By Nathan Ham
Temperatures do not typically fall into the teens for high temperatures in November, however all of the area ski slopes took advantage of the chilly temperatures by amping up their snow production ahead of the first weekend of December.
At Beech Mountain, there are currently six slopes and three lifts open with a base of 14-26 inches of wet packed snow. Slopes open right now are Upper and Lower Shawneehaw, Crossover, Freestyle, Play Yard and The Park.
“We had a long solid window of single-digit temperatures and we were really able to put down some good snow,” said Talia Freeman, the Director of Marketing for Beech Mountain. “Unfortunately we’re experiencing a little rain today but the slopes are holding up well and we were able to get a little bit more coverage at the summit of the mountain so we opened the quad lift to the top today.”
There will also be a special ribbon cutting ceremony on Saturday for the brand new ski lifts that Beech Mountain installed over the summer and fall. Ice skating will also be starting up this weekend.
Conditions are good at Sugar Mountain as well with three lifts and seven slopes open with a 21-52 inch base. The lifts open include Summit Express, Easy Street and Magic Carpet. The slopes open include Northridge, Switchback, Upper Flying Mile, Lower Flying Mile, Easy Street and Tiny Tim.
“We had excellent snowmaking for the past four or five days. We’ve got ice skating open and tubing opened today,” said Kim Jochl, the Vice President and Director of Marketing at Sugar Mountain.
Looking ahead to next week, the annual SugarFest will be happening December 7-9 that will include appearances by two-time Olympic skiing medalist Andrew Weibrecht and Olympic figure-skating medalist Paul Wylie. There will be a fireworks show on Saturday night and music from Glen Harlow & North Fork band. There will be a hot chocolate bar and tasty BBQ as well.
Over at Appalachian Ski Mountain, they will be having their annual Anniversary Celebration where tickets will be $5 for weekend day sessions on Saturday and Sunday.
“Anniversary weekend is probably one of the best values you will find all season long, especially with all the terrain that we have open right now. We’re celebrating our 57th year of operating and we roll back tickets to the 1962 price of $5 for the day session,” said Drew Stanley, the Marketing Director at Appalachian Ski Mountian.
Stanley said that if you purchase your tickets online you can upgrade it to an eight-hour flex ticket.
The cold conditions allowed App Ski to open nine slopes and four lifts with a base depth of 23-47 inches.
“I don’t remember a cold snap quite this cold in November, Brad (Moretz) says since the mid-80s. It was incredible, it dipped into the teens and we were able to make a lot of snow over all of our slopes. We’ve got the majority of slopes open with quite a large base and we’re excited for this weekend,” said Stanley.
The slopes currently open are the Appaltizer, Avery’s Appal, Candied, Appal, Strudel, Orchard Run, Lower Big Appal, Upper Big Appal as well as Appaljack and Appal Jam at the Terrain Park.
On the first Sunday night of every month there will be a half-night special with a $10 ticket from 7:30-10 p.m. and if you purchase online, you get an extra hour and will be able to ski from 6:30-10 p.m., another benefit of purchasing tickets online.
“It just streamlines the process and makes it easier on everybody and it offers a little more value as an incentive to purchase online,” said Stanley.
If you purchase your tickets online, go to the cashier’s booth at the mountain and give them your name and ID or show them a receipt and you will be hitting the slopes soon after.
Ice-skating is not up and running at Appalachian Ski Mountain yet but expect that to be happening soon.
“We are in the process of getting the ice made. I’m not 100 percent sure when it will open but if not this weekend it will be very soon next week. We’re anxious to get that going,” said Stanley.