My wife (Mrs Adm1n) and I decided to take a drive up to Sugar and Beech Mountain midday on Saturday and all I can say is WOW were the roads busy. I want to preface what I am going to post within this story by saying that what I am about to share is totally unofficial and I have not taken the time to contact any of the mountain ops people from around the region to get any confirmation of this – however:
I am going to go out on my own here and say that TODAY, February 1st, 2020 is THE BUSIEST skier visit day on the slopes so far this season. I always say that snow trumps everything when it comes to marketing the resorts. We’ve had 4-6″ of snow in the last week across much of the region and when you add in that snow was in the forecast for today you get a lot of people who have made the trek up to their favorite mountain.
Our drive back down Beech Mountain Parkway and through Banner Elk and Sugar Mountain took longer than any drive down in recent memory.
At 2:30pm busses were being used to move traffic from auxiliary parking areas well away from the entrance of Beech Mountain.
It was 26 degrees and snowing up past the entrance to Beech Mountain – up at the Emerald Outback trails areas, way on top of the pinnacle of Beech. Not exaggerating, there was at least 7″ of snow on the ground up there. Back down at the Town Hall sledding area there was around 3″ or so still on the ground. While it was snowing at the top and 26 degrees, it was 34 degrees and a mix of snow and light drizzle.
As I drove down the Parkway and at the foot of Sugar, it was still flurrying on and off with some mixed precip thrown in. That was also evident on the quick video tour I took across the entire region.
I am always impressed with the fact that in mere minutes we can tour a region from Wisp Resort in McHenry, Maryland to Cataloochee Ski Area in Maggie Valley, NC which covers 500 miles or so. If we hopped in a car to do that trek it would take more that 8 hours!
Sorry – I digress – but at 3pm or so it looks like the entire area is seeing mixed precipitation. Some areas more drizzle than snow…but I can tell you that it has not held crowds down AT ALL.
Check out the tour and check back Sunday am for more snow reporting and to see Southeast Si’s comment about Groundhog Day.