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Cataloochee Opened Today
7 posts from 3 users
Updated 11 days ago
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marzNC - DCSki Supporter
11 days ago

Keith_Moon wrote:

https://cataloochee.com/

How neat!  Usually Sugar manages to open the same day but this time Cat got solo honors for first-to-open in the southeast.

I bet Sugar and Cat will be open next weekend.  Cat is not opening Mon-Thu for sure.

11 days ago

I just looked at the web cam. Looked like the leaves are still on the trees! Amazing what a difference elevation makes. If we had these elevations in the Laurel Mtns, up north, we’d have some amazing conditions. We top out around 3k feet while NC resorts top 5k feet. We were geologically robbed😭!

11 days ago

snowsmith wrote:

I just looked at the web cam. Looked like the leaves are still on the trees! Amazing what a difference elevation makes. If we had these elevations in the Laurel Mtns, up north, we’d have some amazing conditions. We top out around 3k feet while NC resorts top 5k feet. We were geologically robbed😭!

Right, NC ski resorts would probably not exist but for the elevation.  Beech is actually the highest ski resort in all of eastern North America (the summit that is).

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
11 days ago

snowsmith wrote:

I just looked at the web cam. Looked like the leaves are still on the trees! Amazing what a difference elevation makes. If we had these elevations in the Laurel Mtns, up north, we’d have some amazing conditions. We top out around 3k feet while NC resorts top 5k feet. We were geologically robbed😭!

High elevation definitely is what gives Beech, Sugar, and Cat an edge for starting snowmaking early.  The base of Cat is at 4760’, Sugar starts at 4100’ and goes up to 5300’, and Beech goes from 4675’ to 5500’.  It’s just over 3 degrees colder for every 1000 ft in elevation change.

11 days ago

Interestingly , despite being the highest ski area in the east, Beech only averages 84” of snowfall per year. Too close to the Gulf of Mexico.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
11 days ago

snowsmith wrote:

Interestingly , despite being the highest ski area in the east, Beech only averages 84” of snowfall per year. Too close to the Gulf of Mexico.

Only reason Beech and Sugar still exist as ski areas when so many have closed in the NC mountains in the last few decades is that they figured out how to be 4-season resorts a long time ago.  And invested in snowmaking to cover 100% of the usual skiable terrain.  It’s a bit funny reading about destination resorts in the Rockies firing up 20-30 snowguns as if those are big numbers.

The most unsual “slope” with snowmaking at Beech is the town sledding hill.  It’s free for all kids under 12 and associated adults.  Although unattached adults are usually not kicked off. :-)

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