Snow to the North; Colder Everywhere!

First Trax

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The temperatures last night dipped cold enough to make snow at many resorts across the Southeast, and it was surprising to see that Sugar and Hawksnest didn’t do so.  We spoke with someone at Sugar this morning and asked them if they were planning to make snow and she answered, “Not to my knowledge.” So it appears they are set to ride out the rest of the season with what they have.  Even though they were showing some significant bare areas right in the middle of their main trail yesterday…they actually are looking pretty decent this morning.  They have closed another trail and that makes for 15 trails open today. The cold temps served to firm-up the snow and with some pushing around and grooming they look pretty nice. You can expect some thin coverage or bare spots here and there…but all in all a good day and weekend ahead at Sugar.

Hawksnest Resort didn’t make snow last night either and that does surprise us because they were speaking about plans to reopen this Friday but one look at the Live Camera up there this morning places those prospects in doubt. According to the forecast, there will only be borderline snowmaking ops tonight and Thursday night and even though cold enough temps are forecasted for this weekend it is doubtful that they’d make snow then. Also the weekend forecast is one that includes some rain/snow/mix kind of weather and Hawksnest could be holding off until the last moment to make a decision as the weekend gets a little closer.  A more definitive idea of what they plan to do should be apparent on Thursday. We’ll keep you posted.

Now to the GREAT news —-

Appalachian and Cataloochee DID make snow last night – as did Canaan Valley and Snowshoe Mountain in West Virginia !  Andrea Smith emailed me this morning “bragging” as she often does – about the fact that Snowshoe was receiving some NATURAL snow this morning (about an inch so far) and it was still falling as of 8am or so.  They also made snow!  One of our top On-Snow Reporters, Kent Jackson is up there enjoying some VERY NICE conditions.  He wrote yesterday of how much firmer the snow was there than he was expecting and that the coverage was very nice.  also praised the grooming job that Snowshoe Mountain Ops did yesterday. I imagine he’s in heaven this morning with snow and some manmade snow from last night.  Snowshoe also has snow in the forecast Friday, Saturday and Sunday…as well as the middle of next week, so conditions up there will be in mid-season shape today and into the next week and some change!  Highs in the 20s and 30s and lows in the teens and 20s have Snowshoe’s 54 open trails looking s-w-e-e-t.  Only Lower Shays, Widowmaker and J-Hook are closed today.  Conditions should be great and with snow in the forecast for the weekend…Snowshoe will be the place to be this weekend and next week as well. (If any of you guys out there will be hanging around Snowshoe this weekend…look me up as I’m planning a last minute trip up.  Those kind of conditions are too good to pass up!)

As mentioned, Appalachian made snow last night and was STILL making snow at 8:30am or so.  They have turned the guns off now and done some SWEET grooming so expect primo conditions particularly early at App.  They have their popular terrain park and ice rink open as well.

Cataloochee Ski Area began the season in great fashion by being the first resort in the Southeast or Mid Atlantic to open this season.  They appear to be ready to also ski right to their expected closing date of March 26th.  They made snow last night and did some nice grooming and with 100% of their terrain open they look p-r-e-t-t-y inviting today!

Massanutten didn’t make snow either and they’ve closed a few more trails since yesterday.  They will make it to their proposed closing of this Sunday.  They have seven slopes open today with a 12-30” base and some thin coverage and bare spots.

Wintergreen Resort was HOPING to be able to make snow last night but were not able to get to it as temps hovered just out of snowmaking range.  They’ve had to pare back to 13 open trails today and 4 lifts.  Sarah Lovejoy wrote, “The winds are blowing in some cold air and there’s still plenty of skiing and riding left to do in the season. Today, we have 13 freshly groomed trails with a soft surface and 4 lifts will be running. The Plunge is closed today and should reopen for the weekend.”

Expect some thin coverage and bare spots today and also expect the snowguns to crank up asap! Wintergreen plans on remaining open through March and celebrating their 2005-2006 Season on April 1st-2nd with the Annual Wicked Huge Park Party!

Canaan Valley has adjusted their base depth down by TEN inches since yesterday, even after making snow last night.  They have 24 trails open and some natural snow falling and with manmade snow and grooming expect good conditions there today.  Cold and Snow is in the forecast for the next several days so conditions will only get better with each day.  They do have some thin coverage and bare areas right now.

Timberline Resort in West Virginia is reporting 2” of new snow thus far this morning and they have 21 trails open with 97% of it groomed.  Should be a great day at Timberline!  We have received a couple of emails about some thin and bare spots on some trails.

Winterplace Resort in West Virginia didn’t make snow but they have groomed overnight and conditions should be very nice as cold temps have returned.  They have 24 trails open today and some thin and bare areas being reported.  Those are few and far between so all in all a nice side-to-side coverage.

Wisp Resort in Maryland finally got the mountain ops guys to “adjust” their base depth down some 12-14” to a more accurate 18-56”.  They have 19 trails open today with 1” of new snow since yesterday.  They are reporting some Spring Conditions which means to expect some thin coverage and bare areas, but Wisp is in pretty good shape today.  They have snow in the forecast for all weekend which will make for even better conditions as they head into the next week ahead.  HEY LORI!  GET ME SOME PHOTOS!!!


We didn’t say anything about base depths to speak of on Tuesday but YOU GUYS noticed a couple of oddities.  Tom Bennett wrote, “I have been reading your reports about bad base depths reporting all season and I have to admit I wondered if you were making much ado of nothing.  However, yesterday Sugar Mountain dropped their maximum base depth by 13” in ONE DAY.  They also closed three trails. This weekend when 70° temps were all over the place they and most of the resorts only dropped their bases by 2-3” including Sugar.  Then mysteriously after reporting 18-63” on Monday, they dropped to 15-50” this morning (Tuesday). Did anyone else notice? By the way SKINC and SkISOUTHEAST rocks! Keep of the great job.”

Well Tom, of course we noticed…but somehow you only picked on Sugar with your comments.  Actually Sugar had dropped their base by 3” each of the previous days before yesterday so we thought it was kind of odd to see such a dramatic one day drop as well.  Also note that they didn’t show ANY drop this morning.  We’ve mentioned others like Wisp Resort in Maryland, Massanutten in Virginia and Canaan Valley in West Virginia which have not been showing any base movement.  Sometimes resorts get so busy that they “forget” to adjust their base depth reports and some will go more than a week and then show a huge drop.  That happened with WISP this morning.  After reporting 30-72 inches for more than three weeks, they dropped it today by 12-14”.  Massanutten also showed a massive adjustment from yesterday.  They were reporting a foot more snow yesterday that the 12-30” this morning.  So Sugar is the only one.  The only thing different about Sugar is that they DO show a different measurement everyday so it’s not like they were “not getting around to a report” such as at Wisp or Massanutten.  Nevertheless, we want to be fair and equitable…so there you have it.  You make your own assessments.

Skiing and Riding should be GREAT over the next few days…so get out and enjoy them!

Until Next Time!

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John and Ann Marie from Atlanta, Georgia pose for a nice photo at Snowshoe Mountain on Tuesday – Photo by Kent Jackson
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