North Carolina Ski Areas Fighting to Stay Open on January 5th, 2007

It is within times like these where we at and earn our stripes. We’re a bit late this morning posting this detailed update because yours truly was being interviewed on the WTAR, Cathy Lewis Show out of Norfolk, Virginia this morning. One of Cathy’s staffers had contacted us a couple of times leading up to this morning’s show and even so I was introduced as “Mike Doble with Wintergreen Resort!” Funny! After beginning the on-air interview with a correction, that pretty much set the tone for the rest of the show as I spent most of it correcting misconceptions that Cathy had about what’s happening at the resorts.

The first was that resorts were losing money. Not so. As we mentioned yesterday, skier visits thus far on the season (which dictate the financial success of a mountain) are not that far off normal. In addition to those that we mentioned yesterday, Brad Moretz of Appalachian Ski Mountain responded to a Mountain Times interview by stating that some days during the Holidays were near record skiers. All in all it was an amazing week, especially considering the lack of cold and snow.

Another misconception that she led another question with was, “Well, Mike that is surprising that the visits were near normal; I guess the HARD CORE skiers will ski anytime or on anything.” Again, I had to correct her. Actually, the majority of the people on the mountains of the Southeast right now are NOT hard core skiers, but relative newbies or beginners that had planned trips and just wanted to see snow. The hard core guys and gals are waiting for the conditions to get better.

After a couple more corrections, she was pretty much ready to get the hook around my neck and get me off the air! I’m exaggerating a bit, because she was nice and she handled the flow of the interview well, but you could tell that she didn’t like being wrong with her questioning.

Since we’re on the subject of broadcast media, one of our people was listening to the Ace & TJ Radio show out of Charlotte, North Carolina this morning and they provided an Alpine Ski Report that had all sorts of inaccuracies, including one in which it claimed that Sugar Mountain has 5 trails open and that they were making snow this morning! Huh??? Its 53° and raining! By the way, the SSAA is reporting that Sugar has 6 trails open. Again, wrong! Sugar has 3 trails open and there’s definitely been no snowmaking going on in the last 24+ hours.

We have GOT to get everyone using our content! ‘Nuff said.

Significant “Under Developed Snow” on tap for Friday –

We’ll get to the yucky details in a moment, but have you guys noticed that when the weather forecast five days out calls for RAIN, that it happens way more times than not? However, when the forecast just two or three days out forecasts SNOW…it kicks us in the rear – more times than not. What’s up with that?

Okay let’s get to the sorry details of what’s happening today, because most every other reporting service around (the SSAA, OntheSnow, SkiCentral) all have it wrong.

Appalachian is being reported by numerous services to have 6 trails open. They only have Appaltizer, Strudel and Lower Big Appal open (that’s THREE). Their popular terrain park is not open today.

Hawksnest is being reported as having three trail open. They only have ONE. The main trail off the right side (Goshawk) is open today and the main lift is service that trail.

Sapphire Valley is being reported as having their tubing hill going but no skiing. Actually they are closed altogether until snowmaking resumes.

Ski Beech is being reported with one trail open and while that is correct, it should be noted that the one trail is the Youth Learning Slope only with NO LIFTS in operation. No night skiing either.

As mentioned before Sugar Mountain is skiing on three trails. Upper and Lower Flying Mile and Easy Street are open.

Wolf Ridge actually looks pretty decent compared to those mentioned above. They too are skiing on three trails with thin coverage, but their webcam is showing decent snow coverage. Thin – but decent.

The pick of the North Carolina resorts today would have to be Cataloochee Resort in Maggie Valley. They are skiing on 6 trails and their live camera is showing decent coverage. They certainly have some think coverage and perhaps a bare spot here and there, but pretty decent coverage from side to side.

That’s it for the North Carolina ski areas. You can visit in a few moments to catch the details from all of the ski areas of the region as well as some more updated weather information that we’ll be sharing with you.

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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.