Story by Mike Doble – [email protected]
First things first. The good news.
Cataloochee Ski Area and Sugar Mountain Resort are both open for day sessions today. Conditions should be pretty close to awesome for early skiers and snowboarders. There’s plenty of base out there at both resorts to provide good conditions for today and Sunday. Both ski areas are open for day sessions only. Sugar and Cat (as well as Snowshoe and Wisp) made snow overnight and Sugar is reporting an added 2" of new snow to the slopes. I have to admit, that always confuses me. A resort can lay down 8-18" in less than 24 hours and then with even better snowmaking conditions they only added 2" to the maximum…
Regardless of whether or not my pea-brain understands it, Sugar has a nice 8-20" base on the two open trails coming from the three-quarter station – which provides for about a mile of riding. Those there will certainly enjoy that ride today. Cataloochee is open with a reported base of 15-30" on the four trails that they are playing on this weekend.
Lift tickets will be $25 at Cataloochee for today and regular rental and ski school rates will apply. Tammy informs us that the Cat Terrain Park crew will provide you with some rails and boxes for your skiing and riding pleasure! Sugar is charging a very fair $30 for a full day today.
Snowshoe Mountain tweaked their opening day back one day. They were attempting to open on November 23rd and now have moved that to Turkey Day, November 24th. You can read the full announcement here http://www.skisoutheast.com/articles_3690_THANKSGIVING-DAY-OPENING-FOR-SNOWSHOE-MOUNTAIN-.html?archived=false&type=all&subtype=announcements
The cool thing is that Snowshoe’s lifties for those days will be a remarkable $20!
The "Potentially" Not So Good News…
We don’t DO "Bad News" here at SkiSoutheast land, however the not so good news is that we’re not seeing any real chances that there will be any ski area other than Snowshoe’s announced Turkey Day opening – operating after Sunday and/or Monday. Cat will close after day sessions within their early-season schedule. Sugar might go one more day into Monday like they did this past week. However with temps and yucky weather in the forecast, we don’t see any base left at either of those ski areas by mid week. Cataloochee is located in Maggie Valley and the forecast there for Tuesday is 67° for a high. With light, under-developed snow (rain) in the forecast for a few of the next several days…it doesn’t look good for either Sugar or Cat being open for Thanksgiving weekend.
Sugar sent out a press release to all local chamber of commerce members and within it talked about skiing and riding on Thursday, but we’re thinking it was an oversight. We just don’t see cooperating weather for that to happen. Rain is in the forecast (light to moderate) for five of the next ten days through the 28th of the month with NO snowmaking temperatures in that period within the entire region. There IS an outside shot at some snowmaking Wednesday evening at Snowshoe as temps there will be hovering close to freezing with some rain/snow mix forecasted this far out. But that’s it…and there’s some showers in the forecast for Thanksgiving Weekend as of right now.
As they say, "it is what it is" so Sugar, Cat and Snowshoe will do the best they can with what they have and then we’ll start it all over again sometime the first of December when temperatures are starting to trend towards more consistently colder.
That’s it for now. I’m in Columbia, SC staying at a hotel that has a broadband connection that reminds me of the old dial-up modems. The last time I saw connectivity this slow was years ago when I was staying with my inlaws in a rural area of South Carolina.
We’ve got a LOT of news to share with you guys pertaining to several new partnerships and plans for this season. Some of the new technologies that we’ll be sharing with you guys are simply crazy, great.
Enjoy your weekend people! Email me your thoughts, questions, comments, gripes, photos, videos, etc. Just email me at [email protected]