Last Call For Skiing And Riding At Sugar and Cataloochee

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We are down to the wire on the ski and snowboard season in North Carolina.

Tomorrow will be the last day lifts will spin in the state, as both Sugar Mountain and Cataloochee have announced that they will close for the winter at the end of the day Sunday.

Snowshoe will hold on for a little longer. They are still making snow over there in West Virginia, and kids 12 and under get to ski and ride for free starting on Monday.

If you’re not quite done with your season, get yourself to Vermont as soon as you can. Smuggler’s Notch has reported 53 inches of fresh snowfall in the past two weeks, and there’s another 18 inches of snow in the forecast for this weekend.

Even Wisconsin has gotten some more snow. Legendary Trollhaugen closed for the season on St. Patrick’s Day, but got another 6 inches of fresh snow, and the Troll is now talking about bonus days. It would be a pleasant surprise for the locals, as this year was uncharacteristically warm for the region.

The Fifty

An absolutely amazing era has come to an end.

Professional freeskier announced this week that he will halt his video series titled “The Fifty” in which he attempts to climb and ski each of the “50 Classic Ski Descents of North America,” as dubbed in the book by Chris Davenport, Art Burrows, and Penn Newhard.

Townsend has conquered 46 of the 50 lines, and will keep going until he tackles all 50, but will no longer be regularly publishing episodes. It’s an incredible endeavor, and the episodes have brought some heavy-hitting guest appearances (including rock climber Alex Hannold from Free Solo fame, and other pros like Nick Russell and Michelle Parker). But it’s also dangerous.

Townsend closed out the project with some of skiing and snowboarding’s best: Drew Pedersen, Forrest Shearer, Michelle Parker, JT Holmes, and of course, his wife, Elyse Saugstad. The Bloody Couloir in the Eastern Sierra Mountains of California is the latest peak to be checked off the list.

The Streets

Regular readers of the FirsTrax report know that I am a loyal devoté to street skiing and snowboarding. And now that I live in North Carolina, I have to wave that flag, as the best riders to come out of the state all crush it in the streets. But could the event make it big time, and become an Olympic event?

That’s a question that Slush The Magazine’s Stan Leveille proposed in a story back in February. He breaks it all down, and tells us what he thinks would be needed for this to happen.

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

Sugar Mountain Resort

Ski or ride today from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., and tonight from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m. Thin and bare spots in areas, so make sure to bring those rock skis. Sugar will close for the winter season after the day session on Sunday, March 24. It’s now or never, people!


It’s raining and 40 degrees this morning at the ‘Shoe. That might change by the afternoon, though, as clear skies are in the forecast. Here’s what the morning snow reporter had to say:

We’re in for a wet, wild, and wonderful Saturday up here at 48484! While rain is expected this morning, the skies look like they may just brighten up by early afternoon. Cupp Run will be closed today. Shay’s Revenge will be open, please be aware that Lower Shay’s is expert only terrain. Your safety is our priority, so please ski within your abilities. Now let’s make some waves and cave up these slopes! 24/25 Season Pass sale is still underway at the lowest price. Be sure to snag yours up before the first price increase, March 31st.”

Closing day will be March 31. Join the folks at Snowshoe for some closing day festivities, as the resort welcomes in golf and cycling season.

Don’t forget, kids ski free all of next week.

Not to get ahead of ourselves, but it does look like Snowshoe is primed for some awesome mountain biking already.


We have significantly less open terrain at Cataloochee Ski Area in its final weekend. There are only just four trails open, compared to eight yesterday. Three lifts are spinning, and Easy Way, Lower Omigosh, and Rabbit Hill are the only trails with dropped ropes.

Video of the Day

We’ve got a throwback from the late 2000s here. Presenting: Get Real from Transworld Snowboarding. Jed Anderson, Scott Stevens, Chris Grenier, Scotty Lago, and Mikey Rencz are all in this one. Enjoy. Grenier lays down some street clips to the tune of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes. His one-footed miller flip is my personal favorite.

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