Here's the top of Cataloochee looking down a few years ago.. Decent run :-)
Proof that my daughter has had fun on skis before..
You should check in to becoming the EpicSki Ambassador for Cataloochee if we don't already have one. It is really easy and helps the community quite a bit. Contact @Laurel Hill Crazie for details.
I have never been to Beech, but of all the ski resorts in NC, (Sugar, Cataloochee, Wolfe Ridge, Appalachian) I would definitely say that Cataloochee blows the rest away. They have less terrain than sugar, but it feels like so much more. I am from Hendersonville, so Cat was the closest and I have skied there twice a week every season since 2010. DONT GO TO WOLFE RIDGE. Between the ricketty old lifts, lack of terrain, and staff that wasnt that helpful. I love Sugar, but it seems that the staff is not very helpful either. Cataloochee is very free and has fun runs all over, whether it be trails in the forest or jumps built in all over. Appalachian is nice but very small.
Sorry to dig up an old thread but I don't want anyone making the same mistake we did. If in doubt, go to Beech!!!
If anyone is considering going to Sugar Mountain in NC this weekend, don't bother. What a joke! We skied Beech on Monday and it was excellent. We wanted to try Sugar just to mix it up but were debating about which place to go today. We checked the web cams probably 20 times between yesterday morning and today and the thing we noticed was all day yesterday, through the night and even this morning Beech had 5x as many guns going as Sugar even though we could see so much dirt around the base of the mountain.
Still really wanting to try a different mountain we gave Sugar the benefit of the doubt and went there this morning. In the parking lot there was 1-2" of snow so we thought heck, it can't be too bad. After buying our tickets we walked over to the lift and there was literally gravel groomed into the snow through the lift line and to the lift. Then getting off the lift there was gravel mixed into the snow on the off loading ramp plus they had some of the ancient snow making guns that are louder than a 747 at takeoff right along the trail. I couldn't even yell at my 8 y/o to get his attention as he stood there on the verge of tears from the 120+ db noise we had to ski thru and the whole way down on the sides was rocks and gravel. I've skied all over the country including garbage dumps/land fills in Wisconsin and in over 500 days skiing, the 15 minutes at Sugar was the worst ever!
My poor son who loves skiing so much was doing all he could to keep it together as we skied down both holding our ears to avoid hearing damage and trying to limit how much gravel we skied over. Even in the 80's I never heard such horribly loud snow making guns and I've never been on a run where they groomed gravel into the snow like that. For the last 36 hours they could have blown snow down by the lift lines to cover that gravel but chose not to.
We did that single run, packed up our stuff and went home. What a waste of $88 dollars but I wasn't going to ruin my new skis nor torture my son. Also, my wife got harassed for sitting in the cafeteria without ordering food (even though we would have at lunch time had it not been such a bad experience). I will never ski at Sugar again (even though it looks like a decent mountain in the right conditions) because Beech actually cares about the quality of the experience and blows as much snow as possible whenever possible compared to Sugar that turns on a few guns so they can say they are making snow (even though you can tell from the web cam they are hardly trying) while they are trying to save money.
After our experience today it's no surprise they left a skier on the lift half way up the mountain a few days ago without calling "last chair". After nearly freezing to death for a couple hours he jumped 30' to the ground breaking both legs and having to crawl down the hill, making the national news.
Beech Mountain will continue to have my business from now on as they are all about giving their customer's the best experience possible!