Posted by Darryl Payne in Gatlinburg, TN
They wait for it all spring and summer. As the warm temperatures begin to cool, the anticipation can be seen and felt. Their feet get antsy and strange cravings overtake them to put on down-filled clothing and compression wear. They are the hardcore ski enthusiasts of the world.
This year, these winter sports buffs will have more new and exciting things to carry them through what is already bound to be a best-yet season. Ober Gatlinburg ski resort newest moderate slope is called Yeti's Run.
Ober Gatlinburg explains, "The advanced rated slope will split off to the east from the top of the Black Lift, taking skiers and snowboarders down a 635-foot run that is 45 feet wide. The Yeti adds more options as it reconnects skiers and riders with their choice of Mogul Ridge, Grizzly or Upper Bear Run. This slope has 100% snowmaking capabilities and will be equipped with lights for night skiing and snowboarding."
How does Yeti's Run compare to the other two advanced slopes at Ober Gatlinburg? According to John Cossaboom, Winter Sports Director, "It is rated as Black Diamond, but it's not as difficult as Mogul Ridge or Grizzly. Based on the look of it, I'd say anyone who is a strong novice could handle Yeti's Run."
Ober Gatlinburg waits on Mother Nature to help create the trails. John explains that Ober Gatlinburg starts at the bottom of the mountain first when making snow. They then move to the middle and finally the summit where the hardest trails are found. Because Ober Gatlinburg has a practice of making sure the underlying slope is in good shape prior to laying on the snow, and because no one can predict the weather, the date for starting snowmaking at the top of the mountain is anybody's guess.
You may wonder why, after all these years, Ober Gatlinburg has decided to add a new trail. John explains, "We have been thinking about this for a while. Finally, we had our snowmaking to a point where we could expand that system."
Novice and intermediate skiers have a lot to appreciate about Ober Gatlinburg as well. Whether this is your first time skiing or you have established your snow legs, you'll find plenty to enjoy on the Slope & Lift Map.
Ski School, which is a teaching area with a rope lift, and Cub Way both provide gentle inclines that give newbies a safe place to practice. Castle Run, Upper Bear, Lower Bear, Ober Chute and Alpine Way give longer runs with steeper verticals (except Lower Bear) for a variety of difficulty levels, moguls and other challenges.
Ready for some jibbing, jumps and serious airtime? Get your skills workout at OGFT, Ober Gatlinburg's Freestyle Terrain Park. Experienced staffers work hard to continually improve this experience. You won't be disappointed.
What if you, or the people you're traveling with, don't ski? Ober has you covered, too.
With trails, rails, tabletops and boxes, snowboaders have their own winter wonderland to play in. Always wanted to try snowboarding, but don't have equipment? Rent it right onsite.
Have a seat and hold on tight as you zip down a giant snow-covered slide. With pre-defined lanes, you can enjoy the feeling of whooshing down a mountain without the fear of falling. It's the same sense as sledding with the added benefit of an air-cushion beneath you.
Near the tubing park, take a tow to the top of the coaster, and then ride your cart down the hillside at speeds up to 25 mph with turns, dips, curves and plenty of G-forces. Comfortable for two riders each per car, you control the thrill of your descent.
Wintertime or anytime, Ober has an indoor ice skating arena adults and kids love. At 140 feet by 75 feet, this rink is the centerpiece of the mall. Skate awhile, and then try the new ice bumper cars! Grab some lunch at the Sidewalk Café, and visit the quaint shops in the enclosed mall.
This is bobsledding made simple! You control the speed as you race down the mountain swooshing, slicing and swishing to the bottom straightaway for a record-breaking finish!
Absolutely one of the best ways to see the mountain! For over 30 years, the Aerial Tram has ushered visitors from downtown Gatlinburg to the peak of Mt. Harrison and Ober Gatlinburg. Whether you want to visit Ober or just want an astonishing view, the Aerial Tram is perfect for vacationers, photographers, nature lovers and more.
Keep an eye on the weather and an ear toward the local news. Soon slopes at Ober will be open and ready for traffic. In the meantime, plan an Ober Gatlinburg getaway soon and enjoy some playtime in the snow.
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