We Grade the NC Ski Resorts for Reporting – See Below!

First Trax

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If you were out skiing yesterday (and tons of you were) you got experience what those of us who live here see with some regularity.  It was COLD, and it was WINDY…though not quite as windy as forecasters were warning.  (See Weather Post to the right.)  We did get some recorded wind speeds in the 40-50mph range but that was some 20mph less than some were predicting.  Actually at times yesterday, the winds were pretty quiet so those hitting the slopes were probably loving that.  At other times beginners didn’t need a lift to get back to the top as the wind would get you there!

We also saw a little less in the way of snowfall, though ANY snowfall is a good thing!

Most of the High Country and the surrounding Western North Carolina mountains reported from 2”-3” of snow. Cataloochee and Ski Beech reported 4” and we received some reports from over towards the western part of the state and even Mountain City, Tennessee that told us of 6” snowfalls. Sugar Mountain reported 2-3” and that is on the money with three other reports from over there. (We’re so proud!)

In addition to the nice natural snow, all of the ski areas were able to crank out the manmade snow and those two ingredients – combined with diminishing winds should make for a Kodak moment kind of day. (Send those photos and reports to [email protected].)

Have You Guys Seen The Deer?!?

Over the last few weeks we have received emails telling us how much you guys have been enjoying watching the deer on the BooneCam on www.HighCountryWebCams.com. We have not seen them.  Many of you have.  Then last night we were adjusting several of the cams and we caught four deer foraging for food at about 8pm.  You’ll have to check that on out.  It was very cool watching them. I don’t know WHY it was so cool – but it was!

Congratulations to Kendall Clark and the “Ski Nc and NGS Race Team are Number One!”

Kendall Clark, who goes by “Mr. Stinky” on the messageboards (don’t ask!) called me the other day and informed me that Last Tuesday night was the first race for Ski Country Interschollastic Race Series. For those who don’t know, they came in 2nd place as a team last season.

Kendall said that before the race that two of the racers, Kendall Jr (goes by Mr. Stinky Jr – again Don’t Ask!) and Cade approached their coach and said, “We’re gonna win this one for SkiNC Dad!” That is always cool.  They and the rest of the team delivered on their promise as “Stinky Jr” took 1st place, his nxt door neighbor (also a team member) took 2nd and Cade took 3rd place!  A clean sweep!

Other members of the Cat Crew were there to watch and cheer them on.  Way to go guys and THANKS Jr. and Cade for doing for us…and your team.  Keep the streak alive.

A Couple of Notes and Comments:

Our North Carolina Ski Resorts ARE doing a better and better job of reporting conditions and base depths.  Conditions should be very, very nice and in some cases close to excellent out today.  We want to congratulate Sugar Mountain (again) on very good reporting of late.  They’d get an “A” except that they weren’t reporting the bare spots that were showing through on Thursday and Friday.  However neither were any of the other resorts.  We’ll have to keep working on all of them. Perhaps the only resort that had no bare spots was Appalachian.

Here’s our Reporting Report Card for this past week: (If you want to see the grades from all of the resorts of the Southeast – visit www.SkiSoutheast.com )

We’re bound to ruffle a few feathers with this report, but we’re just telling it like it is. You guys voted 81% that we need to keep at it. Here’s our grading based on On-Snow Reporters, live observations and webcam views…as well as documenting reports every day of the season thus far.

Appalachian – They get a B – They showed reductions in base (though still on the high side regarding maximum depth report.  They also reported a reduction of 2” more since yesterday, EVEN with snowmaking last night and some natural snow mixed in. (Good Job.)

Cataloochee – They get a B minus – The Cat has shown reductions but didn’t mention any of the thin coverage areas in their reports. The Cat does a nice job of keeping visitors informed.  They show an increase of 4” since yesterday, which is exactly the same number as the natural snow they received.  With visitors packing that down some today AND with snowmaking tonight…we’d think that we’ll see that figure remain steady tomorrow.  We’ll see.

Hawksnest – They get a B Minus – They showed reductions in their base, but didn’t report the thin coverage or bare spots were apparent both on the live camera and in reports. The Hawk increased their base by 2” in the last 24 hours which corresponds with the 2-3” snowfall that they had on Saturday.

Sapphire Valley – They get an F – Poor reporting frequencies.  They report when they get to it.  When they do report, they didn’t mention the thin to no coverage on one slope…etc. Gotta get better RJ.

Ski Beech – They get a C – Remember that a C is average.  No reports of bare spots or thin coverage last week.  No reduction at all in the base depth except for ONE day last week. To their credit, they didn’t increase it since yesterday with 4” of natural snow and snowmaking all day either.  We’re thinking that they are very busy and just didn’t get to it.  Beech does a nice job of reporting the surface conditions and accurate weather to expect, etc. but the report is important.  Need improvement.

Sugar Mountain – They get a B plus – They’d get an A except they left off the few bare areas and thin spots.  We should probably give them a “B” but they’ve been great stewards of accurate conditions, weather and snowfall tallies of late…we just have to reward the effort. Just tell us of those bare areas.

Wolf Laurel – They get a D – No change at ALL in base depths in more than a week of mild weather and some rain.  No reports of thin coverage or some of the bare areas that began showing late in the week. We’d give them an F, except that they have been sending reports this season.  Last year they’d go days and days without updating their site or reporting (sending faxs, etc) Need improvement.

Top “student” – Sugar Mountain – Congratulations to Gunther, Kim and crew!

It should be a VERY NICE today on the slopes

With winds diminishing and Blue Skies already showing this morning…combined with lots of snowmaking and some natural snow to boot – it should be one of the nicer MLK Sundays and Mondays in some time.  Enjoy it!

Until Next Time!

Be sure to check out www.SkiSoutheast.com for more news and stories for all of the Southeast’s ski areas.

Be sure to email photos, snow reports and comments to: [email protected]

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