The 2013/2014 Southeastern Ski Season Kicks Into High Gear Today!

First Trax

I don’t even know where to start this morning.  Sugar and Cat may have been open for a couple weeks now, but today is the day where things really start to get going for the 2013/2014 Southeast ski season.  I am amped!  My neighbors probably hate me right now.  It’s 7:45am and I’m blaring electronica music and chugging some coffee.  Woo!  

By the way, this is Kenny chatting with you guys this morning.  Tim is headed to Appalachian Ski Mountain this morning to get some shots of their opening day.  I'm sure he'll be posting some photos and videos later.

Mother Nature has been toying with my emotions over the past several days.  Sunday and Monday were about as perfect a snowmaking conditions as you can get.  I kept staring at the webcams as a whale watch was in effect.  And then yesterday…How bad was that?  Something like 3-4 inches of rain fell across the region.  It.  Was.  Depressing.  Luckily, the rain really didn’t wash away as much snow as I thought it would and this morning any bare spots that were peeking through have already been covered up.  Check out the timelapse on the Beech Slopeside cam below.  You can see the sides creeping in on Upper Shawneehaw yesterday and now it’s completely white again.

Let’s start with the weather before we get to the ski area news stuff.  First, today is going to be BRUTAL here in NC if you’re venturing to either App, Sugar, or Cat.  It’s going to be cold, snowy, and WINDY.  I’m talking real windy, as in gusts of 50mph.  Like I said…BRUTAL.

The NWS snowfall forecast is in the range of 2-5 inches of additional snow for those three locations.  I say additional because Sugar is already reporting 2 inches and App is saying an inch so far.  Cat just updated their morning report and are reporting an inch thus far as well.  Head on over to the SKI REPORTS page to check out a detailed look at current snow conditions.

With the high winds and snowmaking, there should be some nice wind-loaded spots where you can go whiteout.  Woo!

The only other resort that is open today is Snowshoe.  A whale watch has been in effect up there for the past several days.  They have been laying down an unbelievable amount of snow in the main area by the Skidder lift.  On Monday, that whole area looked like it was covered in 10 feet of snow.  It was crazy.  

          This was the view at Snowshoe on Monday.  Look at all that snow!

Today is their opening day and they’re skiing and riding on 9 trails.  They could see their first dump of the season today and tonight with this system.  The forecast from the NWS is calling for 4-8 inches today and 3-5 tonight.  If you’re riding up there today, it looks like you’ll be having refills all day.

So those are the only four resorts open today.  However, we’re going to see several more opening in the next few days.  Here’s the list of openings for the upcoming Turkey Day weekend.

Friday, November 29th

Wisp Resort
Beech Mountain Resort
Ober Gatlinburg (Tubing Already Open)
Bryce Resort

Saturday, November 30th

Wolf Ridge (?)

A few notables from that list…This will be the first time since 1989 that Ober Gatlinburg will open in November.  Awesome and kudos to those guys!  Second, we THINK Wolf Ridge is opening this weekend.  They haven’t set a date, other than saying they’re hoping for Thanksgiving Weekend.  Mike talked to the new management up there yesterday and was actually really stoked on what he heard.  Hopefully we can get some more involvement with the Wolf this year!

Beech opens on Friday and will be having their first contest of the year.  They’re really stepping up their terrain park game the last few seasons.  Here’s the press blurb:

“Beech Mountain Resort is scheduled to open on Friday, November 29, 2013. In celebration of opening day, we will host STOKED! STOKED, sponsored by Recess Ride Shop and Rome Snowboards, is the first park event of the season. Registration will take place in Group Sales from 930am-1130pm. The contest will start at noon. This is a rail jam format event open to snowboarders only. All ability levels are encouraged.“

Registration: 930am-1130pm (Located in Group Sales)Start Time: NOON
Free Entry
$500 CASH to the winner of men's super stoked.
Awards: Mens STOKED, Mens SUPER STOKED, Ladies STOKED, and Groms STOKED

It should be pretty fun.  I’ll be out there on Friday and Saturday so give me a shout if you see me!  Red plaid jacket, black pants, black helmet, and red lens goggles.

So there you have it, we should have 12 open ski areas in the region come Saturday.  I’m stoked!  Are you?  Make sure to get out there if you can.  The weather looks really good on Friday and Saturday.  Looks like bluebird skies, relatively cold temps, and great snow conditions for early season.  Woo!

If you do get out this weekend, snap some photos and share them with our messageboard community!  The messageboard really is a great way to get answers to questions, check out a bunch of photos, and meet new people!

Finally, don’t forget that Resort Cams has a huge network of webcams across the region at the ski areas.

Seriously, we have a webcam at just about every resort now.  It’s awesome.  The first thing I did this morning was wake up and look at this on my phone.

Everyone enjoy the weekend and have a Happy Thanksgiving!  Ski season is truly upon us!

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