Hello Everyone –
I got to make my first turns of 2009 this past Saturday at Snowshoe Mountain in West Virginia and as I have always said – a not so good day on the slopes beats any good day in the office. I had made plans earlier in the week to join an Intrawest official, Jim Haas (he heads up the company’s Madrid, Spain operation) for some turns. For history purposes, Jim and I have shared time on the slopes for almost 20 years but it has been about five since we have gotten in each other’s way (he skis and I snowboard).
When the decision was made to play on Saturday the weather forecast called for partly cloudy skies and temperatures in the 30’s. The day before we knew there was a good chance of “underdeveloped snow” but refer back to sentence one for the final decision. The year’s first turns reminded me why the sport is so much fun, point your board down the hill and let gravity be your friend. The crowds were light for a Saturday and Jim and I attributed that fact to people seeing the clouds and not wanting to take the plunge; shame on them as the conditions were awesome.
Then came the eye opening lift ride that just had my head twisting like Linda Blair in the Exorcist. The lift lines were starting to fill up so Jim and I moved to the singles line to speed up the return to the slopes process. On one ride up I overheard a conversation between the other three occupants indicating that their friend wasn’t going to ski that day because she was worried about the road conditions on Sunday. Give me a break, why waste a perfectly good morning on the slopes worrying about the road conditions a full 24 hours away. I’m sorry but that may be the lamest excuse for not making turns I might have ever heard. There is nothing she or anyone could do about the next day conditions so why in the world worry about it when the skiing was awesome. By the way, I traveled on Sunday and the road conditions, despite flurries, were just fine. Oh what a waste.
The moral to this story is whenever, and I mean whenever, you get a chance to make some turns with friends or by yourself, do it and worry about the next day, the next day. These type of seasons don’t come along very often and to miss any day, without true justification, is a crime. Not a crime to go to jail for, but a crime to the snow gods that are giving us plenty of natural snow and cold temperatures to cover the slopes this year.
That’s it for this week, more to come as winter is here. 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.