Hello Everyone –
Looking back at my first week of March column the last five years, there was a common theme, “Welcome To Spring Skiing”.
Traditionally the first week of March begins the final month of the winter season, classified by most in the industry as Spring Skiing. It is usually when temperatures become milder, the days are longer and the bases start to drop. Unless you have been under a rock lately, everyone knows that is not the case again this season, ditto to last season.
For the resorts from Tennessee to Maryland this season has been a snowy one and most importantly up until recently a very chilly one. Those chilly conditions meant excellent snowmaking conditions early on and all through January and much of February. What that means is that there is one heck of a base in those mountains. Conditions at all resorts don’t usually continue to improve this time of year but it would take a hurricane to make them worse. Shame on any skier, snowboarder or snowtuber who hasn’t made it to their favorite resort yet this season. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize just how good the conditions have been from north to south.
Just like last year, if your memory serves you, there is a lot snow on the slopes this time of the season. It’s traditionally a time when yours truly and Mike Doble, the site’s Managing Editor (Grand Pooh-Pa) are on the phone early in the morning talking about the slope bases and why the totals weren’t dropping. I really don’t know if that should be happening that much this season. We will just have to see what happens this week especially. Again if you haven’t noticed the temperatures for the most part through at least the middle of last week have been below freezing, keeping the snow from going anywhere. With that thought in mind, when things start going south, can you imagine how good the spring whitewater rafting conditions are going to be on the rivers in West Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina and Tennessee. Whitewater rafting company owners need to make sure ski resort managers are on their Christmas card list again this year.
Finally this week, I have busted on ski shops in years past for doing those so-called “End of the Season” sales in January, making everyone think the snow is gone just a few hours away for the shop. Well the shop in Charleston, West Virginia that I have told you about before (hey it’s where I live) Sport Mart is still telling everyone there’s no better time to have fun in the snow than right now and they have the equipment to make it happen at a reduced price. Now that’s the way it’s supposed to be.
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.
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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.