Today is CLOSING DAY for many Ski Areas; App, Sugar, Timberline and Wisp ski forward

First Trax

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As the season quickly comes to a close, we are repeatedly hearing the words "Best Ever" being mentioned as descriptives of the 2008-2009 season. We’ve already heard that about Appalachian; we’d bet on it to accurately assess Sugar Mountain’s season, and several ski area managers have told us that even though the final numbers are not in just yet – that they experienced top three-to-five seasons in terms of skier visits, etc.

Now, this morning, Tammy Brown, Cataloochee’s personable Marketing Director, wrote me, "So with 126 days of skiing and riding for this season – we will be calling the 08-09 season closed at the end of the skiing day on Sunday, March 22 – thank you to everyone who has helped to make this season one of our most successful years EVER!"

(Notice that "EVER" was capitalized.) It has been a great one!

Cataloochee Ski Area is closing after their day session today with 6 trails and a reported base of 21-40".

Cataloochee’s closing after today will leave Appalachian and Sugar as the two ski areas in the state of North Carolina skiing and riding for another week.

Appalachian Ski Mountain reported a low of 33° so it did not get quite cold enough for them to make snow as they had planned on, but conditions look great this morning and they are 100% open and continuing forward for another week.

Sugar Mountain appears to be riding for another week at least. While they dropped another trail from their slopes available on Saturday, they still look darn nice with all except the ski school play yard, magic carpet area, "Little Nell", "Zoom Yang" and "Sugar Bear" open. Even "Tom Terrific", "Boulderdash" and "Whoopdedoo" are open! They have 15 trails and tubing still operating.

Ober Gatlinburg is planning to close up for skiing and snowboarding, but Kathy Doyle informed me that they will continue to operate the tubing hill for another week and MAYBE LONGER.

Ober Gatlinburg’s family is still reeling from the unexpected loss of their President, CEO and loved one – Cy Anders – who passed away on March 17th. Kathy shared some beautiful sentiments with me this week about how respected and loved Cy was within the Gatlinburg community and within his team at Ober, and he will obviously be missed as they move foward in the future.

Massanutten Resort is doing the day session only today with 10 trails and then will end their skiing and snowboarding ops for the season.

Ditto Wintergreen Resort and they will day ski and ride – as well as host a ton of closing day fun on 14 trails. After two months of not adjusting their base depth, they did say today (kind of funny) and they are now reporting a base of 20-50".

So with the closings of both of Mass and Wintergreen the Virginia ski season will come to an end today and the other two VA ski resorts had closed last weekend.

Canaan, Winterplace and Snowshoe Mountain in West Virginia will ski and ride for one more day today and then they will close up after DAY SESSIONS AS WELL. Canaan Valley has 13 trails open today; Snowshoe has 34 trails open and Winterplace Resort pulls off an impressive closing day today with 100% of their terrain still open!

With those closings taking place today Timberline Resort will be the LONE ski resort open in West Virginia as they plan to ski and ride on. They have 27 trails open today and then will be closed Monday 23rd – Thursday 26th. They will reopen Friday the 27th and close again on Monday the 30th. They will then REOPEN for one last weekend in April and close for the season on April 5th! Jessica Scowcroft writes, "We have plenty of snow and a great line-up of special events! Come join us for the remaining weeks of great East Coast Ski season!!!"

Wisp Resort will ski and ride today on 16 trails and they still have the Mountain Coaster and 10 lanes of tubing open for day sessions today. They too are operating and extended season of weekends through April 5th!


After today’s sessions we will see only the following ski areas open:

In North Carolina – Appalachian Ski Mountain and Sugar will be open with day and night sessions through next weekend.

All of the Tennessee and Virginia ski areas will be closed for the season.

In West Virginia – Only Timberline will be open – WEEKENDS ONLY until April 5th.

In Maryland – Wisp Resort will operate weekends only.

We’re only GUESSING that those extended schedules are "weather permitting" and we add that caveat because there is rain and continued mild conditions in the extended weather forecast. Rain is in the forecast for Wednesday through Saturday of the coming week and weekend with some "unsettled" systems in place that could even be accompanied by "thunder" according to the forecasters we’re hearing from.

We’ll see. Stay tuned.

That’s it for today. Enjoy the great weather and snow!

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