On Saturday I had some fun posting the morning BLOG. I’ve always wondered how many of our regular readers (or any readers for that matter) are on here on some of the craziest and busiest days of the year. MLK Saturday and Sunday are unquestionably two of the busiest days of the season to be on the snow.
So I asked you guys to drop me an email just to say "Yep I’m reading" so that I would know that I wasn’t alone out here. You know "If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around…"
First, it was VERY COOL to see how many of you were indeed reading Saturday morning. It was even cooler that tons of you emailed…and cooler still to read some of the comments. I can’t share all of them this morning, but I’ll share a couple and also inform you guys that I think we might be onto something. If you have a question or something you’d like to see us write about, answer or cover…just drop me an email and I’ll do my best to get it on the site. Email your questions or comments to: [email protected]
If you don’t have a clue what I’m talking about, read Saturday’s BLOG <Click here to do so.
There were some great reader comments made on Saturday and most were the kind of ego-boosting, cool emails that I love to get every once in a while just to make us know that we’re keeping you guys stoked about the site, skiing, etc. However there were also a few that instructed me (a couple rather harshly) that I should not be using this website to talk politics, talk about God, and two questioned/complained about our kids going to school around here on MLK Monday.
Let’s cover those in order…
First, it isn’t talking politics to talk about Global Climate Disruption. Whether it is a fact of life or not, it DOES relate to the ski industry. Hence it is open for discussion. If you’re a reader of this website and don’t agree with my take, then click around on Google and you can easily find stories that will fulfil your need to hear that the sky is falling and we’re all doomed to "toast up" pretty soon.
What is amazing to me is the fact that these gloom and doom predictions began 20 years ago and BY NOW we’re all supposed to already be dead. Life is good, thank you very much and I don’t think it will change anytime soon, if ever. God isn’t going to allow us to go but so far. Which comes to the second complaint…that I/we shouldn’t talk about God. I am as tolerant as the best of the best when people want to talk about being an atheist, satanic worshiper, witch, or any other belief in bowing down to a piece of scrap metal, etc. However since I happen to believe that there is only one true God, then I’m probably going to incorporate that into conversation once in a while. Those who know me, know that I am not a Bible-toting, religeous zealot (although I have no problem with them either) however I’ve traveled around a bunch and I’ve only ran into a handful or so of people who don’t seem to feel the same as I do. That is who I am writing for and to.
So GOD WILLING, I’ll keep mentioning Him every once in a while. Personally I’m of the opinion that if we leave God out of our lives, then God leaves us out of His. I kind of like Him chilling with me in mine. So there. How about T-O-L-E-R-A-T-E me?
As for the last, touchy subject. The fact that our kids may be going to school on Monday.
I heard on the news the other day that groups were protesting the fact that Georgia and Charlotte schools were talking about going to school on Monday to make up for the recent days lost to the snow, etc. I thought to myself, "Man they don’t have a clue about missed days." Around here our school aged kids only went to school FIVE DAYS in December and they’ve only gone to school THREE DAYS in January thus far. I personally have a MAJOR ISSUE with the local county school boards around here and plan to take this issue up with them. We missed 27 days of school during the 2009-2010 school year.
THAT SAID, our kids go to school on Saturday’s around here (when it isn’t snowing) and we have to find days that they CAN go to school right now to make up for the SEVENTEEN DAYS that they’ve already missed this school year. The forecast for the week ahead includes FOUR DAYS that they’re probably going to miss again. So if they ARE NOT in school on Monday, when will they be? It is odd to me that we don’t hear of these complaints when kids are made to go to school on President’s Day Monday and EASTER GOOD FRIDAY.
I was talking with some friends at the Citgo in Foscoe the other morning. That’s the BEST place on the planet to get a great breakfast, breakfast biscuit, etc and while everyone there doesn’t know your name – they’ll treat you as though they do. Anyway, some of the life long residents were all complaining about the fact that our kids have been out of school nearly all winter to date. Some were sharing that the school system used to just say "Get to school, we can’t come get you today (no buses) so get to school."
I’m for that! Others shared that the more incredulous thing is that the school system offers a "SNOW DAY PROGRAM" where parents can drop their kids off for the school to babysit all day. There’s also an AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAM that is open for us to LEAVE our kids in until we’re ready to pick them up on snow days.
Does THIS make any sense to any of you? Will someone smarter than me tell me what I’m missing here?
They will babysit our kids if you want or HAVE to drop them off, but they can’t simply require parents to do that for ALL of our kids? What do school systems in Utah, Colorado, Montana or other high elevation communities do?
Email me your comments on this one: [email protected]
There’s no natural snowfall to report in the NC, TN, MD or VA ski communities for the last two days. However, it hasn’t yet QUIT snowing in portions of West Virginia! Canaan Valley’s Weather Person extraordinaire, David Lesher has reported another 1.5" of snow in the last 24 hours for the Canaan and Timberline resort areas. Meteorologist Brad Panovich told us that we’d see some continued northwest flow snows up that way. You know that they’ve only had FOUR days without measureable snowfall in the month of January! That’s 44.5" in January alone and 120.2" on the season.
