Visitors travel to the North Carolina mountains for a variety of reasons: to see the changing autumn leaves along the Blue Ridge Parkway, to chase waterfalls along picturesque hiking trails, and to relax and unplug from life’s daily challenges. However, some of the most thrilling activities to enjoy when visiting the mountains of NC involve lots and lots of snow. Whether you’re a veteran skier, or someone hoping to try winter sports out for the first time in your life, you’ll find plenty of opportunities for fun and adventure on the slopes during your stay at The Highlands at Sugar. Read on to explore our top suggestions for taking your ski vacation to the next level.
1. Pack the Essentials
Before you even set off on your winter skiing vacation, it’s imperative to make sure you have all of the essentials needed for a safe and comfortable experience. Since you’ll be in an area of higher elevation than you may be accustomed to, you’ll want to prepare by packing sunscreen and altitude sickness medicine. You should also pack items that keep you warm, such as multiple layers of clothing, waterproof outer layers, hiking/snow boots, waterproof socks, hats, and mittens or gloves. To keep your extremities warm, we also advise packing hand/toe warmers. One item you can leave at home is your scarf, as this accessory can actually prove to be more of a safety risk and hindrance than an asset.
2. Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Skiing and snowboarding are some of the most intense activities when it comes to exerting energy and burning calories. In fact, a 155-lb. person can burn nearly 450 calories per hour of skiing. That’s why it’s essential that you get a good night of sleep the night before you hit the slopes. Give yourself the rest you require before setting off on a fun, high-intensity ski resort experience.
3. Buy Your Lift Ticket Ahead of Time
Often times, you can take advantage of discounts if you purchase your lift ticket ahead of time either by calling the ski resort or booking your reservation online. Plan ahead and enjoy savings on your ski trip!
4. Arrive Early
There are several reasons to get to the ski resort early. With paperwork to complete, equipment to rent, and other eager skiers lining up for the day, you’ll appreciate the advantage of arriving at the very start of the day. You’ll also have more time to enjoy the slopes, making all-day learn-to-ski packages even more worthwhile.
5. Take Advantage of Equipment Rentals
If you’re not an avid skier or snowboarder, you likely don’t have on hand items like a helmet, ski goggles, snowboards, or skis. Luckily, these items and more can be rented on-site at the ski resort. Don’t spend too much money investing in these items ahead of time, especially if it’s your first time skiing.
6. Take a Lesson
Most resorts offer a variety of lessons that we highly recommend you take advantage of during your vacation at The Highlands at Sugar. Whether you have children in your group or you’re traveling solo, find the instructional package that works for you and you’ll be skiing like a pro in no time!
7. Bring Snacks
Particularly if you have children, it’s a great idea to pack snacks for your experience on the slopes. As stated earlier, skiing and snowboarding are high-intensity activities that burn calories quickly, so you’ll want to stay energized with snack breaks. Also, remember to bring water bottles. Staying hydrated is very important, especially at higher elevations.
8. Try Different Activities
In addition to skiing, most ski resorts have a variety of activities available for guests to enjoy. Common onsite activities include snow tubing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and sledding, so try your hand (and feet!) At one or all of these options during your skiing vacation.
9. Have a Backup Plan
Just in case the weather decides to be uncooperative during your visit, be sure to have a backup plan in place if you’re unable to make it to the ski resort. Try using your planned ski day as a resort day and rearrange your schedule as needed.
10. Take Time to Relax (and Recover!)
Visiting a ski resort can be physically and mentally taxing, so it’s important that you dedicate a significant amount of time for rest and recovery. You’ll love returning to your Highlands home away from home, where you can relax in the rejuvenating Redwood sauna, soak in your European-style hot tub, or warm up in our indoor heated pool.
Try incorporating these strategies as you plan your winter getaway to The Highlands at Sugar, located just a short drive from multiple ski resorts. Whether you’re new to skiing or a seasoned veteran, you’ll be sure to enjoy your time on the slopes while visiting the North Carolina mountains. Call to start planning your next big adventure today!