First Trax

Story by Mike Doble – [email protected]

Let's get right to the top news of today and that is the fact that Sugar Mountain is open for day sessions today (Sunday) with the same two main trails open from their 3/4th station. A couple of newbies emailed me personally on Friday referencing why so little is open.  First, for those who have not visited Sugar – that is quite a lot of real estate to ride on. It's actually pretty amazing that Sugar can make as much snow as they now do within a day or so of optimal snowmaking temperatures.  They put down more than a foot of snow across the width and length that covers nearly a mile of their network of trails.

So to be clear, there is quite a bit of terrain to play on.

Cataloochee did a likewise amazing job of blasting some 2-3 feet of first day base on 6 of their 17 trails and all one has to do is check out the LIVE CAMS at either resort to see that there are quite a few people making first day(s) (weekend) turns at both popular North Carolina ski areas.

Sugar is also open for ICE SKATING…and here's their Sunday offerings:

Adult full day $40 Jr. full day $30
Adult half day $30 Jr. half day $25

Ice Skating is open with sessions at 10am, 12pm, 2pm, 4pm and 6pm.

SNOW REPORT UPDATE: November 17, 2013 8:30am
Today we will be skiing for one session only, day skiing from 8:30am – 4:30pm on 6 slopes from midstation down with 2 lifts and 1 conveyor lift operating on a 16-34" base and machine groomed surface. Lift tickets will be $35 for adults and $25 for juniors age 5-12 and we will continue this reduced rate through Sunday. Regular rental rates will apply. Remember, we are in our early season operating hours of 9am until 4:30pm, Monday through Friday and 8:30am – 4:30pm, Saturday and Sunday. There will be no half day rates available at this time, but we will be again be offering a one run refund. Purchase your lift ticket and make one run and if you are not satisfied after your first run within the first 30 minutes, your money will be refunded for your purchase!


I spoke with a long time Sugar fan, Ron Kent on Friday after he skied both of Sugar's first two days of this VERY early season and he said, "I was really astounded at how good the conditions are. Very few people were on the slopes until later in the day and the snow was awesome. Soft, carvable and awesome!"


Now that both Cataloochee and Sugar have opened the 2013-2014 season, we're now waiting on the rest of the resorts to follow suit. Early seasons are almost always "hit and miss" in terms of getting open and STAYING open and this one looks no different. Our Southeast and Mid Atlantic ski resorts traditionally call Thanksgiving Weekend the official/unofficial opening foray into snow play each season and ANY days of playing on the snow prior to that is simply a bonus.

Right now it looks like we'll not get anymore snowmaking temps until MAYBE Tuesday evening and that looks "iffy". So right now…THINK COLD and keep checking back for snow report updates and we'll tell you when the next string of cold days and nights are headed our way.

Look for more great posts from Tim Bahlke coming ahead…

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