First Trax

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As I walked out to my truck this morning it was immediately apparent to me that it was not nearly as cold as it has been for the last several mornings. The temperature in my truck registered 24°. Compared to the last several mornings that felt like a heat wave! What was crazy though was that as I exited across the covered bridge on my way out to Hwy 105, the temp registered 21°. I thought that was strange, until I drove further towards Foscoe and my onboard thermometer kept reflecting lower and lower temperatures until I reached my office, which is literally three miles from my home. The temperature at my office? 9°! I’m not certain that I’ve ever seen that kind of inversion! According to the low on the Davis Instruments weather station behind my office and maybe 30 yards from the Watauga River the temp was 6°. According to the weather station atop Sugar Mountain’s summit, the low overnight there was 17.5°. That is really crazy!

Although today will be kind of a normal/average day for this time of year, it will FEEL much warmer simply because it has been so cold lately! However TODAY’S high temperatures will feel chilly compared to the mid and upper 50s that are forecasted for Saturday and Sunday! Actually it is going to remain mild with highs in the upper 40s and 50s through at least next Thursday and it looks like we might not see anymore temperatures cold enough for snowmaking until MAYBE late next week and most of the weather gurus are agreeing with our Meteorologist Matthew East’s assessment yesterday when he said that we’re in for a mild stretch of weather for the next 8-10 days and then the second half of February looks cold and snowy!

Meteorologist Brad Panovich sent us a weather update video, but we were not able to access it so we’ll provide that once we can. According to most models that we’re seeing though – cold and snowy weather is due to return in force for the second half of February.


You guys are going to hear your local forecasts down there in the flatlands where you call home and you’re going to think that ski conditions are not going to be that great over the next few days or week. That is a HUGE mistake! Some of our ski areas around the region have as much as TEN FEET OF SNOW BASE! TEN FEET! Appalachian Ski Mountain, for example, is reporting a base of a MINIMUM OF EIGHT FEET and a MAXIMUM OF TEN FEET! Even Ski Beech, which has reported some issues with their snowmaking plant earlier in the month, now has a reported base of 42" to 75"! (By the way, some of you guys are still emailing us asking when Beech is getting that pesky third pump installed or fixed. That has been repaired and they’ve been making snow with it for several days now.)

Snowshoe Mountain in West Virginia is reporting an average base of 56" across their 60 trails!  That is nearly FIVE FEET OF SNOW!

Snow is not an issue and this past several weeks of cold and snow has allowed all of the ski areas to make a ton of snow and they will be in great, GREAT shape to play on some very nice conditions through this weekend and through the following 5-6 days until cold and snow returns to the forecast!

So don’t be fooled by your local weather reports and miss out on some AWESOME skiing and riding that is happening right now! Today will be awesome! This weekend will be great with gorgeous blue skies, temps that will allow for a light coat or hoodie, and nice, soft snow to carve – and plenty of it!

There’s some fun activities going on this weekend, so we’re going to simply highlight those today and tell you guys to check the SLOPE REPORT for the conditions and numbers for the rest. For the fun of it, we’ll give you guys just the slope openings and reported bases this morning. Check the SLOPE REPORT page for the rest (or click on the resort of your interest to go to their page and see more details.)

Here you go:


Wisp Resort – 9° – 32 trails – 22-68" – They made snow!


Snowshoe Mountain – 12° – 60 trails – 56" average base – The made snow!

Snowshoe’s ALWAYS got something going on! Laura Parquette reports, "After having received 12" of fresh snow in the past week, today Snowshoe will see sunny skies and warmer temperatures-perfect conditions to enjoy all this snow! We continue to be 100% open, with the most open terrain in the region, giving you plenty of room to explore. The half pipe was recut last night, and we now have a boardercross course built on Slaymaker/Spur at the Silver Creek area, so if you’re in the mood for some freestyle terrain, head that way. In addition to all the fun to be had on the slopes today, we’re also hosting our annual Jose Cuervo Games of Winter! Tonight we kick off the festivities with the cardboard box building party, followed by parties at many of our local hot spots. Tomorrow the on-snow fun happens all afternoon on Skidder Slope, followed by the Bar Games of Winter inside The Connection. The Davisson Brothers Brand will preform live inside The Connection both tonight and tomorrow night, so be sure to check that out. And don’t forget, our amazing Third Night Free offer is available until Feb 13th, so make your plans TODAY!"

<A Unique Style of Racing!

Canaan Valley Resort – 7° – 39 trails – 20-40" – They made snow.

We have been reporting and providing a ton of Canaan Valley news over the last few years with increasing intensity, but we want to welcome Canaan Valley Resort as an official sponsor and advertiser of SkiSoutheast.com! They are promoting a great "Stay and Ski Free" package right now where for $54 per person (based on double occupancy), you can get lodging, a day lift ticket, and Beech Club priveleges (use of the pool, etc)! That’s a huge deal and we invite you guys to click here for> Canaan Valley’s Stay and Ski Free Package! 
Date: February 7
Activities start at 11:00am
Race starts at 2:00 pm
Fees Apply

Canaan Valley Resort will host this inaugural event. Activities include music, prizes, and three race events: an extreme speed downhill event where racers will compete for top speed, a boardercross style event where individuals racers will compete head-to-head (with full contact allowed) for first place, and a team race event. Fee charged to race – register now or inquiries [email protected] e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it 

Is that "Nessy and her baby?" No that is two deer trekking through the deep snow at Canaan Valley!>:

We also had to share this remarkable photo that was sent to us by Lisa Ratliff of Canaan Valley! It was taken in one of the resort’s meadows around the resort by Dave Vance Assistant Mountain Manager.  Now THAT’S some deep snow!

