By Nathan Ham
The 2019-20 ski season may be winding down, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at the amount of snow on the ski slopes across the High Country.
Beech Mountain Resort’s closing date is set for March 21, however, they are still making snow for this weekend and slope conditions are great, according to Talia Freeman, Beech Mountain’s Director of Marketing. There will also be a special event for season pass holders on March 22.
At Sugar Mountain, the staff will continue to make snow through Saturday evening.
“Ski conditions are perfect. We’ve got 14 slopes open and we just got an inch of snow early this morning and looks like we’ve got 4-6 inches of snow coming through Saturday,” said Kim Jochl, Vice-President of Sugar Mountain Resort. “We’ve got good conditions and we hope to stay open through the month of March.”
Jochl said they are hoping to stay open through March 31. March Madness is also going on at Sugar Mountain with 25 percent off for lift tickets, rentals and lessons. Tubing and ice skating are fully operational.
Coming up next weekend will be the annual Easter Egg Hunt at Sugar Mountain and the celebration of Sugar Bear’s birthday.
“We’re winding down but there is still a lot of great skiing ahead. There is so much snow on the mountain so we’ll be able to move snow around if we have to,” said Jochl.
With another round of snow showers hitting the area on Friday, the ski conditions are still great at Appalachian Ski Mtn. Ice skating will remain open too.
“The weekends have just been fantastic for skiing and snowboarding. Looks like we will be making snow on the majority of slopes overnight. That should make conditions feel more like January instead of March,” says Drew Stanley, the Marketing Director for Appalachian Ski Mtn.
Stanley said that with their snowmaking system, they will be able to make snow up until the day before they close.
Appalachian Ski Mountain will be ending the season on the weekend of March 21-22 with its annual Meltdown Games.
“It’s always a really fun time to end another great season on a high note,” Stanley said.
Some of the events on the final weekend will include a cardboard box downhill derby face, a big air competition for skiers and snowboarders and pond skimming contest.
This is looking like the final weekend of snow tubing at Hawksnest, according to owner Lenny Cottom.
“This may be it for us but we’ll see, I’m almost sure but we’ll wait and see what happens. I’m not going to cry if it’s over, we’ve had a good season. I’d love to have 10 more just like it,” said Cottom.
Cottom says the nice weekend weather throughout the season helped them out quite a bit since most of the winter precipitation seemed to happen in the middle of the week and clearing out before the weekends arrived.
Hawksnest will still be offering zipline tours, depending on the weather. Those interested in ziplining should plan on calling ahead to make sure they will be open that day depending on the weather forecast.
Friday Ski Report
Sugar Mountain: 14 trails, 5 lifts, 39-89 inch base. Open trails include Tom Terrific, Gunther’s Way, Northridge, Switchback, Upper Flying Mile, Sugar Slalom, Big Birch, Oma’s Meadow, Lower Flying Mile, East Street, Little Nell, Tiny Tim, Magic Carpet Area and Ski School Yard
Beech Mountain: 12 trails, 5 lifts, 36-64 inch base. Open trails include Upper Shawneehaw, Lower Shawneehaw, Upper Robbin’s Run, Lower Robbin’s Run, Crossover, Upper Powder Bowl, Lower Powder Bowl, Freestyle, Upper White Lightning, Lower White Lightning, Play Yard and The Park.
Appalachian Ski Mtn.: 12 trails, 6 lifts, 54-64 inch base. Open Trails include Appaltizer, Avery’s Appal, Candied Appal, Strudel, Orchard Run, Lower Big Appal, Upper Big Appal, Hard Core, Thin Slice, Appaljack, Appal Jam, Appal Top.