Cold Temps Make for Great Snowmaking Ops for North Carolina Ski Areas

First Trax

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It is a COLD, gloriously beautiful day in the mountains! Crystal blue skies and temperatures that make you pick up your pace as you go from your car to your front door! As I post this morning’s update at 7:30am I am seeing temperatures that are all over the place. It’s 26° atop Beech Mountain and yet 9° just ten minutes down the hill in Banner Elk and 12° here at my office on Hwy 105 between Banner Elk and Boone.

Some other temperature observations are 11° at Cataloochee, 22° at Appalachian, 10° at Hawksnest, and 14° at Sugar. All resorts are making snow and did for the last 30 hours or so.


The combination of 3-5" of snow across the North Carolina mountains and frigid temperatures since Sunday AM have made for rising numbers at our ski areas. Rising base depths and trail counts that is!

Most resorts are adding 4-8" of base with Cataloochee raising their base depths numbers 20" in just that last two mornings!?! Appalachian has increased their base 8" in the same period, and Sugar Mountain 10". Most resorts are showing a 4" to 8" increase in the last 24 hours which shows just how great the snowmaking conditions are!

Cataloochee has also opened 3 more trails than they had open on Monday. They now offer seven trails for skiing and riding from 8:30am to 10pm today. The seven trails that they offer matches the state’s most open terrain. Sugar also has seven trails available for day and night skiing.

Appalachian Ski Mountain has 4 trails, but expect more open soon. Appalachian was really blasting the trails from every angle yesterday, and their machines showed no let up all night last night and this morning. Expect all of the resorts to make snow as long as temps allow!

While I am on Appalachian, thanks go out to Brad Moretz for your generosity yesterday. You know you guys are appreciated! Also, "you’re welcome" goes out to a group of kids from Valle Crucis yesterday who all snowboarded free on It’s cool to get emails from 13 year olds. According to them, we "rule", "rock" and they will "represent". Thanks to Appalachian’s Snow Day rates, the snowboard rentals and lift tickets were on us. (I hope the rental department released the $1600 worth of board deposits!)

If you get a chance to ski or ride today…I can attest to the fact that the snow over at Appalachian is as close to the real thing that God puts down as any I have ever skied. They DO know how to make some sweet powder over there.

I can also attest to the fact that you’d better have all of your proper gear for protection for the elements! Goggles are a must and some kind of head gear is recommended as you WILL get snowed on!


Hawksnest will be opening for the 2007-2008 season on Wednesday morning. They plan to ski, board and tube on their first official day of the season!

Sapphire Valley is making snow and planning on opening soon.

Wolf Ridge is planning to reopen probably mid week.


I still plan on sharing a lot of your comments about our Global Warming story. It seems that you guys really have some very strong opinions about it…and it’s pretty amazing that we’ve only received two or three emails calling us an idiot and more than a hundred or so supporting our stance with some pretty impressive data and proof as well.

With the supportive emails I would have thought that the lastes poll that we posted asking for your vote on whether or not the global warming craze is bogus or real…would have been even more lopsided. If it were a presidential election the results would be a record, historic landslide as 305 voters say that the global warming craze is bogus and only 113 say its real. That is a 73% to 27% lead thus far. Frankly I thought it might even be a bit more lopsided…

Of course I will now get the obligatory emails from a few who say something like, "Dude, jus’ cause most of da people think that it is bogus doesn’t mean it’s not happenin’. That jus’ means most people are stupid and uninformed unlike us colledge graduites." (FYI I did the mispellings on purpose, because I don’t know what they are teaching in our schools other than things like the global warming malarky because grammar and spelling doesn’t seem to be one of them.

Enjoy what should be a great day on the slopes…just wear your goggles!

Until Next Time…Send your comments, photos and videos to: [email protected]  

Also visit  for more news from the rest of the ski resorts of the Southeast and Mid Atlantic.

See You On The Slopes!

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Monday, December 17th was a snow day at Appalachian Ski Mountain as 3-5" of snow fell across the Western North Carolina Mountains – Justin, Julia
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