WinterFest is Going On at Ski Beech; Conditions GREAT Everywhere!

As I walked outside this morning it felt like a slightly chilly, Spring morning as the temperature was only 43°. That is 41 degrees warmer than the morning low just a few days ago! Of course, we experienced a string of 40-50° mornings only a couple of weeks ago…and subsequently just went through two weeks of snowy, cold days with highs in the single digits and teens…

That’s probably why several of my office crew was sick a few days this past week. Either that or they were sneaking out to hit what has been some of the best ski conditions of the season! Whatever, we’re now looking at a stretch of weather ahead that should offer more normal-average temps with some chances of wintry weather. Things are forecasted to turn colder today so we’re probably looking at the high for the day – right now. Lows will dip to 20° or so tonight and that means that the snowguns will crank up. Sunday looks like a colder-than-average day with highs in the mid to upper 30s and lows around 23°. Look for the same weather on Monday and Tuesday with some chances of snow on Tuesday. Things look a notch milder on Thursday and then turn colder again going into next weekend.

So the summary is: Conditions will remain SAH-WEET for the next week and with these kinds of highs and lows come nice, carvable snow to play on. More terrain will open at the resorts not already 100% open and things will just be great no matter where you ride this next week.


As it turns out, yours truly has to put in some hours at the office today so I won’t be making it to either of the Winterfest activities in Blowing Rock or Ski Beech. If you’re headed that way, we could use a trip report or two. Send them to [email protected] or post them on the messageboard and drop me an email and we’ll go grab them! …and thanks ahead of time!


Jason Vioral, otherwise known as "Mellow Yellow" on the messageboard and one, unbelievable, low turning, long board rider dropped by to see me for a few minutes. He had just finished making some turns at Ski Beech and reported that they looked "real nice". He, TeleDave and some others were headed up to Winterplace for Saturday so we hope they have a great trip up and make some great turns. Photos Jason! Dave?


Look for a lot of corduroy on the slopes today as surface conditions on most reports changed to Groomed, from the packed powder status. It’s been days since natural snow has fallen so if anyone is reporting packed powder conditions, they’re more like packed manmade or packed – period. Great conditions, just not packed powder…


We’re going to be skiing and riding at Ski Beech on February 21st with a few of our closest friends and characters from the messageboard and you are invited. All messageboard members will get a $30 lift ticket to ski all day at Beech that day and that is 50% off the regular, adult ticket price. More accurately…Beech is offering 50% off whatever the age and whatever the price so if you have some juniors who would normally ski for $40 – they’ll get it for $20!

Don’t know what the heck we’re yappin’ about? Click here to check out the / Ski Beech Summit planned for February 21, 2009 and make plans to come ski with us and make some new friends! 

We haven’t done a tour in the last couple of days so let’s do one:

Appalachian Ski Mountain – 46° – 100% open with all 10 trails, two terrain parks and ice skating. Should be perfect conditions for a great day to be on the slopes.

Cataloochee Ski Area – 37° – 100% open with all 14 trails, tubing and terrain park features. Don’t forget to join Cat Sunday afternoons for the Cataloochee Recreational Race Series energized by Red Bull. Individuals race against the clock for the best of two runs. Top three challengers in both men’s and womens’ age divisions win cool stuff. Cost for racing is $5.00 for two runs. You must be 7 years of age or older to participate. Registration begins at 12 noon with racing from 1:30pm-3pm and race awards at 4pm, so dust off those racing skills and test your luck. The Cat is where it’s at on Sunday afternoon’s Recreational Race Series. Call the ski area for more information.

Ski Beech Resort – 31° – They have 11 of 14 trails open and they are reportedly make snow right now and as the temps will be dropping throughout the day they will probably continue to make snow. You guys who are attending the Ski Beech Winterfest activities may see some natural snow mixed in with those bathing suits! Get us some pics and videos! Beech has tubing and ice skating open as well.

If you have not heard about it yet, we are inviting our visitors to come ski and ride with us at Ski Beech on February 21st as we celebrate the SkiNC / Ski Beech Summit. Check out the page at:  SkiNC / Ski Beech Summit and come join the fun and ski for half price!

Sugar Mountain Ski Resort – 30° – They are 100% open with 20 trails of what Sugar is reporting is Loose and Frozen Granular. They will be making snow later but are not just yet. They offer ice skating and 3 lanes of tubing as well.

Wolf Ridge Resort – 41° – They have not updated yet but as of yesterday they reported 11 trails open with snow tubing as well. We keep ribbing Wolf a little, but REAL QUICK – before you grab a pencil or calculator – Wolf says that they’ve had 8 inches of snow in the last 84 hours. How many days is that? BUZZZZZZ! 3.5 days. Actually it’s been 3 days since Wolf Ridge had any snow and as of this morning it has been 116 hours! Maybe next Tuesday we’ll report that they’ve had 8" of snow in the last 188 hours. Okay you get the point. Maybe reporting snowfall in the last 24, 48 or 72 hours is cool, with 72 hours kind of being the limit of most people’s recognition.

Additionally Wolf is reporting that they are making snow as of yesterday and no snowguns have been running for a couple of days as Friday’s high hit 50°. They do plan on making snow later today and they will focus that on The Howling, Powder Hill, View Finder, Whistling Dixie, the Ridge, and parts of Broadway!

We’ll stay on them til they get good at it.

Sapphire Valley Ski Area – Both trails are open. Tubing opens at 4pm today.

Hawksnest Tubing Park – 33° – 17 lanes of tubing are open.

Until Next time…

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Send your snow photos, videos, comments or emails to: [email protected]

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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.