I always wanted to check out Sugar when I lived at Snowshoe. For N.C skiing, it apparently kicks some ass. Much more so than Beech from what I gather.
Sugar Mountain, NC
Early Spring Like Conditions
I had been hoping snowshoe would make a run at opening but without power they just couldn't do it, so I settled to do the unthinkable, and drive south to go skiing.
Woke up early and with a fist full of honey nut cheerios set out to ski for the first time this year. All my ski gear is back home so I had fun trying to pull snow sport related cloths together and came out looking slightly ridiculous, but since I was wearing my Spyder winter hat, still very much legit. After 3 hours on the road I arrived at Sugar. This place is very resort oriented and it is kind of funny how built up it is from a real estate and resort perspective given how small and oldschool the actual ski area is. The hill itself reminds me a lot of Pats Peak but without that cool vibe, it kind of has its own sugar high vibe and I kind of liked it. I stated my day in the rental shop for the first time in 6 years, skis are at home too, and got outfitted with some retro Head shaped skis. Than headed out to the slopes.
They had two trails open which meant one run that started just shy of the steep summit. The main lift, a double, had two mid stations on it. The first one for beginners serving a very flat bottom run and the second midstation serving a decently pitched intermediate run (from what Ive seen in Virginia and West Virginia) The run was fairly long and a lot of fun to ski on all day. There were a lot more people out than I was expecting and the bottom of the chair had a small line all day. The slope wasn't overly crowded but there was still some clusters of people. Everyone seemed like they were having a blast, the only downer was the ski patrol demolished a beautifully built kicker that a snowboarder had built. It had a life of 2 hours and in the process I think probably half the people out skiing hit it with no one getting in anyones way but I have found the resorts down here tend to be more picky about that kind of thing.
I started skiing at 10am and with a short lunch break ended at 350pm when i wanted to leave at 3. I ended up loosing track of time, yes even with one run in North Carolina, on a great snowmaking effort and snow from Hurricane Sandy I had a blast. Cant wait to really start my season in Dec at Cannon but this defiantly helped ease my skiing withdrawal symptoms and will help me make it through.
Sugar is a cool little area and the summit trails looked pretty good, one had what looked like a ten foot cliff right on the middle of it. I hope I make it back at some point and can really get the full experience for what sugar has to offer. For my first time skiing in NC I was very impressed and grateful that they were able to open up and stay open.
Also a very nice drive over there, probably passed 20 Christmas tree farms.
And they're still at it. Blowing snow and maybe a little natural (Couldn't tell if it was from the sky or machine). What a great start for them.
Lake Hpatcong, NJ
They're still at it - everyone seems to be snowboarding. Cool live cams.
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