By Nathan Ham
With predictions of well over a foot of snow coming to the High Country this weekend, ski resorts in the area are gearing up for big crowds and having lots of snow for the upcoming holiday weekends.
“Even with the cold weather we’ve been making snow 24/7 so our main trails do have a terrific base so that probably is going to allow us to move snowmaking over to the other slopes to make snow on top of the all the natural snow we’re going to get,” said Kim Jochl, the Vice President and Director of Marketing as Sugar Mountain. “We did open Gunther’s Way a couple of days ago and we opened Big Birch so we do have a lot of terrain open already.”
Jochl says they will be open no matter what. “Even if we have to dig the lifts out,” she joked.
With SugarFest happening this weekend, the big snow is coming at a perfect time for that event as well.
There will be 10 slopes open for SugarFest this weekend in addition to Olympian Paul Wylie’s ice skating performance tonight.
“We’ve got a lot going on with two Olympians coming. Paul Wylie is performing Friday night at 7 p.m. and Andrew Weibrecht, a two-time Olympic medalist will be here Thursday through Monday,” Jochl said.
At Beech Mountain, they’re looking forward to the added fresh snow.
“We’re excited, we haven’t had a snow like this in a long time. We’ve got fingers crossed that it’s going to happen,” said Talia Freeman, the Director of Marketing at Beech Mountain. “We’ve already shifted our snowmaking efforts over to Robbin’s Run so we’re trying to get more terrain open. We’re going to open a couple of more slopes open tomorrow and I can see more slopes opening throughout the week.”
Freeman says they’ll definitely be open no matter how much it snows.
“We’re ready for it, we’re excited, snow’s good right now and it’s only going to get better,” said Freeman.
Upper and Lower Shawneehaw, Crossover, Lower Powder Bowl, Freestyle and the Play Yard are already open at Beech Mountain.
At Appalachian Ski Mountain, there are currently seven slopes and two freestyle terrains open and ice-skating will begin on a regular schedule starting on Saturday. Current trails open at App Ski Mountain are Appaltizer, Avery’s Appal, Candied Appal, Strudel, Orchard Run, Lower Big Appal and Upper Big Appal. The two freestyle terrains open are Appaljack and Appal Jam.