There’s Good Terrain to be Ridden! Get it While Ya Can!

First Trax

Story by Mike Doble – [email protected]  

Good Morning All!

As I sat down to write this morning’s post, I kind of wondered to myself if there were more than a few dozen of you hearty souls that would be here to read this. However, I hopped over to our trusty Google Analytics and there certainly are less of you still hanging with me, but about 51,000 of you visited in the last six days. Traffic IS dropping daily though as yesterday saw only about 5500 visits to the ski content. 9,000 visitors hit the LIVE CAMS – that’s way down from mid season when we were seeing 40-70K! As expected our weather content visitation is way down as well. These are ALL indicators that you guys are looking elsewhere for your fun.

We invite you to visit!

Such is life when the temps off the mountain are forecasted to be in the mid 60s in locations like Columbia, S.C. today. By Wednesday of next week they are expecting temperatures to reach nearly 80°!

That, my friends, spells doom for skier visits for the ski areas and that is why several ski areas are calling it quits after Sunday (tomorrow).

<Beech Mountain is showing why they are calling it quits Sunday. Lack of skier visits and snow is forcing a slightly earlier than normal closing date.

Sapphire Valley, Ober Gatlinburg and Wolf Ridge all called it quits a week or more ago and Beech Mountain, Bryce Resort, Massanutten Resort, The HomeStead, Wintergreen Resort, and Canaan Valley will all close ski and snowboarding ops for the season on Sunday.

In case you need some help keeping count, that leaves:

<App this morning looking sweetly groomed!

Appalachian Ski Mountain – 100% Open and playing through March 25th.

Cataloochee Ski Area – No word on their closing date yet.

Sugar Mountain – is planning their Easter Egg hunt for next weekend, and there’s no word yet about a closing date, but they will ski and ride through at least next Sunday, March 18th.

Snowshoe Mountain was talking LAST WEEKEND about skiing and riding through Sunday, April 1st which with what we saw last weekend, they have enough snow on a lot of trails to make that happen. Of course that date is tentative.

Timberline, Winterplace and Wisp ALL look pretty darn good right now and there’s no closing dates forthcoming quite yet. We have some tentative dates but bear in mind that Wisp MADE SNOW last night, AS DID Cataloochee.

In case you missed it Appalachian Ski Mountain IS THE ONLY ski area in the region that is 100% open now.

Don’t forget to turn your clocks ahead tonight as we lose an hour of ski season. Kenny Griffen and I were discussing the mid 60° temps that are forecasted here in the High Country for next week. I’m seeing tennis and golf in my immediate future!

Here are the details for you hearty souls that are still Jonesing for some snow! It’s out there people!

Appalachian Ski Mountain – 29° – 50th Anniversary Family Day is being celebrated today. Appalachian is the only ski area in the High Country and one of only a couple of ski areas that is and has been 100% open most all season long. Appalachian is excited to announce lots of fun events and specials for the whole entire family TODAY Saturday, March 10.

They’ll be offering tethered hot air balloon rides, live music on the deck, free family ski portraits and on-site massages!

App looks PERFECTLY GROOMED for today’s fun!

Beech Mountain Resort – 29° – Didn’t make snow as they are simply riding out these last two days of the season for them. Beech will close for the season on Sunday by offering freebie lift tickets to all who show up. They are skiing on groomed conditions and 9 of 15 trails for day sessions only today. Things don’t look too bad at the base of the mountain but you may have noticed that Beech has pulled the top cams that showed Shawneehaw and from the lift station. The Parkway cam is showing pretty good coverage from top to bottom. Not bad for the last two days.

Cataloochee Ski Area is at 38° this morning but they made snow at 7pm last night and offer some sweet looking conditions for today on 12 of 16 trails. They are not night skiing this weekend. One look at the LIVE base cam there will tell you how sweet things will be for early turns today.

<Sugar’s looking pretty good for this weekend.

