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Embrace Winter at Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort

Posted by Leif Palmer in Gatlinburg

Remember all that warm weather we had here in the South during late December? Folks were walking around in shorts and sandals like it was the middle of summer. Well, it would seem that nature is having the last laugh now that cold and windy days have come back once again. You'd almost think it was winter around here.

While many of us celebrated those pleasant, balmy days just a few weeks back, we can tell you that the folks at Ober Gatlinburg weren't so happy about it. It was so warm that they even had to shut down their ski slopes for a while because it wasn't cold enough to manufacture snow at their mountaintop resort.

However, now that winter temperatures have settled back into their normal ranges, they've got the snow cranking up at Ober Gatlinburg once again, and all you snow bunnies can start planning your ski trips.

Today (Tuesday 1/5), for example, they're working with a 10- to 15-inch base of new manufactured snow, with four of the resort's 10 trails open. Up on the mountaintop, temps are going to be in the 30s today, and skiing will be open until 10 p.m.

Ober Gatlinburg's 10 trails are geared toward every level of experience, from easy slopes for beginners to steep challenging trails for more seasoned skiers. The resort has ski-instruction classes for beginners and equipment rentals, making it easy for novices to take up their poles for the first time. Also, Ober's slopes are suited for both traditional downhill skiing as well as snowboarding.

Even if you don't want to hit the slopes, there's fun to be had at Ober Gatlinburg. They have a 10-lane snow-tubing course, where you can slide downhill and take the outdoor escalator back to the top for up to 90 minutes per session. Keep in mind that snow tubing requires tickets, and sessions can sell out in advance, so we recommend visiting www.obergatlinburg.com to check tubing availabilities before buying your tickets.

There's also an outdoor ski coaster, which is open even in winter. It's a brisk ride, so bundle up, but this exciting downhill attraction lets you enjoy all the fun of a zippy downhill trip without having to know how to ski or snowboard.

Inside at Ober Gatlinburg, there's even more to do. You can take a few spins around the indoor ice skating rink or check out the merchandise in their many shops or get a bite to eat at the in-house restaurant. And when your day is done, you can enjoy the trip back to downtown Gatlinburg on the Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway (which is also the recommended way of getting to the top of the mountain).

Leif Palmer - Smokies blogger

About Leif Palmer

Leif Palmer loves residing in the Smoky Mountains. He is an avid outdoorsman: rowing for exercise on the lake, trail hiking, and free climbing rocks in the mountains. He indulges his arty side by periodically beating up pieces of marble by sculpting. He is always frustrated by his inability to sink long putts, and hates his curly hair (but his wife loves it). Leif has been known to muster enough courage to change a diaper, and hopes his son will become a chip off the old block.


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