The First Annual SNOWIES by Joe Stevens

Hello Everyone –

I have now experienced my first season away from a mountain full-time.  I have to admit it is a little different experiencing fun on the slopes while standing in lift lines and dodging skiers and snowboarders on terrain that is beyond their ability.  When you have an office close to the slopes, it’s easy to pick and choose your times on when to hit the slopes.

This is my last column of the year and to cap off the season, I have come up with Joe’s first annual “SNOWY” awards or “SNOWIES” whichever suits you the best.  The committee (just me) picked out ten categories and spent tons of time tabulating the results (at least ten minutes).  So without anymore (thank goodness) fanfare, here are the 2005/2006 season “SNOWIES”.  

1.       Most Indecisive – The winner is Mother Nature.  Just when you think winter had arrived, spring popped up and just when you thought warm temperatures were here to stay, a snow storm occurred. Go figure.

2.       Most Valuable – Southeast Region Snowmakers and Groomers.  They make it happen.  Without them there would be no skiing and riding in the southeast.  Need we say more, I don’t think so?

3.       Unsung Hero – See number two!

4.       Most Overrated – Southeast Region Snow Report Trail Counts. There are more trails shorter than a city block at all of the resorts.

5.       Go For It – Cataloochee, Maggie Valley , North Carolina . The Tar Heel Ski Resort was the first to open, providing the first fun of the season for skiers and snowboarders.

6.       Fighting To The Bitter End – Wisp, Snowshoe and Timberline.  The northern most Southeast Resorts are staying open until April 2 (none of the three shut down after opening for the season either in November or December).

7.       Most Patience – Southeast Region Ski Patrollers.  Probably more than any other region of the country, this group has to deal with skiers and snowboarders that just don’t understand playing within ones ability.

8.      Going The Extra Mile – Any Instructor in an Adaptive Program.  They put more smiles on faces then you can ever imagine.

9.       Cy Young (Best Pitch) – Virginia Ski Areas Association – “Drive Less, Ski More”.

10.   Stepping Up To The Plate – Wisp Resort – The Western Maryland Resort dumped $9 million in capital improvements for this past season, far and away the most in the region.

That’s it folks for the 2005/2006 it’s been fun riding with you.

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 next season!

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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.