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BamaDave
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Sun Dec 22, 2013 12:28 pm

Name's David and I live in Central Alabama with my wife and two boys (14 and 10). I learned to ski in the early 90's but rarely get to go more than once a year. I've skied mostly in Colorado, Utah, and Tahoe, but did spend a nice week in Vermont about 15 years ago, and spent a week at Snowshoe about 7 years ago (where my oldest son learned to ski when he was 7). This past spring break we spent a week in Brian Head Utah and had a great time with both boys and my wife skiing. And I finally took snowboarding lessons, which I've wanted to do for a long time, and LOVED it! :>)



I've never really skied anywhere south of Snowshoe EXCEPT for one fun day at Cloudmont in January 1996 when my wife learned how to ski. We just happened to catch a fantastic powder storm on the weekend of her birthday, when the roads were so bad that almost nobody else was there (we spent the night before at a nearby B&B so we didn't have to drive far to get there). Yes it's a ridiculously short slope, but with the great conditions, we had a blast! :D



We're going back to Brian Head again in late March, but before that trip I'm hoping to sneak away by myself sometime in January/February to work on my board skills. I have a good business excuse to drive up to the Spartanburg SC area at some point, so I'm trying to decide where to spend a couple of days. My wife and I drove up to Cataloochee a couple of months ago during a fall-color drive through the Smokies, and it looked pretty cool. But from Spartanburg, Sugar and Beech are only a few miles further than the Cat, so I'm thinking about hitting one of those instead.



Anyway, I'm looking forward to chatting with you guys and maybe even meeting up one of these days. In the meantime, any thoughts on whether Beech or Sugar would be better for a newbie boarder just wanting to work on the basics?



David
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Mon Dec 23, 2013 7:48 am

Most people on this board prefer Beech overall to sugar, although I'd give Sugar's terrain the edge. If your working on skills you can get more laps at Beech since their lift is faster-- their terrain park is also much better and improving every year it seems.



Usually there are summits where a lot of members meet up; the admin of the site seems not to care too much any more about that sort of thing but we still try to schedule enough people at some point to meet up and get a group rate, it's always a good time



Welcome, and hope to see you out there, Brian's Head huh? never been there. Where in CO do you usually hit
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Mon Dec 23, 2013 9:39 am

@BamaDave 294965 wrote:Name's David and I live in Central Alabama with my wife and two boys (14 and 10). I learned to ski in the early 90's but rarely get to go more than once a year. I've skied mostly in Colorado, Utah, and Tahoe, but did spend a nice week in Vermont about 15 years ago, and spent a week at Snowshoe about 7 years ago (where my oldest son learned to ski when he was 7). This past spring break we spent a week in Brian Head Utah and had a great time with both boys and my wife skiing. And I finally took snowboarding lessons, which I've wanted to do for a long time, and LOVED it! :>)



I've never really skied anywhere south of Snowshoe EXCEPT for one fun day at Cloudmont in January 1996 when my wife learned how to ski. We just happened to catch a fantastic powder storm on the weekend of her birthday, when the roads were so bad that almost nobody else was there (we spent the night before at a nearby B&B so we didn't have to drive far to get there). Yes it's a ridiculously short slope, but with the great conditions, we had a blast! :D



We're going back to Brian Head again in late March, but before that trip I'm hoping to sneak away by myself sometime in January/February to work on my board skills. I have a good business excuse to drive up to the Spartanburg SC area at some point, so I'm trying to decide where to spend a couple of days. My wife and I drove up to Cataloochee a couple of months ago during a fall-color drive through the Smokies, and it looked pretty cool. But from Spartanburg, Sugar and Beech are only a few miles further than the Cat, so I'm thinking about hitting one of those instead.



Anyway, I'm looking forward to chatting with you guys and maybe even meeting up one of these days. In the meantime, any thoughts on whether Beech or Sugar would be better for a newbie boarder just wanting to work on the basics?



David



Good to "meet" you here. I think I remember your thread in another forum about the Brian Head trip planning.



Will you be able to get in the NC trip for a non-holiday weekend? If Oz is open, I'd pick Beech over Sugar for sure. Unless there happens to be so much snow on the mountain road up to Beech. You might also consider an evening at App. Cheaper to stay in Boone in any case. Only 20-30 min drive if roads are clear.
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BamaDave
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Mon Dec 23, 2013 12:39 pm

@davidski 294975 wrote:Most people on this board prefer Beech overall to sugar, although I'd give Sugar's terrain the edge. If your working on skills you can get more laps at Beech since their lift is faster-- their terrain park is also much better and improving every year it seems.



