Abandonded trails at Ober Gatlinburg

This is the place to share your stories or knowledge about ski areas that used to operate and are now lost or closed in Tennessee.
SFPredsFan
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I used to live on Ski View Rd above Ober Gatlinburg and always wondered why they haven't cut more trails for that resort. Now that snow making technology is much better and Ober is actually reinvesting money into more snow blowers and the resort itself, it's outgrown itself with long lines and huge crowds. An employee that worked for the snow crew at Ober told me there used to be a trail, I think above Alpine Way at the top of the scenic chair lift, but it was abandoned years ago due to a southern exposure. From Google maps it looks like a service road now from the top of the chair lift angling east and then down to the top of Alpine Way, but it's hard to tell. Anyone know about this or other trails they used to have or if Ober has any plans to add or reopen slopes in the future? With the scenic chair lift already there it would only make sense to cut a couple of slopes from that hill. The west side drop could be a great run and a good 1,000 ft verticle drop, probably a double black diamond.
SteepNdeep
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The lift line under the scenic chair would be no-doubt the best run in our region, but with southern exposure - the snow would be an issue.
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teledave
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Back in the day, Alpine Way was called Little John. The run you speak of was called Big John. I've never skiied it, and I don't know anyone that has skiied it when it was a legal run. I do know some people that have skiied it since then though. I wouldn't look for an expansion in that direction though.



FWIW, the run now called Upper & Lower Bear used to be called Bowling Alley. I think the original name fits much better than the new name.
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SFPredsFan
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Thanks for the info. Do you know why they closed Big John? Was it the service road looking trail from the Google map from the top of the scenic lift angling east then down to the top of Alpine Way(Little John)? And how do skiers run that trail after it was closed as you mentioned? My guess is ski patrol hitting it after a big snow. Can't imagine Ober would let anyone else on a closed trail.
snowboardwfaith
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Yeah Patrol and select Ober employees have been allowed to hit it after big dumps. I was told they closed it after only a couple years because of not being able to keep snow on it. I asked the same question you are and was told that it would be to costly at this time to add new pipes and snowmaking to the run, especially with not having room to expand the limited water supply. The area is very much land locked and doesn't really have any other room to expand.



My personal thought would be to take the area between the top of Grizzly and Ober Chute, thin the trees and make a thin glades run. If the snowmaking is done right it would be possible.
Droogie
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I have only been to Ober two days and I really like it. As much time it takes them to get all of their runs open, I can't see them adding any terrain. I wish their base was at 4000 feet instead of 2700. That would make a difference in conditions there. Ober when 100% open like it was this weekend makes for fun times.
time2323
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@snowboardwfaith 239946 wrote:

My personal thought would be to take the area between the top of Grizzly and Ober Chute, thin the trees and make a thin glades run. If the snowmaking is done right it would be possible.



This would rock and IMO makes a lot of sense. It seems like competition with Cat is benefiting both resorts, and the tree runs are now one of the areas Cat has an advantage.
TannerP
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@time2323 240497 wrote:This would rock and IMO makes a lot of sense. It seems like competition with Cat is benefiting both resorts, and the tree runs are now one of the areas Cat has an advantage.

That would be cool, but the southeast is the ski ghetto. Glades don't exactly attract that many skiers around here.
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swamphox
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@TannerP 242798 wrote:That would be cool, but the southeast is the ski ghetto. Glades don't exactly attract that many skiers around here.



It'd be like having a library in a trailer park
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time2323
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Im just sayin that it would be another way for them to level the playing field with Cat for attracting people in the Knox area trying to decide where to buy a season pass. Cat's glades, while none-too impressive, have seen a lot of traffic the last 2 seasons.



I personally have a pass to Cat and get about 4-6 free passes to Ober each year, and several times Ive chosen going to Cat even though it's an hour farther, over Ober mainly for the trees.
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