We skied the Cataloochee Friday evening. We arrived at about 7:15 and the snow guns that have been running for several days continuously were still going full blast. The slopes looked BEAUTIFUL! The temperature was already in the teens, so with the snow guns going, we suited up in full no-skin-exposed protection. It was a good thing we did, too. After only a run or two, we were covered with a thin layer of "snow". The slope coverage is really great. There are several nice drops on Lower Omigosh, one at least 10+ feet vertical, where snow has piled up under the guns.
Since the guns had been running all day and the slopes had not been groomed since at least this morning, some places were pretty sticky. It was an interesting first few runs – there was at least one icy spot at the top of one of the first few small bumps followed by very sticky fresh man-made powder on the top of the next couple of bumps. Once we figured out where the packed powder and the fresh man-made were, we had a blast. The crowd was very light and as long as we didn’t arrive at the lift at the same time as the pack of boarders that were hanging together, there was no wait for a chair. The lodge was pretty full – I guess the cold temperatures and the snow guns in operation kept a lot of folks off the slopes. It should be a great day at Cataloochee tomorrow.
Snow guns were running on Rock Island Run as well. Looking up the mountain from mid-station, it looked like conditions will be pretty sweet when Rock Island opens on Sunday. It was hard to tell in the dark, but Upper Omighsh appeared to have some coverage as well. It didn’t look like any snow guns were running up there, so it may have been from yesterday’s snowfall. When I checked my small "zipper thermometer" at about 9:00pm, the temperature was 8 degrees. Looks like they’ll make plenty more snow this evening!
Be sure to check the Cataloochee Photos of the Day for Dana’s Photos!