Hello - Help me plan a trip to Beech

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Tank Mama
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Thu Feb 06, 2014 7:53 pm

Hello, I'm originally from Colorado where Copper Mtn. was my favorite. We have since moved to Alabama and we are interested in introducing our kids (9 and 5) to skiing.



We thought Presidents day weekend might be a good time, but we are worried about crowds and are also having a hard time finding reasonable lodging. Thought we would like to ski-in and out, but that seems even harder.



I have crawled around on the board all day it seems trying to take in all the info. We are planning on lessons for the kids and a bit worried about them filling up before we get there.



I'm also overwhelmed with the details of finding all the gear to keep us warm. My kids don't even have real snow coats. Any suggestions you might have would be great.



We are thinking about waiting to ski until Sunday when the crowds might be less and have even thought about waiting a week or two. Any pros or cons to that idea?



Thanks in advance for your help.
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davidski
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Thu Feb 06, 2014 11:08 pm

Hey and welcome and all



You have a ton of great questions -- hard to answer them all, esp. since I live much closer (3 hour trip)



The first and most important thing is -- do not go on a Holiday weekend, all questions about crowds become exponential. Granted that may be the only time you can go, as the rest of humanity too and so you are all in line together



I hate too say this again, but again lessons for the kids will be packed, but I don't think full , other people on the board who actually do this as a living could comment



I know as a fact that at all the places around here if you go during a weekday your childs group lesson is often private





-- as far as gear, if you don't have it all together, try to find their most water proof /windproof shell and layer up beneath it. The other thing is goggles, once they get off the lowest level bunny slope they have to have goggles -- they just have too, bright side is that the even the cheapest goggls are excellent and don't fog up



My most useful idea -- if you have to go around a holiday weekend, arrange to be there at least a day beyond, or before the crowds, it's fun to be on the slopes without worrying about some idiot hitting your child ... then you have to chase them down, then your children are embarrassed and hate you, particularly when they are only 10 years old and have to try and arrange bail, then when your wife confirms her hatred of skiing and initiates a divorce



the odds of all that are very high on a holiday weekend



I like Copper a lot
thefirewarde
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Thu Feb 06, 2014 11:12 pm

First off, be sure to lower your expectations. Anything in the SE is way way way smaller than out west.



Second off, there's gonna be huge crowds President's Day Weekend. If that's the only time you can go, sorry. It was more crowded than I'd like last weekend on a pretty normal weekend, and the holidays are way worse. If you can go the weekend before or after, you'll be happier. Skiing on Sunday will be less crowded, but if it's a holiday it'll still be packed.



As I'm used to "sleeping bag on friend's floor" I'll leave lodging comments to someone more qualified.



Lessons do fill up - reserve them if you can, sign up as soon as you can. Some resorts offer daycare and child lessons combined.



Beech rents bibs and helmets (but may run out on Pres. Weekend) but doesn't rent coats, goggles, etc. and may not have small enough sizes. (In the View Haus Cafe, upstairs from the food court) If I were you I'd start hunting at thrift stores - you need a coat and gloves for one day, maybe if it snows at your home then two days, then it's outgrown by next year. Don't spend much on 'em, buy used.



Check the Beech base webcam to get an idea of the crowds.
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teledave
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Fri Feb 07, 2014 8:16 am

Think 1st weekend in March. The crowds drop tremendously once the first couple of warm days hit in the Spring and everyone's thoughts turn to golf. Plus it's warmer, kids get cold a lot easier than adults.



E-Bay is also a good source for kids ski clothes. What sizes would you need, I may have some buried at home myself (possibly the 9 y/o, the 5 y/o stuff is surely long gone).



Other than that, just what everyone else has already said.
Plans for 2015: To ski more than you
Tank Mama
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Fri Feb 07, 2014 9:46 am

Thanks for all the info everyone! We were originally thinking a spring break trip since spring skiing in Colorado is perfect for learning to ski. Then we remembered that spring in the south is really Febuary if you were wanting to ski. Our other date was the 4th week in March, but fear that almost nothing will be left that late. So we might just have to take a few days off from school and the teacher in me will have to deal with it. What are your thoughts on the end of the season?



