By Harley Nefe
Sugar Mountain Resort will be the first ski resort in the High Country to open when the slopes open to the public for skiing and snowboarding Thursday, Nov. 19, at 9 a.m.
This opening comes after the ski resort saw good snowmaking temperatures the last few days. Sunday was the first opportunity they had to be able to make snow.
“It was a little slow Sunday and Monday, but then (Tuesday night) it actually got down to 16 degrees and it’s extremely dry, so that makes the temperatures even lower and we had a really good night of snowmaking,” said Kimberley Jochl, Vice President at Sugar Mountain Resort.
On Sunday and Monday night, conditions were not favorable to make snow at the bottom of the slopes because it was too warm; however, they had an inversion today and it was very cold at the bottom and warmer at the top.
“We’ve had different variations that have sort of worked in our favor to get the slopes covered,” Jochl said.
Sugar Mountain Resort hopes to have the slopes Northridge, Switchback, Upper Flying Mile, Lower Flying Mile and the Magic Carpet Area open. Here is a map of Sugar Mountain’s trail system: http://www.skisugar.com/trailmap/.
“We’re keeping our fingers crossed for cold weather in the near future because that’s what we need to stay open,” Jochl said.
With guidance from the CDC, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, and local public health officials, and the National Ski Areas Association, Sugar Mountain Ski Resort is following Ski Well, Be Well principles, North Carolina Ski Areas Association’s Operating Best Practices created in response to COVID-19. In addition to following all local and state regulations, Sugar Mountain Resort is requiring face coverings, allowing for physical distancing, and managing access to the mountain to give guests the space they need. Additionally, the resort will operate with enhanced cleaning measures, employee health screenings and safety training, and revisions to some programs and services.