Pretty Good Conditions Await North Carolina Skiers this Weekend

Some areas are going to be experiencing near 80° over the next couple of days!  That is amazing!  The temps are already showing at 54° on top of Grandfather Mountain as the WEATHER CHANNEL crew is up there enjoying a beautiful start to their weekend.  This time last year we were coming off a foot of snow in most areas and receiving another 1” of snow!  What a difference a year makes!?!

Is Winter Over?  “Not so fast” say most forecasters.  However, most of them say that the next couple of weeks are not going to offer any really cold outbreaks.  Most are saying to expect a cold mix the middle of next week, then a cold sunny weekend next weekend March 18th and 19th, but then pretty much normal temps.  After the warm temps that we’ve been seeing of late…we’ll TAKE normal!

The point is that the forecast doesn’t hold but a few snowmaking opportunity days for resorts from North Carolina up to Maryland .  That means that with a few exceptions, what you see at the resorts of the Southeast, is what you’ll have for the rest of the ski season. That forecast forced Ski Beech to decide to call it quits for the season tomorrow at 4:30pm.  We speculated that would happen a couple of days earlier this week.  Don’t be surprised if another resort or two doesn’t decide to do the same thing. We’re thinking Hawksnest may make the same call tomorrow.  They’ve been holding out hope that they’d open weekends only for a while longer but unless they make some snow, things would be pretty sketchy for the weekend of the 18th and 19th.  We’ll keep you posted.  It WOULD be great to get in one more weekend up there.

We’ve haven’t taken an in-depth tour of the region in a while so let’s do that today –

Appalachian Ski Mountain is still looking the best in the state and they dropped base depths about an inch from yesterday.  No thin coverage or bare areas on their 23-63” base and 9 trails. Also note that Appalachian is offering their 2006-2007 Season Passes on Sale right now. Get your 2006/07 pass now and ski FREE for the rest of this season! It’s a great offer – just buy next season’s membership NOW and you’ll get weeks of free skiing in March! They have plenty of snow to make this a pretty cool offer!!!

Cataloochee Ski Area is open for DAY SKIING ONLY today.  They dropped their base about 3” but with 10 trails covered by a base of 30-62” they are in great shape to ride things out to March 26th.  They say they will continue to make snow when possible.  Cataloochee is shooting to offer the longest ski season in the region if they make it to March 26th.

Hawksnest Resort – They haven’t made since early week before last and they are showing a little wear but one look at the Live Cam shows that there is plenty of snow on the 9 trails open (Top Gun is closed) and they also are offering the Snow Tubing Hill as well.  If you are into Snow Tubing Hawksnest hs the ONLY one open in North Carolina .  Hawksnest is offering a 10-30” base and does have some thin coverage and bare areas.  They will be open for day and night skiing today and day skiing only for Sunday.  This COULD be their last weekend so get up there and enjoy it.

Ski Beech – As we mentioned earlier in the week, Ski Beech has decided that this will be their last weekend of skiing as they announced yesterday that they are pulling the plug on the season tomorrow at 4:30pm. Gil Adams stated, “We have enjoyed some really good spring conditions for the last few days, and this weekend will be just as fun. The moguls on Southern Star are just right and they are great to try in these conditions. All of our slopes are in good shape with something for every one. Come on out for this last weekend of the season before putting your skis and boards away, and don’t forget your sunscreen. It’ll be great!”

 Like Hawksnest, they are looking a little marginal…but there is plenty of good skiable terrain with some bare areas and thin coverage.

Sugar Mountain – They look quite a lot nicer than Beech and Hawksnest but they are showing some thin coverage and a few bare areas that they aren’t reporting. While they don’t have an average maximum base depth of 70”, their 25” of base has been groomed to look pretty good right now.  Later in the day expect a few more bare areas and thin coverage to show through.  However, they do have very good side-to-side coverage on 19 trails.  It IS funny how they have some thin coverage and bare areas on their 25-70” while Appalachian doesn’t on their 23-63”. Regardless, we’re giving Sugar some props for very good conditions today.

If you want to tour the rest of the Southeast and Mid Atlantic Ski Resorts…click over to

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.