Bluebird BUSY Day at the Slopes on Saturday as conditions are awesome!

First Trax

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We had a BALL at the SkiNC Summit at Ski Beech on Saturday. More about that in a second.

The word of the day on Saturday from the emails and posts I’ve read was "BLUEBIRD". It was indeed a bluebird day with brilliant blue skies and lots of sun. Perhaps the word of the day could have also been "SUNSCREEN" as I saw a lot of red faces at the end of the day and some raccoon eyes from those wearing sunglasses.

If you’re headed out for more turns today, take some sunscreen as this will be another gorgeous day in the neighborhood…

Highs look to be in the mid to upper 30s for the West Virginia ski areas, to perhaps as warm as 50° or so at some of the mountain locations into Western North Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee.

Enjoy it as some light rain is in the forecast for Monday at most mountain locations. After that – SNOW reenters the forecast and some colder air. Meteorologist Brad Panovich has provided us with his Skier’s Forecast and we’ll get that posted for you later today, but from what I’m seeing the snow coming in this week doesn’t look like much more than perhaps some ambience snows throughout the week ahead.

The ski areas are ALL in awesome shape with lots of snow on the ground and pristine shape on the slopes. If you have a ski trip planned for the coming week, it will – AGAIN – be a great trip as this season’s great conditions continue, no matter where you plan heading.


Thanks to Eastcoaster for starting a summit Trip Report Thread on the messageboard. He and others have posted some images and comments. You can tell just how good a time was had by all from the fact that it’s early and we all need to reenergize a bit before we can clear the cobwebs and post up.

You can see what’s been posted so far at:

I and numerous others took lots of videos and photos and we’ll get those posted on the trip report thread later today and throughout the week ahead. For those of you who couldn’t make it, you missed a great day of fun and hanging out with friends. It’s always great meeting some the faces behind the names on the board. It was good to see the "old reliables" (too many to mention this morning) and the newer summit enthusiasts who have made the last few gatherings. I was impressed to meet skiatlanta who looked MUCH too young to have been on the messageboard since 2003. Turns out he was 16 when he began prowling the messageboard and now six years or so later we met up on Saturday.

That’s the cool thing about these Summits. You get to meet and hang with people who have won contests, won lifties, emailed you numerous times over the years and who have become fans of the website.

I’m always amazed to hear stories of how people have been visiting the site for years and only just decided to attend one of these things. I heard several of those on Saturday…always cool.

As far as we could tell there were 265+ people in attendance on Saturday. Rhyne Garris of Ski Beech’s ticket department told me later on Saturday that they had seen perhaps 300 SkiNC Coupons used on saturday. The problem with that is that there was obviously some minor abuse or liberties taken by a couple of "guests" who were not even messageboard members. Garris and Beech shrugged it off with a cool, "Hey, they’re on the mountain, having fun and it all contributes to a good day for us."

It was cool to see that of the 265+ Summit attendees nearly 200 of them were at least "recreational messageboard users"! We saw 60 or so first time posters who showed up for the discounted coupon, but that’s okay. Hopefully we helped to introduce a few newbies to Ski Beech and I’m certain we’ll get some new regular messageboard posters out of it.

Thanks to John and Ryan Costin, Talia Freeman, Rhyne Garris, Gil Adams and the whole crew at Beech for helping to make it all happen on Saturday. Not only were attendees treated to 50% off skiing or riding the mountain; we saw some LIVE ENTERTAINMENT, and there was some great items put up for the charity auction for Boarding for Breast Cancer.

We’ll get you guys a tally of how much was raised during the event later today or Monday but I can tell you that it was quite a lot. Billy Joe (our auctioneer) did a fine job keeping the flow going and I think the most impressive time during the auction was probably the kind of chaotic organization that ensued when we simply offered up all of our SkiNC tees and hoodies for as low as a $5 to $10 donation to B4BC. It was very cool to see everyone enjoying themselves and yet digging deep to purchase all of the items at auction. A few people even bought items, paid the cash and then as they were leaving gave them to some of the locals…showing that they were simply buying things to help the charity.

Some people got some GREAT deals on a couple of snowboards and two sets of skis as well! I picked up the $1200 Rossis for $500 only to have a young lady buy them from me for $300. Such is life at a charity fundraiser! She paid the B4BC peeps her $300 and I covered the leftover $200. Its all for a great cause and that sentiment was displayed several times during the event.

It was a late night for a lot of folks who hung around for the concert later in the evening and I ran into a few summit attendees at Puerto Nuevos in Banner Elk around 8pm or so. A LOT of SkiNCers were in the area!

The skiing was great although it was obvious that Beech had more groups booked on this Saturday than they had for the President’s Day weekend. That made things pretty tough on lift lines as the day went forward. We got in several early turns before the crazy crowds hit. After noon the lines grew to the point that it made hanging out and meeting new friends more fun than being on the mountain. It was still a great time, but we may opt for another scenario for a summit next season. I personally have never skied on a non-Holiday weekend that was busier. Maybe we can work it out to ride on a weekend without the additional groups. The way we’re growing the summit attendance maybe we’ll take over a mountain one day!

I was in my last long line of the day when I heard a kid next to me say, "What’s special about today with all these people here?" The kid next to him answered, "Man I heard that there’s something like 250 people here from the same city or something."

The "or something" was us!

It was a great day to be outside and in addition to all the attendees that I want to thank for coming – I want to thank Ski Beech’s staff for a great day on the mountain. Thanks too to Lisa Herring (and her fiancee Ben), Lauren Style, Andrea McIntyre and Chase Hendley of my staff for helping with all the auction goings on. Thanks to Carrigan and Madison!

I hope all who attended will do their best to hang with us again for the upcoming / Snowshoe Summit coming up March 5,6, and 7th! I heard a lot of people who made the decision to come join us while enjoying themselves on Saturday. Hopefully they’ll make it. I also heard from Blacky, Mellow and others who made the decision to make Snowshoe in two weeks. Hopefully we can do it up HUGE!  I hear that TeleDave will be with us at Snowshoe.

More about that beginning Monday and we’ll get you guys lots of photos and trip reports and some final numbers on the fund raiser as well.

We’re on day 83 and there are 54 more days of opportunities to enjoy the snow for the 2009-2010 ski and snowboarding season!

That’s it for today. Go enjoy the snow! Check out the Snow Report at  and please send us your favorite ski photos, ski videos, trip reports and comments to [email protected]

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