Pros: Not crowded, lots of steep runs, some nice variety
Cons: no nightlife to speak of, not much choice for eating out
After seeing only two reviews, both of them from five years ago, I decided to add to Apex's reputation.
If you're into skiing and don't care for the extras like shopping, cafes, restaurants, then Apex Mountain may be the place for you. We skied only two days (Sunday/Monday) during Spring Break and the longest line up was probably four minutes long at the bottom of Quickdraw. There was a lot of snow if you knew where to go, and it was mostly dry. The weather during our stay wasn't ideal but I'll try to remove that from the equation since weather here is usually ideal for skiing.
The entire mountain is serviced by one highs-peed quad, one old-school (slow) 3-person chair, and a T-Bar that runs only on weekends. This is not a mega resort like Whistler. It's not a big place like SilverStar or Big White. But it's big enough to keep serious skiers entertained. There are a lot of black and double black runs that are steep and untouched with moguls to test your abilities (and your knees). The entire side of the mountain to skiers left is comprised by black and double blacks, accessed by a green run called "Grandfather's Trail". The bottom of the trail does get quite flat so try to maintain your speed at the bottom if you survive those steep bumps and tree runs. There are some nice trees on either side of Chute and there's a Gladed area up top on the "Wildside" called "Any Which Way Glades". On the map it's referred to as Glades. This area can only be accessed by Quickdraw chair, when exiting the chair turn left and follow the signs that warn you about expert only terrain being behind that sign. Be prepared to walk up the hill a bit.
For intermediates the Stock's Chair leads to a lot of interesting blue and green runs with a few unofficial tracks in the trees leading to more powder for those looking for a challenge. One thing I found is that the map doesn't always show you all the runs. And the runs are not always named the same on the sign as on the map. We didn't go with a Mountain Host but it may have been a good idea to get really familiar with the mountain.
I didn't explore the nightlife but from what I could see there was one coffee shop, one pub, one arcade, two places for people bringing brown-bag lunches, and one grocery store. The old time feel of the place was heightened by the prevalence of wooden ski racks. The only metal one I saw was outside the Apex Mountain Inn.
Word to the wise, if you see a run called "Strayhorse" don't use it unless it's your only means to access your accommodations. It was quite icy, forces you to cross roads and parking lots, and because the roads are sanded, it ended up scratching my base. So unclip unless you're looking for an excuse to buy new skis.
We saw a lot of ski racers, a lot of ski patrollers, and we met a lot of very friendly people, staffers and guests.I enjoyed it a lot. I'd love to revisit.
Top of Grandfather's Trail leading to lots of blacks, double-blacks, trees, and bumps:
Steeps and trees taken from the Quickdraw lift: