Day 3 of the Southeast Ski Season

First Trax

As most of you know from Mike’s article yesterday I went up to Cataloochee Ski Area to catch their first day.  I’ve got to say they had some of the best conditions I’ve seen on opening day in a long time.  I arrived early and had the opportunity to ride in the cat with Chris Bates, VP and General Manger, as he groomed the runs – I got some pretty cool videos that I’ll post up this afternoon.  I have not had the opportunity to ride in a cat in quite a few years and it was very exciting – sometimes I guess it’s the little things in life. 

Riding the Groomer at Cataloochee Ski Area

With that being said, take a look at what my workstation looked like yesterday morning as I was loading up some pictures to the site.

Working in the Lodge at Calaloochee Ski Area

Riding the cat with Chris provided a good time to chat and Sugar’s opening on Wednesday of course came up.  The crew at Cataloochee did know in advance that Sugar was going to open on Wednesday, but decided to stick with their original plan of Thursday to give them an extra day to make the most efficient use of their guns and lay down a bit more snow.  And I’ve got to tell you I think they called it right – like I said earlier, they had some of the best conditions yesterday that I can remember skiing on an opening day in a long time.

Snow Guns at Cataloochee Ski Area

I could be wrong on this, and if I am I’m sure you guys will be quick to correct me, I think this is the first time in the past few plus seasons that Sugar Mountain has opened a day earlier than Cataloochee.  It usually ends up that they open the same day or Sugar is very close behind.  Regardless, the folks at Cataloochee will be quick to tell you that they don’t really pay too much attention to that and they are truly happy that skiers and riders are able to hit the slopes as soon as possible – no matter where.  Let me just interject a personal note here really quick – Tammy, Chris, and the rest of the crew at Cataloochee are some of the nicest people you will ever meet.  They clearly have the Southeast Ski Community’s best interest at heart.

For those of you who follow us on Twitter, you got to see things as they played out yesterday.  I must have sent about 6 tweets from the mountain yesterday morning.  You are definitely missing out if you are not yet following us and should take the time now to do so – you can find us at This is the best way to keep up with happening as they develop.  I’ll pepper this post with a few of those pictures for those of you that did miss it – here were the first lucky souls up the mountain.

Cataloochee Ski Area's First Skiers of the Season

So on to the day’s conditions…

Cataloochee Ski Area

Cat is operating with 6 slopes, 2 lifts, and 1 moving carpet.  The open slopes are Lower Omigosh, Easy Way, Rabbit Hill, Upper Over Easy, Lower Over Easy, and Beginner’s Luck.  The 2 lifts are Omigosh and Easy Way.  Cat is being conservative when they say that they have a base of 20-38 inches.  Later today I’ll post up a video of Chris and I in the cat talking about what they have been able to lay down.

Sugar Mountain

Sugar is operating with 2 slopes this morning, Upper Flying Mile and Lower Flying Mile, being serviced by the yellow lift going 3/4 of the way up the mountain.  Sugar has a base of 8-34 inches.

Today is going to be another great day for skiing!  If you can, I suggest you jump on this as soon as possible.  The temperature at Sugar should get into the low 40’s today with a sunny sky overhead.  Cataloochee should see the 40’s today as well with a little overcast sky.  The 5 day outlook for both areas calls for rain likely to come into the area tonight and stay through the weekend.

Tim Bahlke

Drop me an email at [email protected] to let me know what you think or with suggestions on what we could be doing better.

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