Cataloochee skiers enjoy the winding trails and terrain for all abilities. The Cat Cage Terrain Park has jumps and bumps for snowboarders and skiers. ... More
Cataloochee skiers enjoy the winding trails and terrain for all abilities. The Cat Cage Terrain Park has jumps and bumps for snowboarders and skiers. ActivitiesSnowboarding: The new Cat Cage Terrain Park is covered in jumps, bumps and dips to the extreme. Skiers are welcome.LodgingLocal hotels, motels, inns, cottages, and the Cataloochee Ranch are located in nearby Maggie Valley. Winter RecreationTubing park with five runs, night skiing.
My last trip was special because the snow was about as good as it is going to get on the east coast. They have hired experienced skiers and snowboarders to groom the snow and it has made a big difference in my opinion. Will be back this season.
Boring slopes, no options, slow old lifts, crowds, many novices crashing into people, overpriced, inappropriate for children under 4, horrid management. We headed out with very low expectations & with the conviction to keep our minds open. Nonetheless we were sorely disappointed.
We arrived Sat intending to ski 1/2 day on Sat, all day Sun & 1/2 day Mon. Our son is only 3 so we planned on having one of us sled with him. Upon arrival, we were told that we cannot sled anywhere. There is nothing to do with a 3yo; ski lessons begin at 4. We decided to rent ski gear & buy ski passes for 2 (only 2.5 hrs left until the day pass expired) & have my son & husband wander around. They were stuck by a dumpster "playing" because there was no place for little ones to play anywhere on decent snow & safe from novice skiers smashing into people. In the same 2.5 hrs, my mom & I were able to ski for a whooping 8 minutes (4 2-min-long runs) because of the extremely slow outdated lifts which could not handle the smallest group of skiers/snowboarders that I have seen & stopped working every 5-10 minutes resulting in the most expensive & unsatisfying skiing day that I have ever had. The one lift that was of any remote interest (Omigosh), had to be stopped for repair after everyone hung in the air for over 20 min on it. So, $130+ for 2 adults & we had skied for 8 minutes. Hooray!
Slopes are cluttered with novices who cannot control their skis/snowboards & threaten to sweep even the most experienced skier off their feet & down the run. The runs themselves are mediocre to simply boring, with the most challenging run (Upper Omigosh) yielding an unsatisfying short section of a true black diamond & swiftly transitioning into a gentle green slope. Halfway through the run, you start getting the “Slow" signs because the slope merges into the green run.
We decided to give it another shot the following day & to rent skis for our son--$56 per adult ski pass, $23 adult gear set & $17 for kids. The day actually turned out good. The weather was nice, there were far fewer people & the lift stopped only a few times throughout the day. We actually skied that Sunday & my son loved it!
Reenergized & optimistic, we came back on Mon, with only 3 hours to spare on the slopes before getting back in the car. My mom wanted to stay with our son on the bunny slope, while my husband & I skied. Well, what do you know--you cannot do that without ski or snowboard shoes & a ski pass! We were told that we have to buy my mom an adult day pass & rent her a set of ski gear for a total of over $70 although she would not be skiing. When asked if they could give her a free pass since we'll only be there for 3 hours & our son is too young to be alone, we were instead offered to pay for a 30-minute private lesson. I asked to talk to the general manager who was clueless. After being presented with our situation, he had the audacity to declare that he does not know the prices of the ski are & that the prices are irrelevant. I am not sure how Mr. Bates makes his money, but ours is hard-earned, so to me & my family it is very much relevant how & where we spend our money & what we get for it. So again I asked whether he would be willing to provide us with a free pass & a set of ski boots & make us happy, or would he rather see us not spend $140+ today, never come back to this place & tell everyone who cares about our experience. He replied that he cannot give us anything for free because he’d have to start offering free passes to everyone.
I looked outside & saw all of 10 people on the slopes & imagined the hundreds of pairs of ski boots sitting idle in the rental shop, not bringing any money at this moment. Indeed, it would have been a great loss to Cataloochee to provide us with unused gear on a super slow day to ensure our satisfaction & future return. It was useless to argue with someone so shortsighted, illogical & with no managerial skill, so I left, to never go back again
I grew up in the North and hated anything to do with winter sports, but Cataloochee turned me into a skier. My family found it to be a wonderful place to learn when we moved to Waynesville, NC ten years ago. My sons learned first to ski and then to snowboard through a great school program. For me, the Women on Wednesdays program was the answer-- a very inexpensive program, which included 6 days of skiing and 12 hours of instruction for all abilities from "never put on a ski" to "black diamond." Learning from (and with) other gals made it fun and easy, even though I was in my 40s when I first put on a ski.
Cataloochee (cataloochee.com) is a great ski area, with incredible snow-blowing capabilities which make the skiing conditions quite dependable. It's a well-planned out facility with good access, parking and helpful staff. I find it a very comfortable and welcoming place. Our whole family will continue to be regulars!
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