Enjoy the Spring Corn
Just how much snow do you think we"d need to ski through August?
Along the road to answering that question, the High Country was dealt a hand of less-snowy weather as of late, which has produced a phenomenon usually reserved for late March a?" spring corn.
First it was snowfall after snowfall, then came bases beyond 100 inches and now, even though bases are still quite substantial for this late in the season, a brief warm-up has created conditions that are as close to West Coast powder as you"ll ever encounter this close to Florida.
I was first taught about "spring corn" by French-Swiss Ski College founder Jim Cottrell in 2007. He explained that when warmer temperatures occur during the day but then drop below freezing overnight, skiers enjoy a firm snow base in the morning followed by a soft snow base in the afternoon.
"It"s very similar to skiing powder a?" its" just thicker and slower," Cottrell explained. "Spring skiing a?" it"s one of my favorite things."
In fact, spring corn skiing is quite popular with many High Country snowsport faithful, some of whom take to the slopes every March wearing nothing but shorts, a T-shirt and sunglasses. Though less snowy, the weather as of late is certainly not "T-shirt weather," but it definitely has created conditions worth experiencing.
Go play in the (spring corn) snow.
Around the Slopes"
As of press time, Ski Beech at Beech Mountain Resort sits with a 40- to 82-inch base, with 15-of-15 slopes open and four-of-eight lifts. Night sessions are currently available, ice skating is open, and snow-tubing is currently closed.
Ski Beech hosts College Fest Weekend this Friday through Sunday, Feb. 11 to 13. With proof of college identification, college students can purchase discounted lodging and lift ticket packages at Beech Mountain Resort all weekend long; $40 will get attendees on the slopes from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
In addition to fun on the slopes, co-eds will enjoy karaoke, live music on Friday and Saturday night and group activities.
"College Fest offers affordable skiing and snowboarding packages, combined with weekend festivities for students, ensuring a memorable college experience," Ski Beech marketing director Talia Freeman said.
"We were wanting to have a weekend in celebration of students, and we wanted to offer them something other than just skiing and snowboarding. I think we have created a fun atmosphere up here for (the students) this weekend."
College Fest kicks off at 7:30 p.m. this Friday, Feb. 11, with live music from The Enemy Lovers, an Asheville based indie-rock band, at the Beech Tree Bar and Grille.
At 1 p.m. this Saturday, Feb. 12, Edge of the World presents the College Fest Slopestyle Competition, taking place on Beech"s Powder Bowl. The entry fee is $10, with registration starting at 9 a.m. in Group Sales.
At 7:30 p.m. this Saturday, Selah Dubb will kick off the nightly entertainment in the Beech Tree Bar and Grille, followed by Do It to Julia. Entertainment will last until 1 a.m. Safe rides, sponsored by Monster Energy, will be provided throughout the evening.
The Edge of the World Boardercross Series returns at 1 p.m. this Sunday, Feb. 13. The competition is open to both skiers and snowboarders, with a registration fee of $15. Registration will begin in Group Sales at 9 a.m.
To get connected with College Fest, call Beech Mountain Group Sales at 1-800-438-2093, ext. 205.
As of press time, Appalachian Ski Mountain features a 69- to 102-inch base, with 12-of-12 slopes open and five-of-six lifts open. Night sessions are available, and ice skating is currently open.
Appalachian Terrain Park"s Chris Reynolds debuted App Terrain Park"s new website last week, which can be accessed by clicking to http://www.appterrainpark.com. The website is a one-stop-shop for photos, videos, news and events coming out of the High Country"s most-popular winter hangout.
Appalachian"s next Fresh Friday event takes place this Friday, Feb. 11. Registration takes place from 5 to 6:30 p.m. on the upper level of the Lodge, and the sessions begin at 7 p.m. Featuring distinct terrain park features imported from Europe, Fresh Friday is a free-to-enter jam session on a constantly evolving park setup, some of which is created by App"s in-house welder. Unlike other competitions, entrants hit the park setup as many times as they want and in any order they want; awards are based on standout performances during the session, and there is no first, second or third place.
