Messageboard Crew Makes for a Great Ski Club

Google Dave McConnell and you’ll find a CEO of a company, a jazz singer with a Sinatra-like style and a few other influential figures. Ranked 31st according to Google is TeleDave, Dave McConnell – the unofficial leader of the SkiNC/SkiSoutheast messageboard crew. Google Gresham Barker (GreshamB from the board), Jasen Vioral (Mellow Yellow on the board), Mark McKelvy (Markhpnc on the board), Joe Harmon (Snowbird), MBlacky1051, Outdoor Wood, Mr Stinky, Gulf Boarder – and the list could go on…but Google most any of them and you’ll find their names ranked from number one to number 11 having their names linked with skiing in North Carolina – and as read about celebs on SkiNC.

We’ve even received emails from total strangers looking to ski in the mountains of the Southeast, who have mentioned that they had communicated with one of our messageboard regulars.  Joe Harmon, known by most as Snowbird, is the leader as far as posts are concerned with 2920 posts since joining the board April 11th of 2003.  TeleDave, Dave McConnell is second with 2594 posts and only trails Joe by 300 or so posts.  Joey Bowman, a youngster who happens to be dating my niece in Hudson, NC (goes by AfroBigFoot) is a close third. However there are 40+ members who post which such regularity that not only do I and many others who read the posts feel that we know them…we feel that we can’t go too many days without hearing from them.  Almost like friends and family that we need to make contact with regularly.  Truth is THEY ARE our family.  When MondayLady (see the messageboard) had health problems last season that kept her off the slopes, we all knew it!  Many responded with such sincerity that it was touching – I’m sure to her as well.

ExtremeSkier11, SkiAtlanta, Science, MSDog, ParisandDrewsDaddy, G8erHater, Shane_Riddell, Skiing Rules, WayneCash, Ga Tom, Outdoor Wood, GulfBoarder, cbKoontz and many others are such lovers of snow that many of them double as On-Snow reporters for us as well. 

When we ran the "Warren Miller" dream story the other day, I received a few emails about it.  A few of them mirrored the sentiment that David Noles did when he wrote, "I loved your story about Warren Miller! It was really funny how you fooled the heck out of your readers until the very end!  I thought you’d want to know though that I for one (and I’m sure many of your readers) have felt that SkiNC and your articles and daily writings have made a lot of your On-Snow people and especially the messageboard regulars celebrities of sorts – in much the same way that Warren Miller has done over the years with his films. Without Warren Miller we wouldn’t know the names of many of the free-spirits that he features in his films.  Well, we wouldn’t know who TeleDave, Gresham or those other guys and gals were if not for your medium. Keep it up and I’m sure that you’ll be thought of in kind of the same fashion, no matter the small pond that is Skinc."

Delana Evans wrote, “I loved the Warren Miller story and thought you’d get a kick out of the fact that I and my boyfriend actually appeared in one of his films about fifteen years ago! We are married and live in Charlotte now (hubby is an investment banker) and we have kept up with your website for a few years now and he and BOTH have made the comment that we think that YOU are a version of Warren Miller for this region. Without your stories mentioning the handful of regulars who ski and report, nobody would have heard of teledave or snowbird, at least within the local ski scene! Great job to Mike and his crew!”

Well I’m not egotistical enough to be offended by the "small pond" reference, or to take the references of equating me or SkiNC with Warren Miller too seriously, but the point is well taken.  These regulars are being read by thousands every day. Heck in many ways, Dave McConnell, et al are more celebrities than I am and I put in 4-5 hours (often many more) every single day of the season. Dave McConnell and many others have taken to meeting up at area ski resorts with an increasing frequency – Kind of a ski club that has taken a life of its own.  If you’ve been itching to ski with fellow ski lovers all you have to do is follow the messageboard.  Often one member will post something like, “Beech, Tuesday – Night Session” and then others will follow suit with “can or can’t make it” and the next thing you know we get an email full of images and comments.

