Near Zero Degree Temps and Up to 7″ of Snow Hits the North Carolina Mountains!

Snow and cold temps are the headline stories for today. The storm wasn’t the one-foot variety that some were forecasting, as Ski Beech received 5" and Wolf Ridge reported the most snow with 7" of natural powder. However, the snows were great to see and of course all of the ski areas are blasting their mountains with tons of manmade snow as well.

This was one of those snowstorms that may have snowed 5" in places but most of the region is looking at about an inch or two of snow everywhere as the winds were howling such that even over on the Tennessee line where snows are traditionally deeper…there is still around an inch or two showing. There are certainly drift areas where snow is nearly a foot deep…

We’ll take what we can get, but I don’t know about you guys, but I’m ready for one of those one footers to materialize without all the wind.

Conditions are GREAT today. Bundle up!

Here’s some numbers…

Appalachian is reporting a low of 5° and a total of about 3" from the 2 day storm. They have 6 trails of packed powder and machine made on their hill and terrain park. They upped their base another 8" in the last 24 hours so conditions at App will be m-a-r-v-e-l-o-u-s!

Cataloochee is reporting 3° this morning and 3" of natural snow. They made a ton of manmade snow as well because they upped their max base depth by 12" in the last 24 hours to 24-48" of packed powder. They have seven slopes open, terrain park features and their Tube World tubing hill is open as well.

Hawksnest is reporting 4° and 5" of natural snow from the past 2 day storm total. They have also blasted the slopes with manmade snow and upped their base depth by 10" to reflect 15-35" of great conditions.

Several people have emailed as to whether Hawksnest has their terrain park open and they do not show it as open. They probably have some features up. Also they have six trails and their tubing park open.

Ski Beech is showing 4° this morning and 5" of snow from the 2 day storm. They are also reporting 5 trails open (up from the 4 that they have had thus far this season) and a base of 8-18".

There has been a lot speculation over Ski Beech talking about upping their terrain park "game". To that end, they are announcing a Rail Jam for this evening.

Ski Beech reports on their website, "Join us for a Rail Jam this Thursday evening at Ski Beech on Freestyle. We will begin our Red Baron Room Thursday Night Park Competitions this Thursday with rails and boxes set-up on Freestyle. Registration for the contest is from 4:30-5:30 at the Red Baron Room Snowboard Shop with the contest beginning at 6:30. Registration is $10 if you already have a slope ticket and $20 for registration plus a slope ticket. The awards ceremony will be at the Beech Tree following the competition at 9:00. It will be an exciting night of competition and fun. Come on out and join us for the inaugural Thursday Night Park Competition.

We have written Beech numerous times asking about different promotions but they are not answering emails.

NOTE: WE’D LOVE TO GET SOME PICS AND VIDEOS FROM THIS…so if you’re up there shoot us some images and email them to [email protected]  

Sugar Mountain is showing minus 1° as a low this morning and 2" of new snow (5" for the 2 day storm) and they also made a ton of snow. They upped their base across the entire mountain by 12" from yesterday morning. They are reporting as base of 15-46" on 10 trails (the most in the state) and they have their new 10,000 sf ice skating rink open as well.

Wolf Ridge Resort is showing 8° this morning. They are also reporting a state leading snow total of 6" which coincides with what the National Weather Service reported for their area. They have 6 trails, terrain park features and tubing open today as well.

Sapphire Valley – Still no report. We called over there and their snowline is reporting them as "closed until they can make snow". We have to assume they have been able to make snow over the last couple of days and that they will probably be open this weekend. We’ll try to contact them again later today.

BASE DEPTHS CLIMBING…maybe too fast…

There is no question that all of the state’s ski areas will have their best conditions of the entire season to date…this coming weekend. If you have been delaying your ski trip awaiting good conditions…then this weekend is going to be BOMBER. Hit your favorite resort and you will not be disappointed. Conditions will be wonderful and while none of the resorts will have all of their terrain open, there will certainly be more terrain than we’ve seen all season long. It should be primo conditions with comfortable temps and no snowmaking while you’re skiing. Make plans and make the trip…you’ll thank us.

Now that I’ve remarked about how nice conditions ARE…I want to spotlight the fact that bases have grown way more than reasonable over the last three days at some resorts which certainly gives the impression that some of the bases being reported are more "marketing numbers" than an actual count.

A growth of 6-8" per day is reasonable to expect over a 24 hour period with temps near zero, which is what we’ve had. However to see some bases going up by 12-15" in a 24 hour period across all of a resort’s trails is probably an inflated figure. In one case we saw a resort jump their base depth nearly 22" in the last 48 hours.

This has been a tough season to date and resorts have done a remarkable job of providing the conditions that we’ve seen thus far. We’re just hopeful that we won’t see the kind of marketing bases that were so common years ago.

Only a couple of years ago we seemed to be complaining regularly about inflated base depths and the truth is that you can only ski on TOP of whatever is there. The fact that 40" might be under you only means that there will be enough snow to last out a warm spell. Thankfully all of the resorts have good bases with the possible exception of Ski Beech which has had more difficulty keeping snow on their terrain than all of the other resorts this season. They are now reporting 8-18" and that should make for great conditions for now through the next week as they are still making snow. Beech and all of the resorts should be able to make snow around the clock today and tonight. Snowmaking will stop sometime on Friday, but Friday night looks great with lows around 18°. Then the snowguns will be off until LATE next week.

The long range forecast shows no snowmaking through Wednesday night…and more winter weather returning for next weekend. So AGAIN…conditions should be great for the next period…and things look good for us to finally get away from the roller coaster conditions that we’ve seen thus far this season and actually get TO some normal, mid-season conditions will ALL of the terrain open.

That will be great to see!


Numerous people have emailed asking how much snow that our resorts have seen thus far. That information is always accessible on our website as we are the only source as far as we know that documents snowfall for each of the ski areas. We have done so for four straight seasons now and you can see snowtotals for last year, 2005 and of course for this season as well.

To see that information anytime…simply click on the resort link on the front page and then that information is viewable on the middle column.

However, since so many have asked that question over the last couple of days, we have displayed it below.

2007-2008 Season Snow Total per resort:

Appalachian – 7"
Cataloochee – 6"
Hawksnest – 11"
Ski Beech – 13"
Sugar Mtn – 11"
Wolf Ridge – 8"

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

For resort news, photos and videos from ALL of the Southeast and Mid Atlantic ski areas, visit  

See You On The Slopes!