Spring skiing in WNC is marked by small crowds and soft snow. Pictured here: A ski patroller enjoys the slopes March 22 at Cataloochee in Maggie Valley. Photo by Jake Frankel.
As Asheville prepares for a late March cold snap and the possibility of snow, some WNC ski areas plan to stay open through the end of the week.
About a 45 minute drive west of Asheville, Cataloochee Ski Area in Maggie Valley will remain open until March 30, offering skiing and snowboarding on most of its trails. Sugar Mountain Resort in Banner Elk, about a 1.5 hour drive north of town, will also remain open through that date with most of its terrain open.
Cold weather earlier in the year allowed both resorts to produce big bases of man-made snow on the slopes that has remained skiable late into the season.
“It’s been one of our best year’s ever,” says Cataloochee Marketing Director Tammy Brown. The ski area is offering discounts this week on season passes, which are good through next season.
To help draw spring skiers, Sugar is offering special “March Madness” discounts on lift tickets and rental equipment all week.
Other than Cataloochee and Sugar, the region’s four other ski areas have already closed for the season.
The ski industry brings more than $140 million to the region each year.