of nights EVEN with natural snow falling so it appears that they are going to extend the season.

See you on the slopes!

Email me at: [email protected]

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