Simply Spectacular Conditions Are Waiting For You This Weekend – Go Ski or Ride!

First Trax

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I am going to lead off this morning’s post by telling you guys if there are any of you at Snowshoe Mountain this weekend look me up. Snowshoe is in AWESOME shape for this weekend. I met up with Laura Parquette for some fondue and drinks (along some other media reps from around the region) and the talk was all about what an awesome-great start that all of the ski areas are having.

We made the 5 hour trek from Banner Elk to Snowshoe on Friday and we ran into snow on the roadsides about 12 miles away from Snowshoe. However, it was apparent from all the snow pushed on the sides of the road (especially at the top of Cupp) that Snowshoe has received some serious snowfalls this season. (65" so far!) Snow is in the forecast for today and Sunday as well (although there isn’t any accummulating snows expected) and that simply means that anyone who is at any of the West Virginia Ski areas is in for a snowy treat!  Heck for that matter ALL of the Southeast’s ski areas are in great shape!

We’re in a great unit in Highland House that is on the first floor and it’s directly over the locker room exit to the slopes. Our balcony overlooks the slopes such that we could sit in our living room and watch skiers and snowboarders. Snowshoe Mountain does a great job on all visits, and these Media Weekends are no exception. The accommodations are superb (always are), and seeing old friends like Bill Rock, Ed Galford, Laura Parquette, Brad Larson and crew is always a bonus.

I watched out our back window yesterday evening as they were cranking out some serious snowmaking on both the Northern Territory and we saw a lot of snowmaking happening over on Widowmaker and the Camp 99 side of the mountain as well.

THAT, my snow-loving friends, means great skiing and riding for this – what is TECHNICALLY the 6th weekend of the season. Most ski areas have actually only been operating for a couple of weeks, but Cataloochee opened the season as the first ski area in the Southeast region to crank up the slopes on OCTOBER 28th!

I provide this clarification because I was in a conversation last night with a Meteorologist friend of mine and I shared some inaccurate information with him. Cataloochee was indeed the first to open this season AND they were skiing before HALLOWEEN!!! Crazy, but true.

To the point though – we are off to a crazy-great start AND conditions will be outstanding no matter where you decide to ski or ride this weekend.

Let’s share some details this morning:

A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY is in effect for Avery County and much of the Western NC Mountains with 1-2" of snow expected and isolated areas of slightly higher snow totals through 7am Sunday morning. Light snow is expected across many of the high elevations of the mountains of the Southeast so it will be a great "Holiday Feel" to things today and Sunday.

Snowshoe Mountain – 16° – They are showing off today with nearly half of their 60 trails open for today. They have 29 trails open for today. Snowshoe’s DEMO DAYS is this weekend, there’s a Big Air Comp going on as well and tubing opens today! We’ll share some trip reports and more later today.

Timberline Resort is open with 6 trails for this weekend. It appears that they are open for day skiing only.

Winterplace Resort opens for the season TODAY with 9 trails for day skiing. We’ll update you more later today.

Wintergreen is open with 2 trails for today… Eagles Swoop and both Cross Trails will open at 11am today. The Plunge will open for tubing sessions from 10am until 6pm.

Appalachian – 24° this AM after a low of 20° – They added 3" or so of manmade snow overnight and they are 100% open with both terrain parks operating and their Christmas season, inspiring, Ice Rink. (There’s something about watching ice skaters that makes me think Christmas.) They are open for day and night skiing.

Cataloochee – 25° – They have 9 trails open for Saturday for all sessions including day and night skiing. They have some terrain park features available as well. They made snow last night and have great corduroy waiting for you. I also want to give a shout out to Blake Couch. Blake will be interviewing Tammy Brown, Cataloochee Communications and Marketing Sweetheart. He’ll be checking in with her about what’s happening at Cat including Sunday’s "Can U Ski Food and Coat Drive". Show up with at least 10 cans of food or a winter coat and you’ll ski free on Sunday. Look for Blake story and trip report on Sunday AM.

Ski Beech – 24° – They made snow and are offering 5 of 15 trails for today. Their early season focus has been noticible in that they are making snow on additional trails holding to the 5 open right now. That does include Upper Shawneehaw all the way down the mountain. Beech is open for day and night skiing today and Sunday and The Beech Tree Restaurant will be open all weekend and the band Ample Example will play Saturday, December 6th from 9pm till 12am. Ice Skating this weekend and Snowmaking also begins on some new terrain this weekend with more trails opening soon.

Sugar Mountain – 18° – They made snow (still are) and they will probably be open with 10 trails for today (perhaps an additional couple) for day and night skiing. They also have their 10,000 sf ice rink open. (Sugar had not updated their report as yet this morning (as of 7:15am) so we may update this in a bit.

Wolf Ridge – No new information is available this AM as they have not updated their own report in the last 48 hours, nor advised us or the SSAA. We’ll try to get up with them and see what’s happening. Unless they have changed anything, they will have 3 trails open for day and night skiing.

Today looks AWESOME with some nice weather, chances of SNOW, great conditions on the slopes and smiling faces everywhere! What are you waiting for…GO RIDE!

We’re running short on time this morning as I have a breakfast meeting to attend and then I’ll be making some turns and we’ll update you later in the day. Check back after lunch for more pics, some video and more news from around the region. Be sure to check the slope report for details of slope openings elsewhere!

Send your photos, videos, trip reports and comments to: [email protected]



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FOUR Groomers were working in tandem to create awesome corduroy for Saturday visitors to Snowshoe Mountain! This shot was taken near the top of Ball H
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