SkiSoutheast Thursday Update –

First Trax

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Instead of the "WINTER FREEZE" 2004-2005 has been a lot of "Winter TEASE"!

First the GREAT NEWS — at least for the Virginias! It’s SNOWING! Last night dropped a couple of inches of new snow here and there…and so far the most being reported is at Wintergreen Resort, where 6" is being reported so far.

Massanutten and WISP are reporting 2" of snow, Snowshoe Mountain has reported 3" of new snow overnight and it is STILL snowing. They are expected 3-6" of snow into the Virginias today. Good for them. That will certaining make for great skiing and riding today and into this coming weekend.

While the Virginia’s are getting snow this morning and although conditions were in place for us to get at least a little dusting…instead, here in North Carolina we are seeing light rain this morning. That will be the story of this winter unless some phenomenal end to the season rewrites the script. Even though we’ve had some mild temps along the way…we’ve also had weather patterns in place that could have brought much more snow than we have actually received all along the Southeast. It just hasn’t worked out that way. Ski Beech’s 41" thus far on the season is way below the 61" that we had at this point last season. More telling is the fact that to date, Appalachian Ski Mountain has only seen 14" of natural snow thus far…and at the same point last season they had seen nearly 57" of snow. That is a strong example of how this winter’s weather has hugged the western slopes and been stingy with the eastern side of the mountains.

There’s been a snow drought further north as well – While it HAS been a successful season in terms of keeping snow (and people) on the slopes of the Southeast this season…Mother Nature has JUST been stingy with North Carolina. Snowshoe Mountain typically gets 180" of snow on the season and with "only" 79" on this season thus far…they’d have to see 101" in March to get to their average. They lead the Southeast’s resorts in terms of the most snowfall on the season and yet you can see how far off they are from normal.

Massanutten Resort in Virginia has only received 7" of snow this season. Wintergreen Resort – 24". Timberline Resort in West Virginia only 53" thus far. Winterplace, just an hour or so south of Snowshoe has only seen 47" of snow thus far.

Ober Gatlinburg, located in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee has seen 19" of snow thus far this season, which is kind of an anomaly because they’ve really struggled with temperatures all season long. Where temperatures are in the 20s and 30s all across the region this morning…the temperature at Ober Gatlinburg this morning? 46°! One messageboard post yesterday made a great comment. They said, "Snowmaking technology has MADE this season a successful one for all of the resorts. If we’d had this kind of weather and temperatures ten years ago…MOST all of the resorts would have been CLOSED a fair part of this season." Good observation.

According to the weather gurus out there…they are seeing a continuing of more of the same in the way of systems setup that could bring us those late season snows that we’re used to and we can hold out hope that we’ll get a few nice ones before it’s all over.

After this little bit of agonizing light drizzle clears out today (and it will), we’re in for a great weekend. Tonight’s lows will drop down plenty cold enough for every snowgun in the country to roar. Expect that to happen THE MOMENT that temperatures allow…as temperatures will fall to around 23° overnight. We have some more chances of a light dusting of snow tonight as the cold air arrives.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday look to be BEAUTIFUL days to be on the slopes. There’s plenty of top-to-bottom, side-to-side coverage and with added snowmaking tonight and each night over the weekend…conditions will be VERY NICE out no matter which North Carolina resort you call your favorite. It should be a great weekend at the resorts.

More frustration…or SNOW!!?? – All we’re going to say is that there is SUPPOSED to be some "stronger" weather systems in place that are SUPPOSED to bring us better chances of snow next week. That’s it. That’s ALL we’re going to say. Maybe the reverse jinx will make it happen. Let’s keep this a secret. Nobody talks about this one, okay? Agreed!

Massanutten – The popular Virginia resort has received about 2" of natural snow overnight and more is expected today. That will make for nice conditions up there. That takes Massanutten to 7" of snow thus far on the season.

Wintergreen – Lucky dogs! They have received about 6" of new snow and as of this report it was still coming down! 6" of powder will make for some SWEET conditions today and heading into this weekend!

Canaan Valley – They have not updated their own website, or notified us…or the Southeastern Ski Areas Association. So NO REPORT is all we can say! We KNOW they are probably getting the same snow the other West Virginia resorts are getting.

Snowshoe – Snowshoe’s own website is not showing the snowfall this morning…but they HAVE HAD 3" thus far and more is falling.

Snowshoe Mountain is 100% open this week. It was a busy night for the snowmakers and Mother Nature as both made snow everywhere. There is three inches of new natural snow on the ground, plus a few million tons of the man made stuff. The best conditions in the region, just got better! More snow is on the way for Saturday.

Winterplace – Groomed & Granular. Snowtubing Park – Opens at 1pm with 13 Lanes & 2 lifts. Terrain Park Open with 5 Funboxes & 5 Rails – check it out!

Cataloochee – Thursday is Ladies Day and all ladies will receive a free any level ski or snowboard lesson with a full price day, twilight or night lift ticket. Today and Friday are also Fire and Rescue Appreciation Days and all fire and rescue personnel and their families with valid i.d. will receive a lift ticket for only $15 or lift and rental and optional free beginner lesson for only $20 during day, twilight, or night skiing sessions.

Ski Beech – Today, and every Thursday, is Men’s Day when men ski with a complimentary slope ticket.

Sugar Mountain – Tubing closed.

High Country Race Series – Thanks to Jeff Johnson for bringing us up to speed on the results from Sugar this past weekend. We have a special treat planned for you guys and we’ll try to debut that information sometime today or Friday. Suffice to say that we have some talented kids who are participating in the racing series that can really burn up the slopes! More to come soon!

Congratulations to Lindsea Lumpkin! – Speaking of competition…Lindsea Lumpkin, the SkiNC sponsored wonderkin Snowboarding princess is going to the USASA Nationals at Copper Mountain! We’ve been telling you guys that this little gal was going places and that she is! The USASA Nationals are being held April 2-8 and right now Lindsea is ranked 3rd in the Nation in two events. They are hoping to her into a wild card spot in two other events. She’s a bonafide contender for a National Championship! Best of skills to Lindsea and GO TEAM SkiNC!

See you on the slopes!

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