By Paul T. Choate
Jan. 24, 2013. Thanks to the recent cold snap and other favorable weather conditions, Appalachian Ski Mountain, Beech Mountain Resort and Sugar Mountain Resort have been enjoying the most productive snowmaking of the winter season so far over the last few days.
“This past four days have been about as good for snowmaking weather as you can get. Its been cold and they’ve been able to really lay the water to it so the depth has gone up considerably,” said Jim Cottrell, president of French-Swiss Ski College. “I think they’ve gotten enough snow made in the last four days to last us a month.”
Cottrell said when the temperatures get down around 20 is when snowmaking is most productive. He said you can make snow at 32 degrees but you can’t make nearly as much.
“The quality of the snow is so good. There’s no ice in it. It’s just good powder,” Cottrell said.
Appalachian Ski Mountain currently has a base of 44 to 63 inches and are continuing to make snow.
Kim Jochl, marketing director at Suger Mountain Resort, said she has also been pleased with the conditions the last few days, citing the ideal temperatures and — until last night and today — cooperative winds.
“It’s been actually perfect because many of the periods when it’s been cold it has been between 15 and 20 degrees, which is ideal because you can make a lot of snow at that temperature and you don’t really have really challenging weather conditions like at 0 or 5 degrees that can freeze up the manual machines,” Jochl said.
Sugar Mountain currently has a base between 26 and 62 inches and snowmaking is ongoing.
“Barring any dramatic changes in the weather pattern, we’re hoping the current weather is allowing us to get a deep enough base so that we can weather another warm-up like the ones we have in the Southeast,” Jochl said.
Beech Mountain is also in the process of making snow and have a base of between 18 and 50 inches, according to the resort’s website.