Snowing at Sugar Mountain

As I left the gym at 4:30 yesterday, it was 47 degrees and the Sun was shining. When I looked west from the parking lot, a long layer of clouds hovered above the tall mountains. Sometimes, if it’s cold enough, those are snow clouds, so instead of driving south toward home, I drove north, chasing what I hoped would be snowflakes.

As I climbed Hwy. 221 toward Linville Falls Community at the top of the Blue Ridge, the temperature dropped steadily until I drove under the Blue Ridge Parkway at 3,000 feet, and it was 34 degrees.  Another mile, and the first flurries appeared. Passing below the western slopes of mile high Grandfather Mountain, it dropped below freezing, and the flurries changed to a light snow. Another five miles, and I turned toward Sugar Mountain, and the car thermometer dropped to 26 degrees. I pulled into a Food Lion parking lot, where three days worth of snow was on the hillside and on the pavement.

food lion

 

Sugar Mountain loomed to the south, and I could see that it was snowing heavily on the ski slopes. I drove toward the snow, and suddenly I was in the middle of a heavy snowfall with large flakes. It was so unexpected, and just had to walk through it, even without my jacket.

Snowy Drive

This three minute video was made with my Go Pro camera at 60 fps so I could capture the flakes falling. 

By now it was 5:30, and the floodlights along the ski slopes suddenly came on, in preparation for the night session. If I had worn my ski clothes, I would have gone. I’ll drive back on Monday and ski for half a day at special March Madness rates. I don’t ski on weekends because the lift lines are ridiculous. I can’t wait….  I was back home north of Lake Lure by 7:15, and it was 38 degrees.  From my house, I can be anywhere in  these beautiful mountains within two hours. How special is that?

arbor vitae

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