A weather system dropping snow in Western Carolina on Wednesday afternoon -- and tapering off Thanksgiving Day -- will add more than half a foot to the snow cover on
, north of Banner
Combined with human-made snow, it's enough to begin the winter season at Beech Mountain Resort on Friday. Operating hours will be 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The ski resort is off N.C. 184. Improvements there this 47th season include a "magic carpet" conveyer lift added to the beginner slope and an upgrade of snowmaking capacity, with seven new high-tech snow guns. Also, the View Haus cafeteria has been remodeled and there's new rental ski equipment.
debuts in early December in the ski village at the base of the slopes. Burton Learn-to-Ride
The photo by James Foley at the top of this post shows the top of
. Beech Mountain
Resort details: www.BeechMountainResort.com.