Up to 6

THIS is SO much more like it! Snow on the ground (and on the slopes) and temperatures in the teens across the state! The snowguns were working around the clock (and that means the snowmaking crews were as well!)

This morning at 7:45am we’re seeing:

Beech Mountain 13°
Sugar Mountain’s base 17°
Sugar’s Summit 12°
Appalachian – 16°
Rich Mountain – 13°
Wolf Ridge – 17°
Cataloochee – 24°
Hawksnest – 12°

3" or so of snow hit most of the mountains of North Carolina with the highest snow totals coming from our friends at Wolf Ridge which reports 7" of new snow!  Beech reported 6" and Sugar 5"!

Today should be a stellar day on the slopes and a great day for photos and videos (hint, hint). Anytime you mix temps in the 30s to 40°, Carolina blue skies and snowy countryside and powder on the slopes, the cameras should be capturing those moments! The snowguns are running this morning but they will stop at some point on Friday and that will make for the best of all worlds. The snowmaking crews will go back to work tonight as the temperatures are forecasted to drop back into the mid 20s or so.

The weekend is looking good now with only some light "underdeveloped snow" Saturday evening and it should end as snow flurries. Sunday will be a "Chamber of Commerce"-like day with plenty of sun and highs in the mid 30s and lows in the low 20s and THAT will make for MORE around-the-clock snowmaking.

We heard from Meteorologist Brad Panovich on Thursday and he said that the next 7-10 days look phenomenal for the ski areas with lots of cold and additional chances for snow on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of next week and even beyong that VERY COLD TEMPS. The ski areas should be able to make snow around-the-clock Sunday through all of next week (the longest prolonged snowmaking opportunity of the season) as temperatures are expected to stay in the 20s and low 30s for highs and teens at night. A couple of nights into mid week, next week are expected to be in the single digits!



<This is a portion of Ski Beech’s Lower Shawneehaw trail on Wednesday!

We talk about the nearly miraculous transformation that can come from as little as 24 hours of snowmaking all the time. However, we HAD to show you what might be the best example of that which took place at Ski Beech from Wednesday evening with the snowguns cranked up through this morning. With 40 hours of snowmaking to this point this morning, Ski Beech went from very little snow on the Lower Shawneehaw trail and 2 slopes open to where they now have 5 trails open to the top of Upper Shawneehaw! They did that with "one had tied behind their backs" as they are still working with only two of their three pumps in service.

Here’s the SAME shot just 40+ hours later! Amazing!>

Beech is looking good this morning and reporting that they added 6-8" of base in the last 24 hours. That was aided by great snowmaking ops and 6" of natural snow, but trust me – nobody is going to complain from a little help from Ma Nature. SHE OWES US!!!

Since we’re bragging on Ski Beech, let’s lead with them on our quick trip around the ski areas:

Ski Beech – 14° and 6" of new snow and 5 of 15 slopes open and they will be night skiing as well! Ice Skating is open as far as we know. Charlie from up at Beech Mountain Realty and Rentals wrote yesterday; "Hey Mike, It looks like we got 4 -5 inches of new snow right now. Ski Beech is still blowing we are looking good."

Charlie hosts a live cam up there on the mountain and it’s getting bombed with visitors right now. If you’re looking for some great deals on rentals on Beech, look him up at www.MrBeech.com  and you can check out the snow camera shot at  (It’s pretty this morning!)

They ended up with six inches of natural snow and indeed look great for today. It is a safe bet that Beech will be able to open another trail or two early next week and possibly more by MLK weekend! Beech has now seen 30" of natural snow on the season and there is a LOT of season left (two-plus months!)

Let’s jump around some today…

Cataloochee Ski Area – 24° and 3" of snow! Tammy Brown updated us at around 10:30pm last night and they are looking as good as they looked all season for Friday with 9 of 14 trails open and packed powder conditions. The 3" of snow takes "the Looch" (as Tammy calls it) to 19" on the season thus far. They will be in GREAT shape for weekend snowboarding and skiing. Tubing is open as well!

Since we’re on "tubing" (I’m decent with segways. huh?) Hawksnest Tubing Park is showing a chilly 12° and they reported 4" of snow which takes the tubing-only resort to 28" on the season. We watched as they were grooming the hill this morning and they will be offering a lot of sliding fun today and this weekend.

Appalachian Ski Mountain – 16° and 3" of snow. That takes App to 19" of natural snow on the season. They have been BLASTING the mountain with snow as well and are open with 8 of 10 slopes, both terrain parks and ice skating to boot! Eric Heitman (our cabin winner) and crew should have a great getaway at App this weekend.

Sugar Mountain is showing a low of 11° and 5" of snow from this storm! That takes Sugar to 29" of snow on the season and they have been blasting a virtual CLOUD of snow on that mountain and that has already allowed them to move to 12 of 20 trails open. They have tubing open and ice skating today as well! Sugar is definately looking s-w-e-e-t today!

Sapphire Valley reported in with 2" of snow (taking them to 5" on the season) and they will be open today and this weekend with their fun "Frozen Falls Tubing Park" and 2 slopes of skiing and snowboarding.

Wolf Ridge received the most snow from Thursday’s storm with 6-7" of snow but we’re mentioning them last simply because they are not even reporting it yet on any reporting service. GUYS! IT SNOWED A TON OVER THERE! BRAG ABOUT IT! The 6" of snow takes them to 19" on the season and they have tubing open and WE THINK 4 slopes. Someone over there has got to start reporting more regularly. Anyone at Wolf (skier, snowboarder, real estate dude, anyone want to tell anyone what’s going on daily!?!?!)

CONDITIONS WILL BE WONDERFUL TODAY! What a change from just Tuesday, right!?!?! Go enjoy the day!

As always, be sure to click over to www.SkiSoutheast.com  for more news about ALL of the ski resorts of the Southeast and Mid Atlantic including more photos of the day, more snow news, more videos…and just MORE!

Send your comments, photos, videos, and trip reports to: [email protected]


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Mike Doble
Mike is the Editor and founder of SkiSoutheast.com, SkiNC.com and ResortCams.com. 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.