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Western North Carolina The Mountain Region including Asheville
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Old 10-26-2013, 08:13 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
39 posts, read 108,116 times
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This will be my first winter in NC and I hope to get the skis out. Yes, I know I shouldn't expect much. I'm coming from PA so I'm used to slush, ice, and manmade snow to tear up my skis and I'm sure it will be worse in NC.

But for those who ski, is it worth an overnight trip for some fun and fresh air? When's the usual season? Overall favorite resort and why? Is it really much better driving up to VA or southern WV?

Thanks for any tips!!
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Old 10-26-2013, 08:36 PM
 
Location: The 12th State
22,974 posts, read 55,993,765 times
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Ski season usually happens after Thanksgiving, My favorite North Carolina slope is Ski Beech, but prefer Snow Shoe or WinterPlace in WVA due to more slopes and more challenging.
I do not recommend Appalachia Resort for you or you will be bored but it great for newbies.

I dont know where your residing, but that may play in factor if you going to do it for a day trip or weekend trip.

Once the slopes open, a notice will go in the thread called Region Map & forecast. It will be noticible in the title it will say ski report when they open. Mountain Region Map, Current Weather Forecast, Snow Report

When the report is posted it will have conditions, how many runs are open and condition. I have gut feeling this is going to be an excellent season far as natural grooming.
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Old 10-27-2013, 07:44 AM
 
Location: Chapelboro
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Where are you in NC? Usually folks recommend the slopes near Boone, but there are a few nearer to Asheville, too. The Boone area is at a higher elevation so can usually make more snow and keep it longer. There's Beech as Sunny recommended and also Sugar Mt, as well as Appalachian Ski Mountain. Hawksnest is a dedicated snow tubing area. In the Asheville area there's Cataloochee and Wolf Ridge and Sapphire Valley, but Beech and Sugar are the two big NC resorts, IMO.

Ski Southeast gives conditions on all the southern ski slopes, including Snowshoe: SkiSoutheast.com covers Ski Resorts in North Carolina, West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee, and Maryland
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Old 10-27-2013, 10:36 AM
 
Location: NC High Country
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It all depends on where you live as to whether the NC High Country ski areas are most convenient vs. whether it's worth it to drive to VA/WV. IMO, the ski areas near Asheville aren't as reliable for snow conditions, nor as challenging. Unless you live closer to Asheville, you'll probably want to focus on Beech or Sugar. Coming from PA, you might be pleasantly surprised.

If you are going to be considering the NC High Country, it's worth it to try both Sugar and Beech. Appalachian Ski Mtn. is great for beginners and families but not as much a challenge for more experienced skiers. Beech and Sugar are very different, and each mountain has its fans. Sugar has longer runs and more vertical. Beech has more, but shorter runs. Beech has a hi-speed quad, but in my opinion, that simply allows them to dump more people quicker into a limited area. I haven't skied at Beech in a long time but traditionally Sugar has had better snow-making and grooming. You can go to both mountains' web sites and read the stats.

Ski Sugar is my "home" mtn and they have 2 web cams that operate all the time (even as I write this), one at the base and one at the summit. Their conditions reporting is a lot more accurate that it used to be years ago.

The ski season is typically from Thanksgiving till early-mid March. Being in the South, the weather can be real variable from day to day and week to week. It not usually helpful to make generalizations like "January is the best time to go." For the High Country, Ray's Weather is your friend and you should follow it faithfully to ensure the best possibility of knowing when optimum ski conditions occur, especially if you can be flexible and make a trip on spur of the moment. Obviously, you want to avoid holiday weekends.

If you've ever done any recreational racing, all three High Country ski areas host their own race teams for kids and adults. Sugar offers NASTAR racing on weekends whenever conditions allow.

Don't be hesitant to try Southern skiing. if you pick your times well, like I said before, you might be pleasantly surprised.

P.S. I do have a little bit of direct experience.... hubby was a ski patroller at Sugar for 20+ years and currently volunteers with the race team. I was an instructor at Sugar for a couple of seasons a few years ago. We live 4 miles from Sugar.
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Old 10-27-2013, 10:41 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
39 posts, read 108,116 times
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We'd be coming from Raleigh and would be yearning for the best mountain feel possible and probably would stay a couple days so I'm thinking Boone area. We aren't beginners and prefer blue or black cruisers over terrain parks so Appalachain is out. Maybe Sugar or Beech on a Sunday or Monday. I see Sugar has more vert but Beech has the high speed.
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Old 10-27-2013, 10:45 AM
 
Location: NC High Country
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A lot of folks in Raleigh do go to Wintergreen in VA and Snowshoe in WV. Ski clubs aren't everyone's cup of tea, but you might also want to check out Raleigh Ski & Outing Club.
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Old 10-28-2013, 06:00 PM
 
Location: "The Gorge"
905 posts, read 2,942,307 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captainbob2 View Post
We'd be coming from Raleigh and would be yearning for the best mountain feel possible and probably would stay a couple days so I'm thinking Boone area. We aren't beginners and prefer blue or black cruisers over terrain parks so Appalachain is out. Maybe Sugar or Beech on a Sunday or Monday. I see Sugar has more vert but Beech has the high speed.
If at all possible try not to ski on a weekend. It's torture.

Try both and see for yourself.

Personally I prefer Beech. It's true they have less vertical but there are a couple places at Sugar that are flats. You have to point your skis downhill and cruise. The top of Sugar with the most vertical is closed more than its open. Beech has more ambiance and views. There is one flat area but the rest of the mountain make's up for it. The high speed lift at Beech insures you get more runs than you could ever get at Sugar.
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Old 10-29-2013, 11:13 AM
 
Location: NC High Country
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CRock View Post
The top of Sugar with the most vertical is closed more than its open.
Just curious if you can document that.
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Old 11-03-2013, 02:05 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
1,034 posts, read 932,663 times
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IMO I like Snowshoe the best up in Wv. Like others have said try to avoid weekends. I love going in the mid week you have the place to yourself. I have skied both Beech and Sugar and they are okay if the weather cooperates. Also try Winterplace in Ghent Wv it is a bit closer to NC than Canaan Valley or snowshoe. I hope and pray we have a great ski season ahead. This time last year because of Sandy I think Beech and Sugar were open already!
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Old 11-03-2013, 06:35 PM
 
Location: "The Gorge"
905 posts, read 2,942,307 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roadpony View Post
Just curious if you can document that.
No I can't', only based on actual experience having skied NC off and on for 39 years. I welcome you to prove otherwise.
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