Conditions Getting Better and Better THE REST of the Holiday Week at the North Carolina Ski Resorts!

First Trax

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Evidently I "took Monday off" and somehow baled on you guys to fend for yourself for yesterday’s ski report, etc. That’s according to a couple of emailers. Admittedly I woke up feeling horrible with a heavy head cold, sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching, stuffy head – you know the kind that you take that sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching, stuffy head, fever, so you can rest medicine. Anyway, I STILL wanted to make it out for some first tracks (which I did) and when I got back to the mansion that they call a vacation rental here at Snowshoe Mountain, our internet was down. It stayed down until about 8:30pm last night.

The more colorful of the two complainers (by far) was Mark K who wrote, "What a copout. Thanks for giving us the option to do your job. Makes it much easier to pick where to make plans to go if you are out of state. Looking at cams is nothing like getting first hand info. Today, you suck. When the going gets tough and all. Sissyperson! (I’m very tough over the phone). Have a nice day! Sent from my iPhone."

Now I’m a sissy person. Man, a guy can’t catch a break 🙂 However, in the past I have also been:

A Keyboard Queen (whatever that is)
A jerk
A right-winged idiot
An Uninformed Mush for Brains

…and others that I can’t share in print, because there are kids that read this column.

I looked back over yesterday’s post and it might have been a little "here’s the news guys – now check the report and go ski" kind of report; however it REALLY wasn’t THAT BAD, was it? I mean – "sissyperson".

Regardless, I’ll see if I can do a little better today.


I received a ton of email about how crowded this or that resort was and all I can say as a remark to those kinds of emails is – THAT IS HOLIDAY SKIING in the Southeast and Mid Atlantic. However, there ARE some tips that will make your day at the slopes (during the Holidays or any busy weekend) a little better.

The first one is – GET OUT EARLY! Get yourself up and ready to be ON THE SNOW by the opening bell (or dropping of the ropes). For most resorts that is 9am. For some it is 8:30am. But hit the slopes at their opening and you will be among the small percentage that do so and you can make several trips down the mountain with NO LIFT LINES at the bottom. You’ll get in about 1.5 hours of fun and little or no crowds. From 10:30am til about 11am you will notice the crowds picking up. That’s when all of the sleepy heads hit the slopes 😉

If you’re still wanting to get in some more turns, then try and find the toughest trail that is open and ski it (if it is within your ability to do so) because that will also cut down on the crowds. Far fewer people will ski on the tougher terrain and the lift lines on those are not bad at all. Of course for some resorts, the tougher slopes lead into the easy ones and you’re still left to fight the lift lines at the bottom.

In that case go take a break and then get back out late in the day from 2-4pm when the crowd is tiring and things will be somewhat better.

Another great reason to hit the slopes early is that’s when THE BEST conditions will be experienced. Overnight snow maintenance sets up the trails for great, early skiing, but once the heavy Holiday traffic gets ahold of the snow, it will be heavy granular.

Regardless, if you’re skiing at your favorite ski areas over the Holiday break, simply chill out and enjoy yourself.

Here’s the tour of conditions and what to expect – dedicated to "Mark K" for today:

Ski Beech began making snow late Sunday and was able to make a lot through the early morning hours on Monday. That has cleared away the thin coverage areas and they should have pretty nice conditions on 4 of 15 trails today. They are open from Lower Shawneehaw down.

Beech reports that "Snow making is in progress as long as the temperature allows today." They have Ice skating that opens at noon.

Appalachian Ski Mountain – 33° low – They were not able to make snow but still look quite nice with 8 of 10 trails open and both terrain parks as well as Ice Skating. App scores a top pick for the NC resorts from us right now.

Cataloochee Ski Areas – 37° low – We were thinking that the low temp last night might allow The Cat to make some snow but that didn’t happen. They will offer what looks to be pretty nice conditions though on 5 of 14 trails and snow tubing will be open as well.

Hawksnest’s Tubing Park saw a 30° low and they are OPEN. They are in bad need of some snowmaking.

Sapphire Valley updated their report and are offering 2 slopes and their Frozen Falls Tubing Park today.

Sugar Mountain – 25° low – They’ve added an inch of manmade snow and offer 11 of 20 trails, snow tubing and ice skating as well. Conditions look darn nice at sugar.

Wolf Ridge Resort – They’ve not provided any updates to reporting services or on their own website for a couple of days. We’ll say that they have 6 trails open. The low was around 32° at Wolf Laurel’s weather station.

According to all of the forecasters, we’re going to see one more day of slightly milder-than-normal temps across the North Carolina mountains with highs in the upper 40s to low 50s and then some cold, cold temps will hit the region, driving temperatures DOWN and base depths UP with focused snowmaking!

Conditions will continue to get better and better!

Enjoy your day! Crowd or not…

As always, be sure to click over to  for more news about ALL of the ski resorts of the Southeast and Mid Atlantic including more photos of the day, more snow news, more videos…and just MORE!

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


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