Thanksgiving Weekend Should be Pretty – weatherwise.

First Trax

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Hopefully everyone had a great Thanksgiving Day feast and fun with your families. The ski resort snowmaking crews at Appalachian, Cataloochee, Sugar and Snowshoe Mountain did a fabulous job of making enough snow to get us into some Thanksgiving holiday skiing. We received just enough cold air early and into mid November to make for some decent pre-season base depths at those four ski areas.

A couple of days of rain earlier in the week looked like it might wash away any hopes that the snow would be around for this weekend, but the base depths have held up and although things are looking a bit sketchy, there IS snow to be skied and ridden. It may not be pristine, mid-season conditions yet…but those days are right around the corner…and at least we’ve gotten a taste of what’s to come by the four resorts which are open right now. Thanks to each of them for the early adrenaline rush!

Three of the four Southeast and Mid Atlantic ski areas that are open are located in the state of North Carolina. How about that? With that being said, let’s update you guys on beginning with the NC Ski Resorts.

Appalachian Ski Mountain is looking a little sketchy this morning, but they still have a fairly wide path of their main “Lower Big Appal” terrain groomed and ready to play on this morning. They are reporting a base of 8-12” of snow and two slopes open for day skiing only today.

Cataloochee Ski Area is having some website problems. As of 8am there website is still down. We were trying to have a look at the live camera but it’s not operating as of this report. We can tell you that they have the most base in the state today. They are reporting 12-40” and four trails operating for day and night skiing tonight.

Sugar Mountain is reporting a 4-18” base with four trails open as well. Sugar does have some thin coverage and bare spots popping out this morning.

Snowshoe Mountain in West Virginia has a base of 20-24” and five trails operating today. They are open for day skiing only with the best conditions in the region right now. Like Cataloochee, Snowshoe had been making snow for the last few weeks preparing for yesterday’s opening day celebration. Since they had made all that snow and not been skiing on it until Thursday…it has held up quite well.

Andrea Smith of Snowshoe reported, “Opening day is behind us and we once again have 3 slopes, along with 2 connecting trails (total of 5) open for the second day of skiing and riding this season. All open trails have been groomed overnight, providing Snowshoe skiers with the most open terrain in the region. Three lifts will be running from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. including Skidder, Powder Monkey and Grabhammer. Have a great holiday weekend!”

Andrea reported that Snowshoe had nearly 1000 skiers and riders hit the slopes for the opening day fun and they are expecting close to 2000 for the weekend.

The Weather is on YOUR Minds…

Most of our emails have been posing the question about the weather. When will it turn cold again? When will the resorts make snow again? When will more resorts open? When will this or that slope open?

The answers to all of those questions is weather dependent and can be summed up by saying – when the weather turns cold for a sustained period of time. The more detailed answer is that we are not expected cold enough air to make snow until around December 1st.

The long range forecast is calling for the high temps to remain above normal for the next several days. The first overnight snowmaking quality temperatures are expected to reappear into the region around Thursday, November 30th. The GREAT NEWS is that it appears that for at least several days afterwards…it will be VERY COLD, allowing for lots of snowmaking! We’re predicting that Saturday and Sunday, December 2nd and 3rd will be very nice ski days! Highs in the 30s and lows in the 20s across West Virginia and into the North Carolina mountains. For a detailed look at the weather forecast, be sure to check out the weather update located on the front page of both and

Count Your Blessings…

There are many more important things to be thankful for today. We live in a country that provides us so many opportunities. While it may not be perfect, it’s the best in the world. While we may not have mid-winter, pristine ski and riding conditions just yet, we do have some terrain to play on…and once we get through this somewhat normal, pre-peak season period…it appears that we’re on our way to some cold and snowy periods into December and beyond.

So if you’re on the slopes today…enjoy the snow we have. If you’re out cutting your Christmas tree, enjoy the near perfect weather for those kinds of activities. Have a great weekend…and be sure to check back for more updates, photos of the day and more.

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Until Next Time…


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