The mountain towns in North Carolina provide endless exhilarating recreation throughout the four seasons. During the winter, the western facing slopes become blanketed with snow, since the mountains absorb moisture from the passing clouds. This is why the High Country boasts the area’s most popular ski resorts, including Beech Mountain, Appalachian Ski Mountain, and Sugar Mountain. As the winter months approach, many of us are dusting off our skis in anticipation of hitting these invigorating slopes.
Beech Mountain Resort at 1007 Beech Mountain Parkway, Beech Mountain, NC, 800-438-2093 is one such popular winter destination, opened Sunday-Thursday, 9am-9pm, Friday-Saturday and Holidays, 9am-10pm; Holiday Period December 19-January 1; Christmas Eve until 5pm, Christmas Day 1pm-10pm.
Beech Mountain is one of the premier ski resorts in the mountain towns in North Carolina, with fifteen trails—ranging from easy, to difficult, most difficult and freestyle—with slopes to accommodate the entire family or all levels of skiers as well as two terrain parks for snowboarders. The Park is the largest newly-constructed facility, with 50-plus features, for riders with rotating freestyle features, a dedicated snowmaking system, new light towers, and a surface tow lift providing top-notch conditions round the clock. Powder Bowl will now re-open as skiable terrain with a blue square designation with the unveiling of The Park, offering greater freedom and flow for both snowboarders and skiers. The resort is graced with a glass skybar on the mountaintop for those who want to relax after a day on the slopes.
This December and January at Beech Mountain:
•Santa Claus arrives on Saturday, December 17, 2016, 1-3pm at the 4 Seasons, Beech Hotel! Hot cocoa, treats and photos with Santa, followed by a Christmas Piñata celebration for all the children to break open for some much-loved sweets.
• January is Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month! Enrollment is only $101 per person (ages eight and up) and includes a ski or snowboard lesson, equipment and helmet rental, a full-day lift ticket, and one night’s double occupancy lodging,
Sunday through Thursday nights.
• USASA presents the Southeastern Series; January 7, 2017; a slope-style free ski and snowboard competition for all ages in the new terrain park. All competitors who compete in a USASA sanctioned event must be current members of the USASA. Memberships are available online (recommended) or at the event. For a complete list of official USASA rules or to purchase a membership, visit the USASA website.
• High Country Junior Race Series; January 8, 2017; featuring boys and girls, ages 4 to 18, competing for the fastest time in their categories held at each ski area, culminating in a rotating Championship race. Medals are awarded to the top three finishers among the boys and girls in each age group. Trophies are also awarded to racers and the team with the most points for the season.
•36th Annual Adaptive Learn to Ski Event; January 16, 2017 – January 20, 2017. This clinic is a cooperative effort to benefit individuals with disabilities and teach skiing and snowboarding in the southeast region. The goal of the event is to promote adaptive snow skiing and snowboarding in a safe environment.
Over $75,000 of adaptive equipment is brought to the event. The instructional team is from are all PSIA Adaptive certified instructors. Participants come from all over the southeast region from ages 4 to over 70 and each year an award is given in honor of Gene Baron, an amputee who skied at the mountain. Registration Process: contact Al Kaye, at phone 865-541-1353.
• So-Gnar Snowboard Camp; January 21, 2017 – January 22, 2017. This two-day camp, with 3 coaches for every rider, costs less than single-day private lessons at most ski resorts, focusing on goal achievement and overall riding technique/skills and positive attitude. Open to riders of all ages and abilities.
For those with Carolina mountain homes, another haven for skiing and snowboarding is Sugar Mountain Ski Resort, 1009 Sugar Mountain Drive, Sugar Mountain, NC 28604, 828-898-4521 or 800-Sugar-MT (784-2768) with hours 8am – 5pm; Winter Lift & Slope Session Times during the Day Session: 9am – 4:30pm and Half-Day Session: 12:30–4:30pm; Twilight Session: 12:30–10pm (closed 4:30 – 6:00pm);Night Session: 6–10pm; Christmas Eve: 9am–4:30pm; Christmas Day:12-10pm; Tubing: 10am–10pm (session times may vary); Ice Skating: 10am–10pm (session times may vary); Ticket Hours–Full Day tickets go on sale at 8am and may also be purchased the night before from 8 -9pm in the Rental Department. Twilight & Half Day tickets available at 12pm; Night tickets available at 5pm.
