We only received a few photos from first day skiers and snowboarders who made it to Cataloochee and Sugar Mountain on Friday. After only ONE DAY of snowmaking Sugar Mountain opened at 10am yesterday and Cataloochee followed three hours later. The reviews were good, though mixed. A few people wrote about the conditions being "bullet proof" which is another term for saying the snow was icy. Some wrote about the fact that there was some thin coverage, but after only ONE DAY of snowmaking most who wrote were just glad to on the slopes and thankful for whatever snow they could ride!
I was up at Banner Elk midday on Friday and there was only a bit of snow still on the ground, but the live camera views via www.HighCountryWebCams.com showed some awesome, winter wonderland shots up atop Sugar and Beech Mountains. The lower elevations missed out on the snow altogether and perhaps from one-half to 1" of snow fell across the higher elevations with a spotty report or two about 2" of snow.
Here’s the report for today:
Cataloochee Ski Area – 34° – Open 8:30am til 10pm. Tammy Brown Wrote, "On Saturday, we will be skiing on three slopes, Intermediate Lower Omigosh serviced by the Omigosh Double Chairlift, Beginners Easy Way and Beginners Rabbit Hill serviced by the Easy Way Triple Chairlift on a base of 6-14”. Also, there will be some terrain features available for you to ride located on our Easy Way slope. We are currently making snow to the top of the quad on our Rock Island Run slope and will open it as quickly as we can, please check back with us for an update. Please also be aware that we will be making snow as temperatures permit, so come prepared for winter conditions today and this evening."
Sugar Mountain – 22° – Open for day skiing only with two trails and one lift and a base of 6-12". We have a staff member who will be at Sugar today and we hope to bring you some video. This is Sugar’s 40th Anniversary season. They report that, "Snowmaking is in progress and will continue as temperatures allow. Adult Full day lift/slope ticket prices are $32 and adult 1/2 day lift slope tickets are $24."
Sugar’s ice rink is open for the season. On Saturday the ice rink will be open from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. (the last session will be the 8:00 p.m. session). On Sunday the ice rink will be open from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. (6:00 p.m. will be the last session) Sessions are 1 3/4 hours long.
Chris Jennett drove up from Florida and arrived at Sugar Mountain at 7am to be the first, non Sugar employee or staffer to ski or ride the mountain for the 2009-2010 season (according to his report). He claimed to be the first person from the public to be on a lift and on the mountain.
Ski Beech – 26° – They’ve made a lot of snow! We’re traveling today but thus far there is no word on opening just yet. We’ll keep you posted if they pull the trigger. It could happen at any moment.
Wolf Laurel / Wolf Ridge – 34° – The ski resort with an identity crisis has not made snow yet. The temps have not cooperated just yet and we have not received word from them about an opening date. The forecast looks iffy for the next week so perhaps they decided to hold off to a more consistent cold snap.
We have some news to share with you guys about some new camera options and contests, but for now if you can send us a snowdance video you MIGHT win a FREE SKI GETAWAY! We’ve only received four thus far so the odds of winning are HUGE. Just get out and do some funky dancing and chanting, film yourself and send it to [email protected] and you might be a winner! We will choose the winner on Tuesday AM, so get yours in!
Be sure to check out SkiSoutheast.com for reports from all of the ski areas from West Virginia Ski Resorts, Wisp Ski Resort, the Virginia Ski Areas and Ober Gatlinburg as well. Visit www.SkiSoutheast.com for all of the news that IS NEWS from the Southeast and Mid Atlantic. Send your photos, videos and trip reports and comments to [email protected]