A Smorgasbord of Comments and Subjects Covered. Stay Tuned while I Ramble!

I had my morning story ALL ready to post when I was just PMd by a woman whose story I hope to be able to share with all of our readers. I am working on getting the clearance from her to share her entire story, however I just HAVE to provide this bit of a tease of a story by sharing an amazing tale of an undying love of all things snow.

Some of you who attended the Snowshoe SkiSoutheast Summit in March of last year will remember that we were drawing names out of a hat and giving away some swag and one of those who came up to the front was a woman who upon accepting her prize stating unexpectedly "Ya’ll might have heard or seen the helicopter come in today. Well my son had an accident and broke his femur and he’s in the hospital."

That took us all by surprise as you never want to hear (or promote) that people get hurt skiing and snowboarding…and sometimes badly hurt or worse. Her son fully recovered from the accident and hopes to attend this year’s event which will be at Snowshoe on March 4, 5, 6th.

Her story grows amazingly from there. In April of 2010, during the time that her son was only a month into his recovering from his injury, she was involved in an automobile accident and broke her leg. Complications arose until in August her leg was amputated. I don’t know about you but that would knock me flat – mentally, emotionally and certainly physically as I always loved to run, ski, bike, etc.

Since last year I’ve personally moaned and groaned about having some simple knee surgery and then a second injury that has me not as mobile as I’d like to be. I’m a BABY compared to this inspirational woman because she just PM’d me saying, "But, I will not let that stop me and actually will be back on the snow next week at Beech (Mountain) for adaptive ski lessons. Life goes on and we do find strength to continue to do what we love. Hope to see you in March (at the Snowshoe Summit)."

Not THAT my friends and fellow snow lovers is special. I hope to bring you more soon!

MORE SNOW…MAYBE EVEN MID NEXT WEEK!

Meteorologist Brad Panovich has posted his latest Skier’s Forecast Video and within it he mentioned that skier’s and snowboarders have to be lovin’ all this snow that we’ve been bombed with since January 1st. He also mentioned that it’s been tough getting to the ski areas to enjoy it.

True dat in some cases.

Tommy Miller, a longtime member of the website’s messageboard is up at Snowshoe Mountain and mentioned some difficulties getting there. He was staying at the Inn at Snowshoe which is at the bottom of the mountain and he mentioned that several people were coming in late on Wednesday evening stating that they were having issues getting to the top of the mountain. Of course some of those attempting to drive up the steep switchbacks to the ski resort were attempting to do so in MINI-VANS! Good grief. Let’s see – 18" or so of snow in the previous 24 hours or so and they’re trying to make it in a minivan?

Like all of our ski area communities, Snowshoe does a fabulous job keeping the roads clear and they had things passable by this morning…even as MORE SNOW bombs the entire Southeast and Mid Atlantic ski area communities.

Brad’s forecast late last night called for YET ANOTHER 4-6" of snow for the NC Mountains and perhaps 10" or so MORE snow at Snowshoe from now to 10am Friday.

Just HOW MUCH SNOW HAS BEEN FALLING LATELY???

We’ve had so much snow falling that unless you’re one of the CoCoRaHs or official weather station people you’d really have no clue. I was watching "The American" (movie) last night and there are some scenes of deep snow in Sweden that had NOTHING on what we’re seeing right here in Western North Carolina and that can be dittoed across the entire mountain ranges of the region.

The West Virginia Ski Areas have seen as much as 40" of snow since January 1st as 15.6" of snow has fallen in the last 48 hours around Canaan Valley. These last two days of snow takes them to the 115.7" mark in natural snowfall on the season.

Snowshoe Mountain started a "This is Snow Country" marketing theme prior to this season and with 18" of snow in the last 36 hours and 3-5" more on the way today, it is INDEED snow country. Snowshoe has now seen a "that’s-more-like-it" 94" of snow on the season.

While we’re on Snowshoe, Ed Schneider of Snowshoe’s Media team is usually BEHIND the camera taking some awesome vidoes of the Pocahontas County ski resort. However on Wednesday he took in some of the amazing powder conditions at Snowshoe in what he called "The best day of the season."

