The long wait is over for skiers and snowboarders looking for open terrain in the Southeastern U.S.
Sugar Mountain and Cataloochee Ski Area in North Carolina are open after a bit of natural snow and optimal early season snowmaking weather combined to produce sufficient cover to begin operations for the winter.
Sugar kicked off its 40th anniversary season by opening its Summit lift. It has Upper Flying Mile, a blue square run, and Lower Flying Mile, a green circle run, ready with 6 to 12 inches of machine-made powder and frozen granular mixed with about a half-inch of natural snow. The top of the mountain is not open yet. Sugar's big anniversary celebration is set for Dec. 11-13.
Cataloochee opened Saturday Nov. 28 for its first full day of operation, and stayed open through the weekend. It closed for the week, and plans to reopen Friday Dec. 4. Two chairlifts are operating to service two green circle trails, Rabbit Hill and Easy Way, and one blue square, Lower Omigosh. The resort's powerful snowmaking apparatus has cranked out 6 to 14 inches of manmade snow.
Other resorts in the region that are planning openings Dec. 4 include Snowshoe in West Virginia and Camelback in Pennsylvania.