Usually there are summits where a lot of members meet up; the admin of the site seems not to care too much any more about that sort of thing but we still try to schedule enough people at some point to meet up and get a group rate, it's always a good time



Welcome, and hope to see you out there, Brian's Head huh? never been there. Where in CO do you usually hit



Thanks for the reply and the welcome David! Yeah I've seen similar comments about most people preferring Beech, but haven't quite figured out why yet. Is it mostly the customer service at Beech? Or just the faster lift? Does Sugar have more advanced terrain, or is it just laid out better? Maybe I'll get a chance to do both so that I can form my own opinion, but I'd love to hear more about other members' preferences in the meantime. And I'm all for a summit meetup if I can work it in.



In Colorado I've been to Vail, Beaver Creek, Keystone, and Copper. But I don't go there every year, so the only repeat I've had was Vail (twice). In the last decade I've been to Utah more than Colorado and have hit Snowbird, Alta, Solitude, Brighton, The Canyons, Snowbasin, and lately Brian Head which is in southwestern Utah.



For Brian Head, we fly into Vegas (cheaper than SLC) and drive about 3 hours up to the resort. B.H. doesn't compare to any of the big Utah resorts with respect to terrain, acreage, or amenities, but it's beautiful country and it DOES have that same wonderful snow as the rest of Utah. And it's SUPER cheap compared to most western resorts! They have a 5-day weekday pass for just $179, and we get a nice 2-bedroom ski-in/ski-out condo for a grand (for six nights!) that is right on the side of the beginner green run, which makes for a very easy and relaxing week for my wife and kids (easy to run in for bathroom breaks, lunch, snacks) etc. It's a tiny resort by western standards, but it's almost three times the size of Snowshoe and gets twice the snowfall. If I were by myself and skiing, I would definitely go to the SLC area and ski the LCC/BCC resorts, but since I'm new on the snowboard and my kids are just learning to ski, B.H. will do just fine until we're all ready for Snowbird. :p



David
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Mon Dec 23, 2013 1:23 pm

@marzski 294978 wrote:Good to "meet" you here. I think I remember your thread in another forum about the Brian Head trip planning.



Will you be able to get in the NC trip for a non-holiday weekend? If Oz is open, I'd pick Beech over Sugar for sure. Unless there happens to be so much snow on the mountain road up to Beech. You might also consider an evening at App. Cheaper to stay in Boone in any case. Only 20-30 min drive if roads are clear.





Good to "meet" you too marzski! Yeah I've been a member of that other forum for awhile, and just hadn't joined here because I've never really tried to ski here in the Southeast (other than that one day at Cloudmont nearly two decades ago). But I'm ready to now!



I'm hoping to drive up to Spartanburg on a Sunday afternoon, and do my business on a Monday morning and then snowboard the Twilight session that afternoon. And hopefully get a full day in on Tuesday if I can work it out (driving home Wed morning). So I shouldn't have to worry about crowds much. And I'm all about cheap sleeping, so Boone sounds good!



David
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Mon Dec 23, 2013 2:42 pm

Well, if you have never been to Beech or Sugar the fisrt thing is they are roughly a quarter the size of Snowshoe. Beech has a vertical roughly the same as the regular side of the 'Shoe, Sugar has a vert of roughly 1000'.



Sugar has steeper trails (Tom T & Whoop), but their lifts are painfully slow. Painfully slow. And they in general just have the attitude that they are the only place worth skiing in the SE and if you don't like something then there is something wrong with you. They also (especially early & late season) like to advertise one rate on the web for the day and then be charging something else when you get there. But, if everything is open at both places the edge, especialy for advanced riders; goes to Sugar in terrain.



Beech has a high speed quad (when it is working right), and is cheaper. The terrain is a bit more lower angle, but you can make twice as many runs. They are also just more pleasant people to deal with, from the ticket office to the lifties and patrol. Beech also has the edge in terrain park offerings.



Both are roughly equal in snowmaking and conditions. Sugar has a tendency to exaggerate their conditions (a few thin spots means be prepared to hike across lots of mud that is actually impassable on skis), Beech will give you a much more truthful ski report.
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Mon Dec 23, 2013 3:56 pm

@BamaDave 294984 wrote:Good to "meet" you too marzski! Yeah I've been a member of that other forum for awhile, and just hadn't joined here because I've never really tried to ski here in the Southeast (other than that one day at Cloudmont nearly two decades ago). But I'm ready to now!



