Cataloochee and Snowshoe Ski On as Other Resorts Wait to make Snow!

First Trax

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Over the last few days we’ve received a lot of emails that ended with those cute little “frowny-face” emoticons. We’ve been responding to as many as possible, but what you guys have to know is that the weather that we are experiencing right now isn’t all that uncommon for late November AND in the span of just a few days all of the frown emoticons can quickly transform into smilie faces.

Normal highs for this date in November is 53° +/- and the low is usually around 34° this time of year. Temperature readings around the region show those ever-pesky inversions that snowlovers hate. The two best examples are at Snowshoe Mountain and the difference between Beech and Banner Elk. Atop Snowshoe’s 4848’ elevation it is 47° as of this posting (8am) and yet 27° at the bottom. At the top of Beech Mountain’s 5506’ elevation it is 48° and yet just minutes below in Banner Elk it is 37°. The coldest spot around the High Country of Western North Carolina (home to four ski resorts) is actually Valle Crucis, where it is showing 30°.

We’ll get to more of what to expect out of the weather in a moment, but let’s cover the ski resorts which are open today. In North Carolina, Cataloochee will be skiing on four slopes, Intermediate Lower Omigosh, serviced by the Omigosh Double Chairlift, Beginners Easy Way and Beginners Rabbit Hill serviced by the Easy Way Triple Chairlift and Beginners Luck Learning Area serviced by the Moving Carpet Conveyor Lift on a base of 8-32" and a machine worked surface.

On Tuesday they offer two sessions of skiing only, twilight skiing from 1pm – 10:00pm and night skiing from 6pm until 10pm with an afternoon half day rate also available. Weekday and student rates will be in effect.

The only other ski resort open in the Southeast and Mid Atlantic is Snowshoe Mountain. Snowshoe Mountain continues to have 5 trails open and groomed. Conditions vary from groomed granular at the bottom to wet granular up top. The Skidder and Grabhammer Lifts will be running from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The terrain garden on Whistlepunk is open with 1 box and 1 rail!

Some of the other ski resorts are updating their content and reports by saying that they plan to reopen December 2nd (Saturday) but that MAY be wishful thinking. The colder air that’s needed to crank up the snowguns might invade Snowshoe’s Allegheny Mountains by Friday night…but it appears that it may take another 24 hours to push down into the rest of the Southeast. Therefore it’s a better bet that resorts around Western North Carolina, and the Virginia’s may not begin making snow again until Saturday night. Keep checking back here and we’ll keep you posted.

But keep your chin up; use this time to get your equipment tuned and don’t forget to get in a routine of exercise and stretching that will optimize your experience when the ski season goes into full swing!
Cat Colder temperatures are in the forecast for the end of the week and we will begin snowmaking as quickly as temperatures permit in order to move up the mountain and open additional terrain as soon as we can.

One quick closing note that some of you may be interested in: Appalachian Ski Mountain announced this bit of news on November 24th and it was missed by us.

Appalachian Ski Mtn. has become the first ski area in North Carolina to offer free wireless internet service for its guests. The service premiered on the first day of skiing, Wednesday, November 22. One of the first users, Mark Deuitch of Boone said, “The wireless connection here is better than at my home.” No passwords are required, and anyone with a wifi-enabled laptop, or other wifi-enabled device, will have internet access. Resort General Manager Brad Moretz said, “The Moms and Dads who don’t ski might enjoy this as much as their children enjoy our slopes.” This service is available in the dining room areas and most public areas of the 46,000 square-foot base lodge.

Very cool App…

Until Next Time…


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For more information about the ski resorts of the Southeast and Mid Atlantic visit  


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Thomas Bynum subnmitted this trail report from Cataloochee on Sunday, Nov 26th
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