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Southeasterners want a long, easy to moderate slope, with as short of a drive north as possible

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Like my long title suggests - my friends and I are looking for some good slopes! After getting together and skiing what is likely the smallest slope anywhere (Sapphire Valley NC) we decided that we need to go skiing again ... on a much much longer slope. So having only been skiing once we are all pretty novice. We picked up the skill quickly and were soon confident on the slope.

We all live in Georgia with an exception of one South Carolinian. I'd love to find a slope - the longer the better. Said long slope should be a continuous run that novices can enjoy. What use is a super long run if sections of it are black diamond. Finally, the farther south the better - counter intuitive but hey - if I don't have to drive 20 hours to Vermont then I get to spend more time actually skiing.

 

I've tried searching, googling, praying, but between being a novice in the first place, finding that longest run is not always a searchable metric, finding that longest novice-intermediate run is NOT a searchable metric, and combining all that with trying to find somewhere further south has left me lost.

That's where asking those with experience comes into play! I always try and find answers for myself but so far my efforts have returned little results.

So (insert your name here) - what place should we be heading to!

 

PS - bang for buck is also great metric to consider.

post #2 of 14

Sugar has some longer blue trails.  There is one named "Flying Mile" to boast of the length, Appalachian and Cataloochee have limited drop with it comes to the beginner and easy intermediate terrain. Beech has Oz Run and a couple really neat blues but you will have to negotiate a section of solid intermediate terrain to get to the easier stuff that isn't full beginner level.  Sugar is probably has the longest easy intermediate trails. Wintergreen VA has some pretty long green/easy blue trails as well.  If you head a bit farther north Massanutten VA has a pretty long green trail as does Timberline WV.

post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 

Awesome! At half the drive to Vermont VA/WV is totally doable so I'd love to know your full view on that area and what it offers in both blue and green difficulty. I'm sure the ladies would appreciate the green slopes whereas the gentleman in our group would love having access to blue trails to advance to should our skills develop quickly.

post #4 of 14
Those poor southern ladies. Maybe they could sip mint julips whilst the men tackle to blues.
post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrGolfAnalogy View Post

Those poor southern ladies. Maybe they could sip mint julips whilst the men tackle to blues.


I know plenty of southern ladies who can ski blues and blacks as well as any man, if not better.

post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by FCguy View Post
 

Like my long title suggests - my friends and I are looking for some good slopes! After getting together and skiing what is likely the smallest slope anywhere (Sapphire Valley NC) we decided that we need to go skiing again ... on a much much longer slope. So having only been skiing once we are all pretty novice. We picked up the skill quickly and were soon confident on the slope.

We all live in Georgia with an exception of one South Carolinian. I'd love to find a slope - the longer the better. Said long slope should be a continuous run that novices can enjoy. What use is a super long run if sections of it are black diamond. Finally, the farther south the better - counter intuitive but hey - if I don't have to drive 20 hours to Vermont then I get to spend more time actually skiing.

 

I've tried searching, googling, praying, but between being a novice in the first place, finding that longest run is not always a searchable metric, finding that longest novice-intermediate run is NOT a searchable metric, and combining all that with trying to find somewhere further south has left me lost.

That's where asking those with experience comes into play! I always try and find answers for myself but so far my efforts have returned little results.

So (insert your name here) - what place should we be heading to!

 

PS - bang for buck is also great metric to consider.


Welcome to EpicSki!  There are some pics from past seasons in the annual threads for the southeast that give a little sense of a few of the places within reasonable driving distance of GA or SC for weekend trips.  If you and your friends have the energy for night skiing, that's a good way to get more time on snow.

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/121967/nc-va-sc-ga-ski-trip-day-trip-get-together-meet-up-thread-for-2013-2014-season

 

I know people who do the drive from Atlanta to Cataloochee in Maggie Valley, NC.  Bigger than Sapphire but not by much.

 

Have you looked at Winterplace, WV?  Has a long green from the top, as well as a long blue trail that winds around in the trees.  My daughter's friend was an advanced beginner when we went for a late season trip in early March.  Had a very good time skiing it under the lights.  The problem with Winterplace in Jan and Feb is that there are lots of groups that go to Winterplace.  So weekends are very crowded from 10:30am to mid-afternoon.  Not too many lodging options near the slopes.  A plus is that a lift ticket is good all day, meaning until 10pm.

 

For a long weekend, Snowshoe in WV can be worth the drive if you can handle spending more on lodging.  Long greens and blues in the main area.  No crowds over in Silver Creek and can go night skiing.  Can stay slope side in Silver Creek.

 

I think Massanutten is one of the best places in the southeast to learn, especially if restricted to weekends.  But not sure it's worth the drive from GA.

 

By the way, I am an older woman, retired, who spent a couple years checking out ski areas in the southeast while my daughter was learning to ski.  Sometimes we went with a friend of hers.  She was an intermediate skiing blues at Alta by age 7 and advanced (Level 8 in Alta ski school) by age 11.  I started taking trips out west without her so stayed better than her even as she improved.

post #7 of 14
Sounds like Sugar Mtn or Winterplace are your best bets within ~5 hours of Atlanta. Timberline, WV is about 10 hrs from Atlanta and has a very long (~two miles) and very easy beginner trail. Nearby Canaan Valley, WV has a similar one nearly the same length. These two are some of the most affordable ski areas to visit in the Southeast for lifts and lodging, but a long drive from you??
post #8 of 14

You didn't state if you wanted a 1 day trip or multiple days with lodging.  Honestly, I'm in Northern Alabama and I find it just as easy and not that much more expensive to fly to someplace like Denver and ski there.  I used to do Winterplace and Snowshoe, WV.  But with the 10-12 hour drive and gas cost nowadays....it's just easier for me to catch a cheap flight (< $165 RT) to Denver and ski multiple big mountain resorts.

post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrGolfAnalogy View Post

Those poor southern ladies. Maybe they could sip mint julips whilst the men tackle to blues.


I know plenty of southern ladies who can ski blues and blacks as well as any man, if not better.

I imagine that was MGA's exact point, marz.
post #10 of 14

WinterGREEN VA is also a good option for the skill levels of the OP group.  Sugar is probably closer depending on what side of Georgia you are heading up from.  The Blue Ridge Express lift has a decent length trail that is a harder green/easier blue caliber.  Off to the side of that is Potato Plot, a super easy but very short green, the main beginner trail.  Then over farther there are some more challenging blues and a black terrain.  Across the other side is the expert, all black Highlands area where better skiers can rip 1,000' vert laps all day long.

post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post
 

WinterGREEN VA is also a good option for the skill levels of the OP group.  Sugar is probably closer depending on what side of Georgia you are heading up from.  The Blue Ridge Express lift has a decent length trail that is a harder green/easier blue caliber.  Off to the side of that is Potato Plot, a super easy but very short green, the main beginner trail.  Then over farther there are some more challenging blues and a black terrain.  Across the other side is the expert, all black Highlands area where better skiers can rip 1,000' vert laps all day long.


Wintergreen midweek is great.  Waiting in lift lines on weekends (Saturday, Sunday until about 1:30pm) . . . not so much fun.  Homeowners get a separate priority line, which makes the regular lines take even longer.  Usually need to leave Highlands around 3:30 because there are no lights.

 

If driving from GA, might as well keep going north on I-81 to Massanutten and avoid any mountain driving.  According to Google Maps, it would take 2 min longer from Atlanta.  A lot more motel options in Harrisonburg than near Wintergreen.  The Motel 6 was renovated recently and goes for about $50/night, basic but clean.  I think Mnut has better terrain for progressing from beginner to intermediate.  An advanced intermediate who is a little adventurous can enjoy Lift 6 with no line any weekend after practicing on short steeper section at the top of Upper Showtime (blue) off Lift 5.  I have a good time lapping Lift 6 as an advanced skier, especially if it's a year when there are bumps on the side of Paradice.  Mnut is better for a mixed ability group than Wintergreen because there is only one base.  Plus all trails are lit.

post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post
 


I know plenty of southern ladies who can ski blues and blacks as well as any man, if not better.

 

 

Just in case your missed the sarcasm, that's what I was saying too. I'm married to one!

post #13 of 14

Like marznc has stated, I think Massanutten would be a great place for your crew. You can stay in Harrisonburg, lots of hotel choices for every budget or you can stay at Massanutten, but since it is a time share place you will get hounded to attend a presentation. When we stay at Mnut the first thing we do is unplug the phone. Mnut has tubing, an indoor water park, golf course. Lots to do. The hill it's self is around 1000 vertical feet. It's a fun place.

post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by EasternCanadian View Post
 

Like marznc has stated, I think Massanutten would be a great place for your crew. You can stay in Harrisonburg, lots of hotel choices for every budget or you can stay at Massanutten, but since it is a time share place you will get hounded to attend a presentation. When we stay at Mnut the first thing we do is unplug the phone. Mnut has tubing, an indoor water park, golf course. Lots to do. The hill it's self is around 1000 vertical feet. It's a fun place.


Actually 1100 ft vertical. :) That's why Mnut has more than almost every place in PA.  Looks quite impressive from the surrounding valley.  Anyone who wants to know everything I could think of about Mnut can take a look at my Unofficial Guide.

 

Yeah, being asked multiple times about scheduling a timeshare presentation is a bit of a pain when staying on resort.  I can avoid it because I don't qualify when my non-skiing husband is not with me, which is most of the time for ski trips.  We are owners who bought when the water park was being built, partially because it seemed like a good place for our daughter to learn to ski.  It's worked out well for us as a family.

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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › Southeasterners want a long, easy to moderate slope, with as short of a drive north as possible