Bitter Cold and 2-3″ of New Snow at the North Carolina Ski Areas!

We’ve been pouring through emails and will post some new photos a bit later in the morning. The BIG news is the temperatures! Most areas DID pick up anywhere from 1-3” of snow Thursday night and into the early hours of Friday morning. Most of the snow came and went from 6pm-8pm last night.

Appalachian reported 2”
Cataloochee – 2”
Hawksnest – 2-3”
Ski Beech – 3”
Sugar … of course reported 2-4” (Let’s make it the same as Beech with 3” as we called the police department and they are reporting 2-3”)

Note: For any thin-skinned FELLOW Sugar lovers out there, notice we said FELLOW Sugar lovers because WE like Sugar too! We’re just reporting the facts. We all know Gunther’s a snow lover and he gets a bit overzealous with natural snow measuring!

The snow was a welcome sight as this IS the first big weekend prior to the Holidays and snow excites the masses. More importantly the dry air and bitter cold temps are allowing the ski resorts to blast the slopes with sustained HOURS of snowmaking, which is building base depths in very fast fashion!

The temperatures were outrageous last night and this morning. Here’s what we have from reporting stations:

Appalachian – 4°
Cataloochee – 9°
Hawksnest – 4°
Sugar Mountain – 4°
Ski Beech – minus 1°

At 8:37am this morning Beech is reporting minus 1° with a wind chill of minus 32°!

The winds were brisk all night to say the least, but not quite as gusty as some were forecasting. Nevertheless we will see 10-15 mph winds today and with highs holding in the teens and low 20s, you should dress accordingly. Layers, layers and more layers. Face masks are a must. Cover all exposed skin!

The other BIG NEWS today is MORE terrain open…in the form of Hawksnest Ski Resort! Congrats to them on opening today for the season. They will have 12-24” of base, three trails operating and they will also offer snow tubing today! Hawksnest will be open from 12:30pm til midnight!

So everyone in North Carolina is open today except for Sapphire Valley and Wolf Ridge Resort. Sapphire is reportedly opening on Saturday for Tubing and Wolf is looking at opening for the season sometime next week.

If you’ve been thinking of making an early season ski trip up…this will be a great weekend. After bitter cold today…the weekend will mild up to more normal highs and lows and sunny skies! Highs are expected to be in the 40s Saturday and Sunday with overnight lows in the PERFECT SNOWMAKING RANGE of 14-15°!

Dress warm and see you on the slopes!

Until Next Time…


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Mike Doble
Mike is the Editor and founder of, and Since September 1996 he has posted close to 14,000 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.