What a weekend we just had! Minus a little wintry mix Saturday night for some resorts, the past few days had some great weather that was accompanied by even better snow. Even better, the Falcons didn’t win the Super Bowl and they lost in heartbreaking fashion. As a Panthers fan, I couldn’t have asked for anything better out of the game. Woo!
The recent cold and snowy conditions combined with the good weather for the weekend must have really enticed people to head to the mountains. I was out and about at Beech Mountain on Saturday and it was one of the busiest days I’ve seen in a while. Yesterday, Mike posted a picture I took of the lift line in the afternoon and it pretty much sums up the day. Lots of people showed up to take advantage of the conditions. Luckily, they didn’t show up until after 10, which means my friends and I were able to hot lap for the first hour. If you are a weekend warrior and only get to ride on the weekends, getting to the resort for first chair is CRUCIAL.
We were able to get in 5 or 6 runs in the first hour and the snow was excellent. Sunny conditions combined with some nice corduroy made for some fun, fast runs down the mountain. A few of the snow guns were on, but when it’s sunny I don’t mind them at all. That and only about half of them were on. Things got a little busy after the first hour so we then headed over to the new park area with the tow rope. That thing is awesome! If you like to ride in the terrain park then that thing is a godsend on the busy weekends. We were able to get in so many laps over there without having to wait in any lines. My legs are still a little sore this morning from lapping so much.
Here’s a few images I snapped. Click on each to enlarge.
As we were leaving I noticed numerous shuttle buses were visible and upon driving through town I noticed the big open field across from town hall was filled with cars! The lot at the entrance of Sugar Mountain was also filled. It was a busy day to say the least. Lift lines always stink but it was nice to see so many people out there. The weekends during January and February are very important for the resorts as it’s when they make most of their revenue for the whole year. The weather certainly hasn’t been the greatest this winter so to see a weekend filled with great weather, good snow, and large crowds was nice.
It wasn’t just a good time at Beech Mountain. Every ski area in the region looks to have had an excellent weekend with Saturday in particular looking fantastic. Here’s a little social media roundup.
What a splendid Saturday on the mountain!! Bright sunny skies, cold temps, tons of great skiing, and smiling faces…
Absolutely beautiful day with some of the best conditions of the season. You don't want to miss this!
He has a gift for capturing the beauty of nature. More great photos from our friend David Faunce. #TlineWV#FindYourMoment #YourMountainIsCalling
— Winterplace WV (@winterplacewv) February 5, 2017
The weather and snow conditions for the upcoming few days isn’t going to be quite as good as the weekend. Today, tomorrow, and Wednesday is going to be much warmer. We’re seeing some crazy inversions this morning. It was in the 20’s this morning in Banner Elk, NC. Beech Mountain is only a few minutes away and 1500 feet higher in elevation but they were in the 40’s. The summit of Sugar Mountain was 12 degrees warmer than the base 1200 feet below. In fact, the coldest ski area in North Carolina this morning was Sapphire Valley, which is extremely odd as they are the southernmost resort in the region.
Temperatures are cooler as you head up into Virginia and West Virginia, as most of the resorts up that way are in the 30’s. However, for the most part it doesn’t look like anybody made snow overnight and we probably won’t see anybody do so again until Wednesday night. Between now and then temperatures will remain mild and there’s even some underdeveloped snow in the forecast for Tuesday and Wednesday. Blegh.
The good news is that colder air returns Wednesday night and we’ll even some snow showers accompany those cold temps. A few days of snowmaking before the weekend looks like it’ll set up another fantastic Saturday and Sunday, albeit fairly warm. We’ll keep you updated all week in preparation for the weekend.
2017 Snowshoe Summit
Well, it’s that time of the year. Time to start talking about the Ski Southeast Summit at Snowshoe Mountain! It’s going down once again this year and will be taking place March 3rd through 5th.
Many of the perks are the same this year, including 20% off lodging, free Sunday lift tickets, and First Tracks on Sunday morning (my favorite part). The coolest part this year is that we are giving away two season passes to Snowshoe. That’s right, we are giving away FREE SEASON PASSES TO SNOWSHOE, which is generally considered to be the best ski area in the region. TWO FREE SEASON PASSES!
Click on the link above to get all of the information and make sure to sign up today! If you don’t click on the link don’t worry, I will be mentioning the event many, many times over the next several weeks. It is going to be an awesome event! Year after year I look forward to it as it is always the highlight of my season on the East coast and a great way to start the final month of the ski and snowboard season.
We currently have two resorts in the region that are at 100% open. Appalachian Ski Mountain was able to re-open Hardcore and Thin Slice yesterday and now have all 12 slopes open. Looks like a beautiful sunrise out there this morning.
Canaan Valley Resort is also at 100% open, as they have all 47 trails open for skiing and riding today. It’s been an excellent few weeks for them as they have seen several feet of snow. Keep in mind, many of those trails are open with natural snow only, so they could close at any moment’s notice.
Snowshoe Mountain opens Lower Shay’s Revenge today.
For those that don’t know, that is a double black diamond and is STEEP. The fall line near the end is pretty intimidating when you come up on it. With Lower Shay’s now open, all of The Western Territory is now open. Snowshoe is also hosting the annual Cupp Run Challenge today. The event takes place on Cupp Run (duh) and if you’re up there today it should be cool to watch the skiers fly down the mountain.
That is all for today peeps. Back to the grind!