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Hit The Slopes!

Posted by Leif Palmer in Gatlinburg

We've certainly been getting more than our usual share of nasty winter weather these past few weeks. In fact, we've gotten more snowfall in the Great Smoky Mountains than we have in any of the past 20 years. And while most folks may be tired of all the weather-related mess and hassle, there's one place in the Smokies that says, “Bring it on!”

At Ober Gatlinburg ski resort, more snow means more fun, especially for skiers and snow boarders. And even though it's warming up a little in the lowlands this week, conditions are still prime for some exciting downhill action.

The latest slope reports indicate wet granular snow with a base of more than 60 inches. And the fact that they're not manufacturing snow this week is an indicator that there's plenty of powder on the hillsides. In fact, all four lifts and all nine trails are open, including the Grizzly, which is one of the most challenging courses on the mountain

The snow skiing is great whether you're an expert or a beginner. For first-timers, Ober offers equipment rentals and professional instructors who will help get you up and skiing or snowboarding at the instructional Snowsports Center.

Speaking of snowboarding, Ober Gatlinburg has a freestyle terrain park with a variety of ramps and features such as a smooth pipe, a lift tower rail a smooth jump and a C box. For those who want to enjoy downhill fun without lessons or previous experience, there's a snow tubing area where you can enjoy sliding down the multiple-lane hill on an inner tube during one-and-a-half-hour sessions.

In addition to outdoor snow activities, Ober Gatlinburg has a lot of other ways to enjoy winter in the mountains. The resort's wildlife encounter showcases live animals such as black bears (after hibernation), river otters and birds of prey. Inside the facility, you can enjoy year-round ice-skating as well as dozens of shops, a restaurant, a deli and arcade.

In warmer seasons, the attraction still draws plenty of visitors as well. Activities like the alpine slide, mini golf, carousel, scenic chairlift and outdoor maze keep families having fun together all year long.

Ober Gatlinburg has a number of pricing options as well as ticket packages, depending on how many activities you want to pursue while you're on the property. Discounts are offered for AAA, AARP, military personnel and groups.

If you're staying a Gatlinburg cabin, you can either take Ski Mountain Road to the top of Mt. Harrison and park at the resort, or you can park downtown and take the Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway to the top of the mountain.

The ski resort was founded in 1961, the Aerial Tramway was added in 1973, and in 1975, the attraction became known as Ober Gatlinburg, eventually evolving into the year-round destination that it is today.

By the way, if you'd like to get a gander at what the current conditions are on the slopes, check out the live webcam from the Ober Gatlinburg website:


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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