Snowmaking Has Begun at Sugar Mountain – The Rest Will Follow as Temps Fall!

First Trax

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Almost NOTHING matches the beauty of the sun coming up in the mountains. During certain conditions it causes an adjacent mountain to cast its shadow on the next hill, while setting the ridgetop ablaze in an orange glow. This morning was such a mountain. There’s no way that one grows complacent with that!

It is also a "red sky" morning and sailors BEST take warning and stay the heck off of any body of water as winds are howling out there!

Before I get too far into this morning’s update, Tammy Brown of Cataloochee wanted us to pass along the following, "A BIG THANK YOU to all Cataloochee skiers and riders who came out for Can-U-Ski Day on Sunday – we collected over 6,000 cans of food and over 100 coats for special familes in our region! Happy Holidays to all of you!"

Cataloochee will not operate Monday, December 3 but will reopen Tuesday through Friday from 1-10pm and Saturday and Sunday from 8:30am-4:30pm.


We’re seeing some cold readings across the state of North Carolina as the mercury begins to fall. Last night at midnight it was 52° at Appalachian Ski Mountain in Blowing Rock and as of 8am it is already 35° and the temps should continue to fall into the low to mid 20s today and tonight. Watch for the snowguns to fire at App as soon as temperatures allow. They have 3 trails operating today.

Sugar Mountain is reporting 26° already at 8am and they ARE making snow! THEY MADE IT! After last night’s rain I was personally questioning whether they’d be open today. With the wind and thin coverage there probably won’t be many (if any) skiers on the hill, but hand it to Sugar – they have to be there anyway…monitoring the snowmaking, etc…so they might as well stay open and keep their consecutive days open streak going. (They’ve now skied for 30 days straight – uninterupted and no other resort in the Southeast or Mid Atlantic can say that.)

Expect only two trails open to their 3/4th station on Monday with VERY thin coverage. However, now that snowmaking has resumed things will improve quickly.


We’re watching the weather stations around the area and just spotted two different temps up on Beech Mountain and they are reporting 26° and 31° respectively…but Ski Beech has yet to crank up their snowmaking equipment. Temperatures are marginal right now up there so it should happen at any moment!

The same is true at Cataloochee, Hawksnest and Wolf Ridge…but at some point in the next few hours we can expect snowguns to fire all across the state!


While the temps are still good for snowmaking at night – there doesn’t appear to be the extreme cold, around-the-clock snowmaking ops that looked so promising just yesterday. For the last several days most meteorologists have been telling us of a week or more of frigid temperatures and while we will take anything we can get…the cold blast doesn’t look nearly as cold or as long-lasting as once promised. I have to hand it to Mike Stinneford of Washington DC who wrote me a couple of times after we posted some of the weather updates. He warned that the cold would not be "all that" that it was being billed.

Oh well! We SHOULD be able to make snow most all day today and all night tonight. Tuesday looks good for snowmaking for most of the morning and then again Tuesday night. Wednesday will see temps rise to a near normal 44° and then drop to 24° overnight (more snowmaking!) and we even have some chances for measureable snowfall on favored peaks.

Thursday could provide some around-the-clock snowmaking opportunities with a high in the mid to upper 30s and lows around 28°.

Right now, next weekend looks milder (around normal) with highs in the mid 40s or so, but overnight lows just above snowmaking temps.

Conditions should improve phenomenally by mid week and skiing and riding by the end of the week and into this coming weekend should be quite nice.

Until Next Time…Send your comments, photos and videos to: [email protected]

Also visit for more news from the rest of the ski resorts of the Southeast and Mid Atlantic.

See You On The Slopes!

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