EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › General Skiing Discussion › Anyone ski Ober Gatlinburg?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Anyone ski Ober Gatlinburg?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

I was planning a trip to Tennessee this winter to visit family and thought I might try out the closest ski resort.

So, has anyone skied Ober Gatlinburg? How is it?

post #2 of 17

Skiing in Tennessee? Cool. I know there is some skiing just east in western NC but didn't know there was in Tennessee. 

post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 

Yea, there are several resorts in NC, but the one in TN is closer to where I'm gonna be. I read one review, but was looking for more.

post #4 of 17

I lived near there years ago and never heard a kind word about the place. At the time they had astro-turf on the main run to keep down the mud when everthing melted. Might be OK far a few days then nothing at all during a warm spell. It's just not cold enough in Gatlingburg for dependable snow. 200 miles north near the TN -NC border is much better but still iffy at times.

post #5 of 17

I went to Ober Gatlinburg once as a kid.  I remember it basically being one run.  Kind of like the time I went skiing in Alabama...

post #6 of 17

Plus the entire Gatlinburg /Pigeon Forge area is like the armpit of the universe.icon13.gif  Forty or so miles south in Townsend is really quite nice though.

post #7 of 17
I have been there a few times while living in Birmingham. It is not as terrible as you might think and you can have a good time with the right attitude. 600 ft vertical, only 35 inches of natural because the base is only at 2700 and its southerly location. It can be a challenge for them to get all of their runs open due to fighting the temps. If they are not at least open to the top when you go, don't bother. If they have all their runs open and you are there during a cold spell it can be lots of fun.
post #8 of 17

I was down in that area in August on a motorcycle trip and noticed that there are also a few ski areas nearby in Maggie Valley.  From the road in the summer, the runs looked like they could be relatively challenging and fun.

 

My Daughter lives in Nashville and I have been looking for a place not too far from her where we could meet to ski.  Anyone know anything about those slopes in Maggie Valley?

 

Rick G

post #9 of 17

When I was in scouts we skied Gatlinberg every year. It's an okay place, only place I have ever skied in a thunderstorm. If your driving it might be worth it to take your skis along, if flying I'm not sure it would. Most of the time they only have two or three runs open.  

post #10 of 17

If it is open, ski it.  Why not?  Otherwise, rent a cabin, enjoy the smokies.  Hike Laurel falls.  Easy paved trail and I have alwasy seen black bears (Summer/Fall).  It is a fun place to take a winter holiday even without skiing.  Don't go if you are just looking for skiing...

post #11 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by hilega View Post

If it is open, ski it.  Why not?  Otherwise, rent a cabin, enjoy the smokies.  Hike Laurel falls.  Easy paved trail and I have alwasy seen black bears (Summer/Fall).  It is a fun place to take a winter holiday even without skiing.  Don't go if you are just looking for skiing...

It is a fun place and the town has a bunch of tourist attractions/ things to do even if there is no skiing

post #12 of 17

Watch out for that boy named Sue!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IcQKtl3MGCE


Edited by jimintokyo - 10/14/12 at 6:40am
post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 

Maggie Valley could definitely be an option. It's only about 20 minutes further that Ober Gatlinburg from where we'll be staying. Any comments on Maggie Valley?

post #14 of 17

Welcome to EpicSki!

 

The ski area in Maggie Valley is Cataloochee.  Does a very good job with snowmaking so tends to open earlier than you might except.  Once Cat opens, it stays open.  That's not always the case with Ober.

 

Keep in mind that the ski areas in the southeast can be tiny.  Ober is 38 acres with 600' vert, Cat is 25 acres with 740' vert.  The "bigger" places like Beech and Sugar near Boone, NC have about 100 acres and 800-1200' vert.  On the plus side, there is night skiing.

 

For basic info, can check here:

http://www.epicski.com/products/category/southern-us-resorts

 

West Virginia has ski areas that may be worth considering if willing to drive a bit more.  Note that Snowshoe is actually a "destination resort" where going for a day doesn't make too much sense.

http://www.epicski.com/products/category/west-virginia-resorts

post #15 of 17

I skied their once when I was on a family vacation to Gatlinburg over Christmas many years ago.  They had one, maybe two runs open at that time and I ended up just skiing with my snowblades instead of full skis.  The place isn't bad for what it is.  I small Eastern ski area in the south.  If you are near there, I'd ski it just to say you skied in TN.  I will say that one day, or even just a half a day will be enough for you to have the experience of the place.

post #16 of 17

I'd ski it (or anything else with snow) should I ever find myself out that way.  I-40's been closed by rockslides twice in the past 3 years along the NC/TN border.  I've got larger resorts closer so no point of going out of my way unless I have other business in that area.

 

If it were closer, I'd not hesitate to ski it often.

post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Twinsmom View Post

I was planning a trip to Tennessee this winter to visit family and thought I might try out the closest ski resort.
So, has anyone skied Ober Gatlinburg? How is it?

Sorry I've taken so long to get in on this... It's been a really busy couple of weeks for me. smile.gif

I live about 30 minutes away, so I ski there 12-13 hours a day on Saturday and Sunday plus any day off during the week I can get off, plus several times during the week for night skiing.

Last year they had a rough season... who didn't? The year before they were open 100 days. Not bad for the South East.

This year they look to do even better, and they have invested in new snow equipment that basically sprays out shaved ice, when the temp gets below 70 degrees. This is going to let them get their tubing operation open around mid November, and with a little luck, open the slopes around mid December.

The best time to ski here is early, from say 9-12 on the weekends, or late, from 7pm till close. You have to remember, the Great Smoky National park is the most visited park in the US, and Ober attracts people from all over the South, many for who this is the first time they have ever even seen snow... much less skied on it. But if you stick to the blue and black runs, it still won't be very crowded.

Hit it on a Tuesday, and it might be all yours, though. We had several days last year where it was a little rainy where Ober was our own personal ski resort.

A lot is made about Ober being a small place, with only 600' vertical.

While that's true, it's overlooking the fact that the ski lifts are short. you can do 5 minutes up and 5 minutes down all day long. During the week when there isn't much of a crowd, I can do a +15,000 feet day at will. You just have to be ready to do it 600 feet at a time.

So I admit I'm biased, but I like it. If you decide to come up, let me know and I'll see if I can't help you out.

Thanks,
David
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Skiing Discussion
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › General Skiing Discussion › Anyone ski Ober Gatlinburg?