Snow Falls on the First Day of Spring 2008!

First Trax

It is the first day of Spring! Woo hoo! (or boo hoo if you’re not wanting this ski season to end!)

It’s twelve days prior to April Fools Day but those of you who are reading this morning’s update will think I’m pulling your leg, but snow fell overnight last night. After several mild days in a row that initiated spring cleaning of my tennis racket, locating my golf clubs and pre-season planning to add a wake tower to my boat – here it is 31° at 8am and there’s a good dusting of about 1/2" of snow blanketing the mountains.

Wisp is reporting 32° and snow this morning. They have had about a half-inch and are reporting 28 trails of groomed granular for today.


Canaan Valley and Timberline are both late posting updated ski reports for today but we can assume they picked up a little light snow and are operating with the same slope openings they offered on Wednesday. Canaan had 16 trails and Timberline offered 26 trails.

Snowshoe is showing 21° this morning and they are making snow right now and report that they will as long as temps allow. They also report one-half inch of snow. They have reduced their open trail count to 33 trails for today. Laura Parquette writes, "The Widowmaker system (including Sawmill, Camp 99 and JHook) will have a delayed opening this morning for grooming purposes. It’s so true what they say around here…if you don’t like the weather, wait 15 minutes. Yesterday’s rain turned to snow overnight, and it’s really coming down out there as of 5:30am. Already half an inch coats the ground, and while the National Weather Service isn’t calling for any more accumulation, I wouldn’t be surprised if we ended up with a nice inch or two of fresh snow to carry us through the weekend. Tomorrow we’re looking at plenty of sunshine and milder temperatures, followed by more snow possible on Saturday…if this hasn’t been a rollercoaster season weather-wise, I don’t know what qualifies! We turned on the snowguns very early this morning to compliment what Mother Nature has provided. We will have snowmaking during the day today, so please be aware of snowguns on open terrain. Grooming also got a late start this morning, due to overnight temperatures. We’ll get as much terrain as possible groomed before rope drop this moring, but please be aware of ungroomed terrain and some variable conditions out there. We will close both Cupp Run and Shay’s Revenge today, due to conditions on the slopes. We do expect to reopen these slopes before the end of the season."

(As usual Laura provides a great daily synopsis of what’s happening at Snowshoe.)

Winterplace is 100% open (as they have been for quite a while now!) and offer 28 trails, snowtubing and terrain parks for today.


Bryce is open with 6 trails from 10am-2pm today through SATURDAY. They close for the season on Saturday – not Sunday.

Massanutten reduced their open trail count by one for today. They offer 9 trails serviced by 6 lifts for today.

Wintergreen Resort – They are "hanging in" but have dropped their open trail count down to only 4 trails for today. Anne Marie Jones writes, "Today we will be skiing and riding on 4 slopes and trails and 2 lifts will be running. The Highlands will be closed midweek this week with plans to re-open Upper Cliffhanger and Lower Wild Turkey this weekend!"


The forecast today through Sunday looks great for Spring skiing with highs in the 40s and 50s under blue skies. Overnight lows will drop into the 20s tonight, mid 30s for Friday night and 20s again for Saturday, Sunday and Monday nights. We’re still looking at some light snowfall for Sunday into Monday – though not the substantial snow that it looked like yesterday. It appears the storm system wanted to go deep sea fishing and will be too far off the coast to develop into the promising Spring snow that we thought on Wednesday.

<App is looking spotless this morning!

Appalachian Ski Mountain is at 28° this morning but did not make snow. App had previously stated that they would make snow right up until the last days of the season, but the truth is that they have so much base, it is really not needed. They are reporting a 24-69" base and they have every bit of that. They are not projecting any snowmaking on the website so they may "stand pat" with what they have for the rest of the season.

They are 100% open with groomed conditions on all 10 trails and have both terrain parks open and ice skating as well.

Cataloochee is wavering a bit on their closing date now. They were actually closed on Wednesday due to the weather (rain) and then announced that they would be making an updated decision at noon today (Thursday) as to when they will close up for the season. A couple of weeks ago Cat was talking of staying open until April 6th (weather permitting) and then DUE TO THE MILD WEATHER began backing off of that statement by mentioning on their website that they would be open through the end of the month. That prompted SkiNC and SkiSoutheast to state a Cataloochee closing date of March 30th. Cat wrote us reiterating the April 6th closing date.

Now it seems that Cat may be rethinking that. Don’t give ’em any heck because it has been THAT kind of wavering, up and down season – weatherwise – and the truth is it’s probably had MANY ski area management doing a Tijuana two-step! Cataloochee issued the following statement:

"We will continue to make snow as long as temperatures permit throughout the month and at the current time, we plan on staying open through Sunday, March 30 but will make a decision at noon on March 20 as to our closing date. Persons planning on skiing Cataloochee next week should call after noon on March 20 for an update. We will not operate on Sunday, March 23 in observance of the Easter Sunday holiday."

(We will inform you guys of their decision as soon as they provide it to us.)

Oh – yea…they ARE open today from 1pm-6pm with 6 trails!

Sugar Mountain is showing 26° this morning and they are reporting an inch of snow. We really do love these fellow snow lovers, but we’ve got to find a way to tone down their exuberance such that they can report the natural snowfalls a bit more accurately! Gunther and our buddy, meteorologist Brad Panovich both tend to over report snowfall. In Brad’s case he tends to include some wishful thinking to his snowy forecasts, and Gunther tends to do the same AFTER it falls! Sugar is reporting an inch…and yes, maybe there’s an inch or so here and there (against a wall, tree or something like that) but there’s no more than a good TRACE of snow to a half-inch on most areas.

Even with the "massive snowfall" Sugar dropped a couple more trails and now are offering 11 trails for today. They had some thin coverage and some bare spots showing yesterday and they will, no doubt, show later today as well.

Sugar did not make snow either, despite the temps that would allow it.

That’s it for today…

Until Next time…

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