TAKE IT IN STRIDE – A Rave and RANT by Joe Stevens

Hello Everyone –

There’s that sound again. That sound we have heard on and off on many occasions so far this winter season. Everyone knows what I am referring to and that’s the money making sound of snow guns. I tell you what, getting this season started has been like kick starting a 747. It can be done; it’s just been really tough.

It’s time for all skiers and snowboarders to experience an out-of-the body experience; meaning that instead of thinking about all of the time you have missed sliding down your favorite slopes, think about those snowmakers sitting at home, just waiting for the temperatures to fall. You see while the majority of us have been craving cold temperatures from our work places, most snowmakers have been craving those same cold temperatures so that they can go BACK TO WORK. Now it’s time to get busy as it finally looks like winter may be with us in the southeast region for an extended period of time. For some reason, Ole’ Man Winter has decided to camp out around the Rockies up until now.

Everyone has been watching the weather morning, day and night and I haven’t been the exception. But I just don’t understand and probably will never be clear on this advance forecasting thing. I have been clicking on weather.com, intellicast.com, accuweather.com and the National Weather Service for the last month, and none of them have reported the upcoming cold snap. All of them have predicted daytime temperatures in the upper 30’s to low 40’s and overnight lows in the mid-to-upper 20’s. Now all of a sudden those temperatures have dropped 10 to 15 degrees across the board. Props go out to Herb Stevens, The Skiing Weatherman (who by the way will be coming from Wisp Resort next week) for saying that all of the reporting services were using the wrong forecasting model.***

Saying that is like saying that some of them are listening to Kathy Ireland while he is listening to Elle McPherson. What I am trying to say is why everyone (meteorologists) can’t use the same reference material. Just seems to me that would be simpler. Then if that was the case, it wouldn’t give folks like to me anything to write about when the situation is out of the ordinary.

Now that snowmaking conditions have returned may I remind everyone to pack those goggles as the well rested snowmakers are going to be making up for lost time. A number of resorts got the slopes back in shape last week. However some underdeveloped snow forced a minor setback over the weekend. But that is in the past and it’s time to blast those slopes. I don’t and I say again, I don’t want to hear any complaining about daytime snowmaking on open terrain or that snowguns are keeping people up at night because the machines are too loud. Tough, just get over it and deal with it. You see we have waited long enough this season and it’s time to have some fun.

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.

*** (Editor’s Note: Ray Russell of Boone and Meteorologist Marcus Lynch (who does our weather forecasts) were also among those who HAVE been reporting that this change was coming. See the archives.)

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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.