Sugar Mountain OPENS at 10AM! Cataloochee to follow at 1PM!

First Trax

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I heard from Tammy Brown at Cataloochee Ski Area on Thanksgiving Day they they would be opening today at 1pm. Even though snowmaking didn’t really get going in earnest at Cat or Sugar until later in the day, I anticipated that Sugar Mountain might pull the trigger and open perhaps an hour ahead of Cataloochee to claim the right to boast of being the first to open in the state and Southeast. Well I was wrong. Sugar is OPENING at 10am this morning and will open THREE HOURS ahead of Cataloochee Ski Area. So do us a favor and get us some videos and photos from both Sugar and Cat! Send them to [email protected] and we’ll post them on Saturday!

At 7:19am it was 21.4° at the summit of Sugar Mountain. It is 26° at the base and they are cranking out a snow cloud. For that matter between Mother Nature’s dense "snog" (snow fog) and the snowguns blasting away at all of the ski areas, you can’t see much of anything via the ski resort webcams! Check out most any of the webcam views this AM and all you can really see is icing on most of the enclosures. But icing is GOOD. That means the ground is cold and getting colder by the base that the resorts are laying down.

A lot of people are emailing us asking about App’s base cam being down. We are not in control of that one. Brian from App was up there the other day doing some network work and perhaps he inadvertently made a change that isn’t allowing the camera to update because we can’t access one of our own new cameras which we installed this week up on then mid-station lift house. (Yes, we installed a new LIVE, streaming camera at Appalachian. More about that later.)

Let’s get to the important stuff for now and we’ll revisit the cameras and get you some updates later. For now, check out for an array of cam views that will allow you to see some snow.


This is the first morning of the 2009-2010 Ski Season as Sugar and Cataloochee Ski Area will be opening. So we’re having some fun today! Let’s get to the updates on snow, snowmaking and openings.

Top billing has to go to the two North Carolina ski areas that are open today.

Cataloochee Ski Area – 23.5° – Making Snow! – They received nearly 2" of snow in some locations on the mountain. They will be opening at 1pm today!

Sugar Mountain – 21.9° – Making Snow! They are not reporting any natural snow this AM, but they did receive from .5" at the base to about an inch up top according to our reporters. There is no update this morning about an opening. THEY ARE OPENING AT 10AM this morning and ice skating is open as well.

Snowshoe Mountain – 27° – 2" of new snow and 6" on the season. Laura Parquette writes, "Well Mother Nature has finally given us something to be thankful for on the mountain. Just about 2" of fresh snow fell overnight, and another 4" is possible before the storm is over. Steady snow continues to fall at 8am Friday morning and the snow should continue into the late evening. Freezing temperatures have also allowed our expert snowmaking team to get back to work. We’ll continue to make snow whenever Mother Nature allows as we grow closer to our Dec 4th tenative Opening Day. We’ll also continue to monitor forecast and our slope conditions and will open just as soon as we’ve built a sustainable base across our basin slopes."

Snowshoe is offering a GREAT, Early Season Ski Free/Stay Free Package that expires on Dec 1, so think snow and book your Snowshoe escape today! For those guests joining them this weekend, Snowshoe will offer a variety of shopping and dining options, as well as Split Rock Pools and The Big Top entertainment Centre. Think Snow!

Canaan Valley – 26° – My buddy David C. Lesher of Canaan Weather reports that Tucker County WV received 2" of new snow and now 6.7" on the season. There’s no report from Canaan about snowmaking but they are not planning to open until DFecember 12th anyway.

Timberline Resort – 26° – 2" of snow and 6.7" on the season. I don’t know where Timberline is hosting their website but they’ve had trouble lately and that site takes forever to come up. They need to get those hamsters running faster or something!

Winterplace Resort – 34° – (They are reporting no snow and 70° this AM!) We’re happy to report that as incorrect! They are at 34° and it IS lightly snowing at Ghent, WV! There is no report of snowmaking.

Wisp Resort – 27° – No report of snowmaking or snow, but they DID get 2" of new snow and it’s still snowing. Wisp is such a cool place. It just has a great feel up there and more of you guys need to check this cool place out.

Wintergreen Resort – 30° – They are not reporting snowmaking. They plan to open December 12th so they might be waiting on the next round of cold temps.

Bryce Resort – 42° – reporting "lush green" slopes awaiting cold and snow. No snowmaking there yet and not even a dusting via their webcams.

Massanutten Resort – 43°- Plan to start snowmaking Dec 1st, will open as soon as weather permits.

Ober Gatlinburg – 39° – No snow or snowmaking at this time.

The North Carolina SkiNC fans are emailing about the snow and who got it.

<Hwy 184 Banner Elk Cam shows barely a dusting of snow!

Everyone wants to know about the snow. I am traveling today but I can tell you by the conversations I’ve had and a glance at the cameras, no snow fell below 3200 feet. My office webcam show ZERO snow. Ditto the Blowing Rock camera across from Chetola and the Boone Overlook cam on Howard’s Knob. Not even a heavy frost. The Banner Elk 184 Camera showed some nice coverage last night but as of 8am this morning it looks like not much more than a dusting to perhaps one-half an inch of snow is on the ground.

Same for the Extreme Snowboard & Ski Cam across from Sugar. Just enough snow to create some excitement (perhaps a 1/2 inch at the entrance of Sugar). 

Appalachian Ski Mountain – 26° – Making Snow! – They are creating some base and will not be opening today. Stay tuned for opening day announcements as they will allow the first 100 skiers/snowboarders that show up to ski free that day.

Ski Beech – 23° – Making Snow! They received 1" of natural snow and 3" on the season. They had an amazing cloud of snow being made across all of Shawneehaw, Powder Bowl and much of the top of the mountain last night. We have a live, streaming cam up top and we’re seeing a lot of action going on. More about that camera later.

Wolf Ridge / Wolf Laurel – 36° – NO SNOWMAKING – No Natural Snow and no report as to an opening date.

That’s it for the North Carolina Resorts. For more information and updates click over to We’ll have all of those announcements, snow totals and more online by 9am.

IF YOU’RE SKIING OR RIDING TODAY AT CATALOOCHEE OR SUGAR we’d appreciate some photos, videos and comments/reports!

Send your comments, pics, vids to: [email protected]

Last comment: We received several emails about other websites not reporting conditions this morning nor reporting snowfall, snowmaking or opening content that we have brought you. Just one question: Why the heck do you guys even go to those other websites? ’nuff said!

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Cataloochee Ski Area OPENS after one day of Snowmaking at 1pm today!
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