Of course you should all know by now that the NC ski areas have gotten an inordinant amount of snow this season. Beech Mountain is holding steady at 104.3" of snow thus far.
Someone posted over on the messageboard on Saturday a reference to the fact that "If Beech was telling the truth" that they were reporting "8 feet of snow in the last 45 days". I can tell you that Beech is not telling the truth. No, it is ACTUALLY 8.5 FEET of snow in the last 45 days!
The same reader also hinted that Sugar was over-reporting their snowfall and "always does". Again my misinformed friend – that is NOT the case. I don’t understand some of the haters out there who like one resort and seemingly have to trash another one. Can’t we like more than one? I do. I know most do. As far as Sugar’s snowfall reporting – they have been nearly PERFECT about reporting snowfall this season. They’ve gotten 84.4" of natural snow this season and I can report that on only two days of this season have they reported a number different from what we’ve seen from the official snow measurers that live atop Sugar Mountain.
As far as we can tell, there’s only one resort in the entire Southeast and Mid Atlantic whose natural snowfall numbers of OFF this season and we’ve already documented that fact a couple of times. We’ll leave you guys to researching which resort that is. They’re among the coolest and nicest resort people around, but they’ve gotten a little "excited" about some of their numbers this season. I don’t think there’s a devious approach to it, however if they can’t get it straightened out, we may have to break out the old "Gunther Ruler" if we can still find it. Like I said we haven’t needed it at Sugar in about four years now.
The snowfall tallies that we post on the SNOW REPORT page are the official numbers posted by official NWS weather spotters or CoCoRaHs reporters at each location.
THE SOUTHEAST SKI INDUSTRY IS PERFECTLY "HEALTHY"
We inadvertently took the ski industry’s "temperature" this morning and found it to be a very normal 98.6°! There are 353 trails available in the Southeast of which only FIVE are not open. 348 divided by 353 equals 98.6. Cool huh?
Here’s the breakdown of how that all plays out by region:
North Carolina Ski Areas: 98.9% open with 87 of 88 trails available. Only "Way Out" at Wolf Ridge is closed.
Virginia Ski Areas: 96.6% open with 56 of 58 trails with only THE HOMESTEAD short two slopes of being fully open.
West Virginia Ski Areas: 98.8% open with 164 of 166 trails available. Snowshoe and Timberline each have ONE trail that isn’t open. At Snowshoe it is only the Sawmill Glade trail that isn’t open.
wISP AND OBER ARE 100% OPEN.
CALLING JOE STEVENS….
On more than a couple of occasions this season we have emailed and tried to call Winterplace about their snow report page. They report 27 of 27 trails open. We received emails earlier in the season requesting us to "MATCH their report" that shows 27 trails open, etc. We’ve called and left messages and emailed a couple of times, because several of our readers have also brought up the fact that Winterplace ACTUALLY SHOWS 28 TRAILS ON THEIR SNOW REPORT PAGE.
Some resorts in the area count terrain parks as slopes but Winterplace doesn’t even do that. If they did, they’d have TWO MORE trails open to make it 30. However, here is a copy/paste of the slopes NAMED ON THEIR SNOW REPORT PAGE. Please count them with us and inform us if we’re missing something.
Winterplace Resort Slopes:
1. Cascade Open
2. Compromise Open
3. Hickory Open
4. Last Chance Open
5. Last Run Open
6. Look at Me! Open
7. Meadows Open
8. Rendezvous Open
9. Rendezvous Too Open
10.Snow Bowl Open
12.Wood’s Run Open
14.Highland Run Open
16.No Problem Open
17.Over Easy Open
19.Ridge Runner Open
21.Almost Heaven Open
22.Drop Off Open
24.Nose Dive Open
25.Country Roads Open
27.Easy Street Open
28.Turkey Chute Open
Two terrain parks in addition to these.
SINCE IT IS ANOTHER MLK DAY AND I’M SEEMINGLY IN A RANT FRAME OF MIND…
The Homestead Resort has offered skiing on neary 50 acres since 1959 and doesn’t offer a snow report? Of course they are located on Sam Snead Highway so that probably says volumes. They have a an amazing and oppulent resort that offers snow tubing, snow mobiling, and ice skating as well as skiing. That is one impressive resort. We just need to get them on the snow reporting program.
READER COMMENTS TO SATURDAY’S BLOG:
Todd M. of Wolf Laurel wrote, "Good morning, Mike! We are with you! At home in Cramerton today, we still have a few inches of snow and ice in the shady spots. Looked at the WR webcam at the lower base and decided that was a good call to stay in town. Should hit 50 here with sun today, that will feel like summer! Heck, I might wash the salt covered car."
Don R. of Anderson, SC wrote, "…I have really enjoyed your weekly video blogs this season. Even though they are all good, the one that comes to mind is the December 3rd through the 7th. …I could not believe the difference in the four (snow) days that you showed at the barn. From the one to two inches early on to the four plus feet at the same spot up against the barn was something else. And the news never even reports on it down this way! It would just be one more to keep up, but have you ever considered a web cam at the barn? Of course, then we would all be in your business and that might not be good."
