Near Record Crowds Make Holiday Skiing A Success for All Ski Areas

All you needed to know about conditions at most of the resorts in the state on Friday, could have been ascertained by one look at the webcams provided by most. It was a busy day to say the least!  From the few reports that we received we’d have to say that it was a near record day of attendance for most of the ski areas, with heavier lift lines than normal at some.  Lorrie Tomlinson, our most active On-Snow Reporter, stated that lines at Ski Beech were not unbearable, although we witnessed a couple of shots from the webcam that looked like they could have been rather lengthy, but timing is everything.  Case in point, we viewed the slopeside Beech cam a few times and the slopes were not crowded at all, so it was more of a "congregating at the bottom kind of thing."

We heard from some over at Wolf Laurel and Sugar that things were pretty bottle-necked at the bottom as well. We’re sure that the same could be said most everywhere as that is as much a part of Holiday Skiing as…well…skiing!

Some people on the messageboards seemed to want to advise people to stay away, but the truth is…there was a lot of good fun on the snow experienced yesterday at all of the North Carolina Ski Resorts and lift lines are just a part of it. We’re just thankful that the snow conditions are good, (there’s PLENTY of snow at all area resorts) and the weather was such that all of the ski areas had great attendance.  This is a crucial, near make-it-or-break it time for most all ski areas and this Holiday season has been a great one.

If you’re headed to the slopes today or tomorrow…you may want to take the approach that many experienced, and frequent skiers take during these heavy attendance days.  GET OUT ON THE SLOPES FIRST THING.  That way you will have NO lift lines…often skiing right onto the lift…for the first one to three hours.  Then once the heavy crowds start coming…leave.  You will probably get in more runs down the mountain than those who come at 11:30am or so and stay all day! (I may have just messed things up by telling that little secret! Oh Well.)

All of the ski areas are doing good with conditions. All are running good base depths and side-to-side coverage. The weather for today looks a bit wet for the AM hours and clearing later in the day so it doesn’t appear to be anything that would cancel your skiing plans.  Things should clear up enough to ski later in the day and tonight.  Sunday looks mild and nice.

Most of the ski areas have New Year’s Eve plans…so check out there websites.  Here some of those that we are aware of:

Ski Beech: There will be live Rock n’ Roll at the Beech Tree beginning at 9:30 on New Year’s Eve.

Sugar Mountain: Fireworks at Midnight. Live Music with the Too Much Band and a Torchlight Parade.

Hawksnest: Will be open 9am to midnight for skiing and boarding. Snow Tubing will be open 9am to 9pm.

Until Next Time!

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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.