Pros: Beautiful Scenery
Cons: We will see..
OK, this is unorthodox as I have not yet skied this resort but, it has no reviews and less information so I thought I would share what I know. I have been to the mountain and hiked most of the trails, seen pictures and talked to people. I WILL follow up on this review and edit it once the season starts up. I just moved to the region.
My visit was interesting, when attempting to drive up and park at the lodge I was not allowed past the gate without a ticket, however, I was allowed to drive up to the mountaintop lodge past their condo village. It is an un-incorporated, private gated community. That road was surprisingly steep and provided wonderful views. One thing about NC resorts, they have elevation and huge mountains, that doesn't mean however, that they utilize the entire vertical drop of a mountain- and I have not been here long enough to figure out why.
At Wolf Ridge the 700 VT ft, is pretty true, as you descend from the main peak it looks like if you hang lefts you will get blue square quality consistent pitch for the entire vertical drop. There are some steeper runs to the right but they flatten out after 200-300 vrt ft of drop. The best trails I walked were the liftlines and glades but I have a feeling that is O.B. at a NC resort (get your ticket clipped I imagine- there is nowhere to hide at resorts this small). Many of the cut trails had character and there is a open section at the top 3 trails drop into. I have visited other resorts in the area (Beech,Sugar,Appalachian) and although the total acreage is 25% less it does have a similar number of trails. My perception is Sugar can boast 100 acres due to some really wide, shallow boulevards that don't seem too exciting. These two pics probably sum up the front side of the mountain fairly well. The Walnut mountains are beautiful no doubt.
The front side of the mountain holds all the excitement, the backside of the mountain has a nice very easy cruiser and they are expanding it as well. All of the planned new terrain looks to be very shallow stuff as they are looking to connect the bottom of the back mountain to the bottom of the front mountain, by working around their condos. Call me crazy but some of the juiciest terrain on the mountain is where the condos are and the face of the mountain the summit road switch-backs up. Too bad. The backside of the mountain also has a weird trial called boulevard that is very graded and fenced with a lift that attached the backside to the front side but has little elevation.
The lifts are older, in fact, they have one of the original Ski Lift Int.- there are few left in operation- nothing high-speed. That can be a good thing. Beech has the only high speed lift in the area.
I obviously dont know about crowds yet, but they have two big lodges and lots of mountain accommodations. I think season ticket prices in the area seem heavy but they offer a midweek pass at a fairly reasonable rate. From where I am at in far east TN, it is the most accessible and the closet to an interstate by far. Being only 30 miles from Asheville NC and 30 miles from Johnson City TN I imagine it gets its share of traffic.
I do know I think that the trail map is just terrible...cartoony and not cool at all
I am not positive about snow conditions yet, but I imagine it is variable. it does have decent elevation for the east (Summit Elevation 4700) but only 65" of snow each season on average. By this pic they have some nice moments but I bet you gotta get there fast!
I'll follow up on this, hopefully after a positive ski experience! If anyone has been here - review it please, I am curious.