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Southeast resort for beginners on *gulp* president's weekend

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

My wife and I are both new skiiers (I have 3 days under my belt, my wife has 2).  We live in Southeast Tennessee and are looking to make a trip for the weekend of Feb 18th (don't really have much of a choice on the weekend).

 

We were looking at places like Sugar Mountain, Beech Mountain, Ober Gatlinburg, Cataloochee, etc.  Does anyone that's been to these places know if they're just going to be so swamped on the holiday weekend that they're not even worth going to?  Our first couple of days skiing were on MLK weekend in Breckenridge so we've seen some crowds.  Also, which of those places is going to be the best places for beginners?

 

We'll only be skiing one day most likely (leaving on Friday night and wife has to be at work on Sunday evening) so Snowshoe is probably too far.

post #2 of 5

They will all be swamped.  All have good areas for beginners.  Note that the runs will be much shorter than at Breck.  Your best bet for avoiding crowds on weekends in the southeast is night skiing.  Usually goes until 9 or 10pm.  A night session lift ticket is a bargain.  Winterplace includes night skiing with a day ticket.

 

No matter where you go, plan on arriving well before 8:30am, stop for an early lunch before noon, then ski a bit more while others are eating lunch.  Another way to avoid lift lines for a little while is to book a lesson.  If you want a semi-private for the two of you together, could ask on SkiSoutheast.com for a recommendation for an instructor.

 

One reason my home mountain is Massanutten is that it's the only place within driving distance of Raleigh where I can ski on holiday weekends without waiting in line.  The fact that Lift 6 at Mnut only serves two black runs with 850 vertical that are lit for night skiing is unique for NC, TN, VA.  Even so, we are not likely to ski from 11:30-3:30 this weekend.

post #3 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post

Another way to avoid lift lines for a little while is to book a lesson. If you want a semi-private for the two of you together, could ask on SkiSoutheast.com for a recommendation for an instructor.

At Ober, they have intermediate and advanced group lessens every day a 3 and 7. For reasons completely beyond me... nobody ever takes them.

So if a person was smart, twice a day they could have a private lesson for $18 a piece. Just a thought.

My wife is a level 1 there, so if somebody wanted to, they could even look me up and get one of her cards and get another couple of dollars off of even that...
post #4 of 5

I can think of a few in VA and WV, but probably too far:  The Homestead, Bryce Mountain, Canaan Valley.  These are all good bets on super busy days, esp Bryce Mtn.  All are very well set up for novices too.

I think The Homestead might be closest to you, but still 5hrs??

post #5 of 5

From TN, Winterplace in WV or Cataloochee in Maggie Valley, NC for night skiing is the best bet for beginners to avoid crowds but have a little more terrain than Ober.  Winterplace is easy access right off I-77.  Assorted motels down the road in Princeton.  Waynesboro is near enough to Cat to have lodging options that may still have rooms.

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