Appalachian and Cataloochee Continue to Make Snow to Insure a Great Guest Experience for Spring Skiing!

We’ve received several emails yesterday asking about the plausibility of “finding decent conditions” for ski trips this week or over the upcoming weekend. One such email stated, “Will there be any snow left at Appalachian if my family wants to ski on Friday, March 23rd?”

Others were related to that question and you only need to replace App with another resort and the move the date around a little. 

Let me make this so clear that I can not be misunderstood. Appalachian Ski Mountain (and Cataloochee) have made snow each night since Friday evening and they actually have INCREASED their base depths over this past weekend! As an example, Appalachian Ski Mountain has increased its base depth by 4-6” since Friday. They are now reporting a base of 26-60” and they are 100% open with all 10 trails and both terrain parks! Hey they even have ice skating going on over there!

So to be clear – any ski trip planned this week or weekend will provide PLENTY OF SNOW!


Many of you who have emailed us about conditions will enjoy this bit of information that we received from Brad Moretz and Drew Stanley of Appalachian. Brad shared that App’s end-of-season snowmaking policy for THIS season will be exactly what it has been for the last decade – and that is that they will make snow whenever possible RIGHT UP THROUGH Friday night / Saturday morning of March 30th-31st! Moretz said, “For the last decade, we have skied through the 4th Sunday in March on 8 of the last 9 years, and have planned to ski through April 1st this season for the first time ever.”

It is very telling to hear Moretz’s reasons for snowmaking. He said, “We didn’t make snow because we needed it to stay open. We made snow to let our guests know that we are committed to offering the best possible conditions right up to the last day.”

SkiNC and SkiSoutheast has written much about grooming and snow maintenance this season. That’s simply because not all ski areas think alike. Right now there’s plenty of snow on the ground to coast til the end of the month and anyone who skied this past weekend would attest to that. However, when you see resorts making snow on March 19th and beyond, you KNOW that they are thinking about the experience that you, the guest will have. Drew Stanley commented, “We could easily coast on through to the end of the season without making snow, but we want our guests to have the best possible conditions the entire season, not just through the end of February, so we have continued to make snow every week (usually several times a week if possible). During the latter part of the season, we have also tried to spread out our snowmaking so that every night we make snow, the entire ski area gets a new layer of fresh snow.”

One of the things that Moretz commented on that makes sense is that March is probably the most important time of the year to make snow with regard to the tremendous positive impact it has on changing snow conditions from heavy loose granular to packed powder if only for a few days.

As of Sunday Appalachian had completed 36 continuous hours of snowmaking, and they made snow Sunday night. Moretz and Stanley reported, “Today we have some of the best snow conditions of the year. Both our Terrain Parks will have entirely new setups before next weekend. This year, Thursday night, March 29th will be the last time that we will make snow if temperatures are cold enough. We would probably have enough snow to ski through Easter weekend, April 8th, but first we want to establish a consistent reputation for having good conditions through the 1st Sunday in April.”

It should be noted that even though the focus of these comments was on Appalachian, Cataloochee Ski Area also made snow each of the last three nights and conditions will no doubt be great at Cataloochee for this week.


Appalachian is 100% open with great conditions on Monday and they are riding for day and night skiing!

Cataloochee Ski Area – Is Closed on Mondays as a part of their normal, late season scheduling. They will be open for twilight skiing and riding Tuesday through Friday.

Sugar Mountain – They did make snow a couple of days last week, including Friday night. They have not made snow either of the last two nights, but conditions are quite nice there for today with Frozen Granular conditions on 17 trails, which is the most terrain available in the state.


The second most asked question of the weekend was related to the weather. We can tell you that the weather is going to be very close to normal for this time of year. For the record “normal” are highs near 56° and lows around 32°.

We’re looking at a forecast that is showing highs slightly above normal by a degree or two, and lows in the 40° range. There is a chance for some light showers tonight, Tuesday and Wednesday…but nothing to kill a day. The coming weekend is looking partly cloudy. So if you’ve been debating whether or not to get in another day or two of skiing or riding, let us help you – MAKE A CALL, book a reservation, and get up here and ride some of the best conditions of any Spring in recent years! Lodging is cheaper this time of year and skiing is discounted as well.

Go Ski and Ride!

Until Next Time…

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Mike Doble
Mike is the Editor and founder of, and Since September 1996 he has posted more than 13,000 posts, articles, photos and videos promoting all of the ski areas of North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland.Mike is the father of four daughters, is an avid skier and enjoys golf, tennis, kayaking and hiking in the mountains. Winter snowsports and Summer boating on Watauga Lake are among his favorite pastimes.