October 2006 Update on Leaves, Weather, Snow and More!

First Trax

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First, may I say, "God it is wonderful living in the mountains!" (I apologize flatlanders…)

Even with blustery winds and heavy cloud cover this morning – it was still simply beautiful when I walked out of my front door this morning. The winds and rain had driven a coating of multi-colored leaves that both "re-paved" my driveway and painted my truck. It was gorgeous.

Despite all of the forecasts for rainy weather…it is beautiful outside as of this writing and Autumn is in full bloom. There are certainly regions within all of the Appalachian and Alleghany Mountains that are not yet at peak color…but a visit to the mountains of North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia or Maryland right now will provide some awe-inspiring scenery.


There’s been a lot of talk and rumors about snow in the forecast. There IS a chance of some flurries tonight (Thursday Night) in the higher elevations of North Carolina, but nothing more than a light dusting.

As we look further north into West Virginia, THEY are also looking at a bit of snow as well. They are expecting a high around 40° today and some light flurries. (Theres a CHANCE that they might get that one-inch of snow and make a few people lucky winners of some free lift tickets to Snowshoe Mountain!

It’s going to be a chilly (but Sunny) Friday with highs in the upper 30s to low 40s and overnight lows Friday night up there around 30°. With blustery winds in the 30mph range…it’s going to feel pretty wintry up there!

It’s going to pretty chilly all the way down into the North Carolina mountains on Friday, with highs in the upper 40s and low 50s and overnight lows around 30°.

There’s a warming trend coming in late in the weekend and into next week, but this ridge of cold air has certainly got the juices flowing for winter to get here!


Actually all of the ski areas are telling us that they are putting some final touches on things in preparation for the snowguns to crank up. We’ll begin updating more information on the site asap, but a couple of things that we can share with you now are:

Ski Beech – Word has it that they have added more capability to make MORE snow on the back side of the mountain in an attempt to get The Oz Run open sooner.

Appalachian – Has a HUGE TENT sale going on next weekend with items up to 70% off!

…and Tammy Brown over at Cataloochee emailed me this "First Slope Conditions Report" from the Cat:

"Hi and thank you for calling the Cataloochee Snow Report. The time is 7pm on Monday, October 9. We are looking forward to a great season of skiing and riding, that could possibly begin sooner than expected and we hope that YOU will be joining us! It’s been another busy construction summer here at Cataloochee with changes and upgrades that will make skiing or riding an even better experience this year!

First let us say that we are ready to make snow NOW any time the temperatures will allow. We want to provide you, our customers, the most skiing and riding time available and if we can make that happen, we will! We will keep you posted as we move forward.

We are adding additional skiing and riding terrain, reopening the Upper and Lower Snowbird Trails for day skiing only this season. As many of you remember these trails have not been utilized in many years and we have widened and cleared them for reopening with snowmaking. We have also increased our snowmaking again this season and have installed additional automatic computerized snowmaking to ¾ of the mountain starting from the top of Rock Island Run. This will allow us to open more advanced terrain at the top of the mountain, sooner, in addition to our beginner’s areas. We have added a new conveyor lift at the Wolf Creek Hollow Ski School area and also extended the Beginner’s Luck Learning Area conveyor lift to 125’, making our beginner’s learning experience much more enjoyable. The new group building beside our Children’s Learning Center is now complete with lots of space, picnic tables and TV’s for all Cataloochee groups. We have also upgraded our rental equipment again this season and have added approximately 1,200 sets of new ski boots, over 250 pair of junior skis and increased our snowboard rental fleet to over 900 snowboard rentals! WOW! And our new Drive, Slide, Stay! program with participating hotels in the Maggie Valley area offers great value on midweek ski and stay packages. Take a look at our website at www.cataloochee.com  for more information.

Remember now is the time to save on Cataloochee season passes. Pass prices are the lowest right now through the rest of the year and will increase beginning on the first day of each month through December 1. If you wish to purchase a pass over the phone or have a pass application mailed to you press 0 for an operator now.

For our complete brochure right at your fingertips, take a look at our website at www.Cataloochee.com that’s Cataloochee or at www.kidsskifree.com and as always we do thank you for calling and look forward to seeing you on the slopes of Cataloochee this season."

Now THAT is good news!

Until Next time…

Be sure to visit www.SkiSoutheast.com  for more stories and skiing in the Southeast!

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Sugar Mountain Ski Resort is shown in the distance of the nice Autumn shot taken by Debbie Canady of Beech Mountain on Monday – Enlarge for best photo
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Western North Carolina Weather Forecast – Oct 15, 2006
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