By Nathan Ham
Monday marked the first official day of ski season in the High Country with Sugar Mountain Resort firing up the chairlifts for skiers and snowboarders. Temperatures below freezing for much of the last 72 hours allowed for the snowmaking machines to put down quite a bit of snow on the slopes.
“We are excited to be open and we are looking forward to another great season. Wax up your skis and come on out,” said Kim Jochl, Vice President and Director or Marketing at Sugar Mountain Resort. “There are some great snowmaking temperatures coming up at the end of the week and we’ve got some snow in the forecast. The long-term forecast for the entire month of November looks like snowmaking temperatures. We look forward to a long ski season.”
The Summit Express chairlift which runs to the mountain’s peak is open. Accessible slopes include Northridge, Switchback, Upper and Lower Flying Mile.
President and owner, Gunther Jochl, was also out on the slopes ready for his first ride down the mountain. “It’s a beautiful day for skiing.”
Kimberly Marland of Boone was at the mountain for the third year in a row to be one of the first skiers down the mountain. Tim Aiken from Raleigh made the trip up the mountain to hit the slopes early as well.
“I have been a season pass holder at Sugar Mountain for seven winters. I love to come up here and get after it whenever I can. I appreciate what Gunther does to always try and be first,” Aiken said.
Skiers and snowboarders can expect an 8-22 inch base on a man-made powder and frozen-granular surface.
The full-day session runs from 9:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. The half-day shift begins at 12:30 p.m. and ends at 4:30 p.m. The twilight and night sessions will be available soon.
The snowsports school, the equipment and clothing rental shop, the sports shop, the group sales department, and childcare are fully operational. Ice skating is expected to open soon while the tubing park will follow.
The health and safety of guests, employees, and the community are what Sugar Mountain Resort values most. In partnership with the North Carolina Ski Areas Association, Sugar Mountain Resort wants everyone to have a day on the slopes worth repeating, and this season, guests should “Know Before You Go.” Tips and ideas of what guests might encounter at Sugar Mountain Resort this season can be found by accessing Ski Well, Be Well.
Visit Sugar’s webcams for a real-time look at slope and weather conditions. Historical opening and closing dates and recorded annual natural snowfall measurements can be found here. For more information call 828-898-4521 or view www.skisugar.com.