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Old 10-17-2006, 09:41 AM
Location: Federal Way, WA
62 posts, read 329,110 times
Reputation: 47


Ok, I know this is a strange question, but it is getting to be the season and I am starting to get the bug. In So Cal, I could drive a couple of hours and be at the slopes, and I realize that nothing is quite that close to Florida. However, what is the closest ski resort (I'm in Fernandina Beach)? Is it doable in a weekend?

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Old 10-17-2006, 02:11 PM
1,418 posts, read 9,039,170 times
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Steamboat Springs, Co, is the closest ski resort. It is only a 4 hour plane ride and 2 hour drive away!

Seriously, you won't find any good skiing anywhere near Florida. The closest ski lifts are Beach Mountain and north of that in North Carolina. There used to be a few ski lifts in Scaly Mountain and Sky Valley along the Georgia / North Carolina border, but now all they do is snow (more like ice) tubing.

It will take you at least 8 hours driving to get from Central Florida to the border of North Carolina. That's driving at night, one stop, and average speed of 80mph. To get to Beach mountain from there is probably another 1-1.5 hours.

Let's see, if you left from your office at 5:00 pm Friday, drove 10 hours, you could be at Beach Mountain by 3:00 Saturday morning. Sleep in your car for 3 hours, then get some breakfast and hit the slope by 8:00, ski all day, eat some grub and get some rest; hit the slope on Sunday and ski till 4:00 pm, then boogie on back to Florida, and you should be back by 2:00 am, and still be able to get 4 hours sleep before going to work!

Yes, it's do-able. Nope, I've never done it for skiing.
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Old 10-17-2006, 02:38 PM
Location: Port St. Lucie and Okeechobee, FL
1,304 posts, read 4,836,969 times
Reputation: 1056
Prichard is a bit pessimistic on the driving time. I live in Port St. Lucie, which is 4 hours South of Fernandina Beach. For 18 years, I owned a cabin in West Jefferson, NC, which is about 45 minutes further North than Beech Mountain. I made the drive arround 8 to 10 times per year, or at least 150 round trips. I could do it in 10-1/2 hours by pushing it, but 11 hours was average.

Subtract the 4 hours I had to travel before I got to Fernandina Beach, and 7 hours is more than enough time to get to Beech Mountain, traveling about 5 over the limit, with a reasonable stop for gas and pee.

There is also a ski area in Boone, which is about the same time to reach.

However, be warned that these would be bunny slopes compared to western ski areas. Heck, they're bunny slopes compared to New England ski areas, which is where I learned to ski those many years ago. They also rely heavily on snow machines and won't be the snow conditions you might expect.

The positive thing is, in Florida you're probably as close (both in time and expense) to the Swiss Alps as you are to Colorado.
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Old 10-17-2006, 03:10 PM
1,418 posts, read 9,039,170 times
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Sorry, I didn't see that you were in Fernandina Beach. I was basing drive time from Orlando. As I drive back and forth to Clayton Georgia (NW Georgia) frequently, I've got that drive time down to minutes, depending on which day and what time of day I leave.

I learned to ski in North Carolina as a kid. The slopes were icy and it hurt when you fell. But it was fun, and you could learn how to ski well enough. But, once you've skied out west, you will pay whatever it takes NOT to ever have to ski in North Carolina again!!!

My suggestion is that you take up surfing, windsurfing, kite-sailing or just plain old sailing, and save skiing for once a year when you can afford to do it right. I was an avid water skier as a teenager, and when I moved over to the west coast water skiing was no longer an option. It was like going through withdraw, until I discovered windsurfing. If I had to pick between windsurfing and snow skiing, I'd take windsurfing any day. It's physical, challenging, takes skill, beautiful scenary, and in Florida, it's a winter sport. That's right, you'll learn to love those 50 degree windy days when the fronts come through. YOU'RE IN FLORIDA!!! You just need to learn to battle nature on the water instead of the snow.
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Old 10-17-2006, 05:37 PM
Location: Federal Way, WA
62 posts, read 329,110 times
Reputation: 47
Thanks for the responses!! Oh well, no more waking up Saturday morning and deciding to "hit the slopes."
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