By Jesse Wood
Twenty-two slopes – and a number of freestyle terrain parks, tubing lanes and ice skating rinks – are open at ski resorts across the High Country on Friday, and that number is expected to increase by Saturday as snowmaking continues today.
Here are reports from the four local resorts:
Sugar Mountain Resort
Sugar Mountain Resort has nine slopes open, including Gunther’s Way, which has been described as the best run in the Southeast. Currently, Sugar Mountain Resort has a base of 12 to 48 inches with fresh manmade powder on top of a firm and packed base.
“It’s great … The snow is really nice,” said Sugar Mountain Resort Vice President Kim Jochl as she was coming off the slopes on Friday morning.
Four lifts are operating with another lift set to open on Saturday. The tubing park at Sugar Mountain Resort has four lanes open. Tubing and ice skating sessions start at 10 a.m., 12 p.m., 2 p.m., 4 p.m., 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Beech Mountain Resort
Ski Beech, the highest ski resort on the East Coast, has six slopes and four lifts open on Friday with the possibility for more to be open on Saturday, according to a Beech Mountain Resort rep. Currently, the resort has a base of 12 to 34 inches.
Beech Mountain Resorts spokesperson Talia Freeman said that conditions are “great” atop Beech Mountain and the warm weather over the weekend will provide for comfortable and enjoyable skiing conditions.
“We have a lot of snow. We open tubing tomorrow (Saturday). We have events tonight and tomorrow, so I think it will be a great weekend,” Freeman said. “The snow is really nice right now.”
Appalachian Ski Mtn.
Appalachian Ski Mtn. has all but two slopes open. As of Friday morning, ASM has seven slopes and all three freestyle terrain parks open for skiing and snowboarding. The base at Appalachian Ski Mtn. is currently 12 to 34 inches.
Ice skating is currently available during three two-hour sessions (weather permitting) at noon, 2:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Hawksnest Resort Opens on Saturday
This is the latest from Hawksnest as of Friday: “Due to the recent rain, we will close on Thursday and Friday to make snow. We will reopen on Saturday, Dec 17 at 12 p.m., with sessions at 12 p.m., 2 p.m., 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. Sorry for the inconvenience. Hope the weather turns cold and stays cold soon.