A Beautiful Weekend of Weather and Skiing For All North Carolina Ski Resorts!

First Trax

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As I announced early this morning, we had a server outage this morning at 6:25am or so that went unnoticed by our IT monitors for a little more than an hour. Sorry about that! I guess we had so many FREE LIFT TICKET ENTRANTS that the server just couldn’t take it!

We gave away our last four vacation getaways yesterday. That made it FOURTEEN SKI VACATIONS that we gave away during this season which was the most ever. We also announced that we were giving away all of the rest of the FREE LIFT PASSES that we had left.

We began giving those away Friday afternoon and only emailed a few winners and simply got tied up the rest of the evening, so we have YET to choose and announce those winners. SO IF YOU HAVE NOT WON…feel free to enter! We will be picking the rest of the ticket winners later Saturday morning!

We will be choosing, emailing and announcing the winners shortly! So…if you haven’t entered yet…click on Popular Clicks up top and "Contest" and enter now!

Now To Saturday’s Ski News!

We had a surprise dusting of snow yesterday afternoon and evening across the higher elevations of the High Country. That added to the excitement of what should be a beautiful, sun-filled, blue sky (COLD) weekend of skiing and riding!

Appalachian Ski Mountain is reporting 12° as the low this morning and they are 100% open with a base of 41-71” and a sweet manmade, packed powder surface. Ice Skating, 10 trails and two terrain parks await you!

Cataloochee Ski Area is showing 13° this morning and they are 100% open with all 12 trails, snow tubing and terrain park features. Also remember that the Snowbird Trails both Upper and Lower are open for day skiing only and will be closed at 6pm. Of course the rest of The Cat’s trails are open for night skiing!

Hawksnest Resort is reporting a low of 8° this morning and everything open except for Old Blue and Narrow Gauge. That’s ten open trails and their popular tubing hill. We were watching Duggan running the groomer this morning and all we can say is “Oh My! That Looks SWEET!” A lot of people have been talking about how nice Hawksnest has looked this season! Hawksnest has a lot going on. Today they will be open until midnight. Lenny Cottom wrote, “We have made snow Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights for great conditions this weekend. Weather will be great this weekend for skiing, boarding or snowtubing. Slopes will be open until midnight Friday & Saturday nights.”

Hawksnest is also playing host to the Crescent Council Slalom and Giant Slalom, welcoming more than 300 racers to Seven Devils. They were setting up the course on Top Gun as of 8:32am this morning.

Hawksnest also wanted us to mention their 2nd Annual Nest Games which will be held March 3rd & 4th. Events will be boardercross, skiercross & freestyle event. Make your plans to be there. We will be posting more information next week about the event.

Sapphire Valley hasn’t updated their website since the 7th, but we called down there and they are open with an average base of 38” of groomed granular and both slopes and their popular “Frozen Falls Tubing Park”. Sapphire has a unique event called the “First Annual Outhouse Races” planned and we tried to call to get more information about it but have not been able to get anything more about it as yet. Call the resort at 828.508.2688.

Ski Beech reported 11° at 6am, but our mountaintop weather station is still reporting 6° at 8:42am and they hit a low of 0° at just after midnight! As I am typing this update at 8:42am, they just hit -13° for a wind chill! Ski Beech made snow overnight and they have turned the snowguns off for ski sessions today! They are 100% open with the biggest base we’ve seen at Beech is quite a long time. They have a 35-55” base and one look at the Live Cam at the base shows some very nice grooming! Expect a great day atop Ski Beech!

Sugar Mountain is reporting 5° this morning and they are open with 20 trails and sweet conditions. They made snow overnight and their guns of off today! The High Country Junior Race Series Championships, sponsored by Eurosock, Spyder, Carrera and Uvex will be held tomorrow, Sunday, February 11th on Big Red.

Wolf Ridge Resort is skiing on 17 trails today and even without snowmaking last night, they are in great shape. Wolf’s staff wrote, “Come ski The Bowl, Viewfinder and the Wolf Ridge connector to the new slopes at Breakaway! Conditions are great – the weather is perfect so why not get to the Wolf this weekend!”

Closing Punches…

Our buddy Joe Stevens always comments to me about one of his pet peeves and that is when ski areas report “Packed Powder” conditions many days after natural snows have been long gone…or in many cases when there’s been no natural snow whatsoever. We’re not quite as hard-core on that issue, but I really like the term that Sugar Mountain most often uses. They call it “Manmade Packed Powder” and as cold as temperatures have been of late, the snowguns CAN really crank out something very close to the real thing. It would be cool if ski areas would reserver the term “Powder” or “Packed Powder” for natural snows and simply add “Manmade Powder” or “Manmade Packed Powder” for the best of manmade conditions.

Fact is there IS a lot of great Manmade Packed Powder that will be skied on today as conditions could not be much better – unless of course God Himself dropped some POWDER on us!

Is Sugar Mountain COLDER than Ski Beech?

We’ve received numerous emails from you guys since we began posting the morning lows for all of the ski areas as we read their weather stations. Often we have been mentioning the low temps within this column, but even when we don’t you CAN see the morning low displayed on the ski resort’s page on SkiSoutheast.com. In other words, click the resort link of your choice on the front page and when that page opens, you can see the slope report for that day – which includes the reported low temp (when available).

Some people have emailed us because routinely the morning low temp that is being displayed atop Sugar is a couple of degrees colder than Ski Beech. A couple of skeptics have written that Sugar is probably tweaking the weather equipment so that it displays a degree or two colder than it is. We don’t think that’s the case at all! What is actually happening is that the station that is reporting temps for Sugar is AT THE TOP of Sugar’s slopes. The station that WE are pulling data from for Ski Beech is actually located some 200-300 feet lower than the peak of Ski Beech. The weather station at Beech is actually located on the back deck of Beech Mountain Sports which co-sponsors that station with www.HighCountryWeather.com

If the station was located up where the ski patrol hut is atop Ski Beech, we’d probably have a degree or two lower reading and perhaps one that is equal to or colder than atop Sugar.

One other note is that Gil Adams of Ski Beech usually posts the temp at 6am for Ski Beech and probably gets his reading somewhere other than the Beech Sports station. For example, his report at 6am showed 11° this morning, when our station showed 6° at 8:20am. We’re going to see if we can work with Ski Beech to get a new weather station up top. That will serve to remedy the confusion!

Go enjoy your day!

Until Next Time…


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For more information about the ski resorts of the Southeast and Mid Atlantic visit www.SkiSoutheast.com  


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