Group Sales Ticket Hours–Full Day tickets on sale at 8am (7:30 on weekends and holiday) and may also be purchased the night before from 7-7:30pm. Twilight & Half Day tickets available at 12pm; Night tickets available at 5pm.
Sugar Mountain features 125 acres of skiable terrain with 21 slopes for skiers of all levels, and 15 of the slopes lit for night skiing/snowboarding. This expansive resort offers incredible skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, tubing and ice skating. Skiers will appreciate the Summit Express–a mile-long luxury ride that takes only five minutes to the peak, as well as state of the art snow machines, and fresh food made to order. The resort typically opens by Thanksgiving and remains open until the end of March.
This December and January at Sugar Mountain Ski Resort:
• NASTAR; Saturday, December 3, 2016–offers recreational racers the opportunity to compare their abilities to the fastest members of the US Ski Team. Test your skills on Saturdays and Sundays at noon on Oma’s Meadow through Friday, March 31, 2017.
• A Weekend of Winter Fun, DECEMBER 10-11, 2016
—Demo the Newest & Coolest; 9am–3:30pm, Saturday and Sunday. Try out the latest ski and snowboard equipment from Salomon, Volkl, Nordica, Burton, Head, Never Summer, K2, Atomic, Dynastar, Rossignol, Ride, and Line.
—Adult Preseason Ski Clinic; 8:30am, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Three days of non-stop individual instruction from accomplished ski racers and certified instructors, including a three-day lift ticket, coaching fees, tuning clinic, video analysis, and a hearty Saturday night dinner. Option to participate daily or the entire three days.
—After Ski Party & Fireworks; food, drinks and dancing to live traditional bluegrass music by Mountain Creek, Saturday 4–6pm; talented local boys Charlie on mandolin, Dwight on guitar and vocals, Mike on upright base and Perrie on banjo. Fireworks to light up the night sky at 5:45pm.
—Sugarfeast; Hot Chocolate and Whipped Cream Bar at 6:30pm, Friday.
Soup Safari: 11am, Saturday; fresh homemade soups to warm you up.
BBQ and Sweet Tea Lunch & Dinner at 11am–7pm, Saturday & Sunday.
—Edge of the World Mini Games; shred and jib! 11am registration at the EOW tent at the bottom of the Big Birch slope. Fun starts at 12pm.
• Santa at Sugar; December 10-24, 2016. Watch Santa on the slopes and tell him your Christmas wishes.
• Live: The Johnson Brothers; December 26, 2016; 4-6pm. Come groove to the oldies and classic rock!
• Live: Mountain Creek; December 27, 2016; 4-6pm. Traditional bluegrass will keep your feet tapping!
• New Year’s Celebration; December 31, 2016; 9pm-1am; bring in the New Year mountain-style, featuring live music by The Johnson Brothers. For entertainment, 1992 Olympic Figure Skating Silver Medalist, Paul Wylie, will perform on ice, followed by a clinic, a meet and greet and a chance to hold an Olympic silver medal. The general public is invited, free of charge, to the torch light parade and fireworks.
• Edge of the World Snowboard Demo Days; January 6-7, 2017; 12-9pm; from 9:30-3:30pm demo their high performance snowboard rental fleet.
• Live: Mountain Creek; January 7, 2017; 4-6pm; Enjoy the acoustic sounds of straight-up, traditional, bluegrass music. Local boys Charlie on mandolin, Dwight on guitar and vocals, Mike on upright base and Perrie on banjo.
• National Winter Trails Day – Winter Feels Good; January 8, 2017, 9am-4pm.
The event offers children and adults the opportunity to try snowshoeing for FREE. Guided tours are available at 9am, 10am, 11am, 12pm, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm and 4pm. The program includes a forty-five minute tour and snowshoe rental. Adult tours are for 12 years and up.
• Septuagenarian (70 & Older) Party; January 10, 2017, 12pm-2pm, for Sugar’s “Senior Citizen Skiers.” Favors and refreshments provided in the Last Run Lounge.
