Sunday’s Southeast and NC Report –

First Trax

It is officially the first day of Spring and while the temps and the weather for the week ahead will agree…the amount of snow on the slopes looks more like a normal January. Meteorologist Brad Panovich just updated us so we’ll post his forecast in a moment.

Conditions will be GREAT no matter where you choose to ski today…so get out and enjoy the last days of the season in the Southeast.

Today is the last day to enjoy the slopes of Cataloochee for the 2004-2005 season. Get up to Maggie Valley for the last day of fun. The Cat will close at 4:30pm this afternoon.

Ski Beech is in GREAT shape for Sunday with lots of snow and pretty sweet conditions. They are NOT running their Quad lift today. We don’t know why, but maybe they’re going to go ahead and give it Spring and Summer off. REMEMBER THAT EVERYONE SKIS FREE TOMORROW AT SKI BEECH FOR THEIR LAST DAY OF SKIING! They are open ONLY FOR DAY SKIING so don’t arrive at 6pm or you will have missed out. Let’s see how crowded we can make their last day. We’ll try to get you some photos!

Lots of people are asking about Sugar Mountain’s plans to stay open past next weekend. All we can say is that they are playing it close to the vest as usual. We know that Appalachian is closing March 28th (which is a Monday) after their "Meltdown Games" of next weekend. Sugar likes to be the last to close, so who knows. They may extend one more day or one more week. If we find out anything we will let you know. Everyone who has skied their lately is bragging on the great conditions.

Bryce Resort in Virginia is already promoting GOLF on the front of their website today. They are open today and if they go according to the plan, they will close up their skiing operations this afternoon at 4:30PM.

Massanutten Resort is in great shape for their last week of skiing. 36-44" of base, all slopes and trails open and they are tubing and skiing. Massanutten was showing some huge difference in their temps this morning. Check this out: At the top of the mountain it was 54 degrees, while at the base is was 40. Wow!

The Homestead Resort is staying open another week, weather permitting! They had previously talked like they’d close up the ski operations today. However, they will be CLOSED TODAY for a PRIVATE FUNCTION and then reopen for the upcoming week and remain open through Sunday, March 27, weather permitting. We would suggest calling ahead if you have desires to ski there this week.

Wintergreen Resort is allowing you to ski FREE right now when you spend the night at Wintergreen. The Terrain Park will be unavailable during Rail Jam competition on Sunday. Wintergreen is also reporting Thin spots on Lower Diamond, Lower Cliffhanger, Turkey Chute.

Canaan Valley in West Virginia only does a weekend report on Friday. According to them, the conditions are the same TODAY as it was Friday. O-k-a-y… Call it close…and Canaan is reporting a chance of showers today.

Snowshoe Resort is having some IT issues so their website has been a little spotty of late. They asked us to provide the following report. They got another 1" of SNOW yesterday (lucky dogs) and that gets them to the 156" level on the season. Snowshoe is open with all 57 trails today but will close the Silver Creek area this afternoon at 4:30pm for the season. This morning’s low was 31 degrees. Snowshoe is wrapping up the Snowshoe 24 race today and we’ll try to get you guys some more photos and results.

Timberline Resort is having some IT issues of their own. Two people emailed us this morning telling us that and when we went to their website it prompted us for a username and password! Not THAT would be an exclusive resort! There’s been no update on their website so we’d expect things to be about what they were yesterday.

Winterplace Resort is in great shape headed into their last week of skiing. Several friends are heading up their for the coming week and conditions should be pretty nice.

WISP Resort in Maryland is having some fun with us, right? If this was April 1st (April Fools Day) I’d wonder, but their ski report says that they will have "up to 22 slopes open today". Huh? They could only offer ONE slope and that WOULD be telling the truth. Maybe they should have said "AT LEAST x number of slopes". However, this is from the resort that only changed their base depth twice all season long and is still reporting 76" of average base depth.

VISITORS SOUND OFF ON BASE DEPTHS – We fired off our last shot on the subject yesterday, but we received some pretty astute emails so we thought we’d shared some of the best of them. (We received 34 emails from visitors so it’s obvious that people care.)

Why Didn’t I Think of That? – We have some smart visitors on this website! Len Jacobs of Miami, Florida wrote, "It’s funny, I have read your articles on base depths and then I’ve read some of the messageboard loonies who have written that they don’t know why you guys are so adamant about that. They ask why its so important. These are the same people who will order a 12 oz. steak in a restaurant and argue when it comes to the table looking like a 6 oz piece of meat. Their argument then would be that they didn’t get what they paid for. They would argue false advertising or deception. WE LOVE WHAT YOU DO and like the vast majority, ask you to keep up the fight. It’s a long way from Miami and when we get up there we want what we’re being told is on the slopes."

Sandra Mixon of Raleigh wrote, "Appalachian drops 3" on maximum side only in the last couple of days. I guess they could say that they groomed some off the maximum over to the minimum, but that would be some accurate grooming wouldn’t you say?"

Keith Humphries of Columbia wrote, "I noticed that the resorts that are closing on Sunday all dropped about 4" in base depth, while those staying open either didn’t drop at all or only an inch or so. That’s some SMART snow that knows when to hang in there." (Editor’s Note: Keith wasn’t exactly correct in his assessment…but very close.)

Denise Everett of Virginia wrote, "How does a resort report 40-65" of base depth one day and then the very next day report "thin coverage and bare spots? I’ve read on this site that resorts argue that you don’t ski on the bare spots and they would be correct TODAY, but what about YESTERDAY when it WASN’T a bare spot?"

Editor’s Note: We didn’t even pick up on that one Denise. That IS a good question. Denise emailed us just now as we were finishing up the morning update. She’s right…someone did just that. You people ARE paying attention!

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Two snowboarders carve some easy turns on GREAT conditions at Sugar Mountain – Photo by Doug Burnett.
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