The big southeast snow storm is still on the way. That’s the good news. Some areas as far south as Montgomery, Alabama are looking at snow in their forecast. The bad news for those of us here in the ski mountain areas of North Carolina is that Montgomery may get more snow than we do! We’re still expecting snow into the western North Carolina Mountains, but perhaps only 1-4" according to the weather gurus who are tracking the crazy storm. Who knows, it could still track more westerly than expected, but right now the call is that Hickory, Charlotte and areas over towards Raleigh will probably see heavier snow than the ski areas in NC.
The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch for our area with 3-5" of snow possible. They are calling for 7" or more around Statesville and Salisbury, North Carolina.
As for TODAY’S forecast, it does appear that they’ve dropped the expected heavier rain totals that they were forecasting for today. We monitored the NWS reports yesterday and they were forecasting 1-2" of rain for today. That has been reduced to 1/2 to one inch of rain. Not good…but better than a wash out.
They are calling for the rains to change over to snow in the early morning hours Sunday morning and this snow storm will drop more snow over towards Appalachian Ski Mountain than up at Ski Beech and Sugar…according to the forecasters.
Areas south and west of us (Cataloochee and Wolf Ridge) will probably see an inch or so of snow.
The Virginia Ski Areas have been a bit snow deprived this season and it looks like that may continue as only 1-2" is forecasted for Massanutten Resort, ditto for The Homestead and Wintergreen Resort. The early forecasting models were predicting chances for more substantial snowfalls for the southern tier of Southeast and Mid Atlantic ski resorts, but as it turns out – if the pattern holds – the West Virginia and Maryland ski resorts could again pick up more snow from this "more southerly" storm system. Snowshoe, Timberline and Canaan Valley could see another 4-7" of snow from this evening through Sunday.
So as you can see, Salisbury, North Carolina with their peak elevation of 791 feet may just get more snow than Beech at 5,506′ and Snowshoe Mountain at 4848′.
Snow is snow. We’ll take whatever we can get, but unless things change and kick this storm 100 miles more westerly – I won’t be skiing the kind of powder we were hoping for here in my backyard of Banner Elk and Beech Mountain. I might have to head to App Monday!
Let’s do a tour today…
Since this storm is going South to North – that’s what we’ll do today… (mapping students don’t need to email me about a few variances in my reporting order 😉 )
Cloudmont Slope in Mentone, A-l-a-b-a-m-a – They may see an inch or so of snow! – 10-40" base – both 150 vertical slopes/hills open. (That always kills me!)
Ober Gatlingburg – 48° – Reported base: 56-86" – Groomed / Loose granular – Open with 6 of 8 trails, ice skating and snow tubing
Appalachian Ski Mountain – 35° – Reported base: 78-105" – groomed conditions – 100% open with 10 trails, both terrain parks and ice skating.
Cataloochee Ski Area – 38° – Reported base: 45-92" – groomed conditions – 100% open with 14 trails, snow tubing and some terrain park features. Cataloochee is conducting their one day BIG SEASON PASS SALE next weekend. Tammy Brown writes, "Sunday, March 8th. The BIG BIG BIG One Day Season Pass Sale! All season passes will be on sale for the lowest price of this year and next for this one day only! Ski for the rest of the season and next on the pass you purchase today! Pass sale will be from 8:30am – 4:30pm only and you can purchase in person, over the phone with a credit card or online!"
I was wrong – it wasn’t a BIG BIG SALE. It was a "BIG BIG BIG Sale". I was close.
Ski Beech – 40° – Reported base: 38-74" – Wet granular conditions – Open with 12 of 15 trails, terrain parks and we think ice skating and tubing are open but you may want to call ahead if you are interested in those activities. Ski Beech is celebrating Mardi Gras on this rainy Saturday and Snowy Sunday. They write, "This weekend Beech Mountain Resort is celebrating Mardi Gras so come on up and earn some beads. Dane from 970 will DJ during lunch Saturday, February 28 at the Viewhaus from 11:30-2:30pm. Saturday night the band Funkstatic 5 will play jazz funk at the Beechtree Bar & Grille on from 9pm – midnight. No cover charge!"
Dane is a colorful character and darn good DJ, and chances are he’s move his show indoors and if you’re up that way, check him out.
Sugar Mountain – 38° – Reported base: 38-88" – Wet Granular conditions – 100% open with all 20 trails, ice skating, and snow tubing. Tomorrow Sugar plays host to the Richard T. Trundy Memorial Sugar Cup Competition. A giant slalom competition is open to the public. The event is held on Big Red for participants with at least an intermediate or above ability level with all proceeds going to the American Cancer Society in memory of Sugar Mountain Resort’s former Director of Operations, Richard T. Trundy.
Wolf Ridge Ski Area – 41° – Reported base: 44-64" – Wet Granular conditions – Open with 12 of 20 trails and snow tubing.
Bryce Resort – Reported base: 31-56" – Wet granular – 100% open with all 8 trails and snow tubing.
Massanutten Resort – 30° (dang they are close to seeing snow already) – Reported base: 50" – Wet/Frozen Granular – 100% open with all 14 trails and 8 lanes of snow tubing.
The Homestead – 38° – Wet Granular – 3 of 5 trails open with ice skating available as well. No snow tubing today due to the rain. The Homestead reported that they have made 124" of snow this season and received 16" of natural snow thus far. They may see another inch or two on Sunday.
Wintergreen Resort – 32° – Reported base: 40-60" – Wet Granular – Open with 25 of 26 trails, terrain parks and snow tubing. Anne Marie has HEAD Pro skier Grete Eliason back up at Wintergreen this weekend. Anne Marie writes, "Snow in the forecast! As much as 4 inches of the white stuff is expected to fall throughout the afternoon and into tomorrow, bring it on! This weekend we are saying thanks to our WPI Members and HEAD Pro Skier and Freeride Champion Grete Eliason will be here making turns with guests and helping out with the Freestyle Double Cross. HEAD will provide demos all weekend and the Oakley “O Lab” will be here showing off their products. Live music, great food, Grete here for a visit, great snow, and a great boardercross event, you should come up for some fun! If you can’t make it for this weekend, the next 3 weekends are packed full of activities: Slopestyle, Rail Jam and The Slide and Splash Bash! The first part of this week was nice and cold. All of the cold weather allowed us to continue pilling up snow on our core trails in anticipation of skiing and riding all the way through to the Slide and Splash Bash on the 21st of March. If you like skiing and riding in March, Wintergreen will have snow for you!"
Winterplace Resort – 32° – Reported base: 40-80" – Groomed / granular – 100% open with all 28 trails, terrain parks and snow tubing open.
Snowshoe Mountain – 26° – Reported base: 56" – Groomed / Hard Packed – 59 of 60 trails open, terrain parks, halfpipe, snow tubing, snow mobiling. You need something else!?!?! Okay, how about another 7" of snow in the forecast! There, now go ski!
Canaan Valley – 32° – Reported base: 20-40" – Loose Granular – 32 of 39 trails open, ice skating and snow tubing as well. More snow is in the forecast!
Timberline Resort – 32° – Reported base: 42-70" – Frozen Granular – Open with 29 of 37 trails. Their backcountry terrain is closed now.
Wisp Resort – 29° – Reported base: 18-57" – Groomed / Granular – Open with 29 of 32 trails and snow tubing, mountain coastering and more. More snow is in the forecast.
Send your comments, photos, videos and trip reports to: [email protected]