IT’S WINTER….FINALLY – by Joe Stevens

Hello Everyone –

Glad to see that Ole Man Winter finally has decided to take up residence this side of the Mississippi River. Up until the second week of January I was wondering if he was ever going to make it out of the Denver area and drop some snow on the mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions. Various ski areas in the region have now received over two-feet of snow since his eventual arrival and as a bonus the temperatures for the most part have allowed for around the clock snowmaking.

All of this true winter weather has put smiles on the faces every skier and snowboarder along with all of the resort operators. The metamorphosis of the slope conditions has been amazing. It is a true testament to what the snowmakers in the region can do when given the correct conditions. If you are regular reader of this column you already know what I think of the snowmakers and groomers in this region. They are the best in the industry because they usually have the littlest (weather) or least to work with each and every season. But given the chance to shine, they know what to do and holly cow have they come through again.

Some resorts at the time of this writing are 100 percent open and the rest will be following suite very soon. From where some resorts were just a couple of weeks ago (suspended slope operations) to where everyone is today is incredible to say the least. Now more good news, the current winter weather pattern is going to remain with us for at least a few more weeks, meaning February is going to be great and spring skiing is setting up nicely. For anyone thinking they missed out before the conditions improved, they need to call their favorite resort’s snow report and then head to the slopes.

The weather has me in a really good mood and the only thing that can reserve that feeling is the first ski and snowboard shop ad proclaiming the end of the season is here. I know its coming, the ads that is, but I wish they would check the snow reports before putting the doom and gloom on a very challenging season. Why not advertise equipment tune ups or some light weight spring apparel. Anything and I mean anything but using the term “End of the Season”, as this is not even remotely close to the truth.

As we close out this week, it has become a custom for this week of the year to make my Super Bowl prediction. To rewind to last year I had the Pittsburgh Steelers defeating the Seattle Seahawks 23 – 13 with Antwaan Randle-El tossing a touchdown pass. I was in the neighborhood on the score and dead on with Randle-El taking a reverse and throwing the touchdown to Hines Ward. Now for this year, it’s Payton Manning’s time, end of story. He is not going to break Steve Young’s record of six touchdown passes, but he and Marvin Harrison are going to make the SEC and Big East Conferences very proud. I think the two of them are going to combine for three touchdowns and the Indianapolis Colts defeat the Chicago Bears 31 – 20, taking that monkey off the back of Manning once and for all.

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 whether the weather, whatever the weather will be. Think about it! See you on the slopes.

You can write to Joe at [email protected]

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Joe Stevens
Joe is well known around the southeastern ski circles. Stevens was Director of Communications at Snowshoe Mountain Resort for 16 seasons with another 15 years prior to that in Richmond, Virginia newsrooms. Joe serves on numerous boards and committees and currently is a spokesperson for the West Virginia ski areas.Joe has been a featured columnist on SkiSoutheast since 2005 and has written numerous articles for us, as well as for others promoting all of the southeastern ski resorts. Joe resides in Charleston, West Virginia, with his wife, Angie, and son, Christian. He is an avid snowboarder and marathon runner.