Appalachian Ski Mountain’s Record Snowmaking Expansion!

First Trax

Stay up to date by getting notified of new posts!

What’s New at Appalachian Ski Mountain for 2007-2008!

For those unaware, Appalachian Ski Mountain is located in Blowing Rock, North Carolina. They were one of the first ski areas to open in the Southeast in 1962 and they are probably best known for their French-Swiss Ski College and their numerous programs to teach new skiers the art of enjoying the snow. I’d also add that App is probably the resort that we receive the highest (and most regular) praise for from our SkiNC and SkiSoutheast readers. Rarely a week goes by that we don’t receive unsolicited testimonials from readers raving on how well the resort is ran. Readers routinely comment on how great the snow is, how new looking all of the chairs, lift stations and snowmaking equipment is…and readers even go so far as to give sweet reviews to how modern and clean all of the bathrooms are! (No kidding!)

The fact is that what App may lack in size, they way more than make up for in the quality of the experience that they offer skiers and snowboarders of all ages. I have to admit that it had been a few years between personal visits to Appalachian when I showed up there early last season. I learned to ski at Appalachian back in 1987 and evidently thought I was too good or experienced to go there on a more regular basis…opting for larger resorts north and west. Man was I an idiot! I made many more visits to Appalachian last season and will do so again this winter because I was reminded that there is something more important that the AMOUNT of terrain.

Runs don’t have to be long – they just have to be great! Even when snow quality might be lacking at other resorts, you’ll find that more often than not the snow quality is near perfect at Appalachian. Their terrain is almost always groomed to near perfection (no death cookies here!) and you simply won’t find a smoother operating, ski machine than that of Appalachian Ski Mountain. From their terrain parks (two of them), to the snowmaking, to the lodge, ski rentals, equipment, ski and snowboard instructors…it is simply put – a top notch, well ran operation that a lot of the other mountains could do well to immulate.

If you have never skied, Appalachian should be one of your first choices…and if it has been a while since you visited Appalachian, you owe it to yourself to make a few visits this season. They offer a really sweet snow product, ice skating, and their terrain park and features offer a challenge for skiers and snowboarders of all levels.

(The SkiNC and SkiSoutheast readers voted Appalachian’s Terrain Parks as the best in the Southeast and Mid Atlantic last season.)


As if they weren’t already among the best in snowmaking in the region, Appalachian Ski Mountain took steps during this past summer to all but guarantee that there will be snow and lots of it on their slopes, trails and park features.

The largest snowmaking expansion in its 45 year history was underway in September. Drew Stanley, Appalachian’s Marketing Director wrote, "Following a near record ski season and despite an unusually warm winter in the Southeast and nationwide, Appalachian’s snowmaking pumping facility, installed in 1992, has been removed and a new facility was constructed."

“We are proud to be constructing for Appalachian Ski Mtn. one of only two new pump stations in the Eastern United States and the largest currently under construction in America,” said Joe Cousins, President of Torrent Engineering, the world’s largest provider of snowmaking delivery systems.

For the 2007-2008 ski season, Appalachian will more than double its previous water pumping capacity. With a new pumping capability exceeding 4000 gallons per minute, Appalachian will be able to produce well over 1 million pounds of snow per hour. The new system includes 3 vertical turbine pumps with a variable frequency drive. It will also provide the infrastructure to again double the new pumping capacity to over 8000 gallons per minute in the future. The facility is being constructed by Brushy Mountain Builders of Lenoir, NC, a specialist in municipal water system construction.

Along with the new pumping system, Appalachian’s snowmaking reservoir has been substantially enlarged. After 3 months of blasting and excavation, the expanded reservoir will now impound almost twice as much water than was previously possible.

“We are excited about the potential to offer mid-season conditions during our early and late season, and the ability to open our terrain parks much more quickly,” said Appalachian Ski Mtn. General Manager Brad Moretz.


Upon hearing about this phenomenal expansion I asked Drew Stanley, "Drew, the thought occurred to me that due to the size (Appalachian’s terrain covers about 25 acres) of the resort and the fact that Appalachian had ALREADY been able to put down more snow in less time than other resorts…if this was really a wise investment…or one that was really ‘needed?"

His reply states all that you need to know about their philosophy; he answered, "While what you said is true, it is also important for all resorts to use the best in technology and resources to make their product the best that it can possibly be. With this new expansion, we will be able to deliver near mid-season slope conditions in just a couple of nights of focused snow making! We trust that our visitors will appreciate that and spread the word!"

No doubt, Drew. No doubt.

Appalachian Ski Mountain receives and average of 50" of natural snowfall per winter and each of the last three ski seasons has seen less than that figure. (36" in 2004-2005, 40" in 2005-2006, and only 21" of snow during the 2006-2007 winter) So being pro-active is probably a good thing!

App offers ten slopes and trails, offering two terrain parks that are second to none, as well as Orchard Run, Hard Core, Thin Slice and Upper Appal for more experienced riders…as well as great beginner terrain. Their Ice Skating rink is 6000sf and there’s everything you’d expect in their lodge, cafeteria and ski shop to make for a great ski getaway!

Appalachian Ski Mtn. will open on Friday, November 16, 2007, weather permitting.

Season Passes on Sale Now!!!

With an Appalachian Ski Mtn. Season Membership, you can ski all winter long for the price of about eight ski tickets. Drop in anytime, when you only have the time to ski for an hour or two, and take advantage of your chance to ski without worrying about the cost of an unused ticket. Membership benefits include a members’ parking area closest to the lodge and an expedited members-only line at the ski ticket window. Our gate security easily identifies members by their membership windshield decal, allowing access to our gated members’ parking area.

Appalachian Ski Mtn. also offers season ice skating memberships, as well as season ski rentals and season lockers. Visit for rates and information.

We invite you to view more images of the expansion on our Photos of the Day archives under Appalachian Ski Mountain.  Click here to go there now!

Until Next time…

Be sure to visit  for more stories and skiing in the Southeast!

Send comments or emails to: [email protected]

Previous Post
Next Post
This is view of some of the excavation and pumping of concrete to construct Appalachian’s new expanded snowmaking and reservoir – Photo provided by Ap
Related Posts