The purchase price for a limited number of North Carolina Gold Cards is $775 for the 2009-10 winter season. Gold Cards are a product of the North Carolina Ski Areas Association (NCSAA). They allow the purchaser to ski and/or snowboard at all participating North Carolina Ski Areas.

Sapphire Valley Ski Area in Sapphire, Cataloochee Ski Area in Maggie Valley, Appalachian Ski Mountain in Blowing Rock, Ski Beech in Beech Mountain, Sugar Mountain in Banner Elk, and Wolf Ridge Ski Resort in Mars Hill all are in the Gold Pass program.

Quantities are limited. Only 150 passes will be sold for the upcoming season. Previous card holders can re-apply each year and cards initially went on sale Aug. 1. Gold Cards have no blackout dates. Purchaser may ski or snowboard at any resort at any time. 

Applications are available on line and prospective purchasers need to fill out an application in its entirety since competition for the cards is robust. All applications are processed through Sugar Mountain and not at other participating resorts.

North Carolina's mountains are high. Mt. Mitchell is the highest peak on the East coast even surpassing Mt. Washington in New Hampshire.

More information. Or call 828-898-4521 x 227 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.