Snowshoe’s Cupp Run Challenge Kicks Off Today; Sunshine At Sugar Mountain

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Who do we have to pay around here to get the lifties in the southeast to play some guitar licks while loading our chairs?

I hit Sugar Mountain Resort yesterday after putting out the FirsTrax report, and I admittedly was excited to see plenty of cars headed away from the resort entrance as I was pulling in. That Sunday crowd can only squeeze in a few runs in the morning before trekking back to South Carolina or Wilmington, NC or wherever else home is, and my friend and I were more than happy to pick up the slack for them.

It was my second day ever at Sugar, and it felt much more like the weather is supposed to feel like in the middle of the winter season. Temperatures hovered around 40 degrees, and I got away with wearing just a baselayer and a non-insulated jacket. The sun was shining real bright, and that made the snow nice and soft.

While there were a few sneaky patches of ice, particularly atop Northridge and Gunther’s Way, there were enough manmade fresh patches atop that hardpack to surf around in. It was certainly slushy at parts, but not so much that you had to worry about pondskimming everytime you got off of the chairlift (this happened to me the last time I rode at Sugar, on a 64 degree day).

There were a two side hits on either side of Lower Flying Mile toward the bottom. Both were really fun jumps, though not as poppy as a few weeks ago. The one on skier’s right featured a nightmare of a landing: when I first arrived, it was slushy snow, that was starting to feature grass and mud poking through. By 2 p.m., I was simply landing in a puddle of mud.

It was my friend Nick’s third time ever snowboarding, and his first time at Sugar. It was a pretty big step up from his last time at Appalachian Ski Mountain, but he did great.

I won’t ever claim to be the good instructor, but as I tried to give him pointers on the slopes, here were the most helpful tips I learned:

1.     Point your knees in opposite directions when going over patches of ice

2.     When you’re first learning how to stop, don’t hesitate to drop your butt into a low squat to make sure you can dig your edges into the hardpack

3.     Look and point your shoulders toward where you want to go. That’s the easiest way to transition into making turns.

A special thank you to JP Pardy at Recess in Boone. I showed up to the shop yesterday with an older pair of Burton Mission bindings looking for a few replacement parts, and he spent a ton of time searching for those parts. I’ve worked in a shop before, and I know that searching for spare parts can be chaotic, so the fact that he started his Sunday off by rummaging through parts in the back means a ton to me. He found that part, and the bindings have two ankle straps now.

And when I went over to 1st Tracks Ski Shop next door, Jen helped me dig through another bin full of spare parts.

Shred For The Cup

Here’s what you need to know to ski and snowboard in the southeast today:


There’s more sunshine and mild temperatures at the ‘Shoe for the Cupp Run Challenge. The races start this morning. Registration costs $60 and a discounted lift ticket is available for $79.50. Challengers will face 1,500 vertical feet of technical gates and corners down the legendary Cupp Run. The fastest racers win prizes from The North Face and Smith Optics.

“With Cupp closed for racing, the only route down the Western Territory for the general public today will be Upper and Lower Shay’s Revenge (experts only),” the snow report says. “The skier’s right half of Lower Shay’s is ungroomed.”


It’s Monday Night Madness! Tickets are $35 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Rentals cost just $25. It will be sunny during the day with high temperatures in the upper 40s. There are 22 open trails and seven lifts spinning.


The Beech Bums were having a parking lot party on Saturday.

There are 14 trails and 4 lifts open at Beech Mountain Resort today.


There are 5 lifts spinning and 28 trails open at Winterplace today.

“Mountain Operations is ready to take full advantage of cold temps to ontinue to build up the base,” the snow report says. “We still have great coverage but were looking to make sure this is a season to remember.”


There are 20 trails open at Wisp this morning.

There will be another rail jam on February 24. Registration is from 10 a.m. to noon, and the competition is open to skiers, snowboards, and spectators.

There is a $20 registration fee and $5 deposit. It’s an open jam style competition with amateur and pro riders separated, and the competition starts at 1 p.m. at Central Park.

Follow up here for more information.

Video Of The Day

When it comes to creativity and versatility, the Vans snowboarding team’s roster is great at both of those things. And one rider in particular, Mike Ravelson, showcases that creativity more than almost anyone out there.

Method Magazine drops in on Mike Rav for a powder day at Brighton Resort. Video part-watchers are likely used to seeing Rav cruise on groomers or drop into street features, but this is a different, more casual look at the Pride of Plymouth State University.

The Rest

Don’t forget: Clear your calendar from February 9-11. That’s when Massanutten and SkiSoutheast will host team up to host our summit. It’s a great way to meet like-minded, snow-loving people, and possibly make some lifelong friends in the process.

Thanks to everyone that has already joined us on Discord.

Think snow!

Think cold!

Click here to join us on our new SkiSoutheast Discord channel. It is a great way to meet new snow loving friends and shares experiences, ask questions, and more!

And as always, email me at [email protected] with your thoughts and photos.

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