Just when it looked like December’s excellent cross-country skiing conditions in North Carolina’s high country was a once-in-an-every-five-years-or-so occurrence, it looks like Mother Nature might be staging an encore starting this weekend.
Weather.com and Weather Underground both see snow starting in the Boone area Friday and lasting at least through Wednesday of next week. The omnipotent Ray’s Weather, the definitive source for mountain weather, is likewise suggesting snow for the next week, and says some higher elevations could get a foot or more alone out of the system moving through today and Saturday. Along with the snow: dang cold temperatures, possibly not getting out of the 20s for much of the next week.
All of which couldn’t be better news for North Carolina’s cross-country skiing enthusiasts. If you have your own equipment, great, you’re ready to role. If you need equipment, the High Country Ski Shop in Pineloa is the only place in the state that rents or sells Nordic equipment, and even during the height of December’s cross-country frenzy, they still had plenty of skis available. (They also offer instruction.)
To further whip you into a frenzy, check out this slide show from my trip Dec. 29 to Moses Cone. Located just outside Blowing Rock, Moses Cone Memorial Park is an ideal venue for beginners to intermediates. Its 25 miles of carriage trails have mellow grades and enough tree cover to minimize the bare spots. On my visit, there were only two bare spots on a 6-mile loop, neither more than 20 feet long. For the most part, it was a foot or so of dry snow, ideal for cross-country skiing.
A couple quick reminders before the show. One, check out last month’s GGNC primer on x-country skiing in the state to find out where to go and who to check with for both snow conditions and road conditions before heading up. Of the former, ExploreBooneArea.com is running a Nordic Ski Report, which relies on reports from local skiers for current conditions. As such, you’ll get frank descriptions of what you’ll find.
OK, enjoy the show. May it inspire your own Nordic adventure.