The Second Weekend of the 2010 2011 Season is Upon Us!

First Trax

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This will be the SECOND weekend of the 2010-2011 Ski and Snowboarding season and for anyone who is counting this early this is eight consecutive days of operation for Sugar Mountain. They offer two slopes to ride and they are open from the 3/4 station. There are some thin coverage areas…and quite a few according to more than a few sources…but heck these are all "bonus days" of riding the snow. More times than not – NONE of the ski areas would have normally opened as yet. Last Saturday was Sugar’s second earliest opening in history, so thin and bare spots or not, there’s plenty of terrain to go play on if you want.

Cataloochee Ski Area is playing for its second weekend of the season. As usual they opt out of being open for weekdays this early in the season. That will play very nicely for Cat lovers as their terrain looks very pretty this morning. No thin coverage that we can see and they have a reported base of 10-24" with three trails open from their mid station down.

Tammy Brown of Cataloochee writes, "Thanks for a GREAT opening weekend this past weekend. We hope to see each of you here this weekend! There will be some terrain features available to ride on both Saturday and Sunday. Special pricing is in effect this weekend and lift ticket rates for adults for the day session will be $28 and juniors 5 -12 will be $22. We will not operate during the week from Monday, November 15 through Friday, November 19 but plan to reopen for daily operations beginning Saturday, November 20."


That’s the question of the day according to our readers skiMails. First let me say that we’re surprised that as mild as the temps have been in the last week that both Cat and Sugar look as good as they do today. Afterall they both were only able to make snow for two and one-half days beginning last Thursday, November 4th and lasting into Sunday.

Neither resort – nor any of the others have been able to make snow since then and the ten day forecast ahead isn’t looking condusive for snowmaking ops with the exception of ONE day. Next Thursday, November 18th is looking (at this time) like a rain/snow day with a forecasted high of 42° and a low of 25° with snow. Prior to that one day most overnight temps are not looking even all that borderline for possible snowmaking. There’s also some "under developed snow" (rain for those outside of the ski industry) for both Monday and Tuesday around the Southeast and Mid Atlantic. We need some rain, so we’ll not look a gift horse in the mouth.

Cataloochee Ski Area only plans to ski and ride today and Sunday and then they will close as per their normal early season scheduling – with plans to open for day to day operations beginning NEXT WEEKEND…weather permitting. Sugar has made it for eight consecutive days thus far and they have plenty of snow to play this weekend, but past that is anyone guess. Our guess is that Sugar will basically allow/invite guests to "go have a look" at the slopes and decide for themselves if they want to traverse some "iffy" spots to get on the good snow that remains and stay open as long as they can…and make it to the next window of snowmaking opportunities.

There’s an outside shot at snowmaking temps tonight if those pesky and so far consistent inversions don’t play into the equation. Low temps this morning at nearby Banner Elk were 32° while at Sugar the low was 38°. I think Sugar ought to make snow at our office parking lot and truck it to the mountain. That would be a fun promo wouldn’t it?


Snowshoe’s reported temps this AM is 44° and there’s some under developed snow in their forecast for Sunday afternoon and sporadically through Tuesday. Overnight lows are forecasted to be just outside of snowmaking capable. They COULD see some snowmaking temps Wednesday night, but more than likely it will be sometime on Thursday that they too make snow. Rain and Snow is also in the forecast for up that way with lows in the low-to-mid 20s both next Thursday and Friday nights.


Wellllllll, let’s just say we’re thinking Thanksgiving skiing is going to be a bit of a turkey unless things get cold really quick just prior to that. We could be seeing a start similar to last season when things didn’t really get going in earnest until mid December.

We’ll keep you posted on what we’re hearing weather and otherwise…so stay tuned and in the meantime – THINK COLD! THINK SNOW!

Be sure to check back often for more photos being posted as well as our video blog. If you have not yet visited our Ski Messageboard Forum you should do so.

We’ll be sharing TONS more input about our plans for this season, but for a little sneak peek visit:  

Visit the Skier/Snowboarder Forum/Messageboard

Send your comments, photos, videos and trip reports to: [email protected]

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