Scott wrote, "Yes Sir I’m reading this as I always do! What I haven’t heard about in awhile or maybe I missed it was the folks at the country store with the beans in the jar! I think they were the only ones who predicted the right weather….Thanks for a great web site I appreciate it very much!!"
(Scott, the beans have been FLYING out of that jar, but there were 31 beans placed in the jar (one for every day in August with fog). There have been 13 snowstorms this season to date:
October 5 trace
November 4-6 5.8"
December 1-2 2.2"
December 4-5 8.0"
December 5-7 11.2"
December 12-15 13.7"
December 19 0.1"
December 21 0.1"
December 23 0.1"
December 25-27 17.0"
January 5-6 2.0"
January 6-8 25.5"
January 10 5.0"
January 11 12.3"
EIGHTEEN MORE TO GO??? I hope so!
Hurricane Dave wrote, "I just read your article on Global Warming or whatever they call it now. It was entertaining to say the least. It also served as my reading material as I was doing what I usually do about this time of the day, if you know what I mean. Ha Ha ….sorry!"
Dave, I SUSPECTED that some of my reports were worthy of "wiping material". (Dave – No we’re not doing a fund raiser at the Summit this season, but I’d be interested in buying one of those sweet watches your rep!)
Terry T wrote, "I’m reading, as I do most everyday. I love your insights and opinions (facts). I’m a skier (although only in my head), but love the snow and mountains. Your website keeps me connected to high country. Keep up the good work!"
Betsy M wrote, "Been a long time visitor, but rarely post to the board….actually, I’m kinda proud that I’ve been a member since 2003, I think, and I’m only up to about 100 posts……..visit everyday, including today……will be on the snow tomorrow…thanks for all you do…..skibee85…..Beech Mountain Ski Patrol #85"
(…and I THOUGHT that I used the extra dots a lot!)
Jason wrote, "That was an amazing rant about global warming. Hilarious!"
(Several others just wrote, "Yep I’m reading"…which was cool.
Neil S wrote, "I like what you write about the local ski scene. I appreciate your efforts. I feel compelled to respond to your latest post about "Global Climate Disruption". I do not think I need to respond point by point. I believe others will do that. I want you to know that I feel it is wrong of you to use your ski column to preach politics or God for that matter. You asked at the end of your piece to let you know if we are reading. I am. Thanks."
Neil was pretty tame about his "wrist slapping me" for talking about politics and God. Here are the other three. (Yes, that’s all. Just four people who thought I was lame. By the way Neil, nobody did offer a point-by-point argument to the fact that the sky IS indeed falling.
Don W of Alabama wrote, "Mike, you’re an idiot."
I’m telling my mom…
Bill E of Charlotte wrote, "You’re so lame dude. You’re obviously ignorant because so many of the things you wrote simply have nothing to do with the real truth that we’re killing ourselves and the earth. If there was a god he wouldn’t allow that would he?"
Bill. Did you take your meds today? You DID inspire me to come up with another name for Global Warming though. You hinted that we’re "killing ourselves" so how about instead of Global Climate Disruption, we try out "Globacide"? I like that! I hope the heck I just made that up. I doubt it though. About "the God thing" though. You’re meant to capitalize His name and references to Him. He doesn’t appreciate it when we don’t do that.
Sarah D of Boone wrote, "Since you’re not a scientist what gives you the right to write about a subject you obviously know nothing about. What does this have to do with skiing? Stick to the subjects that you know. Oh wait, then you couldn’t write about anything. You’re so lame."
This BETTER NOT be the Sarah D of Boone who works for me! (Just kidding! I know it isn’t but I did do a double-take! Sarah, if only scientist could write about the subject of global disruption then there’d be nothing to read on the subject. Have you ever spoken with one of these guys? They have the people skills or communication skills of a gnat. What gives me the right? Ummm, I do. The constitution does. I could go on.
Speaking of the "temperature or HEALTH" of our audience. Of 304 emails that you guys sent me on Saturday, only four offered complaints. That’s another 98.6%. Man, we’re hot these days!
On Saturday I mentioned that I was going to run our stats package to see what kind of traffic we turned on one of these crazy busy "on snow days"…I suspected that when things are crazy crowded on the slopes that maybe there were fewer of you checking in on the website. Not so much. Yesterday’s numbers were:
20,558 unique visitors and 226,138 pages viewed. That’s off from our normal 35,000+/- visitors per day, but right about what any given Saturday audience is. January 1st (a Saturday) we have 21,763. January 8th we had 22,934.
However only .01% of you emailed me! Not sure what that means!
Enjoy your day!
If you ARE reading this…let me know. Just for the fun of it. Feel free to ask questions, make comments and share your thoughts. We won’t bite, and we’ll never share your email addresses with ANY 3rd party. Email me at: [email protected]