Yay for winter sports! They are, as far as I’m concerned, the only good thing about winter (except for Christmas, of course!).
Snow tubing is open Friday (11 a.m. – 7 p.m.), Saturday (9 a.m. – 7 p.m.), and Sunday (9 a.m. – 5 p.m.). The rate is $25 ($20 on Friday) for 1.5 hours, with sessions starting every two hours.
The tubing looks terrific! This is one thing I’ve really wanted to do in the Smokies, but never found time for. I WILL do it with the kids one of these years. The tube run is 400 feet long, with a 50-foot vertical drop. Fun, huh? And the best part? No trudging back up the hill! Seriously! The hills are serviced by a moving conveyor lift that transports tubers and tubes back to the top.
So, how are the Ober Gatlinburg wizards doing this? Well, there’s new snow-making technology, apparently, so they’ve been making snow for awhile. Check here for a web cam that shows the tubing runs — they are looking pretty ready! (As a side note — I think web cams are pretty neat. As I write this, I can see a little guy with a big snow-blowing (making?) machine, jerkily adding snow to the tubing lanes. I love the arches of snow that keep spreading across the screen. Neat!)
Skiing will open sometime in mid-December. Check back here later for a more exact date, since it depends on the weather. Skiing at Ober — that’s something I have done, and I’ll tell you, it’s pretty good for the Midwest!