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Sugar Mountain, NC

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

crgildart and me headed up to Sugar Mountain Resort in the NC mountains on Sunday 12/6.  We weren't sure what to expect, but Sugar had received 5" of fresh snow since Saturday and was blowing snow with overnight temperatures in the teens.  We left crgildart's home a little after 6am, arrived at Sugar around 9am, and quickly got our lift tickets.  Temperatures were in the low-to-mid twenties as we headed to the lifts.

Sugar was open from top-to-bottom, providing 1,100 vertical of skiing.  Not knowing what to expect in terms of snow coverage, both crgildart and me donned some of our older skiis.  It turns out to have been unnecessary, as snow coverage was excellent.  After a couple of hours of skiing, we walked back to the car and swapped out for our newer equipment.

Sugar has two lifts running and 6 runs open, all blues and greens.  None of the blacks or double blacks are open yet, but Tom Terrific (black) is starting to get some coverage.  However, it will take a little bit longer for Whoopdewoop (double black) to be ready to open.  I wasn't sure what ot expect in terms of crowds, but there were none - no lift lines, and not too many skiers/snowboarders clogging up the slopes.

Some pictures from the trip:


crgildart at the top of Sugar Mountain.


View from the top of Sugar Mountain.  There were a lot of snowboarders out today - definately more than skiiers.


Looking down one of the crowded slopes :-).


Cabin at the base of Tom Terrific (to the left).  Coverage is getting better, but the run isn't quite ready to be opened.

post #2 of 9
The "cabin" is likely the start house for the race hill, Sugar Slalom: witness the ramp leading out of the "door," and the peephole for the starter/timer to use to see if the course is ready (old school, I know, but it can happen).

Looks like the skiing was quite decent!  The hills west of DC, along the Blue Ridge, received anywhere from 6 to 10 inches out of the storm.  Alas, none of the areas had any plans to open so early, so it was all decorative.
post #3 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by songfta View Post

The hills west of DC, along the Blue Ridge, received anywhere from 6 to 10 inches out of the storm.  Alas, none of the areas had any plans to open so early, so it was all decorative.


You know we try to keep good skiing weather to a minimum around here.
post #4 of 9
Anybody going MLK weekend?

Thanks,
CJ
post #5 of 9

I skied Sugar Mountain with my oldest son on November 1, 2013.  Only about half the runs were open.  My son was leaving to move to Hawaii in a week, and this would be his only chance to ski this winter.  Otherwise, I would not have gone.

 

I returned on Feb. 17, Presidents Day.  This made it a bit more crowded than one would normally expect on a Monday, but still only a short wait on the main lift up the mountain.  All the black runs were open with a good snow base and no icy spots.  There had been a good run of cold days and some natural snow, so conditions were pretty good.  The entire region was blanketed in snow.  I never like skiing anyplace where the only snow you see is on the ski runs.

 

I plan to return to Sugar on March 4.  Should be excellent conditions again with a full week of very cold weather and about ten inches of natural snow, too.

 

I've got a question.  I've been thinking about driving up and skiing Snowshoe.  I've never been there, because I live in the North Carolina foothills and can see Sugar Mountain from my house.  Is there anything significantly better about Snowshoe over Sugar to justify the trip?  Are the runs significantly better?  Are the steeps steeper and longer, or is it just a bigger version of Sugar Mountain? 

 

In recent years I've made ski trips out West for really good skiing, and just go to Sugar to stay in tune.  Should I try Snowshoe?

post #6 of 9

Welcome to EpicSki!  You just missed the Ridiculous Pass deal at Snowshoe.  In short, the answer is that you should make the drive to Snowshoe.  Sugar is 115 acres, 1200' vertical.  SS is 244 acres, with 1500' vertical on the advanced/experts only Western Territories (2 long runs).  You won't find steeper steeps, but definitely longer Mid-Atlantic blacks.  The lifts are mostly high speed quads so you'll spend a lot more time on the snow.

 

Completely understand about using a small ski area for getting ready for trips out west.  My "home mountain" is Massanutten even though I live in Raleigh.

 

Next year, consider driving north for the Gathering at Blue Knob.  The steeps there . . . are truly steep and include bumps.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GordonG View Post

, , ,

 

I've got a question.  I've been thinking about driving up and skiing Snowshoe.  I've never been there, because I live in the North Carolina foothills and can see Sugar Mountain from my house.  Is there anything significantly better about Snowshoe over Sugar to justify the trip?  Are the runs significantly better?  Are the steeps steeper and longer, or is it just a bigger version of Sugar Mountain? 

 

In recent years I've made ski trips out West for really good skiing, and just go to Sugar to stay in tune.  Should I try Snowshoe?

post #7 of 9
Sorry for the late reply, actually driving back from Snowshoe now. (well, wife is driving, I'm typing) The conditions at Snowshoe were awesome this weekend, fresh powder both days and not crowded too bad if you avoid Ballhooter lift which is always the most packed on weekends.

Cupp Run on the Western Territory side (a short walk across the stress from the main slopes) is 1.5 miles long, it's great. My legs are typically on fire by the time I'm nearing the bottom. I keep waiting to be in better ski shape and my legs not to feel it, but I guess skiing 1.5 miles will always be taxing if carving a lot.

If you're after some steepness, Lower Shays is (IMO) no joke. Catch it on an icy day and it can be reallllly interesting.

Anyhow, I've never been to Sugar so can't compare the two, but I can tell you that I pass two smaller resorts to get to Snowshoe. I love the place. Silver Creek is the best kept secret of the resort during the day, but don't tell anyone.

Any specific questions, ask away!
post #8 of 9

What's the vertical on the front side of Snowshoe?  They don't list it.

 

If you take the blue run off the top of Sugar, it's 1.5 miles to the lodge.  So I guess if you take the black runs straight off the top it's a mile or perhaps a mile and a quarter. 

 

We had that same stretch of cold weather and some natural snow here in NC.  I went up to Sugar today.  I made about 30 runs off the three black runs on the top of the mountain and down to the middle of the mountain to catch the lift back to the top, plus skiing some of the other blue runs.  It was a good workout for 31 bucks and about ten dollars for gas.  I'm glad to have this little ski mountain nearby.  But it's not the same as skiing out West by a long, long stretch. 
 

post #9 of 9

My notes say the vertical for the main Snowshoe area is about 800', with the longest run at 1.5 mile.  Note that SS has faster lifts than Sugar.  I compiled the stats several years ago so don't remember the source.  Beech is 830' vert with 1.0 mile for the longest run.  Not sure if the length is for Oz or from the top to the base.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GordonG View Post

What's the vertical on the front side of Snowshoe?  They don't list it.

 

If you take the blue run off the top of Sugar, it's 1.5 miles to the lodge.  So I guess if you take the black runs straight off the top it's a mile or perhaps a mile and a quarter. 

 

We had that same stretch of cold weather and some natural snow here in NC.  I went up to Sugar today.  I made about 30 runs off the three black runs on the top of the mountain and down to the middle of the mountain to catch the lift back to the top, plus skiing some of the other blue runs.  It was a good workout for 31 bucks and about ten dollars for gas.  I'm glad to have this little ski mountain nearby.  But it's not the same as skiing out West by a long, long stretch. 
 

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