Can’t argue with him on that one! Check out that and other videos over on our SkiSoutheast Video page: http://www.skisoutheast.com/videos/  

I mentioned that some of the West Virginia ski resorts hit the 40" mark for January snowfall as of this morning. Surprisingly, Beech Mountain Resort in North Carolina has now seen 39.4" in the last 12 days (since January 1st) and 103.3" on the season. That is already 23" or nearly TWO FEET ABOVE AVERAGE FOR THE ENTIRE YEAR and we still have a couple of months of season left!

Check out Brad Panovich’s Ski Resort Weather Forecast Video at:
http://www.skisoutheast.com/weather.htm  

BIG WEEKEND AHEAD. BIG IN SKIER VISITS. BIG IN SNOW. BIG REVENUE GENERATING WEEKEND FOR RESORTS AND AREA BUSINESSES!

There’s a longtime ski industry joke that says, "How do you make a small fortune with a ski area?"

The answer? "Start with a large one."

The reason I bring that up is that I received several emails yesterday from people making the comment that our ski areas were "rolling in money" this season due to all the snow, etc, etc.

Welllll… not exactly. At least not definately. Things have been GREAT and very solid over the last few years and there’s no question that nearly all of the ski resorts of the Southeast and Mid Atlantic have done well financially during that time. However as we’ve mentioned before, timing is everything and while things have been very good thus far this season for most all of the resorts – we HAVE heard indications that groups sales have been down at this or that resort. We’ve witnessed days such as last Saturday and Sunday wherein we had so much snow OFF THE MOUNTAIN that even though things were crowded here in the mountains – they were not as crowded as a typical weekend. I personally witnessed two ski area parking lots that were only about one-half full on Saturday and Sunday whereas normally they would be nearing overflow.

Of course all ski area parking lots WILL be at overflow this weekend, so all is well! So I’m certain that traffic AND business is great at your favorite ski resort however just be aware that all isn’t what it seems at times.

MESSAGEBOARD MEMBERSHIP UP…

We’ve been tweaking things a little on the messageboard over the last 24 hours and you may have noticed the membership numbers going UP and DOWN. We cleaned out a lot of members who had signed up in the last two years and never posted. Some was SPAM and some not. We deleted a lot of accounts that had not posted up in a couple of years and that had invalid email addresses attached to it.

We’re pretty psyched that after all the cleaning that we have 1273 active members. We can’t help ourselves and look around at some regional ski boards that boast far more active members than we do – yet they rarely have more than three or four members and perhaps 20 guests logged in and viewing, posting etc. One such board boast 60,000 POSTS in the years they’ve ran the forum.

The SkiSoutheast.com messageboard has seen more than 229,899 posts on 12,687 or so threads and at any given time that you might visit the forum you’ll find anywhere from 100-200 like minded people logged and sharing their thoughts and experiences.

We emailed all of our members on Wednesday and one of the cool results of cleaning up the member list was hearing from members who had not logged on in some time and also from dozens who told us that they were on the site every single day READING and VIEWING even though they were not logged in. We’ve always wondered how many of the "guests" viewing were legit viewers or SPAMMERS. Thanks to you guys we now know there are tons of people viewing the site every day who are interested enough to visit the forum and look at the Trip Reports and more…even when they’re not logging in. We’ve narrowed our active membership down to 1273 and we think that all but perhaps a hundred of those are logging in on occasion, year round.

We’ve seen membership grow in the last month with as many as 50 new members, many of which have become active.

We encourage new or regular visitors to hop over and join the messageboard! The only thing better than skiing is FREE skiing. The only thing better than THAT is skiing with friends and as a messageboard member we’ll bet you’ll meet some new friends and more than likely get to take advantage of some free skiing on occasion.

That’s enough for today…

Just saying…

See you on the slopes. Feel free to email me directly at [email protected]

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Mike Doble
Mike is the Editor and founder of SkiSoutheast.com, SkiNC.com and ResortCams.com. Since September 1996 he has posted more than 13,000 posts, articles, photos and videos promoting all of the ski areas of North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland.Mike is the father of four daughters, is an avid skier and enjoys golf, tennis, kayaking and hiking in the mountains. Winter snowsports and Summer boating on Watauga Lake are among his favorite pastimes.