• Live: The Johnson Brothers; January 14, 2017, 4pm-6pm. Native musicians play oldie tunes and classic rock from the 70’s through today.
• High Country Junior Race Series Giant Slalom; January 22, 2017; registration 7:30-8:30am. Race at 9am–Oma’s Meadow.
• Live: Mountain Creek; January 28, 2017, 4pm-6pm; keep warm with the acoustic sounds of traditional, bluegrass music.
The mountain towns in North Carolina are also home to Appalachian Ski Mountain, the first ski resort in the area and located at 940 Ski Mountain Rd, Blowing Rock, NC., Phone: (828) 295-7828. Ski shop hours from 8:30am-10pm; 9am-10pm for the lifts; equipment rental/ski tickets—8 am-10pm; ski & snowboard instruction 9:30 & 10:45am, or 1:30, 6 & 7:15pm. The restaurant is open from 8am-10pm. This resort offers three easy slopes, three more difficult, three most difficult, and three freestyle. As well as the twelve slopes, there are two terrain parks serviced by one double chairlift, two quad chairlifts, two conveyor lifts (new in 2010) and one handle-pull lift. The base lodge is smoke free, and has complimentary WIFI in the restaurant.
This December and January at Appalachian Ski Mountain:
• The 11th Annual Shred for the Cup Rail Jam; Sunday, January 8, 2017; registration 9-11am; event at 12pm. The Shred for the Cup Series is the benchmark competition in the region, with 3 events throughout the winter season for both skiers and snowboarders in a variety of disciplines. For all skill levels (beginner, intermediate, advanced) as well as a dedicated Women’s category in both ski and board. Points for placement at each SFTC event are tallied throughout the season to determine the overall series winners.
• Shred for the Cup Big Air; Sunday, January 22, 2017; registration at the Alpine Ski Shop, 9:30-11am; event at 12pm. Warm-up session available for competitors from 10:30–11:30 with a rider meeting at 11:45. Free Spectator tickets are available at registration and the main office and are required. The Shred for the Cup Series is the benchmark Park competition series in the region.
For those searching for Western North Carolina land for sale, the journey may very well end in the High Country. This gorgeous region is known as being part of the Appalachian Temperate Rainforest. Located in the Northwest corner of North Carolina, the High Country includes the towns of Boone, (which has the highest elevation of any town its size east of the Mississippi River at 3, 333 feet and an average of 35 inches of snowfall for those of us who love winter recreation!)
Blowing Rock, West Jefferson, Beech Mountain, Valle Crucis, Wilkesboro, North Wilkesboro, Jefferson, Todd, Seven Devils and more. This region is conveniently located, with only a short ride to Charlotte, Raleigh and Atlanta, and with access to several reliable highways.
And for those of us who are fortunate enough to have settled in our own Carolina mountain homes, meandering over the 125 miles of Blue Ridge Parkway in the High Country, is the most relaxing and rewarding way to see the spectacular countryside. This Parkway is a National Scenic Byway, traveling through western North Carolina, starting in Virginia and ending near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Many who explore the region as they dream about finding the perfect Western North Carolina land for sale, pause to photograph Linn Cove Viaduct, Moses Cone Manor, Linville Falls or Grandfather Mountain—which for many is the main attraction of the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Grandfather Mountain is one mile above sea level, at the Mile High Swinging Bridge, and this means unusual weather for the region with higher winds and milder temperatures. In addition, this natural attraction is a nonprofit Biosphere Reserve for visitors of all ages to explore with a top-notch nature museum, and plenty of educational opportunities. There are also challenging trails to burn off energy.
For those who live in their Carolina mountain homes at The Coves, they have discovered the sheer joy of a winter outing, skiing on the slopes of the nearby mountains, or visiting the shops and breweries and restaurants throughout the nearby towns, and then returning to the mild weather of home.
Western North Carolina land for sale at The Coves allows families to share in this winter wonderland without living everyday in the snow. Winter is on its way and will bring a season full of festive fun and adventure for all of us who enjoy life at The Coves Mountain River Club.
We invite you to stop by and see what our friendly mountain community has to offer your family.