Hello Everyone –.
This is my last column of the year and to cap off what some are considering the craziest season in terms of weather and conditions across the region in recent memory, I have come up with Joe’s seventh annual (have I been writing this column that long) “SNOWY” awards or “SNOWIES” whichever suits you the best.
The committee (as is always the case, consisting of me, myself and I) picked out ten categories and spent hours upon hours tabulating the results (believe that and I have a perfect basketball bracket for you). So without anymore (thank goodness) fanfare, here are the 2011/2012 season “SNOWIES”.
1. Most Indecisive – Mother Nature – every time we thought she had finally given us winter, she turned up the heat on the region.
2. Most Valuable – Southeast Skiers and Snowboarders – For having faith that all of the region’s resorts would take advantage of every single second of snowmaking temperatures and cover the slopes to the best of their ability. .
3. Unsung Hero – The Public Relations folks at the resorts, who had to do their best to convince lowlanders that there WAS snow in the mountains, when the temperatures were spring-like in January and February.
4. Most Overrated – Repeat winner in this category. Advanced weather forecasts, such as five and ten day forecasts. Unfortunately too many people give too much weight to those future forecasts and make incorrect plans accordingly. This more than anything drives resort operators nuts.
5. Go For It – For the resorts that were willing to continue to make snow way past the time when they normally pull the plug on that operation.
6. Fighting To The Bitter End – Timberline Resort in West Virginia for giving everyone one more weekend, March 23, 24 and 25.
7. Most Patience – A three-time winner this year, the region’s instructors, who understand it is okay to make mistakes in order to learn it right the first time. .
8. Going The Extra Mile – To the lift attendants that understand that not everyone knows how to ride a lift and go out of their way of making sure their experience is a safe one.
9. Cy Young (Best Pitch) – To the folks who have started the Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month national campaign. New blood in the sport means future skiers and snowboarders.
10. Stepping Up To The Plate and Hitting It Out Of The Park – The region’s snowmakers for making enough snow that conditions were great, even though most didn’t in the lowlands cared to believe it.
That’s it folks for the 2011/2012 season – it’s been fun riding with you again this year. Just remember to always be patient as whether it be cold or whether it be hot, we’ll weather the weather, whatever the weather will be. Think about it! Time to get everything tuned for the 2012/2013 season.
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Joe Stevens, a member of the southeast ski industry since 1990 is a regular columnist for skisoutheast.com and serves as the Communications Director for the West Virginia Ski Areas Association.