North Carolina Ski Resorts Are Rebounding With Great Snowmaking!

Yesterday I wrote about how the conditions at our resorts were NOT awesome, but how one’s perspective played a part in the enjoyment level. Only 20-some hours have passed since I wrote that. Yesterday’s story is now obsolete in many locations around the region and within another day or so it will be obsolete everywhere. Translation: Things are looking p-r-e-t-t-y sweet out this morning. We’ll take a quick tour this morning and provide some details about how much snow fell – and where – but before we jump in…just know that it snowed across much of the STATE on Tuesday and more importantly the snowguns went back online and in a big way. Snowguns are blasting many trails for the first time this season and conditions we’ll be very nice out today and near mid-season form later in the week!

Let’s Take a Tour…

Appalachian Ski Mountain – It was 18° this morning and Marketing spokeperson, Drew Stanley wrote, “Perfect snowmaking temperatures have finally arrived. According to the weather forecast, we will be making snow continuously for at least 4 to 5 days. On Saturday we expect to open our second Terrain Park located on Appaljack. Planning is currently underway for our April 1st closing weekend games. Stay tuned for more information on these and upcoming events.”

Cataloochee – We didn’t get any word from over in Maggie Valley about snowfall, but on-snow reporter, Andrea Nichols (who lives in Maggie Valley), reported, “We saw flurries and bursts of snow yesterday and last evening but for the most part we just saw a dusting.” Cataloochee has six slopes open today and tubing is closed until Thursday. Marketing Director, Tammy Brown wrote, “Don’t forget to join the Cat Crew on Thursday nights here for the Cataloochee Challenge Cup Race Series. Individuals race against the clock for the better of two runs. Top three challengers in both men’s and women’s age divisions win cool stuff. You must be 21 years of age or older to participate. Racing begins at 8pm with a post awards party at 10pm, so dust off those racing skills and test your luck. The Cat is where it’s at on Thursday night’s Challenge Cup Race Night. Call the ski area for more information.

Hawksnest – We have a shared weather station atop Seven Devils and we’re seeing the coldest temps in the state up at Hawksnest this morning. At 7:30am it was 11°! Hawksnest received a TRACE of snow and they have six trails open today. Lenny Cottom wrote, “Look for more slopes to open this week. Come check out our improved snow tubing park and expanded beginner area. Beginners now has a conveyor lift which is like a moving sidewalk that assists those learning how to ski to the top of the bunny slopes.” It is amazing what 24 hours of snowmaking can do. Hawksnest looks GREAT this morning!

Thursday, January 18th is 2nd annual Watauga Education Foundation Day. Proceeds from lift ticket and snow tubing sales will be donated to the Foundation. Come have fun on the slopes and we will donate the money to the foundation. Thursday is also Free Lesson Thursday, come rent your equipment with Hawksnest and receive a free beginner lesson.

Sapphire Valley is making snow and they are staying closed for skiing and tubing again today and Thursday to focus on getting ready for a great weekend of fun!

Ski Beech – The temp at 7am this morning was 13° and Beech cranked their guns up just shortly after we saw Sugar fire theirs up and on top of phenomenal snowmaking, Beech Mountain also saw just under an inch of snow atop their 5,506’ elevations. (We’ve also received two reports of one-half inch at other locations atop the mountain.) Ski Beech has upped their base depth from 4-8” in the last 24 hours and that will make for nice conditions on the four slopes they have open. The are only offering Lower Shawneehaw, Powder Bowl, Freestyle and Play yard today but look for more slopes to open on Thursday.

Sugar Mountain was showing 13° at 8am this morning and massive snowmaking is ongoing. Sugar is also reporting a DUSTING of snow. They have upped their base by 5” in the last 24 hours and offer ten slopes today. Sugar fans should know that Sugar is making snow on Big Red and other terrain and will be opening more expert terrain shortly!

Wolf Ridge Resort saw about an inch of snow late Wednesday, but this morning they are showing a good dusting left from it. On-Snow reporter, Robert Ingram (and Wolf resident) reported, “It was windy as heck yesterday evening and the snow was so powdery that it definitely got blown around! It didn’t last long, but was really pretty. The Wolf was howling! They are blasting the slopes with snow!” Wolf Ridge has dropped to seven trails today to focus on snow making and re-open more terrain for the weekend…maybe sooner.

Be sure to check back throughout the morning as we post some new images that came in on Tuesday evening. Also visit  for a report of the rest of the resorts in the region and you may want to visit  for LIVE images of the snowy panoramas of the mountains!

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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.