Snowmaking Weather Arrives Again in the High Country, Resorts To Open This Weekend

Published Friday, December 18, 2015 at 5:30 pm
Screen shot of summit cam at Sugar Mountain Resort at about noon on Friday.

Screen shot of summit cam at Sugar Mountain Resort at about noon on Friday.

By Jesse Wood

Ski resorts in the High Country either began making snow on Friday morning

Beech Mountain Resort and Sugar Mountain Resort began making snow early on Friday, while Appalachian Ski Mtn. started making snow in the afternoon, once the weather conditions were optimal in Blowing Rock. Hawksnest is also planning to make snow in order to open on Monday.

Beech Mountain Resort began making snow earlier this morning. This photo was posted on Facebook at 9 a.m.

Beech Mountain Resort began making snow earlier this morning. This photo was posted on Facebook at 9 a.m.

With temperatures dipping down into the 30s on Friday, Saturday and Sunday – including the 20s tonight and tomorrow night, Brad Panovich, a meteorologist with WCNC in Charlotte, said, “Three days of snowmaking is pretty awesome!”

Of course, this comment is relative to the fact that it’s almost Christmas and the High Country as only seen a dusting of snow so far this winter season. Just last week, High Country Press published a story about the ski resorts waiting on winter.

“It’s uncommon but not unheard of,” Appalachian Ski Mtn. General Manager Brad Moretz said last week on the weather and delayed sustained opening for the season. “But that’s one of the unique things about skiing. You have to have the gift of weather to be able to do it.”

But with all of the advances in technology and the millions of dollars in snowmaking infrastructure investments that all of the ski resorts and Hawksnest Tubing have made over the years, Mother Nature doesn’t have to completely cooperate with cold and snow.

It just needs to be cold – like December in the High Country should be!

Appalachian Ski Mtn. commenced snowmaking at 1:30 p.m. on Friday.

Appalachian Ski Mtn. commenced snowmaking at 1:30 p.m. on Friday.

“We might have the coldest weather so far this season [this weekend] … That sounds promising,” Moretz said. “We’ve had 2/3 of the slopes open before on 32 hours of snowmaking and over half of that was some marginal snowmaking weather. I think we can get it done in a hurry and get to peak season form in spring fashion.”

While the fun probably won’t last very long because the temperatures hit the 60’s by Wednesday or Thursday, Panovich noted on Beech Mountain Resort’s Facebook page, “Give it time. [The] pattern changes big time in January.”

Have fun on the slopes – or the tubing lanes – this weekend!

Here’s the latest news from the slopes as of Friday at 5:30 p.m.

App Ski Mtn. 

Snowmaking has commenced as of 1:30pm Friday, Dec 18. ASM’s dedicated snowmakers will be working around the clock to make as much snow as possible during this cold front.

Weather permitting, ASM hopes to re-open for skiing and snowboarding Sunday, December 20. Keep posted as we will post any updates on re-opening as soon as they become available.

Beech  Mountain:

Beech Mountain Resort will open for skiing and snowboarding on Saturday, December 19, 2015.  The resort will operate from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m..  Ice Skating and Tubing will open for the season on Sunday, December 20, 2015.  We will continue to make snow as temperatures allow.  Please continue to check the website for further updates.

Hawksnest Tubing

Hawksnest Tubing posted a note to customers on its website: “It looks like a little cold weather is coming our way this Friday.  We will begin making snow as soon as the weather allows. It all goes as planned we will be open for snowtubing on Monday, Dec. 21 at 10 a.m.  Please watch our website for updates and watch the webcam to see our progress.  Hope to see you soon.”

Sugar Mountain Resort

Sugar Mountain Resort reopens tomorrow, Saturday, Dec. 19 with skiing, snowboarding and ice-skating. The Summit Express chairlift will whisk guests to Sugar’s 5,300’ peak. Manmade packed powder and frozen granular snow will cover the Northridge, Switchback, Upper and Lower Flying Mile slopes. Day and night sessions will be available.

Sugar’s 10,000 square foot outdoor ice rink is open while snowmaking continues in the tubing park.

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