The messageboard guys like Dave, Gresham and many others began meeting last season, and then they hosted the first ever SkiNC Summit which was attended by a handful or two of the messageboard members.  They skied, NOT in the pristine hills of Aspen or Alaska…but on the somewhat bare trails (at that time last season) of Hawksnest Ski Resort.  None of them seemed to mind it one bit.  All took pride in being a part of a START of something.  That “something” has become a meeting of friends at App, Cataloochee, and the other North Carolina ski areas.

Their meetings have created friendships and acquaintances that will grow as time passes. Instead of the free-spirited (mostly unemployed) skiers and snowboarders who ride in Miller’s films, our messageboard – free spirits – come in all sizes, ages and backgrounds.

Dave McConnell, the unelected, often appointed leader of the messageboard is a marketing and public relations guru for the electric utility company in Newport, TN.

SkiCop is – well – a cop! He serves as an investigator at the Oneonta Police Department in Oneonta, AL; ExtremeSkierII works at Zaxby’s in South Carolina; Jasen Vioral (Mellow Yellow on the board) works for Bank of America as a Compensation Consultant. TnKen, who just passed the 100 post mark (after the server crash) is a Bristol, Tennessee attorney. We have registered nurses, mechanical engineers, outdoor outfitters, firefighters and more.  The ONE WONDERFUL thing that we ALL have in common is a love of snow and the freedom to ride it as often as our budgets and time will allow!

Editor’s Note: Joe Harmon emailed us so that we could include HIS employment within the story.  Sorry for the exclusion Joe!  Joe Harmon, who goes by Snowbird on the messageboard, is an assistant manager with TARGET in High Point, NC. Joe is rightfully proud of the second largest retailer in the country. Joe invites anyone to stop by and see him if you’re in the area.

If you think that we are making “much ado about nothing” and that I am writing this story as needed filler for a slow news day – not so. Note the fact that these guys have organized a “SkiNC Does Utah Summit” that will go down January 28th through February 4th.  They will be skiing Alta, Snowbird, Powder Mountain, Solitude, Snowbasin and The Canyons.  “They” are at least (18) messageboard members who have already created THEIR OWN T-Shirts, Stickers, and even other things like the “Snowbird’s Thong” which we HOPE never gets ordered! These guys met on the messageboard and meet with increasing frequency to ski and ride…and make some new friends.  The SkiNC does Utah Summit will go down and you can read more about it on the messageboard.

They also have a second annual SkiNC North Carolina Summit.  After numerous posts, messageboard ski club prez, Dave McConnell suggested that a firm date be “voted on” and it looks like the summit will happen, Saturday, February 25th at Ski Beech and the NEXT DAY at Cataloochee.

Anyone is invited to attend, meet up and ski (and partake of your favorite beverage) with friends. The best bet is to get on the messageboard, and read…and post…and meet.  It is JUST THAT easy!

Over the last couple of years we have seen the messageboard kind of take a life of its own and ALL of the credit would have to go to YOU GUYS who stay camped on it, and visit it with amazing regularity.  Even with the server crash that took place in December, we are still seeing more than 1100 register members (we get a lot of GUEST visitors as well) which is substantially more users than any of the boards around the region. So if you are looking for information and a little entertainment…visit the messageboard.  It’s definitely a cool little community. Warning – if you don’t have a lot of time to spend…you might want to stay away – it’s pretty addictive!

The shot here is one from this weekend at Cataloochee! Pictured left to right were: SkiMastercraft, Mellow Yellow, Outdoor Wood, Teledave, and Mr Stinky.

Check out the Photos of the Day feature on SkiNC for many more images and comments from this weekend’s gathering!

Until Next Time!

Be sure to check out www.SkiSoutheast.com for more news and stories for all of the Southeast’s ski areas.

Be sure to email photos, snow reports and comments to: [email protected]