If terms like mogul, schuss and slalom are creeping into your vocabulary, you’re probably aware that it’s ski season here in the Appalachians.
Most of the ski resorts opened in early December, thanks to a good natural snowfall to establish a base and freezing temperatures to allow the snow making machines to roar into action.
It was the invention of snow making equipment and the willingness of resort operators to invest millions in snow making equipment that made skiing an Appalachian pasttime.
Skiers from Johnson City usually gravitate to Sugar Mountain in Banner Elk or Ski Beech in Beech Mountain, N.C., as the closest resorts. Ober Gatlinburg is farther, but most of the drive is on interstate highways.
Other North Carolina resorts include Appalachia Ski Mountain, starting its 49th season in Blowing Rock, and Hawksnest Ski Resort at Seven Devils, N.C.
Marketing Director Kim Jochl at Sugar Mountain said she wasn’t able to go skiing before work Wednesday because there was too much paperwork at the office. Too bad, because she reports that all 20 slopes and seven lifts are operating, plus the magic carpet ride in the tubing area. Sugar Mountain has a base of 38-80 inches with manmade powder on top. “Conditions are fantastic,” Jochl said.
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Bad weather = good skiing
Well, here in Raleigh, we've been worn down by the amount of snow, chilling weather and ice we've had. (It's rather abnormal.)
There is, of course, a positive to the weather. From the Johnson City (Tenn.) Press: