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Best Skiing in North Carolina (or Tenessee)?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Can anyone offer some input on skiing in North Carolina?

Which mountains would you say are "best" and which are most challenging?

 

Can't manage to make it back up north anytime soon, so trying to make do with the closest mountains to me.

post #2 of 17

I live in North Carolina-- I would honestly recommend Wintergreen in Virginia if you can travel that far.  After skiing there once I've never wanted to ski in NC again- the resorts here don't have much variety at all, hardly anything challenging.  

post #3 of 17

Sugar Mountain has some terrain approaching 30*, but only for the top 400' vert of their roughly 1,000' of vert.  Other than that it os mostly easy blues and greens.  Beech has some harder blues and easier blacks at about 740 feet of vert.  Wintergreen, VA has the Highlands runs that offer closer to 1,000' of true black terrain.  So, ya, for lapping longer blacks within 3 hours of Raleigh, Wintergreen is your best bet.  That said, Wingergreen is also a mecca for all of the DC and a big part of the Raleigh metro area so the crowds and lines can be pretty insane, but those crowds thin out a lot when you finally navigate over to the Highlands area of the resort.

 

Cataloochee has one decent black trail, a couple of kinda fun blues, and a big beginner area.  Appalachian is a smaller but kinda fun local city park rat hangout, offering only about 400" of vert but a good place to learn.  They have a decent ski school there.  

 

Never been to Wolf, Saphire, or Gat, TN..

post #4 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by moderntease View Post
 

Can anyone offer some input on skiing in North Carolina?

Which mountains would you say are "best" and which are most challenging?

 

Can't manage to make it back up north anytime soon, so trying to make do with the closest mountains to me.


Welcome to EpicSki!  Where are you coming from?  Also help to know if you can ski midweek or only weekends.  For NC, probably a tie between Sugar and Beech in terms of challenge.  Sugar has a couple steeper shots than Beech.

 

If you want company, check out the regional thread:

http://www.epicski.com/t/129243/the-2014-15-thread-for-nc-va-sc-ga-etc

 

There are some mini-TRs in last season's thread:

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

post #5 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by chomski View Post
 

I live in North Carolina-- I would honestly recommend Wintergreen in Virginia if you can travel that far.  After skiing there once I've never wanted to ski in NC again- the resorts here don't have much variety at all, hardly anything challenging.  


Wintergreen Highlands are lots of fun on weekdays.  The lift lines can get pretty long on Saturdays.  The crowd thins by Sunday lunch time.  The downside is that since there are no lights, need to get off Highlands by 3:45 or so. Then it can take another 20 min to get to the parking lot because you have to wait in line to reach the top.  Wintergreen is an upside-down layout with the main village at the top of the mountain.

post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thanks! Coming from Savannah, GA.

post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by moderntease View Post
 

Thanks! Coming from Savannah, GA.


Midweek or weekends?  You can stay overnight I hope.

 

5.5 hours to Boone via Charlotte.  Then another 30 min to Sugar.  Only worth it if you can ski at least one weekday IMHO.  Sun-Mon is better then Fri-Sat.

 

What are flight connections like for flying to Denver or SLC?  I'm half-serious.  Your driving time is comparable to what it takes for me to drive to Snowshoe.  I've done that just often enough to know what's there and that I'm unlikely to do it ever again.  But I'm retired so have more options than most younger folks.

post #8 of 17

Sugar Mountain is good and so is Beech.

 

I've been to Wolf, Saphire, and Ober but didn't ski there.  I wasn't impressed with the places.

 

I live in Florida and usually would rather drive further to Snowshoe than go to Sugar or Beech because Snowshoe has MANY more trails and better snow.

post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 

I'm honestly beginning to consider giving up on somewhere within driving distance, and go the flying route instead. It's just the logistics I need to figure out then, like more time off work(because if I'm gonna fly, I'm staying more than a 3 days), how to get around once I get there, where to stay, etc.

post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by moderntease View Post
 

I'm honestly beginning to consider giving up on somewhere within driving distance, and go the flying route instead. It's just the logistics I need to figure out then, like more time off work(because if I'm gonna fly, I'm staying more than a 3 days), how to get around once I get there, where to stay, etc.


Yep, from a skiing standpoint finding a way to fly somewhere for a few days makes more sense.  Usually those who drive >4 hours to ski in the southeast somewhere are those going with a carload of folks on a really tight budget or parents with kids.

 

Have you skied out west?  If so, where?

post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 

Sadly not, I'd love to though. I've only skied in MA and VT.

post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by moderntease View Post
 

Sadly not, I'd love to though. I've only skied in MA and VT.


Then the only risk to flying out west is that you may get spoiled and never want to travel just to ski in the northeast again. ;)

 

I learned to ski in the NY Adirondacks in middle school.  Also spent a week at Alta because a friend invited me.  Even though I only skied a couple days there, it put me off skiing anywhere else for a long time.  I moved to NC from NYC during high school and was too busy as a student and/or working adult to make skiing any sort of priority.

post #13 of 17

I second the suggestion to go out West instead!  The experience can't even begin to compare.  I love North Carolina, don't get me wrong, but just not for skiing.  Colorado and Utah will always have my heart (and my tourist money!).

post #14 of 17

I grew up skiing in NC and have skied all over the US.  I still ski in NC, but just in the early fall, to get in shape for going out west.  It depends on what type of skiing you want and the month.  Sugar and Cataloochee open first and close last.  Sugar has the steepest slopes, Beech has a high speed quad but they run it at 6mph, the industry standard is 10mph, but the lift is short and fairly steep so you will get a lot of vertical in a day, Appalachian and Beech have the best terrain parks, Ober-Gatlinburg has the only mogul run South of Virginia/WV.  My personal favorite resort in the region is Timberline, WV, they have a long steep mogul run and tree skiing, but the slowest lifts in the industry.  Wintergreen has great lifts but no truly steep runs like Sugar.  Massenutten has a water park with a Flowrider in case the skiing isn't good.

post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmelton94 View Post
 

I grew up skiing in NC and have skied all over the US.  I still ski in NC, but just in the early fall, to get in shape for going out west.  It depends on what type of skiing you want and the month.  Sugar and Cataloochee open first and close last.  Sugar has the steepest slopes, Beech has a high speed quad but they run it at 6mph, the industry standard is 10mph, but the lift is short and fairly steep so you will get a lot of vertical in a day, Appalachian and Beech have the best terrain parks, Ober-Gatlinburg has the only mogul run South of Virginia/WV.  My personal favorite resort in the region is Timberline, WV, they have a long steep mogul run and tree skiing, but the slowest lifts in the industry.  Wintergreen has great lifts but no truly steep runs like Sugar.  Massenutten has a water park with a Flowrider in case the skiing isn't good.


Did you go to Sugar on Nov. 2?

 

Since the OP is all the way on the GA coast, not too much reason to drive to Ober or Cat. ;)

post #16 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post
 


Did you go to Sugar on Nov. 2?

 

Since the OP is all the way on the GA coast, not too much reason to drive to Ober or Cat. ;)

I did, the 3rd and 11th as well, it's been a great fall. Yesterday was awesome, 65 degrees and firm snow all day thanks to the low sun angle this time of year.  Now I'm on the way to Colorado, then California for skiing and kite surfing.

post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmelton94 View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post
 


Did you go to Sugar on Nov. 2?

 

Since the OP is all the way on the GA coast, not too much reason to drive to Ober or Cat. ;)

I did, the 3rd and 11th as well, it's been a great fall. Yesterday was awesome, 65 degrees and firm snow all day thanks to the low sun angle this time of year.  Now I'm on the way to Colorado, then California for skiing and kite surfing.


If you could post a pic or two of Sugar in the regional thread, that would be fun stoke!

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/129243/the-2014-15-thread-for-nc-va-sc-ga-etc

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