High Country Association of REALTORS News

Things to do on a weekend - Skate on thick ice

It's snowing in the High Country this weekend. That means plenty of attention on the slopes. But you can slice through more than snow. You can also slip on some skates and slide across a pad of ice at your best speed. There's ice skating at both Beech Mountain and Appalachian Ski Mountain, the latter of which was named one of America's top outdoor ice-skating rinks back in 2009.

For a rookie, the rink can seem daunting. That one false step looks to be a doozy! But looks are deceiving. Give it a trip or two around the rink and you'd be hooked.

App Ski Mountain Ice SkatingAfter getting fitted for blades, we hit the rink, some of us more than others. The first thing I noticed was the skating boots were really stiff and put pressure on weird parts of my feet. After about half an hour scooting around like a slug on a skillet, holding onto the metal bar that circumvented the rink, I was able to almost stand up straight and give a few tentative waddles. I believe I made one complete circuit before hitting the deck for the first time. ....

Just like with my initial experience as a skier last year, I found that young people got the hang of it much faster than I did and were jumping in the air and spinning, digging in one toe and cutting a circle, and generally putting Tanya Harding (anyone remember her?) to shame. Instead of being embarrassed, I did what any self-respecting middle-aged guy would do who is not quite ready to be old: I pushed myself to the limit.

After a couple of hours, I was prepared to make ice skating a regular part of my winter routine.

See? You don't have to be an expert, and you need not worry about the kids. They have supports to help anyone get around, as you can see at Appalachian Ski Mountain. An afternoon of ice skating, whether learning or polishing, is just one more great reason to Live the Dream in the High Country of North Carolina.