Story by Mike Doble – [email protected]

Let's get right to the top news of today and that is the fact that Sugar Mountain is open for day sessions today (Sunday) with the same two main trails open from their 3/4th station. A couple of newbies emailed me personally on Friday referencing why so little is open.  First, for those who have not visited Sugar – that is quite a lot of real estate to ride on. It's actually pretty amazing that Sugar can make as much snow as they now do within a day or so of optimal snowmaking temperatures.  They put down more than a foot of snow across the width and length that covers nearly a mile of their network of trails.

So to be clear, there is quite a bit of terrain to play on.

Cataloochee did a likewise amazing job of blasting some 2-3 feet of first day base on 6 of their 17 trails and all one has to do is check out the LIVE CAMS at either resort to see that there are quite a few people making first day(s) (weekend) turns at both popular North Carolina ski areas.

Sugar is also open for ICE SKATING…and here's their Sunday offerings:

Adult full day $40 Jr. full day $30
Adult half day $30 Jr. half day $25

Ice Skating is open with sessions at 10am, 12pm, 2pm, 4pm and 6pm.

SNOW REPORT UPDATE: November 17, 2013 8:30am
Today we will be skiing for one session only, day skiing from 8:30am – 4:30pm on 6 slopes from midstation down with 2 lifts and 1 conveyor lift operating on a 16-34" base and machine groomed surface. Lift tickets will be $35 for adults and $25 for juniors age 5-12 and we will continue this reduced rate through Sunday. Regular rental rates will apply. Remember, we are in our early season operating hours of 9am until 4:30pm, Monday through Friday and 8:30am – 4:30pm, Saturday and Sunday. There will be no half day rates available at this time, but we will be again be offering a one run refund. Purchase your lift ticket and make one run and if you are not satisfied after your first run within the first 30 minutes, your money will be refunded for your purchase!


I spoke with a long time Sugar fan, Ron Kent on Friday after he skied both of Sugar's first two days of this VERY early season and he said, "I was really astounded at how good the conditions are. Very few people were on the slopes until later in the day and the snow was awesome. Soft, carvable and awesome!"


Now that both Cataloochee and Sugar have opened the 2013-2014 season, we're now waiting on the rest of the resorts to follow suit. Early seasons are almost always "hit and miss" in terms of getting open and STAYING open and this one looks no different. Our Southeast and Mid Atlantic ski resorts traditionally call Thanksgiving Weekend the official/unofficial opening foray into snow play each season and ANY days of playing on the snow prior to that is simply a bonus.

Right now it looks like we'll not get anymore snowmaking temps until MAYBE Tuesday evening and that looks "iffy". So right now…THINK COLD and keep checking back for snow report updates and we'll tell you when the next string of cold days and nights are headed our way.

Look for more great posts from Tim Bahlke coming ahead…

Mike is the Editor and founder of and Since September of 1996 he has written more than 2800 articles promoting all of the ski areas of North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland. While attending to the thousands of emails, photo submissions and On-Snow reports that come in all season long, Doble also owns and operates a full service web design and marketing company that has more than 800 clients in 30+ states and several countries.He shares that it was his passion for all things snow that prompted him to start the ski network and since that time the website has gained popularity through it's webcam and weather content as well.Mike is the father of four daughters, is an avid snow and water skier, football freak of his alma mater (the University of South Carolina) and hearty promoter of all that is Western North Carolina to West Virginia and Maryland. Mike spends his off time with his horses, playing golf, tennis and boating on Watauga Lake with his family and friends, coaching local soccer teams and oh yes...Snow Skiing!