Hi guys and gals! I have had a whirlwind of a few days lately. First I want to say what a GREAT time I, my family, crew and the 150+/- friends had at Snowshoe Mountain this past weekend! A few days prior to the trip I have to admit that we were all keeping our game faces on about the weather; but as late as Thursday things were looking rainy as heck with most forecasters predicting rain, rain and more rain. Laura Parquette had updated us last Thursday, March 3rd with some insight that their mountain team sends her weather forecasts that are based with on-the-mountain influences and that they were predicting a nice day Friday, March 4th and that the rain would hold off til late on Saturday AND that there was a forecast for perhaps two inches of snow on Sunday.
Even the most positive of souls had to have looked at that post that was displayed on the messageboard with a bit of skepticism. I’ll admit it NOW that I did as well. Their forecast was on-the-money and I have to tell you that we could not have had a better time and turnout for the 4th Annual SkiSoutheast.com Summit at Snowshoe Mountain. In the face of this crazy-stupid economy, gas prices that were hovering around $3.50 a gallon, and weather that looked more suited for TeleDave’s recent kayaking adventures than for skiing and snowboarding – we had a crazy great turnout and an equally crazy-great time.
Friday we had a blast making turn after turn on the mountain with sunny, blue skies. There were some thinning slopes that I figured would be closing within a day or two…but coverage nonetheless. Most slopes and trails were covered with deep, heavy snow that definately works the heck out of your legs and hammies.
Saturday morning we did the breakfast buffet at The Junction and I only saw a few handfuls of people that we knew to be skiSoutheasters. However when we did the Saturday morning meet and greet at the top of Ballhooter, we saw the largest Saturday morning crowd ever! We had perhaps 40+ people meet up and then hit the mountain. I took a ton of video and even though it was a foggy day, we took a bunch of vids and I will share those with Kenny G pretty quickly and get those posted. Even though it was a misty fog at times I could not resist hanging out on the mountain as the conditions were better than Friday’s with perfectly groomed trails all over the mountain. By midday the lines at the bottom of Ballhooter got a little busy, though still only 5-10 minutes. We headed over to more perfectly groomed slopes on the Western side of the mountain and Shays Revenge and Cupp Run. That side of the mountain was comparatively clear with no mist and – again – perfectly groomed conditions. Around 2:30pm or so it became that same, heavy snow that traffic creates on these milder days. It DID get colder as the day progressed but the rains did come in – in force!
While I turned in I DID hear from several people, including JefferyC, that several members rode the slopes til 5:30pm or so…in the rain…over at Silver Creek. It poured rain, accompanied by brisk and gusty wind that made for a tough time travelling. The crowd that showed up for the Apres Ski Party was certainly a bit smaller than some summits, but it was a great crowd and we had a blast. I don’t have anything official, but I’d say we had 40-50 people come and hang out and socialize. I was definately enthused by the number of first-timers and new messageboard members that we had show up. Very cool.
Saturday night was a blur and we left Hoots at around 9:30pm and we heard that several people kept the party going and some took it over to the Big Top and Bull riding. Our crew did that Friday night!
It rained like nobody’s business Saturday night as it woke me up several times during the night with wave after wave of heavy rain hitting the windows of our condo in the village. I got up around 6am Sunday to post some content and even referenced that those that showed up for First Tracks would be "carving the nasty" – a reference to what I figured would be rainy, wet snow with lots of bare spots. About the time I posted that update I headed out to meet up with what I figured would be a handful of people. As I headed out, it began to snow…hard. By the time we got over to Soaring Eagle it was really coming down and by the time Ed Galford, Laura Parquette and Dave Huber of Snowshoe showed up (8:15am or so) we already had some good, carvable snow on top of the groomed conditions that Snowshoe had worked on the slopes on that side of the mountain. Camp 99 was AWESOME and SO WAS the fact that we had perhaps 15-20 skiers on the mountain.
I hit it several times before and after first tracks ended and then headed to the mountains of North Carolina and home.
In closing – it was an AWESOME trip. I lost count of the number of people who came up to me and told me that this was their favorite ski trip – ever! For those that missed the trip, couldn’t or didn’t make it because of the weather…learn a lesson from the 150 or so who did. We made about as many turns on GOOD-TO-GREAT snow as you’d want to make; we had a blast on and off the slopes…and the weather was never really an issue except getting to and from your lodging to the parties Saturday night.
It was really – REALLY a blast and I want to express my thanks to Snowshoe for making us SUCH a great deal, and to those of you who spent your hard earned monies and your time to come and hang out with us. You guys are THE BOMB. Matt – sorry I didn’t see you much on the mountain, but as some others said…maybe it’s time for a new dog to lead this rowdy pack. We all love David (TeleDave) but maybe it’s time to say it’s time for a new king.
"King Matt" or "King Balky". Hmmmm…it doesn’t have the ring of King David, but if the crown fits as they say…
Regardless…great time everyone and thanks again.
Feel free to email me ar [email protected]