Story by Mike Doble – email me at [email protected]
It was pretty while it lasted and it was a gift…and now it’s m-e-l-t-i-n-g!
Cataloochee and Sugar both opened Halloween Day and for three of the last five days things looked MUCH MORE like Winter in Maggie Valley and Sugar Mountain, North Carolina than late October and early November. Temps have been mild enough and the snow that fell early last week was wet enough that there’s enough melting happening that things look much more like the calendar would suggest they should.
<A look at Sugar Mountain’s base area this morning.
In other words, things aren’t that pretty this morning. Expect good coverage at both ski resorts, but also expect to have to maneuver yourself to the good snow across those slopes that are open. The truth is there are very few newbies (if any at all) who have taken advantage of these early, early season turns thus far.
HOW LONG WILL THEY REMAIN OPEN?
I had inaccurately speculated on Saturday that Cataloochee Ski Area would not operate going into Monday-Thursday and rather opt for their normal early season operating practice of opening for weekends only. H-o-w-e-v-e-r you know what you get assuming, and this morning Cat reports, "Cataloochee will continue to operate on a daily basis for day skiing only, as long as conditions allow."
I’m AGAIN speculating that they won’t go too far into the week with the current conditions, however it appears that they will operate as long as decent conditions allow. Truth is their 8-12" base looks a bit better than Sugar’s 6-28" but you guys can be the judge.
The forecast ahead looks borderline for an uninterrupted start to the season. However that would have been too much to expect. I can assure you that while Cat and Sugar would have loved to get started and stay open, they aren’t bummed about the fact that they were able to open…if even for a short few days.
We’re looking at highs in the 40s and 50s for the next few days into Thursday of this week and lows should dip to the upper 20s and low 30s across the higher elevations at Sugar this week. Cataloochee’s temps might be a notch milder so snowmaking ops will be limited to non-existent there at Maggie Valley. If those temps do indeed hit at Sugar, then they will be able to make snow and remain open through the week.
Lows at Sugar should be near 31° Sunday night and then closer to the upper 20s Monday night through Thursday night. Friday and Saturday of NEXT WEEK look dramatically milder/warmer. That trend looks to remain for a time after that so take advantage of it while ya can.
Check the snow report for the details. http://www.skisoutheast.com/skireports.php
We’ll try to get you guys some photos and videos when and if we can get our hands on some! Until then, our hearts and prayers are with those residents and resorts in WV and Maryland.
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