First Trax

Stay up to date by getting notified of new posts!

As it should be…the weather is on everybody’s minds this morning! As it oftens happens with these kinds of clipper systems that blow through the region – they can’t "blow through" without some strong winds doing the blowing! The National Weather Service has already posted a Winter Weather Advisory for much of the North Carolina Mountains for this afternoon through Wednesday morning due to an inch or so of snow and the accompanying 15-20 mph winds that are forecasted to move the system into the area. Gusts may be in the 45 mph range.

We are forecasted to get a little snow this evening and again Thursday and going into the weekend and each of these little clipper systems are forecasted to shoot us another 1-3" of snow with the traditional snow prone areas getting closer to the three inches of snow. Most of us will see closer to an inch or so and that includes most all of the ski areas in the state.

Outrageously perfect snowmaking temps will allow the resorts to blast the slopes with snow. All resorts made snow last night and they are all doing so this morning. The highs for today are forecasted to get close to 40° so that will stop the snowmaking for a short bit, but then tonight’s low should be near 16° so expect the snowguns to crank right back up later this afternoon.

Once the snowmaking crews refire the snowguns later today, they could then go home and simply leave them on around-the-clock all the way through the long term forecast as highs are not expected to get above freezing again for several days. Overnight lows are in the teens tonight and Wednesday – and then single digits to below zero Thursday night and Friday morning and back in the teens Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday mornings!  Of course, the snowmaking crews do a LOT more than just turn guns on and off, so they WILL be out there in the middle of the night (and day), in the midst of some of the coldest temps in years – making a great product for those of us that simply want to ride the snow!

The important MLK weekend will be AWESOME with sunny skies, some light snow at times and highs in the 20s and lows in the teens!

Meteorologist (and fellow snow lover & friend to SkiNC and SkiSoutheast’s crew and messageboard members) Brad Panovich will be posting us a new weather update for this weekend and he had a lot of excitement in his email to us last night! Look for that later today!


This is the kind of stretch that the ski areas need to be able to focus snow on other trails and they are doing that, so expect more terrain to open with each passing day. This weekend promises to be the best and most open terrain of the season to date! Most of the ski areas added 2"-5" of new, manmade snow overnight and that trend will make the bases go higher and higher – and allow for some terrain that has YET to see snowmaking this season – get some snow on them. 

Make your plans to ski early and often to avoid the crowds, but get that gear packed, make those reservations and get up here! Gas is cheaper than it has been in years; vacation rental companies are making deals and the snow will be GREAT!

Here’s the quick tour for today:

Appalachian Ski Mountain made snow and reported a 25° low overnight. They have so much base on the mountain that they are NOT MAKING SNOW during ski sessions! How cool is that!?!? They still have Hard Core and Thin Slice closed but with focused snowmaking App expects to have those open for this weekend. They have 8 of 10 trails open today and both terrain parks – and ice skating!

Cataloochee Ski Area – They report 24° – They will offer day and night ski sessions on 9 trails of 14 that they can offer. No snow tubing until Thursday. Cataloochee’s live cam is showing some awesome snowmaking going on and they will be making snow during ski and snowboarding session both today and tonight as long as temperatures allow. Cataloochee wants to really go after some base building for the prolonged period ahead.

Also offered today is Cat’s Guaranteed Learn to Ski or Ride Package where first time skiers or riders age 8 and above may purchase a beginner lesson, beginners area lift ticket and ski rental equipment for only $39 or a beginner snowboard lesson, beginner area lift ticket and snowboard rental for only $55. And with that guarantee, you may repeat the lesson as often as you like during the same day session. Package lessons begin at 10, 12, 2 and 4pm and you must be there at least 30 minutes prior to the time the lesson begins to sign up. Today is also Men’s Day at Cataloochee and all guys purchasing a full price adult lift ticket will receive a free any level ski or snowboard lesson!

Ski Beech – 24° and they are making snow. Beech will still offer 5 of 15 trails for day and night sessions today; however they are making snow on Robbin’s Run and probably some slopes that we can not see from the live cams. Ryan Costin promises more terrain will open soon. As far as we know Beech is still operating with only two of three pumps and that is limiting their snowmaking capacity a bit. They could certainly use some more guns out on those trails. As we’ve continued to report this season – they are doing the best they can with the resources they have, but hopefully they will have some more resources at their disposal soon enough. We can tell you that the 5 trails that they have open today are offering some REALLY, REALLY SWEET LOOKING SNOW! They have done a great job with grooming snow this season.

Sugar Mountain is reporting a low of 19° and they have a ton of guns and fans blasting their mountain and OMG does that hill look sweet this morning! Snowmaking is currently in progress and will continue as long as conditions allow. The left side of Big Red is open again today, giving Sugar a state leading 14 of 20 trails, ice skating and snow tubing open as well. From what we hear Sugar’s snow tubing hill is looking great as well.

Sugar Mountain is also hosting its annual Septuagenarian Party. You must be 70 or older to participate! If you qualify, call Sugar for details at 1-800-SUGAR MT.

Those older citizens can carve some snow so stay out of their way if you’re on the mountain today! They are ruthless! Just kiddin’ – maybe!

Wolf Ridge, Wolf Laurel, Ski The Ridges – whatever they are calling themselves today THEY LOOK GREAT! I said that because a lot of you still ask about "Wolf Laurel", their website is Wolf Ridge but they answer the phones with "Ski The Ridges". They are reporting 23° and the mountain looks great! They will offer 8 of however many trails they have (there is a debate amongst some peeps from what we hear – though we can’t confirm it because nobody that we speak with knows – and those who know are never available. We’ve even tried to get them to up their 2008-2009 snow total to the NINETEEN INCHES that they have actually received so far, instead of the 9" that they are reporting but even those attempts have fallen on deaf ears. Evidently none of the old reliables are skiing Wolf anymore because we haven’t seen a photo from over there since last season. They have only posted two photos of their own this season with one of those actually from LAST YEAR anyway. It has been a strange season so far from over there. The mountain should look p-r-e-t-t-y nice today.

Go enjoy the best conditions of the season right now and shoot us some pics and video!

Be sure to click over to www.SkiSoutheast.com  to see what’s happening into the Virginias, Tennessee, and Maryland ski resort areas.

Send your comments, photos, videos and trip reports to: [email protected]

Previous Post
A Burst of Snow Fell Last Night and More is on the way This MLK Weekend!
Next Post
Temperatures Are Dropping; Snowmaking Happening at Some Ski Areas; Expect a Great Day on the Slopes!
Related Posts