Sugar Mountain – 24° – They did not make snow and are skiing and riding on 14 of 20 trails and are offering day and night sessions. Sugar will offer 1,000 candy-filled Easter Eggs that will cover the slopes on Sunday, March 18th. Join in and hunt for lots of giveaways including a 2012-13 season pass. Sorry big kids, participants must be 12 years old or younger. Sugar is also looking pretty good right now.

Bryce Resort is at 34° this morning and offering 5 of 8 trails for day sessions only today. Remember that Bryce Resort is closing for ski and snowboarding ops on Sunday.

Massanutten Resort – 25° – They too are calling it quits for the ski and snowboarding season on Sunday. They are offering 6 of 14 trails and 8 lanes of tubing for day and night sessions today. The Massanutten Live Stream is showing good top-to-bottom coverage for these last two days.

The Homestead Resort – 26° – They are operated on 3 of 10 trails for day sessions and they too will close for the season on Sunday.

Wintergreen Resort – 20.3° – They are open with 12 of 26 trails and snow tubing and are operating for day and night sessions. Slide and Splash Weekend is here with sunny skies, great skiing, riding, tubing, fun music, great food, rail jam on Saturday, costumes and pond skimming on Sunday. Click this link for detailed information about this great event  Don’t miss one of funnest weekends of the year, make plans to be here!

SKI & RIDE: We will be open for DAY AND NIGHT SESSIONS today, skiing and riding on 12 slopes with 4 lifts.

TUBING: The Plunge will be open today, with sessions from 10am-11pm. Advanced tickets for tubing are available online. The Plunge is extremely popular, to make sure you can participate, please purchase tickets online ahead of time.

Wintergreen will also close for the ski and snowboarding season on Sunday.

Canaan Valley Resort – 13° – They are playing on 15 of 39 trails for day sessions today and Sunday. Sunday will also be their last day for skiing and riding for the season.

Snowshoe Mountain – 12° – These guys continue to operate nearly as if it’s January 10th during a normal season! They have 5 trails open and night sessions over at Silver Creek, snow tubing, snow mobiling and generally are in very nice shape!

Snowshoe writes, "We would like to Welcome the Crescent Ski Council to the mountain this weekend. Races will be held on Slaymaker, Spur and Cascade at the Silver Creek area today. Good luck to all the racers! It is almost time to change the clocks and spring ahead, which means springing into amazing late season conditions. Mild temps and sunny skies will be here throughout the weekend. It’s time to work on that goggle tan and get some turns in on Snowshoe’s 220 acres of terrain.

2012.2013 Season Passes are on sale now! Take advantage of those Early Bird Specials and ride for FREE for the remainder of this season. Also, don’t forget that tomorrow is WV Ski Free Day. Just bring your proof of residency to the Depot and get your free lift ticket good at both Snowshoe and Silver Creek areas.

The five Mountaineer Parks have over 25 acres of freestyle terrain, including over sixty features. At Snowshoe, Spruce Glades is open as a medium-large park and Progression Session is open as a small park. At Silver Creek, Robertson’s Run is open as a small park, Timberjack is open as a medium park, and Mountaineer is open as a medium-large park. Slaymaker, Spur and Cascade will be closed today for racing. Be advised that ungroomed slopes may have delayed openings.

Groomer’s Choice is Sawmill."

Timberline Resort – 17° – They look pretty darn nice with lots of base at the bottom of the mountain as can be seen here>  

They offer day and night sessions and 27 of 40 trails.

Winterplace Resort – 24° – They are boasting 24 of 27 trails and snow tubing open for day and night sessions. Not sure why they moved the camera but conditions look REALLY nice at Winterplace for this weekend!

Wisp Resort – 18° and MAKING SNOW! – They offer day and night sessions and 21 of 32 trails open as well as tubing, ice skating, mountain coastering and more!

SkiMail me if you feel the need at [email protected]  or [email protected]

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