If you've been waiting to make plans for a trip to the slopes, stop waiting. Winter has returned throughout the Southeast's high country and the outlook for at least the next week is as good as it's been in a month.
Blowing snow at Ski Beech this morning.
We'll dispense with a rundown of what's happened so far because you can find a comprehensive report here, on the Skisoutheast.com Web site. More important is how things look for mid-week next week.
At Wintergreen, the resort of most interest to Triangle skiers, they had a trace of snow overnight, but most importantly, they expect to continue making snow nearly round-the-clock into early next week. With the resort's computerized ski system expect considerably more terrain to open from today's 9 slopes served by three lifts.
Appalachian Mountain. All of Appalachian's beginner and intermediate terrain is open as are its two freestyle areas. The resort reports an inch of snow overnight with snowmaking underway. There may be a spot of rain Saturday, but good overnight snowmaking conditions into next week.
Ski Beech hits the overnight snowfall jackpot with 6 inches of new snow. Snowmaking is underway at the highest resort on the East Coast. The weather has taken its toll at Beech, which has just 5 of 15 slopes open today. But with its new approach to snowmaking expect more terrain to open by the beginning of next week. With its midweek lift ticket specials — $19 on Tuesday, $25 Wednesday, free for women Thursdays — and the outlook for continued cold, Beech is GOGF's pick for best mid-week option for next week.
Sugar Mountain got five inches of snow last night and also expects good snowmaking conditions into next week.
Winterplace, perhaps the easiest ski area to get to from the Triangle, thanks to divided highway the whole way, had an inch of snow overnight and also expects favorable snowmaking conditions for the next few days.
Snowshoe Mountain had five inches of snow overnight and has snow forecast for four of the next five days. More importantly: It will only get above freezing on Saturday. Fifty-two of 60 trails are open, as are the Mountaineer and Spruce Glades terrain parks. A 6-hour drive necessitates an overnight stay — stay two, they've got decent midweek packages.