Hello Everyone –

At this time every year, I am either ready to nominate and/or elect Punxsutawney Phil President of this great union or prepare him for a groundhog stew to be served during my Super Bowl party.  I think the stew idea really wouldn’t happen, but it really doesn’t matter as the rodent saw his shadow, meaning winter will continue or least return to the region.  I have always wondered just what type of President he might make. As I have read on this website and by checking various weather stations around the region, right after Phil returned to his hole, the region was blanketed with natural snow and more importantly cold temperatures.  If Phil holds up his promise, maybe the region will receive another 60 plus inches of snow, in the same manner it occurred last February and March.

I have been thinking about sending a sign to all of the resorts in the region for when the conditions are like they are right now.  In bold letters “NO COMPLAINTS ALLOWED AT THIS TIME, GO OUT AND HAVE FUN”.  But as we have mentioned before in this space there will be some out there who aren’t satisfied with what is available, but always wanting what sometimes can’t be delivered.  I still say at the end of the day, just how much snow is really needed under your skis or snowboard?  There is currently plenty of it everywhere, just go find it.  

We mentioned last week about shops having “End of the Season” sales and the shame of them for putting out such a negative message.  Well just this past Saturday I heard a radio ad for a store in Charleston, West Virginia announcing a February Ski Season sale.  Good for Sport Mart for hanging out that shingle which keeps everyone thinking that there is snow in those mountains just a few hours away.  Maybe someone is listening (or in this case reading), probably not though.

In the meantime, please riddle me this, while our friendly groundhog is safe for another winter, how can two and sometimes three resorts, within basically sight of each other report such differences in natural snowfall.  I will be the first to admit that measuring natural snowfall is not remotely close to an exact science, but if one resort says it has received over six feet of snow in the last three months and its neighbor is reporting nearly two more feet, something is just wrong.  It’s just another case of resorts giving the skiing and snowboarding public a chance to question everyone’s snow reporting.  It isn’t fair to the resorts, which are in the majority, who take the time to be as accurate and honest as possible. 

Finally let’s see how we did on our Super Bowl predictions, published in this space last week, Prediction: Steelers 23 Seahawks 13; Final Score: Steelers 21 Seahawks 10 (Self Grade B).  Prediction: First touchdown pass for Pittsburgh would be Antwaan Randle El tossing to Heath Miller; Reality: Randle El tosses TD pass to Hines Ward for Pittsburgh’s last touchdown (Self Grade B-).  Another year and for the 40th time I was able to watch the kickoff of a great American event.

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
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.