Feb 16, 2022 - Partners

7 things to know before your first time skiing in North Carolina


This content was produced in partnership with OrthoCarolina.

Hitting the slopes for the first time?

Before you “click in,” here are seven tips to help you have a fun and safe day on the mountain, powered by OrthoCarolina, our partners in healthy outdoor living.

1) You don’t have to go far.

There are seven places to ski and snowboard within 3 hours of Charlotte. The closest is Appalachian Ski Mountain in Blowing Rock, which has 12 runs.

More info: Check out our guide to all seven spots.

2) You don’t need to buy all of your equipment.

Here’s how: Ski resorts offer rentals for everything you need, from gear to clothing.

  • Expect to pay between $20-$60 per day for ski and snowboard rentals.

Even better: You can also rent equipment from Alpine Ski Center on East Boulevard. Rentals can be picked up the day before and dropped off the day after your rental period.

Pro tip: It’s better to be too warm than too cold, so bring all of your best layers. We also recommend picking up some hand/toe warmers.

3) Lessons are worth it.

Almost every ski resort will offer some sort of lesson program – take advantage of them.

Here’s why: They’re pros at helping people learn how to ski or snowboard. From safe falling techniques to etiquette info, they’re super helpful (even if its not your first time).

Expect to pay around $30 for a one hour group lesson.

4) All the cool kids wear helmets.

Here’s the deal: Not only do they protect your head when you (inevitably) fall, they also keep your head warm and help keep your goggles in place. You can rent these with your other equipment (see #2).

5) Greens are your friends.

Helmets, people!

What you need to know: Slopes are labeled by difficulty (usually a direct correlation with steepness). Green runs are the easiest, blues are in the middle, and blacks are the hardest.

There’s nothing worse than standing at the top of a run that you don’t feel comfortable going down. For your first trip (or two) stick to the greens.

6) Warm up before you start.

It’s important to warm up before any type of exercise to prevent injury. However, with something brand-new like skiing, its extra important.

Here’s how: The injury prevention pros at OrthoCarolina has a few tips:

  • Spend 5-10 minutes performing dynamic stretches (like jumping jacks and leg swings) before clicking in.
  • When you’re done, walk around for 5-10 minutes before getting in your car to help your body transition to rest.
  • Stretch when you get home (especially your your glutes, hips, quads, hamstrings, IT band, and calves).

7) No matter your skill level, have fun.

Here’s the deal: Sometimes, the best part about being on the mountain is the hot chocolate at the end of the day.

No matter what, you can always sit back and enjoy pretty views on the lift.
  • Don’t get discouraged if you’re struggling on your first day – careening down a mountain on wooden sticks isn’t exactly easy.

Instead, enjoy the time outside in the North Carolina mountains.

Want more healthy outdoor living inspo? Check out OrthoCarolina’s blog. Happy exploring, CLT.


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