First Trax

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On Friday I speculated a lot as to whether or not most of the ski areas would use this window of opportunity (cold snap) to make snow. You know what they say about speculating, right? Okay, that’s actually the word "assume" but I’m still fighting the effects of a heavy cold. On Friday I assumed that the usual players – Cataloochee, Sugar and Snowshoe – would make snow and that the rest could do so but that they might be looking at that rainy mid week forecast for next week and choose to wait until after that to crank ’em up.

Welllll… I am happy to report that from what I can tell almost every ski area in the region (if not every one) is making snow as of this report! Even Hawksnest’s snow tubing and ziplining is making snow.


(No it isn’t the fact that Boise State lost on Friday. We knew that sooner or later they had to play at least one college football team on their schedule stacked with high school level teams.)

No, the surprise of today is that Cataloochee AND Sugar Mountain ski areas are BOTH OPEN and operating for day sessions today! If THAT isn’t a testament to the snowmaking capabilities around here – nothing is. They cranked up the snowguns as soon as temps dipped below freezing last night and made a ton of snow with the 20° temps and Voilà! they are open!

Sugar is reporting a 2-10" base and they are open with Upper and Lower Flying Mile. Cataloochee is open with three slopes and a base of 6-8".


I speculated on Friday that Cat and Sugar would open this weekend with an outside shot at doing it today, but I honestly thought it wouldn’t happen til Sunday. You HAVE to hand it to them!

So we have some Thanksgiving Weekend skiing and snowboarding after all.

The forecasted high for today should turn the snowguns off at most ski areas but they should all be cranking out the snow again late this evening and over night both Saturday and Sunday nights.

We’re still looking at a no-snow-making Monday and Tuesday but things get very cold and potentially a little snowy on Wednesday.

Speaking of snow – Snowshoe, Canaan Valley, Timberline and Wisp Resorts all picked up about 1/2" of snow overnight (that’s the official word for CocoRahs).


One local weather report stated this morning, "Much colder air will arrive on the scene by Wednesday morning, with a round of snow showers or flurries anticipated to give the 2010-2011 NC ski season a jump-start."

Ummm…they’re open already and have been for a few weekends now. We continue to educate and we’ll keep trying.

Of course that’s better than the Southeastern Ski Areas report this morning that is showing Appalachian open with a 10-222" base and 7 slopes open. They also have Canaan Valley open with a 24-48" base and 39 trails running.

There’s a lot of conflicting reporting on there but suffice to say that only Cat and Sugar are open and the most base is JUST ENOUGH TO COVER THE GROUND at both ski areas. Hats off to them for being able to pull that off.

We’ll be watching the weather reports and snowguns and we should be able to get a firm grasp on the operating schedules of most of the ski areas by Monday. In the meantime THINK COLD AND SNOW MY FRIENDS…

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