App’s Closed…Sugar closes today at 4:30pm

…and then the Roller Coaster derailed!

We’ve had an up and down season for certain, and we’ll summarize more about that in a few days…however, at least the first two-thirds of March was wonderful and snowy. The last week of the month we saw a bit of wind and rain…and then this past Friday and Saturday the rains stayed away for a good bit and we had some nice conditions. Sunday…the roller coaster simply derailed! So much so that attendance at this year’s Meltdown Games at Appalachian were disappointingly sparce according to the emails and messageboard posts we received. The rain on Sunday wasn’t that hard, but it still kept the crowds away.

Last night it began to rain pretty hard and it rained hard enough at about 2am to wake me. That same rain prompted Appalachian to announce that they will NOT be open today and they are now closed for the 2004-2005 season. We received a couple of emails about seeing the groomers on the slopes this morning and we "tuned in" just in time to see one creeping up the slopes. We don’t know what’s up with that, because they are indeed closed for the season. App lost over two feet of base depth in the last ten days (not counting last night) and still reported that they closed down with over 100+ inches of base depth. What!?!?

Sugar Mountain, which had hinted to us last week that today would be their last day, will in fact close at 4:30pm today for the season. They have 13 trails open today. We have a ton of images (thanks to Kent Jackson) to post from yesterday’s Easter Egg Hunt and we’ll post the best of them in just a little bit. Congratulations to Jessica Shaw from Florida, (winner of the Easter Egg Hunt season pass) and Petra Van De Hey from Raleigh, NC, who was voted the best dressed bunny winner. We’re happy for Jessica, but wonder how much use she’ll get out of that season pass since she’s from Florida? Isn’t that the way?

Conditions won’t be pretty at Sugar Mountain today as one look through the cams will show you a lot of bare spots as last night’s rainfall did a number on them. Their still reporting 12-40" of base though 😉

Today will close up the reporting for the North Carolina mountains for the 2004-2005 season. It was definately one to remember! We actually were blessed to get in some POWDER skiing and phenomenal conditions over the last month of it…which will leave us all thinking fond thoughts as we await November.

We’ll definately add a few remarks and report what we receive from the ski areas…as to the numbers and just what kind of season it turned out to be for them. Most have already told us that although it was a frustrating one that took away from the MLK weekend numbers…it was a pretty decent one financially. We’ll get more and followup. We’ll also be summarizing the Winter from a weather standpoint. (How much snow and how we faired with the temperatures…) and we’ll also post a WISH LIST for next season.

If you want a little more ski news…you can hop over to as we will continue posting the conditions at the Southeast’s remaining resorts for a few more days.

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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.