Windy, Cold and Snowy Today – Slope Conditions Improving Immensely

We’re not going to spend too much time moping about the fact that we didn’t get dumped on, because the way that this winter has gone, we’ll take the 1-3” that most of the ski areas are reporting this morning and be downright happy.  Even more important than the snowfall are the cold temperatures.  Ski Beech report 13° this morning, Sugar 17°, Hawksnest 18°, Appalachian 20° and you can bet that all of the ski resorts are blasting the slopes with manmade snow.

Some forecasters are still saying that some areas will get up to six inches of snow by the time this storm finishes.  We’re thinking that’s a bit on the high side and with the way the winds are blowing out there, I’m not sure if we’d know it anyway!  Be sure to dress in layers, have a face covering and wear your goggles if you’re going to ski or ride today because even though the snow conditions are going to be pretty nice, it will be a raw day at times.  The sun is expected to pop in and out later today and perhaps some of the winds will die down.  We’re still looking for that elusive, beautiful one-foot of snowfall with NO WINDS.  It has been a while.  Natural snow has been a little hard to come by in North Carolina this season although at barely past the one-half way mark Ski Beech just hit the 30” mark on the season with this morning’s snow. Since 1991 Ski Beech has averaged 84.6” of snow annually so they will have to go some to catch up or achieve that kind of number.  Many areas around the High Country haven’t seen a foot of snow as yet.

Ray Russell is saying to expect windy conditions across the region with winds around 15-25mph and gusts around 35mph.  Another 1-2” of snow is his call for most areas and maybe a bit more at the highest elevations.

These kind of winds will make for some drifting snow, some great ski conditions over a lot of the terrain…and some icy spots.

Appalachian hasn’t updated their own site since Friday morning, but they are making snow like crazy and they have received about 1.5” of snow thus far.  The surface at Appalachian could ONLY be better if they’d had more natural snow.  However, with huge amounts of manmade snow, their conditions are going to be a strong 8 or 9 on a scale of 1-10.

Cataloochee files their reports late each evening and as of 9pm last night they were receiving snow but we won’t update any amounts until we hear back from them.  They are open for day skiing only today on 10 trails and a packed powder surface.

Hawksnest is reporting about 2-3” of snow, with snow still falling this morning.  They have (8) trails and their tubing hill running on packed powder conditions.  With this wind, you might expect some icy areas up there today.

Ski Beech is reporting about 3” of new snow and snow is still coming down.  Beech is operating with 12 trails today and packed powder and frozen granular conditions.  With the wind, expect some icy areas like on White Lightning, etc. We’ll give Beech’s surface a good 7 or 8 out of 10 today.  More snow and snowmaking will make for much improved conditions as the day goes on.

Sugar is reporting 2” of new snow on 17 trails with natural and manmade powder conditions.

Sapphire Valley – These guys have had a frustrating winter thus far.  They are just southerly enough that they were not able to make snow at times that would have allowed them to stay open.  They have been closed all week.  Although there’s no report since February 1st, we have to believe they are making snow right now.  We called and even their snow line hasn’t been updated since Wed, Feb 1st.  We will update you when we can.

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.