Up to 1″ of Snow Fell Overnight across the North Carolina Mountains!


Anywhere from a dusting to an inch of snow fell across the North Carolina ski areas overnight. An inch is being reported at Ski Beech, Sugar and Hawksnest.

The weather is going to PERFECT for skiing, riding, snowmaking and preparing for a phenomenal MLK weekend ahead. If you’ve been putting off your ski getaway waiting on good conditions, this should be the best weekend of the season with cold and snow in the forecast all week long.

Highs should be in the 20s to mid 30s all week, with lows in the teens and 20s. Additionally there’s some good chances of light snow again tonight and Thursday night through Sunday! That should make for a great week and weekend of fun!


As we move towards MLK weekend the question on a lot of minds this morning is evidently how many trails will be open for this weekend to handle the huge crowds that are headed for the North Carolina Mountains?

To that end, ALL of the ski areas began making snow in earnest on Sunday and snowmaking will be happening nearly around the clock all week and we can expect more terrain to open with each passing day. We’ll keep our eye on that for you and with that in mind, we detail who has what open today.

Appalachian – 21° – Making Snow – I spoke with a young lady up there who told me that they saw a dusting of new snow and they are open with 8 of 10 trails today, terrain parks and ice skating.

Cataloochee – 23° – Making snow and open with 5 of 14 trails, and snow tubing today. They are day skiing only as is usual for Mondays.

Hawksnest – 22° – Making Snow – They saw about 1" of new snow and they are open today with 7 of 13 trails, snowtubing and some terrain features.

Sapphire Valley is making snow and preparing to reopen on Friday, January 18th in time for MLK weekend of snow tubing and skiing.

Ski Beech is reporting 21° but our weather station up there is showing 14.2° at 8:27am and a wind chill of minus 3° so be sure to bundle up! They are also reporting 1" of natural snow which takes them to 14" on the season. Beech has 5 of 15 trails open for day and night skiing.

Beech wants us to announce that they are holding their new Rail Jam this Thursday, the 17th…

Gil Adams writes, "This Thursday we will be introducing two brand new features for the Thursday Night Rail Jam. Weather pending, the setup will be on Freestyle and will include a new rail and box setup. Registration will be in the Red Baron Room from 4:30-6:00 o’clock. We will have some great prizes with a $10 entry fee and $10 lift tickets. Awards will be held in the Beech Tree Restaurant with food and drink specials for all starting around 9:00 pm.

The setup should be ready by Wednesday so come out early and get your tricks ready for the session. Give us a call and we will keep you updated with the progress." 

<This photo was taken at the top of Sugar this morning showing about and inch of snow has fallen overnight! Yahoo!

Sugar Mountain – 14.3° – Making snow and they saw 1" of new snow. They are reporting 2" on their website but according to our contacts they saw more closely to 1" of snow. (We’re not trying to be mean-spirited, just want make sure that nobody is trying to take an unfair advantage with reporting.)

Sugar is open with 12 of 20 trails today; tubing is closed and ice skating is open. That is 3 more slopes open today than on Sunday and that gives Sugar the most open terrain in the state.

Wolf Ridge – 27° and a TRACE of snow overnight. They are open with 6 of 20 trails with 3 slopes accessible from two separate access points. They also offer tubing and terrain park features. Surprisingly Wolf is not making snow just yet but they say that snowmaking will resume today.


Thanks to Greg Dobson for setting us straight on an elevation/temperature error that we wrote about last week. We incorrectly reported that elevation makes for a 5° difference as a rule, per 1000′ in elevation. So much for using the internet for researching content!

Greg wrote, "…the official average stated in any weather or climate text is 3.5 degrees. However, this can be extremely mis-leading, especially in our micro-climate region of Southern Appalachian. It really depends on current weather patterns, frontal passages, temperature inversions as this morning, etc. Yes, under normal weather conditions, 3.5 is the average per 1000ft."

Also thank to Baker Perry of Appalachian State University who has been staying in touch with us from time to time to share information about their new snow measuring project. Baker and his cohorts have delivered snow measuring equipment to numerous locations around the High Country and people like Gil Adams of Ski Beech has been reporting daily per snowfall, precip, etc.

As we understand it, Hawksnest and Sugar have agreed to participate in the program but to date we’re not seeing evidence of their reports going online just yet.

The service is very helpful as a resource to websites like ours as we can provide you guys with accurate reporting of snowfall etc.

Conditions should be pretty darn nice out today…but bundle up and send us some pics!


Until Next Time…Send your comments, photos and videos to: [email protected]  

For resort news, photos and videos from ALL of the Southeast and Mid Atlantic ski areas, visit

See You On The Slopes!