Night skiing began a couple of weekends ago, and quickly moved to seven nights a week at Ski Beech in North Carolina.

Beech, like resorts across the Mid Atlantic, is enjoying a strong start to winter 2008-09. Early cold and snow meant earlier than normal opening and, despite a brief spell of warmer, milder weather, cold has returned.

Beech has lift ticket deals that include half-price Adult Day and Adult Twilight tickets Tuesdays and $25 each Wednesdays. all females receive a complimentary ticket valid for day and night use Thursdays. Military discounts are available anytime.

Ski Beech mountain crews take great pride in their snowmaking and grooming. At night, groomers travel up and down the slopes working to move, flatten, and compact snow to improve skiing and trail conditions. Safe, high-quality surfaces require good snow grooming.

Grooming involves packing fresh snow, spreading manmade, reshaping and rebuilding trails, maintaining snow depth in high-traffic areas, smoothing out bumps, pushing out snow from fences and rifts, and creating and enhancing terrain park features.

Ski Beech added two new PistenBully 400 state-of-the-art grooming machines this year, along with an experienced staff to operate them. Two members of the Ski Beech staff previously operated snow grooming tractors at Breckenridge, Colo., and their experience has proved invaluable for creating good ski conditions.

Although Beech crews groom the slopes often, it is not necessarily an everyday activity. In warm, wet weather, crews keep the equipment off the slopes to avoid disturbing the snow.