New Member with NC ski questions

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Turboe44
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Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2013 7:36 pm

Sun Jan 13, 2013 10:43 am

I finally got my membership here approved (as an aside I was amazed the first time I tried to sign up I was denied. This is obviously more exclusive place than I thought. I dont know if the moderators do a background check or what.) But I am here now and happy.



I grew up in SD and used to ski a lot when I was younger. I have skied in SD, CO, WY, UT, CA and British Columbia when I was younger, and skied a little after I moved east in PA, and NY. But leaving the west and age beating up my knees I pretty much got out of skiing. Since I have moved down here to SC years ago I have never skied in this part of the country.



Now I want to take my kids skiing to fulfill a promise I made to myself years ago. We are probably going to take them for their first time this Friday when they are off of school. I may strap the skis back on (although I am a little worried about my knee that has pretty much no ligaments left in it by this time). I am actually excited to try some of the new parabolic skis I have heard people talking about as they were just coming around when I quit skiing and I never owned a pair. I am wisely just going to leave all my old gear where it is (probably have no business in some 209cm GS skis anyway at this point in my life) and rent new technology.



My wife is not going to ski so one of my main questions is regarding the onsite lodge amenities and atmosphere. I think she has visions of finding a large fireplace and reading a book all day. We are leaning towards going to either Sugar or Beech based on distance and what I have read online.



My question for all of you more knowledgable people than me is, what are the relative lodges of those two like, and what do you recommend from a skiing standpoint and why? I think it was Sugar that I saw has a much higher percentage of green runs correct? Which is probably all that my beginner kids would need anyway.



I look forward to hearing from you all, and welcome your comments and any advice (parking, etc.), secrets, and shortcuts that you might want to reccomend.



Thanks,

Daryl
jamsandwich
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Sun Jan 13, 2013 5:41 pm

Beech: More laid back atmosphere, main lodge has a giant cafeteria with two levels of seating. TVs, but no fireplace. The Beech Tree has a fireplace, and more comfortable seaitng. but its also the main bar on the mountain and can get a little loud at times.



Sugar: Main lodge downstairs is a cafeteria with lots of seating at tables. They do have a bar upstairs, I can't remember if theres a fireplace or not.



Sugar will have more terrain for the beginner in terms of # of trails, but will certainly be more crowded on Friday than Beech. It will be $41 at sugar and $30 at beech.



One last tip is to secure rentals the night before and arrive early to beat lines for tickets and on the chairlift. You are coming on the second busiest weekend of the year so keep that in mind. Can't give ya any secrets though, sorry.
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Sun Jan 13, 2013 7:45 pm

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marzski
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Sun Jan 13, 2013 8:30 pm

Turboe: How old are your kids? Are you going for the weekend, or just doing a day trip on Friday, Jan. 18?



Even if you decide to ski at Sugar, the free sledding hill set up by the town of Beech Mountain is fun. But I have no idea what the status is given the warm weather.



For learning, I've heard good things about the App Ski School. Easier for a non-skier to watch beginner skiers at Beech. Main ski lodge is nicer at Sugar.



Assuming you are putting your kids in ski school, best to make reservations.
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Tman
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Sun Jan 13, 2013 9:27 pm

Welcome to the forum! Like others mentioned, the weekend of the Jan 18th is going to be hella busy because of the people taking advantage of Martin Luther King Jr day. If you are looking for fireplace, might be my last choice to ski, but Wolf Ridge has a fireplace in the lodge. It's gonna be busy and probably wouldn't enjoy sitting in a lodge when it's that busy though.
Turboe44
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Mon Jan 14, 2013 9:17 am

@marzski 284830 wrote:Turboe: How old are your kids? Are you going for the weekend, or just doing a day trip on Friday, Jan. 18?



Even if you decide to ski at Sugar, the free sledding hill set up by the town of Beech Mountain is fun. But I have no idea what the status is given the warm weather.



