What: Ski North Carolina: Appalachian Ski Mtn.
Where: 940 Ski Mountain Rd., Blowing Rock, NC 28605 | 828-295-7828
When: November – March (Call for conditions)
Cost: Lift tickets are $20 – $65 for adults | $16 – $65 12 and under or 60+ | Complete rental set with helmet: $25 | Group Ski Lesson: $18 for one hour
For Southerners, it’s an easy drive to ski North Carolina vs. flying out west. Appalachian Ski Mtn. near Boone, NC is perfect for families who are learning to ski. It’s compact and easy to keep an eye on kids, even if they aren’t standing right next to you. There are nine runs, three freestyle terrain parks, four chair lifts and two conveyors. The lodge is located at the base of the mountain and it’s easy to see all the runs, perfect for parents who want to give their kids a little more freedom. The lodge also has wi-fi, so if parents aren’t skiers, they can let the kids go, and get some work done. Plus, the French-Swiss Ski College is a very well respected and successful ski school program. Here’s what else you need to know about App Ski Mtn. before you go.
Ski North Carolina: Appalachian Ski Mountain French Swiss Ski School
Ski lessons aren’t just for kids. Taking a lesson is the best way to enjoy skiing. According to Jim Cottrell, who started the French-Swiss ski school in 1969 and has literally written a book on ski instruction, it takes three lessons to become proficient and truly enjoy the skiing experience. If you don’t have three days, don’t worry, just do what you can each time and gradually learn the skills you’ll need. If you’re kids are like mine and think that snowboarding is the cool way to go, let them know it may take them a little longer to get going, but the same three lesson rule applies. Three lessons and they’re off (and in control).
Ski North Carolina: Appalachian Ski Mountain Gear and Clothing Rentals
Like other resorts, Appalachian Ski Mtn. offers gear rentals (skis, boards, boots, poles and helmets) but they also offer appeal rental. Great for those that are flying and don’t want to pack bulky ski clothing or those that don’t want to purchase clothing that kids will outgrow before wearing again. For more information on what to wear when skiing, see our post on What to Wear when Skiing (see what the keyword is here). Note: Googles, hats and gloves cannot be rented, so pack those items when you come.
Ski North Carolina: Appalachian Ski Mountain What to Expect
Weekends and holidays at any ski resort are much more crowded than weekdays. If you can swing it, come during a weekday for more room and less waiting. One of the benefits of Appalachian Ski Mtn. is that it is compact. Nestled in the mountains, it’s off the beaten path. Parking is available onsite for a mere one dollar and the farthest area of the parking lot is about a ¼ mile or less from the lodge, so everything is very close. Once you park, here’s what you need to do:
- If you are renting clothing, stop by the gift shop upstairs to get fitted.
- Once you have clothing, head downstairs to rent your gear and get your lift ticket.
- Appalachian Ski Mountain offers group and private ski lessons. Before you get all your ski equipment, find out about taking a lesson. Sign up on the lower level at the ski school counter.
- Once you have a lesson time, get your boots first. The staff needs the boot to adjust the bindings on your skis, which you’ll get next.
- Purchase your lift ticket. (App Ski Mtn. has an 8 hr. lift ticket, good for 8 hrs. after purchase. If you want to maximize your time, purchase the lift ticket AFTER getting gear. If you think you’ll be fine with a little less time on the mountain, purchase this before getting gear so you don’t have to haul gear into this line)
- Finally, pick up your poles outside. (snowboarders don’t use poles)
Note: Getting fitted for gear can take a while, especially on busy days. Each set of skis has to be calibrated to the individual, so it’s a personalized fit every time. Allow at least an hour to get your gear and get fitted. That means if you plan to be on the slopes skiing at 10 am, you’ll need to arrive at the mountain no later than 9 am to keep your schedule.
Ski North Carolina: Appalachian Ski Mountain Sessions
Appalachian Ski Mountain offers some unique lift packages. Including:
- 8 hour Ticket: Most ski resorts have set ‘sessions’ for skiing. At Appalachian Ski Mtn., the 8 hour ski pass allows you to ski for 8 hours (or until close) from when you purchase the lift ticket.
- Midnight Blast: on Friday and Saturday nights in January and February, Appalachian Ski Mtn. stays open until midnight. This pass is good from 5 pm – Midnight. Perfect for those who are driving in for the weekend, but still want to get some skiing in the night they arrive.
- 4 Hour Early Return: Return to the cashier within four hours of purchasing a full price eight hour flex ticket and receive an App Ski Mtn. debit card or cash back. It isn’t the full price, but at least if little Johnny decides he doesn’t like skiing, you can get some money back or a debit to return with someone who does enjoy skiing.