Snowshoe’s Opening Day Wednesday as reported by Rob Story

The first snow has fallen…the snowmakers have been running…the cold air is finally here…ski season 2007-08 has begun!

Welcome to all of you who are reading this, and I hope you are as excited for the upcoming season as I am. I plan on bringing you reports from all over the southeast this season, and I will do my best to be completely upfront and honest about the conditions and experiences I have on the slopes in order to give all of you the best information to prepare for your skiing trips.

I made my way up to Snowshoe for my first ski day of the season, and it turned out to be a great one. My usual Snowshoe-trip ritual is to crawl my way out of bed at 4:30 am, get some caffeine in my system, and hit the road by 5:15. This puts me at the top of the mountain by around 8-8:30, just in time to get my ticket and make it outside for the ropes to drop. Wednesday was a beautiful day weather-wise, even though the temps reached 60 by mid-day. When the ropes dropped there were around 25 people waiting to head down the slopes, most of them locals and staff who were ready to make their first turns of the season; there was even someone in a turkey suit, promptly being chased down the slopes by two others dressed as silverware! The mood was definitely festive, and everyone seemed very excited to be back on skis or a board for the start of the season.

Given that the temps the previous two days had been in the 60’s, I was really worried about what I was going to find regarding snow conditions when I got there. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find nice groomed conditions in the morning that turned into loose granular (e.g. mashed potatoes) by the end of the day. However, there were no large dirt spots or anything along those lines to contend with; the snowmaking and grooming crew did an excellent job building up a large base and keeping it maintained for opening day. There was plenty of side-to-side coverage and no worried about dirt in my bases or crowding because of the sides slowly creeping in. It got busier as the day progressed, but the crowds were never an issue, and the longest I waited in the lift line was about 30-45 seconds.

The resort reported 6 trails open, but in reality there were two ways down the mountain- an easy way, and a steeper way. It was nice to have some more challenging terrain open for the first day, rather than just bunny slopes that would grow old after an hour or two at most. They also had a number of park elements open for the jibbers, including a few different rails, a box, and a spine. The park stayed busy all day, including a couple of amateur film crews that were recording their first day out for the season. By the middle of the day an industrious crew had also built a small kicker off to the side of the one of the trails, and people were lining up to take their shot at throwing a trick down in front of the crowd. I saw some nice old school tricks landed, as well as some nice airs and 360’s.

<That’s Rob making some first tracks!

All-in-all I had a really great time at Snowshoe for my opening day. Granted, the weather could have been colder, the snow could have been firmer, etc. etc., but in the southeast you learn to take what you get, and what I got was a really fun day on the snow and the opportunity to feel the edges carving under my feet again. Everyone there seemed to be having a great time, and I was pleasantly surprised by the good conditions in the face of warm weather. The season has only just begun, and here’s hoping for a great one!

You can see ENLARGED, full sized shots of the images in this story (plus more) by clicking here.

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