5 inches of Snow Falls at Wolf Ridge, a Trace of Snow for the High Country’s Ski Areas!

First Trax

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The first thing I did this morning was jump over to the HighCountryWeather.com page for Beech Mountain to see how cold it was and at 5:40pm on Saturday the temperature was 16.4°, and now at nearly 8am it has actually "warmed up" from a low this morning of -3.4° to a "balmy" -3.3°! The wind chill just now was -23.6°!

Now THAT, my friends is cold!

As suspected, ski resorts located in the western most part of the Southern Appalachian Mountains saw more snow that those of us here in the higher elevations. Cataloochee received 2" of snow, while Appalachian saw a dusting or trace. The top spot that we have heard from this morning was Wolf Ridge Ski Resort with 5" and Sapphire Valley with 4" of snow on Saturday and the coldest temp reported is -4.4° on Sugar. We have a weather station up at Ski Beech and every single day of the season thus far THAT Sugar weather station is ALWAYS 1° colder than the one we have at Beech. I have always thought that Beech’s temps were always a bit colder than Sugar, but not according to THAT weather station. Click here to see> Beech Mountain Weather!


While we’re on the weather, the high up atop Beech and Sugar Mountain this morning will be in the single digits and MAY creep up to about 15° or so. The low Sunday night will be 5°. Monday’s high with Sunny skies will be 32° and then we’ll see highs in the low 30s and lows in the teens and 20s through Thursday…so the cold trend continues and there’s even more snow in the forecast for Tuesday and Thursday.

So get out and enjoy the best conditions of the season!


<Ski Beech yesterday at 2pm, busier than usual but not crazy busy!

We were looking at the LIVE cams yesterday to witness "second hand" the attendance at the resorts and while Cataloochee looked NUTS, and Sugar looked covered with ants, Ski Beech didn’t look too bad (or good if you’re punching numbers in the calculator). Beech was pretty busy but we’ve seen much heavier crowds there before. We’ll monitor that and maybe get a word after all is said and done from the long, holiday weekend.

Cataloochee was "OMG" busy!  How does one manuever through that?!?>

Because of the slow start and bad conditions at many of the resorts PRIOR to this last 7 days of massive cold temps and snow…we predicted that MLK weekend crowds would be record-breaking at all of the resorts. We will try to get some comments from each of the ski areas about skier visits or attendance this week…later next week.

Resorts are always pretty bashful about discussing numbers, preferring to make comments like, "It was a great one", "We had one of our best", or something like, "It may be one of our best".

We’ll see what we can get though!

Here’s a tour around the state:

Appalachian Ski Mountain is showing a low of 2° above this morning and reporting a TRACE of natural snow on Saturday. They are again 100% open with all 10 trails and the same 26-54" groomed base for what should be simply marvelous conditions on this beautiful but frigid day as temps should not rise out of the teens for a high today. The low tonight should be around 8°. We’re not certain why App chose not to make snow last night, but they didn’t and won’t be during the ski sessions today. They stated that they plan to make snow tonight. It is possible since the winds were so blustery overnight AND since their base is so sweet that they decided to hold off until tonight. (There is sometimes too much of a good thing, right?)

Cataloochee Ski Area saw a low of 7° above this morning, but they also reported 2" of new snow on Saturday. That takes The Cat to 14" of snow in the season and they also made snow overnight. Tammy Brown, Cataloochee’s sweetheart of a Marketing gal reports, "We will be running limited snowmaking operations on the Upper Omigosh and Lower Snowbird and Alley Cat slopes during skiing hours on Sunday."

Cataloochee has 10 of 14 trails open today, Tony’s Tube World and some terrain features as well.

Hawksnest Resort – We don’t know what to tell you about Hawksnest this morning. They have not updated us, their website, the NC Ski Area’s data or the Southeastern Ski Areas Association content since Friday night at 8pm. Their camera’s dead as well. We’ll try to call up there when we wrap this update up in a bit.

Sapphire Valley – Ditto the Hawksnest comments for Sapphire, however we were able to get a word with them this morning. Again as suspected the snow storm that just sprinkled a trace of snow on Sugar and Beech, dumped 4" of snow on Sapphire. They are 100% open with both trails, their Frozen Falls Tubing area and 4" of sweet powder. That is the first measureable snowfall of the season for Sapphire Valley!

Ski Beech – As we already mentioned above, Beech Mountain is one cold place this morning as their 5506′ elevations have created some rather "chilly" temps. Speaking of temperatures, etc… several people have mentioned that over on Ray’s Weather website he has been reporting "FYBO Cold" temps for last night and today. We received a few emails asking US what that means because evidently Ray has not shared that as yet with his visitors. We’ll be the spoilers and tell you guys. It is the text messaging, AIM users jargon for "Freeze Your Buns Off" and that is what will happen to you at Ski Beech today if you don’t wrap up and wear some proper gear while skiing or riding – or doing anything else up there!

Beech is reporting a low of 1° above this morning and we’re going to have to get Gil Adams up there to use the new and efficient weather station just off the slopes up top because the actual temps up there this morning are mucho colder! The low reported on our weather station was -3.4°. Beech definately had some nice snowfall on Saturday but basically resulted in nothing more than a bit of "ambience snow". We’ll call it a TRACE.

Ski Beech has 10 of 15 trails open today, their ice skating rink is operating (without assistance from their refrigeration system!) and the Village Shops, Restaurant and Bakery is open as well. Bundle Up! Beech is also making snow on some terrain. We saw the snowguns blasting over on the Oz Run yesterday so it won’t be long before we see more trails opening up.

Sugar Mountain is reporting -4.4° this morning and astoundingly no mention of snow, although they DID get a TRACE of snow on Saturday! Sugar is blasting away with their snowguns on limited terrain this morning and report, "Other slopes like The Terrain Park, Bouldardash and Sugar Bear are scheduled to open soon."

Sugar has a state-leading 17 trails, tubing and ice skating rink all open today with what should be primo conditions – though cold as a well diggers you know what!

<Wolf Ridge making snow to the right, but most are not running this morning

Wolf Ridge is showing 11° this morning and they received the most snowfal that we’ve seen at the ski areas with 5" of snow on Saturday and that takes them to 18" on the season. They made snow as well and have 7 trails open and they are attempting to open more soon! Wolf is making some snow although ALL of the snowguns alongside of the main trail at the bottom are not blasting. So they may be giving skiers a break today as well!


Ira and WCNC Crew head back home to Charlotte after their generator blew!>

We reported on Saturday that WCNC NBC 6 Sports Reporter and TV Anchor Ira Cronin would be interviewing guests atop Sugar’s Big Red slope at 6pm on Saturday. They DID show up and WERE there around 4pm setting up to see if they could get a satellite signal. They were able to but shortly afterward, the generator in the truck gave up the ghost and Ira called me to say they were headed back to Charlotte. They were able to get some film and ran with that during the 11pm newscast, but were disapointed not to provide more. We’ll see if we can’t get Ira back up to do that with MORE snow later in the season!

By the way, thanks to all that WCNC does with SkiNC and SkiSoutheast.com. Ira, YOU and Brad are "THE MEN!". Okay, my buddy Joe Stevens is "the man" as well. come to think of it Bill Rock – dude YOU are the man. I’ll have to stop now because if I listed all of the Southeast’s super marketing people and GMs I’ll run out of space! Thanks guys and gals for keeping us busy and especially those of you who create the product that we all get to enjoy skiing and riding on. ALL of you guys rock!

Enjoy your day…

Until Next time…

Be sure to visit www.SkiSoutheast.com for more news from the rest of the Southeast and Mid Atlantic ski areas!

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

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