Hello Everyone –

Sometimes I have to wonder what is in someone’s mind when it comes to getting their friend or love one to participate in an action they really aren’t ready for. What I am about to describe isn’t anything that hasn’t been seen by any skier or snowboarder who has played on the slopes in the mid-Atlantic and southeast regions. How many times have you seen a skier and snowboarder on a trail that is much beyond their ability and come to find out they were there due to the urging of a sibling or friend. I use the term “urging” loosely as “pushing” or “shaming” may be more fitting.

This past weekend, the busiest weekend of the season, I was able to enjoy some of the best conditions of the season in the mountains of West Virginia. While making some turns, I noticed on more than one occasion, parents and friends urging both skiers and snowboarders to go over the hill. What I am describing is conversations like the following, “Don’t worry I am going to be with you all the way down, it will be easy” or “Don’t wimp out and go for it”. Then I watched the newbie fall flat and slide down the trail and one time into the trees. Luckily the young skier didn’t get injured. The moral to this story, don’t push so much my friends. If you want your friend or sibling to learn the correct way, get them a lesson from a professional. While they are learning the correct way to have fun on the slopes, you are doing your thing and not worrying about taking care of a beginner. At the end of the day or night, you will thank me for this advice.

Some comments I overheard from the lift this past weekend from skiers and snowboarders; “We just didn’t expect to see this much snow what we left Charlotte”, “Wow it’s really crowded today (President’s Weekend Saturday, go figure)”, “It just to cold to be outside today (he was in jeans and a sweatshirt)”, “Thank goodness it finally turned cold and starting snowing (now that person has a clue)”. It was fun to be making some turns over the weekend, it was even more fun to hear the above and even more comments from the skiers and snowboarders. If you like winter, this past weekend was perfect. Now if someone would just fix the cable on my plow I will be able to get out of my driveway.

I have mentioned the PUD (Pent Up Demand) factor recently and I think it was out there as people were honestly waiting for winter to arrive and are now taking advantage of the situation. Resorts throughout the region are reporting recently strong visit numbers and that’s great news for the industry. So go out and support your local resort you might never find the conditions as good as they are at this time.

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.

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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.