Grooming the Nasty, Grooming the Gnar

9:30am Update:

About the time I clicked SEND to post the morning report (7:30am) and head out for First Tracks…it began to snow! We could not have asked for a better finale! The diehard 20 or so who showed up were rewarded with (as jeffry stated) "ankle deep powder". It was more like angle deep wet snow, but it snowed the entire morning. Snowshoe is expecting 4" or snow of snow and that was not expected to begin til later in the afternoon. However God shined down on us and we saw nothing but snow as we made numerous turns down the hill.

Ed Galford, Laura Parquette and Dave Huber of Snowshoe made it all possible and those who made it were treated to a completely GROOMED Camp 99 trail top to bottom. Widow Maker was pretty gnarly for certain.

All I can say is unbelievable. Those of you who couldn’t make the trip missed out on a gorgeous day Friday, really good skiing all day Saturday and a snowy Sunday AM.

Too cool….

More coming later…

Tearing up the Nasty 

Choose your poison. Choose your term. The urban definition of the word "Gnar" usually has a connotation of skiing or riding some gnar powder or gnar conditions. Some urban dictionaries define the word as "A shortened version of the word gnarly, meaning high on the scale of dangerousness and coolness. Often used among the skateboard and snowboard crowd such as, "That switch heelflip was gnar, dude."

Whatever your interpretation, I was talking with Nick Boggs who is the lead supervisor of Snowshoe’s Terrain parks and he was telling me that Snowshoe’s groomers would be doing their thing overnight and this morning in preparation for those who want to get out and tear up the slopes on Sunday morning. Communications guru, Laura Parquette – who HOPEFULLY at some point in the near future attains the deserved position of head of marketing at Snowshoe or some other lofty ski area – has Ed Galford and a host of other Snowshoe personel setting up the slopes for some First Tracks on behalf of some diehard skiers and snowboarders otherwise known as SkiSoutheasters.

The rains were already pretty nasty last night as some few dozen of the 130-155 or so messageboard members showed up and partied hardy at Hoots Bar & Grill. When I crashed late last night the winds were driving a rather steady rain into the windows of our condo. I woke up at 6am not because I wanted to, but because the wind was driving the rain against the window above my head so hard that it woke me.

It has calmed down a little as of 7:20am.

My thoughts immediately turned to the First Tracks that Snowshoe’s brass has setup for 30+/- people who were hoping to ENJOY some early turns before the ropes drop for the public. Usually this is a VERY COOL honor that Snowshoe’s management bestows upon us. This morning the weather threatens to be such that we might have been able to do first tracks at 10am because not many will be braving the kind of conditions that are outside right now.

I have a LOT to say on this subject, but I’ll have to keep things short for now as I gear up to head out into the elements this morning. I’ll elaborate later. But a very special hats off to Snowshoe’s oh-so-cool people for making this happen regardless of the conditions and regardless of whether I will be doing first tracks with Ed, Laura and a couple of ski patrollers by myself…or with a handful or few dozen rowdy diehards this morning.

I told a bunch of people that it was going to be N-A-S-T-Y out this morning and there WERE a few who looked at me with doubtful expressions as to whether or not they’d hit it with us…if things continued as the rain was pouring last night. Others vowed to tear it up regardless of what was going down this morning.

So with that – it is 7:14am and I have to post some snow reports…and head to Soaring Eagle.

See you in a couple of hours…

Drop me an email at [email protected]

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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.