Timberline Resort – 14° – 33 trails – 35-65" – They made snow!

Jessica Scowcroft reports that "Salamander and Off the Wall will be opening soon!" She also said there’s a Rail Jam Competition scheduled for Saturday Feb. 7th and Timberline hosts an SARA Race Saturday and Sunday. White Lightning will be closed Saturday and Lower Thunder will be closed Sunday for the race. There will be no NASTAR racing this weekend.

Fletchers Grove will be performing at Timber’s Pub this weekend!

Winterplace Resort – 20° – 28 trails – 40-80" – They made snow.


Wintergreen Resort – 21° – 26 trails – 50-70" – They made snow.

Anne Marie Jones writes, "Over the last week, we have pumped about 15 million gallons of water through our snowguns. Conditions are great and base depths are significant! This weekend is all about mild temperatures, lots of sun and our WinterFest celebration! Events over the weekend include: Ski racing, glow stick parade, great food along with local micro brews in the courtyard and more. If that is not enough, we will have our usual great skiing and riding conditions!

Skiing and Riding: Today we have 26 slopes and trails open and 4 lifts. We will be open for day and night sessions, skiing and riding from 9AM-10PM. The average snow base depth throughout the resort is 50”- 70”.

Tubing: The Plunge will be open today from 2 – 11PM. Buy tickets on the web ahead of time if you want to take advantage of this great winter activity. Tickets for The Plunge or Ridgely’s Fun Park can be purchased over the web right now Click here. Ridgely’s Fun Park will be open Friday from 12-6PM and Saturday and Sunday from 10AM-6PM. Bring your little ones up here for some great family fun."

Massanutten Resort – 18° – 14 trails – 50" average base – They made snow.

Bryce Resort – NA – 8 trails – 46-72" – They made snow.

The Homestead – NO REPORT but they should have 5 trails open.



Ski Beech – 17° – 13 trails – 42-75" – They are making snow as long as temps allow. Southern Star is officially open today! Also, tonight is The Edge of the World Revival Series Boarder Cross #2. Registration begins in the BeechTree at 5:00pm. They have also added a second Terrain Park that is now open in the Meadows with a brand new setup. Beginners will love the new features and the boarder/skier cross course. They also host a USSA Slalom Race this Saturday.

Make plans to climb to Eastern America’s Highest Town this Saturday, February 7, for the Winners Take All Rail Jam hosted and judged by pro rider, famous clothing designer and Banner Elk native John “J.J.” Collier.

This cool event is being sponsored by Skull Candy, Under Armour, 4FRNT Skis, Kangol, POW, Launch, Smith Optics and Guerilla Fist.

According to Ski Beech Terrain Park Manager Mitch Bryant, "This thing will include some park setups that have not been seen before in this area."

The jam takes place between 11:00 a.m. and midnight. It all starts with signup at 11:00 a.m. in The Beech Tree Bar & Grill, and the first rider takes off at 5:00 p.m. Riders will have between 11:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. to practice on the course.

J.J. Collier, who is design director for Polo Ralph Lauren’s RLX outerwear line, is returning home this weekend to host and throw in some added excitement to the inaugural event. As we reported earlier in the week, there’s going to be some pretty cool jam sessions, lots of loud, thumping music, and a graffiti art show – where the "canvas" is the snow itself! There will be live music from DJs at night, a famous guest host and an emcee battle during the daytime with cash prizes.

The cost of the entire event is $20—in addition to the purchase of a lift ticket—and participants will compete for cash and prize packages. The event features three divisions—girls, 15 and under, and best of breed—and will be filmed in its entirety for Havoc Television.

During the afternoon, Under Armour is sponsoring the Bunker Battle, a competition among eight emcees. After the rail jam, the 3rd Rail After Party takes place in The Beech Tree Bar & Grill and will include live performances from Brother Reade, Pro & Reg, DJ DR, DJ Sicknis and DJ Real.

For more info, click to www.3rdrailjam.com .


Sugar Mountain – 17.5° – 20 trails – 60-93" – They made snow.

Appalachian Ski Mountain – 18° – 10 trails – 96-121" base – They made snow.

Cataloochee Ski Area – 25° – 14 trails – 48-102" – They made snow.

Sapphire Valley – NA – 2 Trails – 40-85" – They made snow.

Wolf Ridge – 22° – 11 trails – 56-76" – They made snow.

Hawksnest Tubing Park is OPEN.


Ober Gatlinburg – 32° – 6 trails – 60-88" – They did not make snow.


Cloudmont Ski Area – They have one slope open with a reported base of 24-90"! That’s crazy! Good for them!

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

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Todd Mingus and 2 year old Luke ride the Quad at Wolf Ridge from last weekend.
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