Saturday’s Southeast Report –

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Temperatures are all over the place this morning. The lowest temp that we saw in the entire Southeast regions was an 18° reading at WISP Resort in Maryland and at Banner Elk, North Carolina with a matching 18°. …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:

Wintergreen Resort – Over 3 inches of natural snow fell the last couple of days on top of an already deep base. Great conditions on the slopes and the roads are clear and that is a perfect set up for your visit. Wintergreen is 100% open!

Canaan Valley – No new report came from Canaan…so we have detailed that on the slope report page…but conditions up there will be great for this weekend.

Snowshoe Mountain – We received more emails from you guys about Snowshoe’s website code errors. We work with Snowshoe extensively but we don’t handle their website. We just emailed them where they can find the error popups and knowing their talented team, they will have it fixed this morning.

It’s a perfect weekend to have fun on the slopes at Snowshoe Mountain. Clear skies and awesome slope conditions means some of the best turns of the season. The snowmakers have been able to get out at night and cover the slope with some fresh snow.

This weekend note, the Mountaineer Terrain Park and a couple of slopes at the Silver Creek Area will be used for race competition this weekend and will not be available to the public until 6 pm. Get up there and play!

Timberline Resort – Gotta be fair with Timberline. Over some time it has become pretty obvious that they have limited resources for reporting conditions and keeping their website current. We gave them some grief earlier in the season about not keeping up-to-date and they have done tons better since. However, their failure to change their season snow total THIS TIME is "hurting them". They have added some snowfall in the last few days to their DAILY total, but not their seasons total. See, we watch these things and we report so that you will know! Actually they are reporting 40" of snow on the season and they SHOULD be reporting 44". It’s a good thing we’re here for them!

Winterplace Resort – Groomed & Packed Powder conditions and their Snowtubing Park Opens at 9am with 13 Lanes & 5 lifts. Winterplace will offer Mostly sunny with awesome skiing, riding & tubing!!!! Plus, the Terrain Park is OPEN with cool features for everyone!

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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