Despite Some Opinions Out There, The 2023-2024 Ski & Snowboarding Season is Looking Quite Good.

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Call this post a ramble, call it a rant. Call it a mixture.

So my SkiMail inbox has been pretty busy over the last 2-3 weeks from people sharing (in varying degrees) about how sad it is that “Climate Change” is slowly killing the ski industry across the United States, the world and more so, here in the Southeast and mid-Atlantic.

A few wrote me about “how sad this season is looking”.

I think some people just love to be miserable or negative or share nothing but gloom and doom when it comes to how those of us walking upright are killing the environment for every other living creature on earth. Of course, we are killing the earth as well. (Insert sarcasm.)

I have no intention of making this a political piece debating the issue of Global Warming or Climate Change. The data kind of shows that things are heating up a bit. However, it became a popular thing to complain about back in the 1990s when politicians began to monetize and politicize the issue. A number of politicians promised scorched earth by the year 2000. A former VP claimed that by 2014 the Arctic Sea Ice would be completely gone. Others have since claimed he didn’t say that, but it is on film.

Over the last decade or so, Global Warming became Climate Change as that was an easier pill to swallow for many AND it also allowed those who had predicted that we’d be enjoying Bahama-like weather in New York – year round – to kind sheepishly fade into the next round of false claims.

I read a University of Vermont study that claimed that by 2080 the Vermont ski season would be shortened by one month. I won’t be around in 2080, but I’d like to place a wager with a Vegas bookie on behalf of my children and grandchildren – RIGHT NOW – that won’t happen.

The real problem is that what many governmental agencies call “research” is not research at all. It is OPINION. Regardless, everyone pinballs around claiming the sky is falling and for some reason the same people who don’t trust ANYTHING the government says about ANYTHING, will take their word that we’re all going to burn up.

I read another so-called study (another opinion) that the International Ski Federation has called for emissions to be cut worldwide, while activists are hammering THEM that ski areas are damaging the environment through the heavy use of…you guessed…snowmaking!

It is MY opinion, that we will see cycles of colder and snowier years ahead and that the ski industry and all that goes with it will survive quite well. Heck THIS season is really JUST underway and most of the West Virginia ski resorts are AHEAD of their annual pace of natural snowfall. Timberline, Snowshoe and Canaan Valley are all approaching FOUR TO FIVE FEET of snowfall this season and we still have the snowier and colder months of January, February and March ahead.

Here’s an opinion…

If you really think that we are killing the planet and heating it up at alarming rates and want to see emissions cut way down, shut down air travel.

I’d bet you my next year’s paycheck if activists starting harping on air travel, that some governmental studies will appear showing that reducing air travel will have no bearing on emissions or the greenhouse effect. However, I have also read that ONE SINGLE flight blasts more total carbon impact than a gasoline vehicle emits for and entire year. You think we will ever see battery operated airliners? I don’t think so.

While I am ranting/rambling…here’s a so-called piece of fact. Before I share it, let me say that THIS is not MY opinion, but it written by an outfit called the “Migration Policy Institute”. If it is on the internet, it HAS to be as true as all the BS about how we are killing our planet, right?

In a November 2023 piece, the MPI claimed:

“U.S. Immigrants produce an estimated 637 million metric tons of CO2 emissions annually. That is 482 million tons MORE than they would have produced if they had remained in their home countries.”

Translation: We want to keep our ski resorts operating with cold air to make snow? Reduce immigration.

EVERYTHING I JUST POSTED ABOVE is not based on anything factual. It is OPINION. It is some blow-hard (just like me), who is given some space to post claims that support his or her agenda.


(Pun intended…with the “chill” comment.) While many are writing me about how disappointing the season has been so far, I can assure you that there is good skiing to be enjoyed at 15 ski areas in the region. (Hatley Pointe has not reopened as yet and that may not happen this season. More about that at another time. Owner and CEO, Deb Hatley emailed me the other day to catch up with her in the Spring…so they may be aiming to open for mountain biking and other activities and shoot for the 2024-2025 ski & snowboarding season.)

One look at our SNOW REPORT shows that 61 of 71 trails are open at North Carolina resorts for (86%). …and it’s been snowier and colder in West Virginia and Maryland.

So we’re doing pretty good.

The “season” really doesn’t get cranked up in earnest until mid-December so we are only about 25-30 days into the 2023-2024 ski and snowboarding season. So many are complaining about “where is all the snow? or “it’s been too warm for resorts to make snow.”

Okay, depending on where you look, the temps HAVE been challenging for ski resorts to make snow. Certainly, the Virginia ski areas have not quite been shown the love by Ma Nature. However, just drive a little north into WV and I can share that Timberline Mountain didn’t make snow from December 26-January 1st – even though they COULD HAVE as the temperatures were in the 20s each night. They chose NOT to make snow, because they had plenty of base to just groom here and there as needed. They also saw the forecast for the 7-10 days ahead (that we are enjoying now) and knew they could make plenty then…and they did.

Up at Wisp Resort in Maryland and down into North Carolina, we’ve seen good periods of snowmaking and some natural snow as well.

I can tell you that our highways and byways —and lodging & vacation rentals are all doing amazing.

I doubt our little post here on this small space on the internet will have any effect on the negative nellies out there claiming that we will not be skiing here in the Southeast in another few years. Maybe if those blowhards would keep their traps shut, we’d have less emissions.

Just saying.

THINK COLD, THINK SNOW. I believe in the laws of attraction. I think this winter will end up being one of the better ones on record. We’ll see.

Feel free to email me at [email protected]

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