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Ski Slopes Get Boost From Big Crowds that Braved the Recent Snowstorm; Conditions Remain Great for Skiing

By Nathan Ham

As snow piled up across the High Country, the local ski resorts were certainly enjoying the turnout from avid skiers and snowboarders.

SugarFest at Sugar Mountain Resort on Saturday went off without a hitch according to Kim Jochl, the Vice President and Director of Marketing at Sugar Mountain.

“We got 24 inches of snow and it was wonderful. The vibe and the energy was incredible and everyone was having a great time,” Jochl said. “It was perfect powder, it wasn’t real light where it blew away and the storm didn’t bring a lot of wind with it. People were happy to be testing the equipment in all the snow, the fireworks were great, it was just a great environment.”

Olympic ice skater Paul Wylie put on a show for the crowd on Friday night and even stuck around to join Olympic skier Andrew Weibrecht for his skiing sessions.

It was also a nice reunion for the two Olympians. When Wylie was training in Lake Placid, he and the rest of the figure skating team would often stay at a hotel that Weibrecht’s parents owned.

Monday and Tuesday were also very busy days at Sugar Mountain as they have been able to get a majority of their trails open.

The slopes currently open with a base of 36-70 inches are: Tom Terrific, Gunther’s Way, Northridge, Switchback, Upper Flying Mile, Load Off, Big Bitch, Oma’s Meadow, Lower Flying Mile, Easy Street, East Street Extension, Little Nell, Tiny Tim, Magic Carpet Area, Ski School Yard.

At Appalachian Ski Mountain, they have all of their slopes open with a huge base of 49-78 inches.

“It’s a winter wonderland, it’s really fantastic. Kind of makes everybody feel like a kid again with these snow days,” said Drew Stanley, the Marketing Director at App Ski Mountain. “We’re excited to be 100 percent open now.”

Ice-skating is also operating on a regular schedule.

Beech Mountain received a good amount of snow, enough to open 14 trails with a base depth of 38-54 inches. The current trails open are: Meadows, Upper Shawneehaw, Lower Shawneehaw, Crossway, Upper Robbin’s Run, Lower Robbin’s Run, Lower Southern Star, Crossover, Upper Powder Bowl, Lower Powder Bowl, Freestyle, Lower White Lightning, Play Yard and The Park.

Tubing is all set to open this weekend.

Monday was the busiest day that Beech Mountain Resort has had all season, according to Talia Freeman, the Director of Marketing.

“It’s the best snow that we’ve had in years. People are excited. We’re getting calls from people that want to learn to ski. It’s getting people excited to try the sport and that has been a big positive,” Freeman said.

Beech Mountain has a couple of events happening this weekend. On Saturday night, there will be live music from 7-10 p.m. by funk masters. Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band. Music is free and will be at the Taproom and Grill.

On Sunday, Santa Claus comes to town for a visit from 2-4 p.m. Hang around for story time and get your photo taken with Santa. This event is open to the public and lift tickets are not required.