I'm hoping to drive up to Spartanburg on a Sunday afternoon, and do my business on a Monday morning and then snowboard the Twilight session that afternoon. And hopefully get a full day in on Tuesday if I can work it out (driving home Wed morning). So I shouldn't have to worry about crowds much. And I'm all about cheap sleeping, so Boone sounds good!



David



Given that you're planning on playing on snow mid-week, you might consider App for Mon evening and then Beech on Tue. App is very close to Boone, so less driving involved.



For me, the slow (really slow) lifts at Sugar are too annoying. Seems like it took 12 min to the top. Given how quickly I end up at the bottom, the ratio of lift sitting to skiing is not worth it. The terrain is not that much better than Beech, especially if Oz is open. I like cruising Oz.



Midweek is fun, regardless of where you go in the southeast.
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BamaDave
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Mon Dec 23, 2013 4:13 pm

@teledave 294987 wrote:Well, if you have never been to Beech or Sugar the fisrt thing is they are roughly a quarter the size of Snowshoe. Beech has a vertical roughly the same as the regular side of the 'Shoe, Sugar has a vert of roughly 1000'.



Sugar has steeper trails (Tom T & Whoop), but their lifts are painfully slow. Painfully slow. And they in general just have the attitude that they are the only place worth skiing in the SE and if you don't like something then there is something wrong with you. They also (especially early & late season) like to advertise one rate on the web for the day and then be charging something else when you get there. But, if everything is open at both places the edge, especialy for advanced riders; goes to Sugar in terrain.



Beech has a high speed quad (when it is working right), and is cheaper. The terrain is a bit more lower angle, but you can make twice as many runs. They are also just more pleasant people to deal with, from the ticket office to the lifties and patrol. Beech also has the edge in terrain park offerings.



Both are roughly equal in snowmaking and conditions. Sugar has a tendency to exaggerate their conditions (a few thin spots means be prepared to hike across lots of mud that is actually impassable on skis), Beech will give you a much more truthful ski report.







Thanks for the insights teledave! I definitely don't need "steeper trails" right now, and faster lifts is good, so I'll probably just go to Beech first (maybe Sugar on the second day if I've had enough of Beech). And I'm definitely prepared for the small size of the NC resorts. But if I can have fun at Cloudmont, I can have fun anywhere. :D And I'll probably spend most of my time working on improving my turns and riding switch, so will be going pretty slow anyway. When we went to Snowshoe several years ago, we stayed at the Silver Creek Lodge, and the runs there are pretty short as I recall. But fun anyway!



David
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Mon Dec 23, 2013 4:30 pm

@marzski 294990 wrote:Given that you're planning on playing on snow mid-week, you might consider App for Mon evening and then Beech on Tue. App is very close to Boone, so less driving involved.



For me, the slow (really slow) lifts at Sugar are too annoying. Seems like it took 12 min to the top. Given how quickly I end up at the bottom, the ratio of lift sitting to skiing is not worth it. The terrain is not that much better than Beech, especially if Oz is open. I like cruising Oz.



Midweek is fun, regardless of where you go in the southeast.



An evening at App sounds like fun too.



Yeah I watched a couple of videos of people skiing/riding Oz. They list it as a Blue trail on the trail map, but it sure looks pretty "green" to me. As easily as this kid handled it, I think I can survive it, even with my very green riding skills :p But then again I know video footage can be deceiving and vertical drop never looks as steep onscreen as in real life. When I show my wife video of me kayaking, the rapids always look a LOT tamer onscreen than when I went through them!! :eek: Anyway, Oz looks like a blast and I just need to make sure I go up there when conditions are good and it's open.



Speaking of when conditions are good, I can be pretty flexible about when I go, but I'd like to get SOME idea of when would be a good target to shoot for. Is late January generally pretty good up there, or should I look more into February? Or should I forget about trying to plan more than a week in advance, and just hit the road when the 7 day forecast looks perfect?



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Mon Dec 23, 2013 6:35 pm

Welcome to the board Dave Best thing to do, is wherever you decide to go, is to just have fun. I usually go to Cat or wolf but did make App last year for the first time and it was a

Blast. Planning on Hitting Beech next month on my way to Timberline and since I'm visiting my folks this next weekend I'm going to Cloudmont on fri
Days on snow (tbd)
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