Will the crowds be less enough on Sunday and Monday that we would be better off than the end of the season?



Also Teledave we need size 5t and 8, give or take for clothes. Size 11.5 and 3.5 for boots, so we could go either way on size. Thanks in advance for even offering. Gotta love southern generosity.
winter
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Fri Feb 07, 2014 3:12 pm

If you get to the ski school by 8:20 you will have no problem getting your kids into ski school even on a busy holiday, but the sign in process is a bit of a zoo. My daughter has spent about 70 days in the Beech ski school and loves it! Kids ski school at Beech includes the lift ticket, lunch, boots and skis. They rent helmets for an additional cost.



ONE THING TO NOTE - Beech recently changed their policy on young kids in ski school - 4 and 5 year olds can only do the half-day option which doesn't include lunch.



If your concerned about cost try to get clothing and gloves figured out before the trip - If TD doesn't have what you need Craigslist might be a good place to start. If cost isn't a concern for you than Alpine Ski Center and Ski Country (near Sugar Mountain about 10 miles from Beech) would have everything you need -- their prices are not bad it's just the difference between buying 2nd hand vs. new.



If it's cold or the snow guns are blowing you'll want kid's facemasks or balaclavas in addition to the goggles. They sell these in kids sizes on the mountain if you have trouble finding them. Also unless it's unseasonably warm you'll want a base layer - either thermal underwear or something non-cotton (wool or polyester). If you get kids thermals that fit loosely they can double as pajamas.



Crowds are typically less on Sunday and Monday but that probably won't apply President's Weekend since Monday is a holiday.



The Pinnacle Inn has reasonable prices on condos you can do 1 or even 2 bedroom units with kitchens. www.pinnacleinn.com -- it's about 2 miles from the mountain, but it's a super easy drive and parking at the Pinnacle and Beech are both free. There's a really convenient free shuttle if you don't want to drive.





@Tank Mama 296695 wrote:Thanks for all the info everyone! We were originally thinking a spring break trip since spring skiing in Colorado is perfect for learning to ski. Then we remembered that spring in the south is really Febuary if you were wanting to ski. Our other date was the 4th week in March, but fear that almost nothing will be left that late. So we might just have to take a few days off from school and the teacher in me will have to deal with it. What are your thoughts on the end of the season?



Will the crowds be less enough on Sunday and Monday that we would be better off than the end of the season?



Also Teledave we need size 5t and 8, give or take for clothes. Size 11.5 and 3.5 for boots, so we could go either way on size. Thanks in advance for even offering. Gotta love southern generosity.
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BaZinGa
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Sat Feb 08, 2014 10:44 am

1st or 2nd week of March would be good. 3rd or 4th week things in the SE may start closing. We learned at Snowshoe in late March one year. It was 60*F & sunny. Then you only need waterproof pants and maybe a light jacket... Sunglasses & sunscreen. Go for spring break in CO... As you know some of those places will be open through April or longer with fine conditions for learning. Pres weekend in NC may not be an ideal time for a beginner. Many Saturdays in Jan & Feb are fairly crowded as well, especially around mid afternoon.
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skipink
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Sat Feb 08, 2014 6:43 pm

If they are beginners then Presidents W/E will be horrible. Today was very crowded and experienced skiers had trouble getting around. I can't imagine the stress factor for a beginner.
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teledave
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Sat Feb 08, 2014 7:37 pm

I'm a strike out for a size 8, the smallest I have is a girl's 10/12 jacket and pants.







I'd be happy to make you a deal on it for future use. :D
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Tank Mama
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Sun Feb 09, 2014 9:32 am

Thanks for the crowd update. We are looking to going a bit later. Teledave, thanks so much for taking the time to look. My girl is 5 right now, so I think I should wait a bit to get something that size. I will have to post up after we go and tell you how it went.

Thanks again everyone.
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