Up to 6 to 8 inches of Snow Fell; More is On the Way Today Across the North Carolina Ski Areas!

First Trax

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Yesterday afternoon I got an email from Sonny Gower who works up at the Silver Creek side of Snowshoe Mountain and he said that they were waiting on the snow to hit up there. I told him that we were getting BOMBED with snow here in North Carolina. (At that time we were…but it turned out that the snow down here between Boone and Banner Elk was more of a "STRAFING RUN" of snow as maybe 2" fell here and at my home. However, THAT 2" beat out what the mountains of West Virginia saw in the last 24 hours and how often does THAT happen!?! The couple of inches we saw here at our office doesn’t hold a candle to the SIX INCHES of snow that fell overnight at Ski Beech and Sugar Mountain.

…and the top honors in the Southeast and Mid Atlantic as far as natural snow goes from yesterday’s storm is – Wolf Ridge Ski Area over in Mars Hill as they reported 8" of snow! It is crazy how diverse the snowtotals are this morning as the reports up in Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland (over on our SkiSoutheast.com website) are that those areas only saw a TRACE to one inch from this system. In fact, Ober Gatlinburg, just across the Tennessee line from Western North Carolina only saw a trace of snow, while Cataloochee reported 6". Crazy!

It will be a BOMBER DAY to be on the slopes in the North Carolina mountains for certain.

It’s COLD out this morning! That’s a word that doesn’t quite live up to the MINUS 7° atop Ski Beech or Sugar Mountain this morning! The highs today will be in the teens with overnight lows dropping back to near zero to 5° again tonight. Snowmaking will be something that the ski areas can do all they want today and through all of Thursday if they want or need to. Several resorts simply don’t NEED anymore snow right now. It’s been that good of a run of weather of late!


While it is sunny at this moment, the NWS is reporting that we have a 90% chance of more snow today and this evening. Today: Snow showers. High near 15. Wind chill values as low as -9. Breezy, with a west wind around 22 mph, with gusts as high as 34 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. Total daytime snow accumulation of 2 to 4 inches possible.

Tonight: Snow showers, mainly before 1am. Low around 4. Wind chill values as low as -14. Breezy, with a west wind between 18 and 21 mph, with gusts as high as 31 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.

So on top of from 2-6" of snow, we should see another 3-6"! Some areas will see as much as 10-14" of snow through this evening when it is all said and done!

As forecasted earlier this week, after this snow and bitter cold clears out – behind it on Friday through Tuesday of next is milder air and sunny skies. Highs this weekend are looking like they will rise into the 40s and even some mid 50s by Saturday and Sunday. With this kind of snow, the great snowmaking and milder temps…this promises to be a GREAT weekend to hit the slopes.

Let’s go ahead with the quick tour and then below that we have added some more of your emails. We posted a few of those yesterday and you guys emailed us that you enjoyed reading some of them. We don’t have time to do that everyday, but we’ve included a few more email oddities today.

Here’s the quick tour:

Wolf Ridge Resort – minus 2° and they are reporting 8" of snow in the last 24 hours! That takes them to 39" on the season and it will be a powder day at The Wolf today. They report a base of 56-76" on 10 trails serviced by two lifts. They report, "The best snow of the season!"

Ski Beech – minus 7° and 6" of new snow. That is 7" in the last two days and more is expected to fall today! They are making snow as well and conditions will be awesome today on 11 of 15 trails and a base of 35-65". Expect POWDER and PACKED POWDER conditions today! This takes Beech to 49" of snow on the season!

Appalachian Ski Mountain – 0° – Reported 3.5" of new snow and more is coming in today! They are 100% open with a base of 88-114" of groomed powder. They have both terrain parks open and ice skating as well. Expect nothing but SWEET conditions at App today and tonight. No snowmaking during open sessions!

Cataloochee Ski Area – 0° – They reported 6" of new snow as of 9:30pm last night! That is on top of nearly an inch that feel the evening before and now 31" on the season! Cat is 100% open with packed powder conditions
and a base of 42-98" on all 14 trails for day and night sessions. Great skiing at the Cat!

Sugar Mountain – minus 7° and 6" of snow! That takes Sugar to 47" of snow on the season and they report a base of 50-89" with Manmade and Natural Powder conditions on all 20 trails. Tubing is open. Skating is closed today. It will be an awesome day at Sugar Mountain today as more snow is expected today. Snowmaking is ongoing only in selected areas today.

