Hello Everyone –
They say patience is a virtue and I now totally agree. For one reason or another, I haven’t been able to make my first turns of the season until this past Saturday at Snowshoe Mountain in West Virginia.
By virtue of having to wait to get out on the slopes until the second week of January, I truly believe I got to experience some of, if not the best, conditions of the season.
After making a number of runs with Mike Doble, this site’s managing editor (how do you like that title, Mike) and his daughter Carrigan, I overheard someone talk about how cold it was and they were going in for the morning. I quickly took inventory and realized that, despite it being in the single digits, the blood was pumping like hot water going through a heating system. The non-stop runs from top to bottom kept me warm and toasty thank you. Gosh it was nice to be out there having some fun.
If anyone doesn’t think the conditions are great from Tennessee to Maryland in this region, they probably also don’t believe in Santa Claus either. Seriously, despite the fact year to date snow totals are a little down from last year (believe it or not), the constant cold temperatures have kept the natural snow from going anywhere throughout the mid-Atlantic region. My forced wait paid off with maybe the best first turns ever for this old snowboarder.
I know when the temperature starts to climb the next few days in the metro areas, people that just don’t understand, will start asking if there is still snow at the resorts. Now is the time for ski industry folks to make sure their websites are up to date, not only with current stats but with fresh pictures. Because if you don’t show them, they will quickly forget what’s going on now, especially as most just don’t understand. So update, update and update again, it will pay off for you.
Now for the down side of my first turns of the season. I know this is the land of the free and all that good stuff but the only butts that should be on the slopes are ones attached to skiers or snowboarders. That comment came straight off the lips of one Mike Doble. During our runs on Saturday I noticed cigarette butts on the snow, yuck! Not under the lift chairs, but on the slopes where people were gathering to start their run. If you have to smoke, fine, that’s your choice, but keep your butts off my snow. It is ugly and if you do it so are you!
That’s it for this week, 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.
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