Hello Everyone -
Okay folks, we are just about now officially in the last month of the 2013/14 season and if you are still wondering if the conditions are going to get any better, well stop thinking and start sliding. If you didn’t notice, we probably have enjoyed one of the best months of conditions in recent memory throughout the region. Right now the excellent season we have been experiencing is actually on the way up with another cold front with snow on the way. If you haven’t made plans to head to a resort, there is no better time than now.
The season has been so good up to this point that at least two resorts, Canaan Valley and Snowshoe Mountain have announced they are extending their season. I believe this is not only due to the fact that the conditions are excellent but there has been plenty of snow in the metro areas, giving flatlanders confidence that there is plenty of snow on the slopes. This site’s editor Mike Doble and yours truly have always had the opinion that when the grass starts growing the sliding stops. But my grass is still brown so I haven’t or at least my wife hasn’t given that a thought. The main concern continues to be convincing folks in the lowlands that instead of getting their lawn mowers tuned up, it’s still time to get those skis or snowboards tuned up and head to the slopes.
In recent years a number of resorts had pretty much pulled the plug on snowmaking. Credit goes out to the resorts who continue to make snow when they can in order to provide the best product out there for the faithful skiers and snowboarders. The numbers this year have been strong across the board so the better the product, the better the numbers should be if the weather holds up. However I got an email from a reader of the column and a follower of skisoutheast.com, complaining about resorts making snow while the slopes were open. They didn’t like having manmade snow fall on them while they were skiing. Folks let me tell you one thing for sure, if a resort could only make snow on unopened terrain or at night, they would, and that has pretty much been the case the last couple of seasons. Just don’t go there. Every skier and snowboarder should be happy that southeast resorts have invested millions of dollars in snowmaking and need to realize that is the only reason they are having any fun at all on the slopes this season.
While we are on the subject of snowmaking I thought I would throw in what happened recently while I was listening to CNN on my way to work on satellite radio. The morning news anchor said that Russian officials at the Olympics were relying on “artificial snow” due to the lack of natural snow for all of the alpine, snowboarding and nordic events. When I heard this I about ran off the road yelling and screaming because any frequent reader of this column understands that “artificial snow” is something that comes out of a can during the holidays (like silly string) and what was being produced at the Olympics was “real” manmade snow. That means real water, mixing with real cold temperatures to make “real” manmade snow. Not a darn thing artificial about what the Olympians were competing on, not one thing. I have a few contacts at CNN on the producing side of things and made a quick phone call after arriving at work to let them know of the mistake. Well low and behold, when the story came up again in the rotation on the network’s coverage of the Olympic Games, there was no mention of “artificial” snow but a comment that Russian officials were relying on their snowguns to make snow to cover the terrain and that the snow would withstand the milder temperatures better than the natural stuff. Well folks that was like handing me my own gold medal, seriously.
Now back to my original column thought, it is the time for everyone to either make it out on the slopes for another day or two or finally get on the slopes for the first time this season. Make sure to check out all of the upcoming events that are scheduled at resorts in the coming weeks at all of the resorts in the southeast region. Also coming up soon everyone will start seeing spring skiing pricing from the resorts, meaning costs will be coming down as spring approaches. But all of my favorite weather forecasters are saying get ready for a snowy March, let’s hope so.
That’s it for this week, just remember whether it be cold or whether it be hot, we’ll weather the weather, whatever the weather will be. Think about it! See you on the slopes.