Day Five of Our Virtual Ski Trip

Today things got started easily enough. I was able to get the ski report and photo updates done quickly and was through at about 9:15am and met up with my brother-in-law to make some fast "adult turns" of the slopes. We headed over to Knot Bumber and fired down the mountain. Well, HE fired. I lost control no more than ten yards off the top and Knot Bumper is not forgiving when you mess up so soon from the start! I almost got control and lost it again and this time I slid to the next level. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t fall…but if I had, things would have been easier to get restarted. Nonetheless, we roared down the rest of that trail from top to bottom and got the legs warmed up fast! We skied right onto the lift (no lift lines at that time) and headed back up for yet another run; this time over on Widowmaker. The snow was really soft on this particular day, which prompts me to make a "sidebar" comment here.

When you’re on an extended ski trip, conditions often change from one day to the next…and sometimes even from morning to afternoon. If you have been following along on the ski trip with us this week, (if not, you can click on the bottom of this page and read the archives…beginning with December 27th updates), you’ll remember that Day One was cold and snowy with 3" of fresh new powder. Day two was COLDER with highs near 20° and there was tons of new manmade snow and packed powder conditions. Day three was sunny and quite warm during portions of the day, but because of the overnight lows, the snow stayed firm and once we peeled off some outer coats…the conditions were great. Day four was cloudy and almost perfect conditions with temps around 35° and the snow was really quite nice.

Day five was the warmest day thus far with temps that had to be in the upper 40s and a heavy fog that had things feeling somewhat misty. The snow was VERY soft in the morning and by midday had become heavy to make cuts in. So on a typical ski trip you may get an assortment of weather and surface conditions where you have to adjust you skiing or riding style to get the most enjoyment out of it.

Surface conditions were definately detiorating as the day wore on and many thin coverage areas began to surface in high traffic areas. No doubt that Snowshoe’s talented Mountain Ops will do some grooming magic overnight and the trails will be great again in the AM.

After a few turns we radioed up to the rooms and found that some of the rest of our group was ready to hit the slopes. Our particular group is made up of three families and one of the families slept in a bit. Another of the families has kids 14 & 12 and they headed to trails with a bit more difficulty to it…and I took my crew (girls ages 11, 11 and 4) over to the Northern Territory where the trails are challenging, yet easy to learn on. You’ll find skiers and boarders of all skill levels on this side of the mountain because beginners find it easy to learn on…while more experienced skier and riders can work on their carving form, etc.

We skied for about two hours and only one lengthy lift line. The longest wait was about 25 minutes, while the rest were closer to ten minutes, which is not bad considering that today was probably the most crowded day that we’ve experienced since being here this week.

We took a break around 1pm and lunched in our suites…and headed back out for more skiing at about 2pm or so. We skied until about 4pm and hit the rooms for showers and a bit of relaxing before making dinner arrangements.

As we’ve suggested before, a couple of us walked down to the Village Bistro at about 4:30 to get our name on a list, and we were told that our table would be ready at about 7pm. On ski trips that are taken during peak times like the Holidays, Martin Luther King weekend, and Presidents Day weekend, it is always best to be thinking ahead.

We walked over to the restaurant at about 7pm and were waiting with a lobby full of people…some of which were acting a bit disgruntled over hearing that there would be a wait of about an hour. We, on the other hand, waited for all of about one minute when our name was called, proving my theory works everytime.

The dinner was fantastic, the service matched and we were one satified group having dined at The Village Bistro. I can strongly recommend the crab cakes appetizer as well as the portabello mushroom for starters. Our group ordered the Bourbon Filet, and another in our party enjoyed the Jumbo Tiger Shrimp. They do offer a kids menu that has a little something to suit most kid’s tastebuds. The spaghetti was a popular choice for the children in our group. I have to say that I’ve eaten at most all of the restaurants on the mountain and The Village Bistro might have been the most enjoyable dining experience to date.

After a great meal, we walked some fifty yards across to Starbuck’s and ordered some great desserts and hot cocoas and lattes. Some twenty minutes later all of the eating and hot drinks had kicked in and done their relaxing magic. There’s something about skiing all day and enjoying a great meal that puts you into "sleep mode." Back home I can easily stay up late, catch Letterman and crash sometime afterwards. On these ski trips I am ready to go "lights out" at 9:30 or so.

It’s 10:00pm right now…on Day Five…and I’m signing off for the night.

The Village Bistro is one of the newest restaurants in the Village of Snowshoe.

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Mike Doble
Mike is the Editor and founder of, and 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.