Today is a good day. Despite the picture outside the window being gray, foggy, and rainy, it’s a good day. There’s nothing we can do about the weather, so it’s my opinion to just make the best of it. I plan on it. Today is our office Christmas party at SkiNC.com and SkiSoutheast.com. So, we’re finishing up early today, around noon, to do some celebrating and have a jolly good time. Then, we are blessed enough to have off until the 3rd. So, Mike will take back over the ski reports and FirstTrax for a few days. I’m excited to spend the holidays with friends and family and the odds are looking pretty favorable for a White Christmas! I am heading to New Bern, NC for the Christmas holiday then my New Year’s will be spent in…West Jefferson?!?! I know, I know. Last year I spent my New Year’s in Atlanta listening to one of the greatest bands on the planet (Widespread Panic!!) and this year they’re all the way out in Denver, so We’re sticking to the east coast. Some wonderful friends live in the W-J and a bunch of other really wonderful people are joining us for a weekend of festivities. Plans? None, and that’s kind of the beauty of it. Skiing on Friday is likely. I know, it’s always crazy busy the week between Christmas and New Years, but friends only come to town so often. So, you’ll likely find me at Beech on the 31st, then we’ll have a nice dinner, indulge in delicious food and drink, and the rest is up in the air. Regardless, I’m excited to spend the holidays relaxing with my wonderful friends and family. I’ll take this opportunity to wish all of you a very Happy Holiday season!
North Carolina Ski Areas…
Appalachian Ski Mountain – 39°- WOW! That’s incredibly warm, well, compared to the last few weeks. Cold weather will return this weekend, so the warmth and the rain will peace out! Appalachian is open on all slopes and lifts today! All terrain parks are open and here’s what you’re working with: 2 small tabletops, 16′ flat box, 12′ juice box, 20′ lift tower, 19′ OG down rail, 21′ down-flat lift tower, 20′ lift tower mini pipe. 16′ propane tank, 21′ goalpaost lift tower, 24′ double barrel handrail, large tabletop, 2 medium tabletops. Have fun!
Beech Mountain – 36.8°- Just in time for the holidays, OZ RUN IS OPEN! Beech is now open on 100% of the mountain with 5 lifts running! Cheers to the mountain ops crews at Beech for doing an awesome job so far this year, I’ve heard several people mention that they think Beech is really stepping up their game!!
Cataloochee – 45°- Open on 100% of the mountain with 16 slopes and all lifts! Snowmaking is projected to resume on Wednesday night. Cataloochee WILL NOT be making snow during skiing and riding hours! Christmas Eve hours are 8:30am-4:30pm and Christmas Day hours are 1pm-10pm
Sapphire Valley – 51.2°- It’s t-shirt weather at Sapphire Valley! They are 100% open. Call ahead for session information.
Sugar Mountain – 36°- Open today on 19 of 20 runs (Sugar Bear is the only one not open) with 8 lifts running! Ice skating and tubing are also open! Remember to look for Santa this week! Sugar is open from 9am-4:30pm on Christmas Eve and 12pm-10pm on Christmas Day.
Wolf Ridge Resort – 40°- Open today for day and night skiing! Snow is in the forecast!! Snowmaking is projected to resume tonight or tomorrow night. Wolf Ridge is closing at 4:30 on Christmas Eve and will be closed Christmas Day. On the 26th they reopen with extended hours from 9am-10pm through January 2nd! Plans are to have the whole mountain open by New Years!
So, it looks like there are lots of options for holiday skiing across the board. Now, we all know the holidays are the busiest time of the year for ski resorts. The ski area staff do an awesome job of keeping everything moving, and it can be an insanely stressful time for everyone working (I worked at App Ski Mtn for 5 seasons, I know first hand). So be patient, it’s the holidays, you’re safe and getting ready to shred some of the best conditions we’ve had in December in a long time, just chill. A simple thank you or a smile will go a very long way in keeping spirits high. The more holiday cheer floating around out there, the better the experience will be for everyone.
A word to the beginners from, well, wherever. If you don’t know what you’re doing, take a lesson. There are talented instructors at every ski resort who will make your experience a million times better. Stay on the green slopes. We all know that you’re awesome, that you’re an athlete, and that you have mad skills at everything you try, but do yourself a favor and don’t get stuck on the blues and blacks if you don’t belong there. Ski Patrol have a million other people to worry about on busy holiday weekdays and weekends and they don’t have any business bailing you out of a stupid mistake. And lastly, please try to make turns, pizza, french fry, whatever! You’ll find this wherever you go…somebody on shorter skis, maybe in the 140-150 range, with poles tucked into their pits, a crazy fleece hat they paid too much for in the gift shop, barreling down the hill at an uncontrollable 30 miles an hour. YOU ARE A DEADLY WEAPON…this can lead to total destruction. If you’re gonna go for the whole tuck and dive method stay out of the center of the slopes, or better yet, don’t do it at all!!!
Merry Christmas folks, I hope you have safe and happy holiday travels. Have fun out there, send us your trip reports. If you don’t feel like writing an essay on where you went, a few photos with a sentence or two will do just fine!!! Send them to me at [email protected] or [email protected] It’s always fun to see where you guys are and what you’re doing, and it totally makes me jealous!!
For more information on ALL of the ski resorts of the Southeast and Mid Atlantic – visit www.SkiSoutheast.com
THINK COLD! THINK SNOW!
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