MLK Weekend at NC Ski Resorts will be Great, Cold and Snowy!

I love waking to the sound of the ocean breaking over the waves just outside my bedroom windows. Ahh, yes, that’s sooooo n-i-c-e. Wha-what was that? Darn, it was a dream and now I realize that the ROAR that I was hearing in my sleep was the wind rustling through the trees. Okay it was more like roaring against my house.

That wind is already dying down but is a sign of the NEXT cold and snowy weather system that is moving into the mountains of North Carolina.

If you are among the many thousands of MLK weekend holiday skiers and snowboarders headed to your favorite mountain this weekend, you’re going to experience the absolute BEST conditions of the season to date…AND you will probably enjoy 2-3" of natural snow as well.

How perfect is that?

Highs this weekend should be in the 20s and lows in the single digits both Saturday and Sunday night so you’ll get to use those fireplaces.

There is plenty of snow on the ground from the last snow system, but I WILL tell you that if you are headed to Sugar or Beech Mountains…there not as much on the ground right NOW as you’re probably expecting to see.

Sugar reported 5" of fluffy powder Thursday morning and maybe it was so fluffy that 3" of it disappeared my mid morning Thursday, but as of this morning you will see much more snow on the ground around Boone and even Foscoe, than you will at Banner Elk.

I was at Dunn’s Deli earlier in the day and at Banner Elk Cafe later and asked both "Where’s all the snow?" and each answered, "We just didn’t get that much here."

Thanks to Baker Perry of Appalachian and his snow measuring project, we’re seeing official reports from all around the High Country and although it is HIGHLY unusual – Banner Elk and Beech Mountain did not see as much snow from the Wed-Thurs snow storms as areas in Ashe County and lower elevations around Sleepy Hollow, etc.

It is GORGEOUS regardless of the amount of snow on the ground and you’ll find from 2" to 3 or 4 on the ground at different locations around the Western North Carolina mountains and I’ll share some photos that we received from around the area in just a bit.

With additional accummulation of snow coming in on Saturday…things should be wonderful for holiday visitors.


Appalachian – Morning low 23°. 29° as of 7:20am – 8 of 10 trails open, both terrain parks and ice skating. Appalalachian made snow overnight but announced yesterday that they are in such great shape that they will not be making snow during ski sessions. They also plan on going 100% open Saturday morning.

Cataloochee – 30° – 10 of 14 trails open, terrain park features and snow tubing. Tammy Brown reported that The Cat did end up with about 6" of snow from the Wed-Thursday snow storm. Conditions are packed powder for today.

Hawksnest – 32° – They are reporting 8 trails of the 12 they have are open INCLUDING TOP GUN! They also have some terrain park features available and snow tubing as well. Hawksnest also reported 5" of snow from the Wed-Thursday storm.

Sapphire Valley – 33° – There’s no report from Sapphire lately but we spoke with Justin in the rec center and he said that they were opening at noon for sking and tubing and are expecting snow this weekend.

Scaly Mountain Tubing – We spoke with a very sleepy Mrs. Troutman over there and she said that Scaly’s massive single-lane, tubing hill would be open this weekend and that they would be open weekends, weather permitting the rest of the season.

Ski Beech – 24° at 7:50am – They are reporting a base of 10-18" of packed powder and frozen granular with 10 of 15 trails open, ice skating and their restaurant, shops and bakery are all open. They are making snow this morning and will as long as temps allow according to their report.

Sugar Mountain – 24° – They added another open trail to their offerings today and now have 15 of 20 trails open, ice skating and tubing for your pleasure. Sugar is reporting that "Other slopes like The Terrain Park and the Ski School Play Yard are scheduled to open by the weekend."

Snowmaking is ongoing at Sugar as long as temps allow but they do write, "While snowmaking is in progress we make every effort to ensure your day on the slopes is as enjoyable as possible. As a result, snowmaking machines are aimed away from skier/snowboarder traffic as much as possible."

Several of our readers advised us this morning that after reporting base depth growth of 4" on Sunday, 6" on Monday, 2" Tuesday and THIRTY INCHES on Wednesday that Sugar upped their reported base by 2" on Thursday and then are reporting NO INCREASE since Thursday.

Wolf Ridge – 32° – We spoke with Johnny Goen over there and he reported that they are open with 7 trails today (they added one from yesterday) and they hope to make more snow Friday night and open more for the weekend. The seven trails are only accessible by two separate access points as confirmed by Johnny.

Go enjoy the day and…THINK COLD AND SNOW!!!

Until Next Time…Send your comments, photos and videos to: [email protected]  

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See You On The Slopes!

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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.