You simply must add Mentone, AL to your selection of random towns on your Weather Channel app. Why, you ask? Well, if you plan on joining the many who have already experienced The Cloudmont Ski Resort then you know the magic overnight temperature must be below 28 degrees. You might think this is a joke, snow skiing and snowboarding in Alabama? Since 1970, this fun weekend escape has been catering to young and old, expert and novice, as well as the curious who just come to see the snow. Funny as it may sound, this could be considered a ski-in, ski-out type of resort with cozy cottages right next to the slopes.
Cloudmont features two “pony lifts” that take skiers to the top of the slopes – they have an elevation of 1,800 feet and a vertical rise of 150 feet. It is a very small family run operation. Cloudmont Ski Resort is open daily during season – 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and nightly from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., weather conditions permitting.
Just 1 hour and 30 minutes from Huntsville, Mentone is a fun day trip. We surprised the kids with a ski trip, and they were ecstatic about the idea of spending a day on the slopes. Our party of six included two veterans and four newbies. The great thing about Cloudmont is that every lift ticket includes a free beginners lesson (or refresher if needed). The expert staff is patient and encouraging making learning fun! They will work with you until you have the hang of it. Snowplowing to slow down has been termed “make a pizza”, a catchy phrase to help you remember how to orient your skiis. After about an hour or so learning most people are ready to hit the slopes!
When preparing for your adventure, there are a few things to remember. If you have winter clothing it is a great idea to bring snow bibs and mittens for those times when you might fall. Wear layered clothing; at around lunchtime if the sun is out it tends to get quite warm. Sunscreen and sunglasses are also a good idea; the reflection of the sun coming off of the white powder can get intense. I also pack drinks, snacks, sandwiches and fruit. There is not a convenient place to eat on site and skiing works up quite and appetite.
Ski package pricing includes all necessary equipment, ski lift ticket, and a beginner lesson. The building that serves as the rental office has a nice large fireplace for skiers rest and warm up. It is also a cozy place to read if you are taking a group to ski yet you choose to be an observer. And make sure to bring a camera to capture your family memories!
Depending on the day of the week that you visit there are a few local restaurants to try out nearby: the Moonlight Bistro and the Mentone Wildflower are just a few. The Cloudmont staff is also a good resource for restaurant recommendations and times of operation.
I highly recommend Cloudmont as a fun family outing, a different type of first date or even a romantic getaway to celebrate a special occasion such as an anniversary! The destination has become a winter tradition with my family. We have created many priceless memories here!
Have you been to Cloudmont? Do you have any more questions? Please share your comments below. We are hoping for a few more cold days this winter – perhaps we will see you on the slopes! And just in case you miss the opportunity to ski this season, Mentone has so much more to offer for exciting year around ROADTRIPS!
Happy Travels, wherever your road may take you!