As of press time, Sugar Mountain Resort is reporting a 41- to 97-inch base, with 15-of-20 slopes open and 11-of-11 lifts open. Night sessions are currently available, and both the snow-tubing operation and ice skating are currently open.
This Saturday, Feb. 12, Sugar will play host to a USSA Slalom and Giant Slalom Competition. Next weekend, on Saturday, Feb. 19, Boss Hawg will bring its High Country bluegrass pickin" to Sugar"s deck from 4 to 6 p.m.
And mark your calendars: Sugar"s Spyder 2012 Sample Sale begins Thursday, Feb. 24, when the entire Spyder 2012 sample line is discounted by 50 percent off retail price. What"s more, any remaining 2011 gear will be slashed by 60 percent, so go get re-outfitted in top fashions for next season.
After rain claimed many tubing sessions last week, Hawksnest Resort once again had to close on Monday and Tuesday, Feb. 7 and 8, this time on account of high winds and snow. Weather permitting, the resort will reopen Wednesday, Feb. 9, according to staff, and remain open all week, with 20 snow-tubing lanes open to guests.
Holiday rates will be in effect at Hawksnest this Saturday, Feb. 12, which are $32 for 1.75-hour tubing sessions. The sessions will be offered at 10 a.m., 12 p.m., 2 p.m., 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. Holiday rates will continue this month on Feb. 19, 20, 21 and 26; otherwise, snow-tubing rates are $24 per session Monday through Friday, and $32 on Sundays.
And mark your calendars: March Madness rates at Hawksnest begin March 18, which cost $18 per session on Fridays and $25 per session on Saturdays and Sundays. What"s more, during March Madness, customers can purchase two sessions for $25 total on Fridays and two sessions for $35 total on Saturdays and Sundays.
Go play in the snow.
Every Friday and Saturday in Februarya?"Midnight Blast, Appalachian Ski Mountain
Feb. 11a?"Fresh Friday 3, Appalachian Ski Mountain
Feb. 11 to 13a?"College Fest Weekend, Beech Mountain Resort
Feb. 12 and 13a?"USSA Slalom and Giant Slalom Competition, Sugar Mountain Resort
Feb. 19a?"Boss Hawg Concert, 4 to 6 p.m., Sugar Mountain Resort
Feb. 26a?"Ladies Park Night, Appalachian Ski Mountain
Feb. 26a?"Third Rail Jam, Beech Mountain Resort
Feb. 26 and 27a?"Crescent Ski Council Competition, Sugar Mountain Resort
Feb. 27a?"Shred for the Cup Rail Jam Competition, Appalachian Ski Mountain
March 4a?"Fresh Friday 4, Appalachian Ski Mountain
March 5a?"Boss Hawg Concert, 4 to 6 p.m., Sugar Mountain Resort
March 6a?"Boardercross Series Race, Beech Mountain Resort
March 6a?"Sugar Bear"s Birthday Celebration, Sugar Mountain Resort
March 6a?"Richard T. Trundy Memorial Sugar Cup Competition, Sugar Mountain Resort
March 7a?"March Madness Begins, Sugar Mountain Resort
March 13a?"Recess Wreck Less Rail Jam, Appalachian Ski Mountain
March 18a?"March Madness Begins, Hawksnest Resort
March 19a?"Boss Hawg Concert, 4 to 6 p.m., Sugar Mountain Resort
March 19a?"Shred for the Cup Slopestyle Finals, Appalachian Ski Mountain
March 20a?"Easter Egg Hunt, Sugar Mountain Resort
March 26 and 27a?"Meltdown Games, Appalachian Ski Mountain
April 1a?"Spring Rates Begin, Hawksnest Resort
Last day of the seasona?"Boss Hawg Concert, 4 to 6 p.m., Sugar Mountain Resort