The Weekly Altitude
Author thumbnail By M. Scott Smith, DCSki Editor

Ready, Set, Fire the Snowguns!

A blast of cold air was all that was needed for many Mid-Atlantic ski resorts to fire up the snowguns. Over the weekend, many resorts were able to make snow around the clock from the high elevations of North Carolina up through Pennsylvania. Beech Mountain, Snowshoe Mountain, Hidden Valley, and Seven Springs are all laying down bases.

The ski season is already underway at several resorts, including North Carolina’s Cataloochee and Sugar Mountain Resorts, and West Virginia’s Snowshoe Mountain Resort. On Sunday, November 25, 2012, Sugar Mountain had five trails open, while Snowshoe had 7 trails open. Beech Mountain plans to open on Friday, November 30.

Seven Springs has been making lots of snow the past few days. Photo provided by Seven Springs Mountain Resort.

No resorts are open yet in Maryland, Virginia, or Pennsylvania, but that could change soon with aggressive snowmaking underway at Seven Springs and Hidden Valley Resorts. Although neither resort has announced an opening date, Anna Weltz at Seven Springs says it could be “soon,” and Hidden Valley is shooting to open by the end of the week.

Nighttime temperatures through the week should dip below freezing, and some natural snow is even in the forecast midweek.

Kickstarter Project aims to develop Adventure Case for iPhone

Matt Parrill has designed a specialized case for the iPhone 4 or 5 geared towards activities like skiing and snowboarding, and he is turning to the Kickstarter web site to solicit support to make the product a reality. The iXtreme case provides a tough composite outer shell, shock-isolating inner liner, water- and dust-resistant sound portals, integrated three-point mounting system with one-finger release, 180-degree three-element wide-angle lens and lens guard, and a viewing kickstand.

“The easiest way I have found to describe iXtreme is that ‘it turns the phone into a GoPro,’” writes Parrill. The GoPro is a wearable, ruggedized video camera that has become popular with adventure enthusiasts, capturing the action of sports like skiing and snowboarding.

Parrill hopes to begin manufacturing the iXtreme in the United States in early 2013, and has started a campaign in Kickstarter to raise funds to make that a reality.

View his Kickstarter page to learn more about his project.

North Carolina Ski Areas Association Offers “Gold Cards”

If you’d like to ski every day in North Carolina but can’t decide which resort to buy a season pass at, the North Carolina Ski Areas Association has your answer: for $800, you can purchase a Gold Card, which will provide unlimited skiing and boarding at six areas including Cataloochee, Sapphire Valley, Beech Mountain, Appalachian, Wolf Ridge, and Sugar Mountain.

The passes are limited to 100 and typically sell out by mid-December. For more information, visit or call 828-898-4521.

About M. Scott Smith

M. Scott Smith is the founder and Editor of DCSki. Scott loves outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, kayaking, skiing, and mountain biking. He is an avid photographer and writer.

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