Not a Pretty Day Saturday, but Fun, Regardless!

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The title of today’s blog is a bit of thievery on my part of a text share from Snowshoe Mountain this morning. Despite the fact that it DOES look pretty wet via some of the webcams this morning – people ARE taking advantage of the snow.

Here is a shot of Cataloochee this morning at 9am: Click to Enlarge

Click to enlarge

Conditions look pretty decent, despite the fact that we’ve had about 24 hours of light rain across much of the region. Of course that was preceded by three days of nearly around-the-clock snowmaking for many ski areas.

November Was Great for Some Ski Areas, Good for Others, and Meh for Some.

It’s hard to argue that the weather pattern in November was very favorable to Snowshoe Mountain. However, it is also apparent that Snowshoe’s huge investment in snowmaking over the off-season paid dividends in the form of plenty enough snow to have 21 trails open today.

Shawn Cassell and the Snowshoe team posted this appraisal this morning, along with some nice photos of just how great things were in November.

Judging by the forecast, today won’t be the most pretty day of the season, but it’s still going to be a good time regardless. Light rain showers and heavy fog are expected so having good waterproof gear will go a long way towards keeping you dry and having fun out there. Camp 99 is ungroomed today. Snowmaking temperatures return early this week and our crew plans to get started on the Western Territory ASAP!

If you’re in the market for a new pair of skis or a board, now is your chance to test-drive some of the latest designs at Demo Days this weekend!

These are NOT marketing photos from previous seasons. These are from November…
Click to Enlarge!

During the month, Cataloochee Ski Area, Appalachian Ski Mountain, Beech Mountain Resort and Sugar were able to open and stay open with the exception of a couple of days. So things were “pretty good” and even great a few days for skiers and snowboarders in the Tarheel state.

The Virginia ski areas, Ober Gatlinburg, Wisp and even Winterplace, Canaan Valley and Timberline – all had to fight ice storms, borderline temperatures and even issues with power companies. All have now made snow, but they are all a few cold days away from opening – with the exception of Bryce Resort which did open yesterday to some staff members and now to the public today.

It is now December 1st and the ‘countdown clock’ is on for prepping the slopes, opening more terrain and getting things in pristine shape for what we all hope will be a great Holiday season.

Here Are Some Notables for Saturday, December 1st!

Check the SNOW REPORT for specific trail counts, temps and other information.

Beech Mountain Resort
They are hosting a Ribbon Cutting for New Chairlifts @ 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Beech Mountain Resort will officially celebrate their two new Doppelmayr chairlifts on Saturday, December 1st. Join Boone Area Chamber of Commerce at 4:00 p.m. for a ribbon cutting ceremony at lift #5. Shortly to follow we will have a ribbon cutting ceremony for lift #6.

Following the event Beech Mountain Brewing Company will hold a celebration in the Brewhouse.

Lift 5 will now include the addition of a loading conveyor to ensure safe boarding, higher travel speeds and shorter trip times. Lift 5 will offer 144 chairs with a 6-1/2-minute travel time accommodating 2,400 people per hour.

Lift 6 will feature 106 chairs offering a 6-1/2-minute travel time with a capacity of 2,000 people per hour.

Cataloochee Ski Area
Remember Saturday and Sunday, December 1 & 2 marks our 6th Annual Cataloochee Ski & Snowboard Swap here at the area. Sign up to bring your gently used winter clothing and used hard goods to sell on both Saturday and Sunday, or shop for the best deals of the season on used equipment.

Click to Enlarge

Also Sunday, December 2, is Can-U-Ski Food and Coat Drive for Haywood Christian Ministries. 24 cans of food or 2 winter jackets of any kind will get you your lift ticket on Sunday for free, it’s a $70 value. Cans and coats should be dropped off at either the Ghost Town parking lot at the bottom of the hill or at Cataloochee Ski & Sports and you will receive your lift ticket there. Those persons needing to rent equipment and get lessons will pay for those items at the ski area when they show their lift ticket.

Bryce Resort
First chairs of the 2018-19 season went up the mountain Friday! They are open to the public today. Take advantage of these early season conditions and get your first turns in for the season.

Our buddy, Bill Nabers shared:

Virginia is open for the 2018-2019 snowsports season! Bryce had a ‘soft opening’ (members and employees) today (Friday afternoon) with one slope from the top (Bootlegger- a blue) and the beginner meadow area. Good skiing conditions. Only one slope but still fun. I took about ten runs myself while patrolling. The resort will be open to the public for skiing & boarding on Saturday and Sunday from 10 am till 4 pm.

The photo is of (l-r) Ed Constantino, Bill Nabers (moi) and Glenn Jackson the three patrollers who were taking care of the skiing and boarding patrons. As you can tell from our grins, we were enjoying ourselves. 

Here are some additional photos:

Appalachian Ski Mountain
is celebrating (Dec. 1 & 2) is their Anniversary Weekend, and in celebration of our 57th season tickets both Saturday & Sunday are only $5! This ticket is good from 9-4, and if purchased online is upgraded to an 8-hour flex ticket

They posted:

Our snow makers have been hard at work covering the Ski Slopes and Snow Tubing hill in snow! The forecast is calling for warm and rainy weather this weekend, but our tentative plan is to open the Ski Slopes and Snow Tubing on Saturday, December 8 from 9 am – 5 pm.

Wisp Resort
They shared some information that shows how ready they are to get open.

Snowmaking Paused
Temperatures stayed in the mid-to upper 30’s all night with humidity running 100% on the mountain so snowmaking has ceased for the moment. As our Team of Snowmakers waits for the bell to ring on the next round of snowmaking, they worked overnight cleaning water filters and fine-tuning equipment along with relocating a few guns in preparation for the return of temperatures on Tuesday night. Ding, Ding – let’s have a total knock out on this next round!

Wolf Ridge Resort
We know that they made snow the other day. Some are asking about their webcam, but it appears to be dead so they are looking at options to replace it.

I ran across this pretty cool aerial that was shot last year at Wolf. This would be great for all resorts to do this.

That will do it for today.

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