Nice Weekend Ahead for the North Carolina Ski Resorts!

First Trax

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We’ll take a tour around the region here in a moment but I have to tell you that I am expecting to see some additional drops in base depths at the ski resorts of the area. As I drove around on Thursday I witnessed the streams roaring roadside and the Watauga River (under my neighborhood covered bridge) was full and pushing a massive amount of water. I saw some heavier rain on Thursday than I had during the wet days prior. According to some of the weather experts, some areas saw an inch or so of rain, while some had closer to 2" of rain on Thursday.

The cold air did make it into the area and we’re seeing a light dusting of snow here and some higher amounts elsewhere. Funny thing is BEAUMONT, TEXAS received 2" of snow yesterday and it was snowing in the FRENCH QUARTER in Lousianna! Crazy huh?

Let’s take a tour and see what we find…

Appalachian Ski Mountain – 27° – They look GREAT this morning with snowmaking going on and 100% of the trails and both terrain parks going strong. That is DESPITE the fact that they are reporting another 8-11" drop in base depth. Of course they have 36-60" so they are in great shape for this weekend.


App Terrain Park’s first Ladies’ Park Night will premier this Friday, December 12. In response to popular interest, the ATP staff has planned three Ladies Park Nights for the 2008-09 ski season.

These nights will introduce the park scene to women by offering gentle, low to the ground features in a supportive, women-only setting. “For a couple of years now, we have seen a growing interest in an introductory park setting for women who want to join their friends in the park.” said Terrain Park Director Drew Stanley. “We feel this girls-only environment coupled with the right terrain and features will be the perfect scenario for women to progress their park skills.”

On these three select Saturday evenings throughout the season, ATP will construct a terrain park area with features specifically designed for learning and progression that will be open to girls only. Women of all ages and abilities, both ski and snowboard, can get together and ride in a laid-back, non-intimidating environment among friends.

The event is free to enter with the purchase of a ski ticket.

Leave it App. That is pretty cool. NOW, they need to do the same for us older, slightly "more careful" skiers and snowboarders. Hmmmm.

Cataloochee Ski Area – 24° – They are making snow and in great shape on 9 trails for day and night skiing. Cat is reporting a drop of 5" in base depth over the last 24 hours.

Hawksnest Tubing Park will be CLOSED FRIDAY, but will reopen on Saturday. Lenny Cottom said that they are pushing big piles of snow around and configuring for Saturday sessions. They are making snow as well.

Ski Beech – 21° – They began making snow around midnight last night and they are actually looking pretty good on the same 5 trails that they have had open thus far. They are open to the top AND they are night skiing this weekend. Beech received a dusting of snow overnight to add to the ambience. They are reflecting a 12" drop in base depth but are reporting a 10-30" base and more snow is being made!

Ryan Costin, Beech’s VP and Director of Operations, shared some good news from atop their 5506′ elevations. He writes, "We will continue making snow around the clock as long as conditions allow. Snowmaking will be on all open trails, Upper/Lower Shawneehaw, Powder Bowl, Freestyle and The Play Yard. We are continuing to make snow on the Tubing Hill, the Advanced Terrain Park and White Lighting. Ice Skating will be open this weekend and night skiing will also continue starting today, but only operating through the weekend, Friday-Sunday."

Ryan also mentioned that there are several freestyle terrain features set-up on Lower Shawneehaw for all the park enthusiasts. The Beech Tree Restaurant will be open today and will feature live music Saturday night from 9:00pm-12:00am.

Ryan adds, "We are expecting good weather through the weekend, which will make for some great conditions. Let your visitors know to check back with updates because as soon as conditions allow we will continue to open new terrain: Tubing Hill, Terrain Parks, etc."

Thanks Ryan!

Sugar Mountain – 19° – They are making snow and look good for today. They have 12 trails open and the ice skating rink. They are open for night skiing as well. Don’t forget that SugarFest is Saturday! Sugarfest kick starts the winter season with a weekend of pure winter fun! Sponsored by the Village of Sugar Mountain Tourism Development Authority (TDA) and hosted by Sugar Mountain Resort, SugarFest will be held December 13th and 14th, 2008. The two-day festival is packed with a long list of winter activities.

Sugar looks great for the weekend, but they are reporting the following on their website, "…and the forecast is calling for great weather this weekend! Expect snow showers to end later this morning, with a total accumulation of 2-3 inches expected. Temperatures today will be in the upper 20s, with lows in the upper teens. More snow flurries are expected for this evening. Snowmaking will continue throughout the day."

We’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and say that they got ahold of a bad weather forecast, but to be clear – there is not 2-3" of snow expected at Sugar today. Not sure where they got that report. A dusting took place overnight and that has now ended and yes we will see some flurries later. Just not 2-3"

Sugarfest should be fun and conditions should be great. Go enjoy!

Wolf Ridge Resort reopened today and will be open with 3 slopes for day and night skiing and they have their tubing hill open as well. Wolf is not making snow right now but they look pretty this morning!

Be sure to click over to  for more news (some SNOW), for all of the ski resorts of the Southeast and Mid Atlantic!

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Ryan Costin, Ski Beech’s Director of Operations, sent us this photo of three of their TWENTY new freestyle features that they will offer for the seaso
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