The Appalachian Mountains may be a great place for hiking in the summer, but they are also a great place for skiing in the winter. The Appalachian Ski Resort in North Carolina is located near the Blue Ridge Parkway and Blowing Rocks, making getting to the resort a fairly quick trip from the larger cities of North Carolina. Officially known as the Appalachian Ski Mountain, this is the premier place to come in North Carolina for skiing. These North Carolina ski areas feature 10 different slopes with high-speed chairs whisking skiers and snowboarders to the top.
Ski season at the Appalachian ski resort is from mid-November (depending on the snow) until the end of March. The Appalachian Ski Mountain has long been a popular resort for families, with a nice range of beginner, intermediate and advanced trails that give every level of skier an option for getting back down the mountain. Adult lift tickets will cost between $30 and $45, depending on whether you ski on a week day or weekend. For children 12 years and under, lift tickets are between $20 and $35, and group lessons are available for everyone for about $15 an hour. You can also rent skis at the Appalachian Ski Resort for under $45 a day with bindings, boots and poles, as well as snowboards. Among North Carolina ski areas, this is the only mountain which offers night skiing seven days a week, from 6pm until 10pm.
The lodge at the Appalachian Ski Mountain has been open since 1962 and is meant to feel like a European lodge in the Alps. An enormous stone fireplace rests inside the main Appalachian Ski Resort restaurant, which is open all day from 9am until 10pm. In the basement of the lodge, skiers and snowboarders will find the Alpine Ski Shop, which has a wide selection of gear you may have forgotten, including gloves, hats, goggles and gortex clothing. Among North Carolina Ski areas, this is also the only lodge which features free wireless internet service in the main dining room. For any non-skiers who plan to hang out in the lodge while everyone else is out on the slopes, this can be a great way to pass the time or even get some work done.
This Appalachian ski mountain is also open for special occasions during the off-season. The resort-town which has grown up around the ski hill features excellent shopping and a few restaurants. Near the main lodge, an outdoor ice arena stays open from November until the end of March and sometimes features special events and shows. On New Year's Eve, the Appalachian Ski Resort is the site of a major fire works display, and closing day on the mountain always includes a pond skimming contest to wrap up the season.
Weather in the Appalachians is about what you would expect for a mountain climate; cold and windy. The Appalachians are particularly known for the cold winds that move through the mountain range, so be sure to wear appropriate gear when you ski. Avoid wearing clothes that soak up moisture, and cover up as much of your skin as possible with gloves and face warmers. Although ski and snowboard helmets are not required, they can be a good idea and can be purchased at any sporting goods store.
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