Sapphire Valley Ski Area – They are closed on Wednesdays & Thursdays. It’s been six days since the last update for these guys.

Hawksnest Tubing – still closed til Thursday. 0° and 6" of snow.


Words mean everything – if you want to get the answer that you’re hoping for. We receive a ton of emails everyday and people ask all sorts of questions and we do our best to answer every single one, but some are hard to answer. For example, Carla H. of Mount Pleasant, S.C. wrote, "I want to visit a ski resort that allows 5 year olds to go sledding. Do you have a list of any? Thank you!"

The answer, if I stick to what she asked is, "No, the ski areas don’t allow people to sled on their trails."

Of course I now have to discern, did Laura actually MEAN "sledding" or was she asking about "tubing". …or was she indeed asking about sledding, because Beech Mountain Town Hall (as an example) DOES have a free SLEDDING HILL. Such is life in SkiSoutheast land.

I have been doing this website for 13 seasons now and it has always amazed me how people can ask questions in such generic ways that make it nearly impossible for us to answer without having a "Dr. Phil-like" conversation with them.

For example, about four weeks or so ago we were reporting "bare spots" on some slopes. Honest to goodness I had emails that I thought HAD TO BE fictitious in nature because they were so "out there". I have always enjoyed a little tête-à-tête every once in a while so I answer some of the questions that we’re asked in ways that are a bit cynical from time to time. Hey, I admit it!

However, case in point was Julie D, from Fort Jackson, S.C. who wrote, "I’ve had some friends tell me that they have run across deer from time to time on the slopes while skiing. What do skiers do when they run across these bare spots?"

Being a gifted "between the lines reader" I figured she was being sarcastic and PURPOSELY didn’t know the difference between BARE and BEAR. Of course I wrote her, "Well Julie, the polite thing to do would be to go to the bottom and ask one of the lifties to take a pooper scooper up there and scoop up those bare spots!" (She didn’t get it and her response told me that I was wrong about her being sarcastic.)

She thought that some of our black BEAR population must occasionally leave some "BEAR spots" on the slopes, I guess. No, really – that IS what she thought!

Another guy – Jamie C of Greensboro, N.C. wrote, "When you guys talk about bare spots, how big are these bare spots? How are we to know?"

Now that question is easier to answer. Our "base legend" pretty much spells out whether ski conditions are phenomenal (as they are everywhere right now) all the way down to "terrible/should be closed". However, all things are relative. To one newbie skier or snowboarder a bare spot is horrendous because like it or not – you’re going to run right through it. To an experienced skier or rider who wants to get every turn out of a slope that is possible – a bare spot is nothing more than a challenge. Heck, I know people who have done their darndest to attempt to jump and hook up bare spots that I would never consider skiing down.

I remember one reader defined "bare spot" as: "A place where, due to insufficient snow, the underlying earth is visible. Depending on weather conditions, bare spots can range from a patch the size of a footprint to a patch the size of the northeastern United States!" (Others would substitute our region in that equation, but I am not going there.)

I could get going off on a tangent on the alternative meanings of words, because we’ve had so many over the years. One of the funniest was a guy who wrote asking if I knew what a bastard was. I was hoping he wasn’t describing his opinion of me, so I answered, "Yea, it is a flat file that you can use to file or sharpen things with."

He wrote we back, "Yep. It is EITHER a wide, flat file used to flatten, sharpen or bevel ski edges with. Of course ANOTHER definition is – it is someone who CHARGED me for hand-filing my skis but instead he used a belt sander!"


More email oddities…

Holly M. of Charlotte, NC wrote, "Are there ANY message boards, websites, anything (other than Craigslist) to find carpools & rideshares up to the resorts near Blowing Rock, NC? Thanks."

Ummm…what about this website’s messageboard? People hookup all the time. (Oh THERE’S a word with multiple meanings!)

How about this one…

William B. of Fort Lauderdale writes, "I want to know the best place for ski."

Taking him literally…the best place FOR ski (or skis) would be anywhere that sells Atomics, Rossis, Salomon’s, Bros, etc. We have to play "Nostradamus" around here, so I am GUESSING he meant the best place TO ski. Well THAT would be ——-. (You guys think I’m stupid, don’t you?)

We DO answer these questions when we have a little more information like, "for beginners", "close to Asheville", etc.

That’s enough for today. Go enjoy these awesome conditions!

Be sure to click over to www.SkiSoutheast.com  to see what’s happening into the Virginias, Tennessee, and Maryland ski resort areas.

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


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