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Cold-weather activities abound a short drive over the mountains

January 15th, 2012 7:04 pm by staff report

Cold-weather activities abound a short drive over the mountains

From tubing, above, to snow boarding, at right, to ice skating, below, a host of seasonal activities can be found within a short drive of the Tr i - C i t i e s .

Despite the fact that the above-normal temperatures our area has experienced lately may have made many days feel more like it’s spring than winter, the man-made snow created by the more than a dozen resorts within a short drive of the Tri-Cities has helped create a host of seasonal activities for winter sports enthusiasts.


From downhill and cross-country skiing, snow boarding and snowshoeing to ice skating and tubing, the seven ski resorts in North Carolina, one in Tennessee, two in Virginia and three in West Virginia provide a winter playground for snow enthusiasts.


Here’s a look at what the winter resorts closest to the Tri-Cities have to offer.


NORTH CAROLINA


Appalachian Ski Mountain


Location: Blowing Rock


Slopes: 12


Lifts: 6


Night Skiing: Yes


Snowboarding: Yes


Tubing: No


Terrain Parks: Yes (3)


Ice Skating: Yes


Special features: An 8-hour Flex Ticket, expanded night hours beginning at 5:30 each evening, expanded beginner terrain, automated tower snowmaking guns on 3 slopes, and over a dozen terrain park features.


Contact: (800) 322-2373 or www.appskimtn.com.


Beech Mountain Resort


Location: Beech Mountain


Slopes: 16


Lifts: 7


Night Skiing: Yes


Snowboarding: Yes


Tubing: No


Terrain Park: Yes (2)


Ice Skating: Yes


New this year: Increased snow-making capacity due to the addition of 10 SMI Super PoleCat snow guns; BMR now has 23 of the high-tech guns. A new terrain has also opened, and the removal of an outdated chairlift has created new space on two advanced runs — Southern Star and Robbin’s Run. New beginner terrain was also created on the site of the former tubing run.


Contact: (800) 438-2093 or www.beechmountainresort.com.


Cataloochee Ski Area


Location: Maggie Valley


Slopes: 16


Lifts: 6


Night Skiing: Yes


Snowboarding: Yes


Tubing: Yes


Terrain Park: Yes


Ice Skating: No


Special events: Every Wednesday is Family Day, and a child 17 and under receives a free lift ticket when accompanied by a parent purchasing a full-price day, twilight or night lift ticket.


Miscellany: TubeWorld, located four miles from the ski area, offers five snow runs.


Contact: (800) 768-0285 or www.cataloochee.com or www.tubemaggievalley.com


Hawksnest Resort


Location: Seven Devils, between Boone and Banner Elk


Slopes: Tubing only


Night Skiing: No


Snowboarding: No


Tubing: Yes


Terrain Park: No


Ice Skating: No


Miscellany: Resort’s 20-lane Snow Tubing Park has four different areas for tubing, with lanes ranging from 400 to 1,000 feet. Two conveyor lifts take snow tubers back to the top.


Contact: (800) 822-4295 or www.hawksnest-resort.com.


Sapphire Valley Ski Area


Location: Sapphire


Slopes: 2


Lifts: 1


Night Skiing: Yes


Snowboarding: Yes


Tubing: Yes


Terrain Park: No


Ice Skating: No


Special events: The Great Sapphire Outhouse Race will be held Feb. 18 to raise funds to sponsor ski scholarships for children who don’t have the opportunity to attend after-school ski programs.


Miscellany: Frozen Falls Tube Park is a 700-foot, two-lane snow tube hill with a vertical drop of 70 feet.


Contact: (828) 743-7663 or www.skisapphire.com.


Sugar Mountain Ski Resort


Location: Sugar Mountain


Slopes: 20


Lifts: 7


Night Skiing: Yes


Snowboarding: Yes


Tubing: Yes


Terrain Park: Yes


Ice Skating: Yes


Special events: SMR will host the Slalom and Giant Slalom Competition, Feb. 11 and 12.


Miscellany: Showshoeing tours offered every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, as guides take full advantage of the area’s diverse terrain, with tours winding through snow-covered forests, up challenging hills and across open fields.


Contact: (800) 784-2768 or www.skisugar.com.


Wolf Ridge Ski Resort


Location: Mars Hill


Slopes: 22


Lifts: 5


Night Skiing: Yes


Snowboarding: Yes


Tubing: Yes


Terrain Park: Yes


Ice Skating: No


New this year: Added another tube run with a Magic Carpet lift. Both Tube Runs will be open 7 days a week.


Contact: (828) 689-4111 or www.skiwolfridgenc.com.


TENNESSEE


Ober Gatlinburg


Location: Gatlinburg


Slopes: 9


Lifts: 4


Night Skiing: Yes


Snowboarding: Yes


Tubing: Yes


Terrain Park: Yes


Ice Skating: Yes


New this year: Three new terrain parks have been added.


Special events: Resort will host the Special Olympics Tennessee Winter Games, Jan. 29-31, with over 100 athletes with intellectual disabilities competing in Alpine Skiing & Snowboarding.


Miscellany: Ober’s Snow Tubing Park offers 10 lanes and a 50-foot vertical drop. The Scenic Chairlift offers 15 minutes of air time and scenic views of the Great Smokies.


Contact: (800) 251-9202 or www.skiobergatlinburg.com.


VIRGINIA


The Homestead Resort


Location: Hot Springs


Slopes: 9


Night Skiing: Some holidays and special event weekends


Snowboarding: Yes


Tubing: Yes


Terrain Park: Yes


Ice Skating: Yes


Special events: Kids as young as age 6 can enjoy snowmobile rides in 15-minute sessions. Helmets and instruction provided.


Miscellany: Snowmobiling also offered as weather permits.


Contact: (540) 839-1766 or www.thehomestead.com.


Wintergreen Resort


Location: Wintergreen


Slopes: 26


Lifts: 7


Night Skiing: Yes


Snowboarding: Yes


Tubing: Yes


Terrain Park:Yes (2)


Ice Skating: Yes


Miscellany: The Plunge is Virginia’s largest tubing park.


Contact: (434) 325-2200 or www.wintergreenresort.com.


WEST VIRGINIA


Snowshoe Mountain Resort


Location: Snowshoe


Slopes: 60


Lifts: 15


Night Skiing: Yes


Snowboarding: Yes


Tubing: Yes


Terrain Park: Yes (5)


Ice Skating: No


Miscellany: Five snowmobile tours are offered and include sunset, moonlight and private backcountry tours.


Contact: (877) 441-4386 or www.snowshoemtn.com.


Winterplace Ski Resort


Location: Ghent/Flat Top


Slopes: 27


Lifts: 9


Night Skiing: Yes


Snowboarding: Yes


Tubing: Yes


Terrain Park: Yes (2)


Ice Skating: No


Miscellany: Offers West Virginia’s largest snow tubing park with two super carpet lifts.


Contact: (800) 607-7669 or www.winterplace.com.


Timberline Four Seasons Resort


Location: Davis


Slopes: 37


Lifts: 4


Night Skiing: Yes


Snowboarding: Yes


Tubing: No


Terrain Park: Yes


Ice Skating: No


Miscellany: Salamander Run is the longest ski trail in the East.


Contact: (800) 766-9464 or www.timberlineresort.com.

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