More terrain opens and the fun begins!

I can’t tell you the last time that it took me nearly three hours just to gather all the news and updates we needed to post all of the reports and today’s news. I was on the phone quite a bit with marketing directors and GMs as well as confirming some reports that were conflicting, etc. All that said, THIS IS MORE LIKE IT! We have a lot going on, so let’s get to it.

I was picking up my usual breakfast biscuit and tea this morning when I overheard one of the Christmas tree workers say something to his friend that included, "viento horrible". Don’t ask me WHY I knew that phrase but I did and he was correct – we had some horrible wind again last night. But that is a thing of the past now as the winds are dying down and things should be quite nice today on the slopes around the state of North Carolina.

I spoke with Wolf Ridge Resort’s Rick Bussey this morning and you could tell he was excited to get the season started today and he informed us that Wolf is open for NIGHT SKIING tonight as well!

16° – Wolf Ridge Resort opens today at 9am! Rick Bussey writes, "We are excited to announce that we will be OPENING today, Friday the 11th with 5 incredible ski runs, two lifts and lots of freshly manmade snow. Be the first to run the slopes and kick off our 2009/2010 Ski The Wolf Season. See you today on the slopes."

It’s great to see Wolf open today.

5° – Beech Mountain Resort – Ryan Costin, Bob Webb and their crew have really been blasting the main terrain with snowmaking over the last 30+ hours and they are now open to the TOP with the Quad lift moving people to Upper Shawneehaw and down now. Talia Freeman writes, "Upper Shawneehaw and the High-Speed Quad make their season debut this today! Beech Mountain Resort will start night skiing this Saturday with the Ice Skating Rink and the Beech Tree Restaurant also opening. The Beech Tree will jump start the season with Standard Films 2009 video premier of Black Winter, a snowboarding film highlighting some of the most progressive riders in the
industry. The showing starts at 8:00pm and will feature music and fun for all ages. Slope tickets will be $30.00 for all-day and twilight tickets and $20.00 for half-day and night tickets. We look forward to seeing everyone here this weekend!"

Beech will be open for day skiing and snowboarding only on Friday with Upper Shawneehaw, down left to Lower Shawneehaw and then you’ll be directed to the left down Freestyle to the bottom. The Play Yard is also open for newbies.

10° – Appalachian Ski Mountain – They look GREAT this morning! They will operate with 7 of 11 trails today that includes two of their three terrain parks. They also have ice skating open and they are open for day and night skiing as well. We’re reporting the 28" minimum base depth as App’s not including their base depth on their own website. We put in a call to Brad or Drew over there and we’ll get you guys the numbers when we can. They were confirming a base of 16-25" on Thursday morning and one report is reflecting a base of 28-48". Regardless, things look REALLY sweet at App today.

7.5° – Cataloochee Ski Area – This is straight from Tammy Brown, "On Friday, we will be skiing from the top of the quad down on nine slopes with two aerial lifts and one conveyor lift operating on a base of 14-40” and a machine worked packed powder surface. Please note that some of our terrain features will be available for you to ride on Upper Over Easy, right down from the Snack Shack, accessed by the Easy Way Triple Chairlift. On Friday we will offer two sessions of skiing, twilight skiing from 1pm until 10pm and night skiing from 6pm until 10pm with an afternoon half day rate also available. Please remember we are now on our early season operating schedule of 1pm until 10pm Monday through Friday and 8:30am – 4:30pm on Saturdays and Sundays and that midweek season passholders can ski everyday even on the weekends through December 18. Tube World located in Maggie Valley across from Ghost Town in the Sky, four miles from the ski area, has already begun snowmaking but will not open for the season until December 19."

10° – Sugar Mountain has now got 9 trails open and they are also open for night skiing. Ice skating is also open. They are also announcing that their regular prices are now in effect. Sugar charges $39 for a full day liftie today ($64 for Saturday and Sunday). The better deal for more skiing for your dollar is to do the Twilight sessions for $43 today and $64 on Saturday.

Also remember that SugarFest starts on Saturday!

Saturday, December 12, 2009
• 8:30am – 7:00pm
Preseason Adult Ski Clinic featuring 1994 Olympic Gold & 1992 Olympic Silver medalist Diann Roffe and two-time (1992 & 1994) Olympian, Krista Schmidinger

• 9:00am – 3:30pm
Consumer Demo

• 10:00am & 1:00pm
Skate with 1992 Olympic Silver Medalist Paul Wylie

• 10:00am
Ice Skating and Tubing sessions every two hours through 10:00pm

• 3:00pm
Snowball Eating Contest

• 4:00pm – 7:00pm
After Ski Party featuring Boss Hawg

• 5:00pm
Happy 40th Anniversary Sugar Mountain Resort (cake, ice cream & refreshments)

• 5:45pm
Fireworks Display

7° – Hawksnest Tubing and Zip Line – They are open today. Lenny Cottom writes, "We will be open Friday, December 11 at 12pm for snow tubing. On Friday we will have snow tubing sessions at 12pm, 2pm, 4pm and 6pm. Snow tubing sessions are 1 hour and 45 minutes with a cost of $22 per person. Our snow tubing lanes will also be open on Saturday with sessions at 10am, 12pm, 2pm, 4pm and 6pm. Please check our calendar page for more dates and times. Please keep in mind some sessions may sell out. You can go to our "Buy Tickets" link at the top of this page to buy tickets for any session before it is sold out. We will also have our zip line course open this Friday and during the weekend. Please call ahead for reservations for our zip line course. Hope to see you soon."

19° – Sapphire Valley – Word is that they are making snow and opening as soon as possible "weather permitting". We have a call in to Ann Scully over at Sapphire and we’ll update you Sapphire fans ASAP.

18° – Scaly Mountain Tubing – They are making snow and you’re in that area and want to go tubing at the Scaly Mountain Outdoor Center we’d suggest to call ahead. They have a great little operation going on there and some great food to boot at The Lodge BBQ and Trout House. We don’t talk about these guys a lot but they’ve really stepped up the fun there from a couple of years ago when they only did tubing.

Located between Sky Valley Georgia and Highlands North Carolina, The Scaly Mountain Outdoor Center is the place to enjoy both summer and winter fun. Come visit and experience, or rediscover, the fun of Trout Fishing in NC, ice skating, summer tubing, and snow Tubing in NC.

There is something for the entire family at the Scaly Mountain Outdoor Center. Parents can enjoy the shade of our terrace while the kids fish, skate or tube. When its time to feed the gang, The Lodge BBQ and Trout House is sure to satisfy all taste buds.

Scaly Mountain Outdoor Center is fun for the entire family, young and old alike. Come for a school field trip, company fishing party, church group activity, birthday party, family reunion, or just for a fun afternoon getaway.

We have SEVERAL other ski areas opening for the first time this season around the Southeast and Mid Atlantic.

Be sure to click over to www.SkiSoutheast.com  to see who else had snow and how much! You can check the snow reports for all of the ski resorts of West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Tennessee and North Carolina via http://www.skisoutheast.com/skireports.php as well as videos, photos and

Send your comments, videos, photos, trip reports and questions 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.