For learning, I've heard good things about the App Ski School. Easier for a non-skier to watch beginner skiers at Beech. Main ski lodge is nicer at Sugar.



Assuming you are putting your kids in ski school, best to make reservations.



Kids are 17 and 8. The 17 yr old did go skiing with a school trip once a couple years ago the 8yr old has never been. Based on comments above about being a little less crowded I think I am leaning towards Beech. Likely the older daughter and I will head off skiing while my non skiing wife puts the 8yr old in the Youth Learning Center for the day. I assume that is time and money well spent for a kids first trip to get a good base of learning?



I am sure she will probably not be happy that she is not with her sister and I and will want to be skiing with us later in the day instead of being in class all day, but it looks like at least you can do an hour with them at the end of the day after they are done with their class at 3:30. Not sure what other options there are, I wish there was a half day session that would allow us to break her out earlier, but I didnt see one.



Also I am thinking I will check out tomorrow a place here in Greenville where I think I can rent the equipment the day ahead of time to avoid that wasted time when we get there since we are only going up for one day. Hopefully if they enjoy it, and if my old body can still take it we will get back into it a little more.
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marzski
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Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:31 am

@Turboe44 284850 wrote:Kids are 17 and 8. The 17 yr old did go skiing with a school trip once a couple years ago the 8yr old has never been. Based on comments above about being a little less crowded I think I am leaning towards Beech. Likely the older daughter and I will head off skiing while my non skiing wife puts the 8yr old in the Youth Learning Center for the day. I assume that is time and money well spent for a kids first trip to get a good base of learning?



I am sure she will probably not be happy that she is not with her sister and I and will want to be skiing with us later in the day instead of being in class all day, but it looks like at least you can do an hour with them at the end of the day after they are done with their class at 3:30. Not sure what other options there are, I wish there was a half day session that would allow us to break her out earlier, but I didnt see one.



Also I am thinking I will check out tomorrow a place here in Greenville where I think I can rent the equipment the day ahead of time to avoid that wasted time when we get there since we are only going up for one day. Hopefully if they enjoy it, and if my old body can still take it we will get back into it a little more.



For the first day, I'd say full-day ski school is a worthwhile investment for an 8yo. Will make future ski trips more fun. Plus she'll get to be with kids her own age to start with. For my daughter, that was very helpful. Even now as a tween, she can ski all day with a friend but seems to "need" to go in for a long break more often when only skiing with me.



A good idea to get the equipment beforehand. Just make sure the boots fit well. They need to be snug, which never feels comfortable to a kid. Easier to check the fit if take the liner out of the boot first. Sometimes first-timers end up with boots 1-2 sizes too big. That's the only downside to renting away from the mountain.
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Mon Jan 14, 2013 11:44 am

The Beech View Haus at the main lodge does have a fireplace Jam, but none of the places have comfy couches or stuffed chairs. The View Haus will give perfect viewing of the beginner slope for the 8 year old. It's only a short walk down to the Beech Tree so mom can spend time in both places. By Friday the snow should be nice and firmed up where ever you go.



Do remember to take googles and a face mask as to temps will allow snowmaking, at least part of the time, and since it is coming up on a holiday weekend, all resorts will be blowing as much as possible.



Welcome to the board! Have fun on Friday.
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mommehK
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Mon Jan 14, 2013 8:24 pm

Welcome to the forums indeed!



You might want to check out some rental shops in-town close to the slopes to grab gear from before you head up the mountain...that way if the boots don't fit just right you can shoot back down to the shop in a pinch, easily avoiding the rental desk at the slope on a holiday weekend.



Have fun!
Turboe44
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Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2013 7:36 pm

Fri Jan 18, 2013 10:03 pm

Thanks for all the pointers and advice.



We Just got home from our day up there at Beech. It was a great day! I got the kids some exposure to skiing, and I managed to quickly remember what I loved about skiing. 18yrs away from it, and after the first run I remembered how much I used to love it. The body isn't quite as willing as it used to be, but I had a ball.



I wish they had these shaped skis when I was younger!!
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