More Snow Falls Across the North Carolina Mountains as another ONE INCH Falls at Beech Mountain

9am update: As I am posting this morning’s report – the snow has begun to fall!

After hearing the local and National Weather Service forecasts yesterday – most of us were expecting to wake up to at least an inch or so of snow this morning. Well if you live at the top of Beech Mountain you’d have an inch of new snow right now…but the rest of the area has everything from no precip this morning to a dusting atop Sugar Mountain.

We’re getting some crazy emails this morning as well from some of you trashing on us about how we haven’t shown that Appalachian has received 3" of new snow overnight. It was only after getting to the 3rd email that it was apparent where that INACCURATE claim of 3" of new snow was coming from. Evidently the Southeastern Ski Areas Association (SSAA) is the culprit. They are showing 3" of new snow for App today and 7 trails. That is incorrect. App has received NO new snow this morning and they have EIGHT trails open (both terrain parks) and ice skating. (I don’t know why you guys get your ski news from anywhere else.)

MORE SNOW IS ON THE WAY…

Right now the sun is out here at the SkiNC / SkiSoutheast offices between Boone and Banner Elk, but according to all of the weather gurus we should be clouding up and snow showers should begin to fall and temps should stay in the upper 20s to low 30s for today. Some sources are saying that we’ll see anywhere from a dusting to 4" of snow at the highest elevations. Here’s what the National Weather Service is saying:

SIGNIFICANT ACCUMULATIONS OF SNOW ARE EXPECTED ACROSS MUCH OF THE AREA.

4 INCH TOTALS WILL BE COMMON…AND AMOUNTS AS HIGH AS 6 INCHES WILL BE POSSIBLE. MEANWHILE…THE LOWER ELEVATIONS CLOSER TO THE BLUE RIDGE MAY ONLY SEE AN INCH OR
TWO.

We’re getting bombed with emails from those of you who are planning to come up for the Thanksgiving Weekend – asking us what kind of weekend it will be. In a word – GORGEOUS! Thanksgiving Day should be sweet with highs in the 40s and lows in the 20s with sunny skies. Friday may be cloudy with a slight chance of "underdeveloped snow" (rain) but not enough to spoil the day. Saturday and Sunday look GREAT with sunny skies and highs in the 30s and lows in the 20s. PERFECT for your Thanksgiving Weekend ski and snowboarding getaway! Make plans to come up, pick up a beautiful, Fraser Fir Christmas Tree from one of the hundreds of Choose and Cut tree farms in the area, do some Holiday shopping and make some turns in what is unquestionably some of the best opening week conditions in years.

Oh by the way – MORE SNOW is in the forecast for MONDAY! With all of this snow and near perfect snowmaking weather expect the great conditions to continue! I’m already planning another trip to the slopes Wednesday evening and maybe Friday/Saturday.

While we’re touching on the weather – the weather gurus out there are now saying that due to the longer range pattern development it looks like we’re in for a colder and snowier than normal December. Yea baby!

Get up here and enjoy some sweet conditions!

Here’s some notables:

Ski Beech – There’s been a LOT of emails about Ski Beech over the last few days and several reports about "their quad lift being down" etc. That’s actually not the case at all. They opened this past Saturday with their double chairs and opted NOT to open the Quad lift simply because of a change in their concept of opening terrain. I spoke at length with Vice President, Ryan Costin and he shared, "We had some issues with the #3 chair (one of the doubles) and had to shut it down, but it is running fine now."

One of the reasons that resorts like to get open before the Thanksgiving Weekend holiday is to work the kinks out and Ski Beech experienced some electrical issues on opening day. HOWEVER, those issues have nothing to do with why the quad lift isn’t operating. The quad is fully operational and ready to speed people to the top of the mountain WHEN THEY ARE READY TO OPEN TO THE TOP. Ryan Costin explained, "We’ve really changed our thinking up here such that we don’t want to stretch ourselves too thin by just opening a long, winding run from Upper Shawneehaw down Lower Shawneehaw and then wind back over to Freestyle. We are really focusing on offering a quality product that people will recognize immediately and to do that we’re focusing on opening the bottom fully, and work our way up the mountain." He added that they really started blasting the upper mountain on Saturday and they expect to have Upper Shawneehaw and other trails open for the weekend if the weather holds as expected.

So to be clear – the reason the Quad is not operating is because trails are not open up there just yet. As we reported the other day, Beech is already reporting more base depth on their open terrain than at any point two seasons ago. The 28-40" of base represents a great focus on snowmaking on their lower terrain. Ski Beech has Lower Shawneehaw, Powder Bowl, Freestyle and Playyard open and they are being serviced by lifts numbers 1, 3 and 4.

We did get several reports of REALLY NICE SNOW at Ski Beech on Saturday and Sunday. Personally I can’t wait to get up there. Beech is also reporting one inch of new snow this morning.

Appalachian Ski Mountain is MAKING HISTORY! App expects to have all slopes open by Thanksgiving Day. Round-the-clock snowmaking will be in progress on Hard Core and Thin Slice Tuesday and Wednesday. They expect these trails to open in November for the first time ever! If the snowmaking forecast is accurate, this will be the first time in their 47 year history that all of the slopes will be open Thanksgiving Day! That IS awesome!

Things are going so well that App has also decided to move up their night skiing schedule. Typically they wait til the first Friday in December to begin night skiing, but they will now begin offering night skiing this Friday! This is the first time in history that night skiing has begun before the first Friday night in December, and the first time that all slopes will be open on the first night of night skiing.

Appalachian has 8 of 10 trails open right now with both terrain parks and ice skating for your Tuesday enjoyment.

Cataloochee is showing blue skies right now and snowmaking to beat the band. They have some SWEET conditions available on 8 trails for today and they are NIGHT SKIING as well! Reports are that they have some nice terrain features setup as well.

Sugar Mountain has the most skiable acreage available in the Southeast right now with their 9 trails open top to bottom. They are making snow as well and offering some fabulous conditions. Sugar has regular season rates in effect for today and they are open for night skiing as well.

Get out and enjoy the snow and send us some pics and trip reports!

Be sure to click over to www.SkiSoutheast.com  to see more snow and more reports on all of the ski areas of the Southeast and Mid Atlantic!

Send your comments, photos and videos to: [email protected]

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Mike Doble
Mike is the Editor and founder of SkiSoutheast.com, SkiNC.com and ResortCams.com. 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.