Did I Go to Sleep and miss December and January?

Hello Everyone –

If I didn’t know better I’d think I’d stepped into the future this past Saturday and found myself in late January or early February of 2009. You see I spent my first day on the snow this year at Snowshoe Mountain in West Virginia on Saturday and the conditions were like what you would expect later in a ski season, not during the first month. Don’t look now but if you haven’t heard, this is the best beginning of a season in a long, long time.

I was able to spend a few hours cruising with the editor of Skisoutheast.com, Mike Doble and three ladies in his life who make people want to be around him, his wife and two of his daughters. On one lift ride, Mike and I were placing our jaws back in place, commenting on the conditions when Carrigan, (Mike’s 14 year-old blessing) reminded both of us that “any snow is good snow.” True words spoken by a youngster that not enough of us so-called adults understand.

In the above paragraphs two very important points are being made that I would like to discuss at this time. Point one: what really is the true meaning of “best condition?” If someone is enjoying their day on the snow below them, is that not really “the best?” Think about that for a second; that two-feet of powder you played in five years ago, evaporated a long time ago with most of your 401k. Just be thankful you are on the snow having fun and not behind a desk somewhere. Point two: “any snow is good snow;” see point one.

This is not to diminish the work that has been done by all of the mountain operation staffs at all of the resorts in the southeast. I don’t know many of you that have ever pulled snowmaking hoses in the middle of the night, with the winds blowing about 20 mph and temperatures in the teens, but it’s not easy. Mother Nature has provided the region with lots of early season snow, and not if, but when the temperatures warm up a bit, it will be because of the early season efforts by the snowmakers that the conditions will still be good. This is straight from your favorite snowmakers’ cheerleader.

That’s it for this week, more to come as the season continues, 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.