Editor’s Note: On Snow Reports written this well deserve their own place in the reports!
We arrived at Cataloochee at 9:00am. We knew from the snow report that the High Meadow runs were open for the first time in six years. By the time we passed the High Meadows, skiers and boarders were already tearing ‘em up. We stopped to grab a couple of quick photos and then headed on down to the lodge to park and grab our skis. The quad lift was not operational today (as noted on Cataloochee’s web site and in the snow report). I was told the transmission went out Saturday night. They expected to have it repaired by Tuesday morning, but the website now indicates it will not be operational until night session. The line for the double chair was not bad at all when we arrived – maybe a five-minute wait at most. When we arrived at the top of 5,400 foot Moody Top, we were greeted by beautiful knee-deep powder with only a few dozen tracks in it over the huge expanse of the High Meadows! It was truly awesome skiing. It took us a bit of trial and error to adapt from our normal hard packed machine worked surface technique to a technique appropriate to the very soft powder. We made several of the famous mile-long Meadow runs in quick succession. It was truly fun to come skiing out of the woods at the top of
onto the familiar groomed surface. After short break to allow our legs to recover, we tried Upper Snowbird Trail to Rock Island Run. Snowbird is a narrower, woods trail and was, of course, ungroomed. It had become somewhat packed down by the time we tried it. We did encounter several rocks on Snowbird, but it was well worth the light gouges to ski this cool trail. By mid-morning the line for the double chair was beginning to grow. We made a few more Meadow runs and then decided to find the entrance to a woods trail from which we had seen several people enter the lower portion of Alley Cat. We found what I think may have once been called Lower Snowbird Trail just to the right of the quad lift exit and gave it a try – it too is a narrower, woods trail and was also a bit rocky. After a few more Meadow and Upper Snowbird runs, the lift lines had become quite long – 20-25 minute wait to load the lift. We played around a bit on the
triple chair, made one final assent on the double for a last run down Upper Snowbird and