Hurricane Sandy Helps Sugar Mountain Open Early

Posted By: The Ski Channel on October 30, 2012 5:10 pm

Sugar Mountain

North America is having quite the weather lately! Call it global warming or global cooling — we call it exciting. While many of our friends on the east coast are swimming for their lives, these intense weather patterns have bestowed some eastern states with a TON of fresh powder! 

Such is the case in North Carolina, where Hurricane Sandy has brought cold temperatures, strong winds and heavy snow to Sugar Mountain Resort. 

Included in the rainfall and high winds, snow has fallen across a lot of the east coast, causing some ski resorts to have the ability to open earlier than expected. 

Wednesday is set to be the earliest ever Opening Day for the Sugar Mountain Resort. The super storm that included Sandy, brought cold temperatures, strong wind, and heavy snow to some parts of the North Carolina high county.

Two of twenty slopes will be open to start, and a large crowd is expected.

Snow making began Sunday evening, October 28 and continues around the clock. On Wednesday, skiers and snowboarders can expect a natural and man made powder surface covering the Upper and Lower Flying Mile slopes. The Summit #1 Lift will be in operation to the 3/4′s station. 

At the base of the mountain and in Banner Elk, the roads were passable on Tuesday, but there were some slick spots and the temperature hovered in the 20′s with a stiff wind.

And while skiing before Halloween may be unprecedented, snow before the first of November is not.

By opening tomorrow, that will break the previous record for the earliest opening of Sugar Mountain, which was on November 5, 1976.

And Sugar won’t be the only resort welcoming skiers in North Carolina.

For the second time in its history, Cataloochee Ski Area will be open for skiing in October, with lifts ready to roll for opening day on Wednesday, October 31, at 9am.  The area has been making snow around the clock since 6am on Monday, October 29, with 4 inches of natural snowfall from Superstorm Sandy. Cataloochee’s continued dedication to snow making technology allows them to be consistently one of the first areas in the country to open each season, averaging 119 days of skiing and snowboarding each winter in the last seven years. 

Cataloochee will operate Wednesday from 9am until 4:30pm with skiing on three slopes, Lower Omigosh, Rabbit Hill and Easy Way, serviced by the Omigosh Double Chairlift to midstation and the Easy Way Triple Chairlift. 

Current base on these slopes is 8-12 inches, with continued snow making to increase that number throughout the day and evening.  Lift tickets will be a special rate of $25 per person, for all guests.  Children 4 and under receive a free lift ticket with a ticketed adult and adults 65 and over, ski free any day.  Regular rental rates will apply.  Cataloochee also offers all persons renting equipment a free 1 ½ hour beginner lesson as part of their rental package, any non-holiday Monday through Thursday.

As an added Halloween “treat,” guests purchasing a lift ticket on opening day will have the opportunity to enter a drawing for an all session season pass for the 2012-13 season; value of this pass is $625.  Cataloochee will continue to operate on a daily basis for day skiing only, as long as conditions allow.