Good Times at North Carolina’s Cataboochee Ski Area

Snow skiing is a sport and a pastime that has enthralled and intrigued many regardless of their experience or inexperience upon the icy slopes. It was in 1961 that the arrival of the now oldest Ski resort in North Carolina came into play. Recently, Cataboochee Ski Area has made a huge impression on the ski community with its recent opening extending over 3 months from the middle of November to the first of April.

It is on the impressive border of the Smoky Mountains National Park that the ski area has positioned itself, with the prime Cataboochee ski area lying within the Maggie Valley, West of Carolina and just 35 miles to the west of Asheville.

The beginning of the Cataboochee Ski Area came about when Tom Alexander, the ranch owner of Cataboochie Ranch, converted a piece of isolated land used for pasturage into an alpine facility upon Moody Top Mountain. Tom’s main motivation was to utilize the on-hand help and provide jobs during the rather slow winter months, as well as facilitating the region’s tourism. Since its beginning, Cataloochee Ski area has expanded and currently contains 19 varied ski trails which are serviced by 5 lifts. This is however dependant on the personal experience of the individual skier as to the style of slope to be chosen. A large tube park is also available in the valley for those who wish to sit back and slide with personal conveyor lift. In addition, the ski school creates an exciting center for easy, creative learning for the younger generation of skiers.

With its breathtaking views high up on a chair lift, the world seems to take on a different perspective as you gaze slowly across the jagged peaks onto the delicate slopes of the Rabbit Hill and Easy way, a beginners dream for grabbing hold of the basic techniques. The Lower Omigosh and Rock Island Run are the starting points for the intermediate skiers and snowboarders, providing action, excitement and the addiction for a higher adrenaline rush which is found upon the steep Upper Omigosh. Lastly, for the ultimate intense pleasure the Cat Cage Terrain Park will provide all the measures required by any skier or snowboarder.

Dusk has fallen on the tranquil Lodge at Cataloochee; tired bodies relax in front of the double sided fireplace reminiscing the day’s events with friends and family