Eight Days (or less) Left in the Southeastern Ski Season

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Everyone knows what click bait is right? We all fall for it. On Saturday, I accidently created some click bait of my own by incorrectly titling the Saturday FirsTrax post claiming that there were “Nine Days Left in the 2023-2024 ski season. That got my SkiMail inbox flooded with comments like these:

Keith Schernerhorn just kindly corrected me with, “’23-’24? I think you mean ’22-’23’.”

Mark Maier had some tongue in cheek with his comment, “2023 was officially the fast year ever!”

David Dutton wrote, “you guys kill me. don’t you even take the time to proof read before publishing? i see errors in your stories all the time. rather then being in a hurry to get out on the golf course, take time to proof read. that way at least you’d appear to care.”

There were others, but those were the best. David’s was the best of the best though, because evidently he didn’t care enough to use capitalization AND he used the word “then”, where “than” should have been used.

I think what I am MOST surprised about this morning was that my inbox was not full of comments in response to my Saturday statements that we’d never EVER see natural snowfall again. (Pleased, but surprised.)

The Photo of the Day today is from Snowshoe Mountain. There’s enough SNOW to make it another week, but will Snowshoe stay open with so few PEOPLE playing on the mountain? We’ll see.

This is Snowshoe’s Ballhooter lift “line” at nearly 10am. Click to Enlarge.

More Reader Comments

Zachary Neefe wrote, “I was out for my last time skiing this season on Friday…booked ahead of time at Snowshoe Mountain and enjoyed the trip tremendously. It rained almost the entire day but at times, I had the entire lift (and serviced slopes) to myself. Conditions were slushy but still fun!”

That’s the spirit Zachary. Stat young by playing in the rain.

It is a natural inclination in all of us to say “no” to playing out in the rain. It is certainly more comfortable to find a good book, cuddle under a warm blanket and just spend the day reading or watching a movie. Most adults will opt to take cover. However, I can tell you that a couple of the most-fun days I’ve spent on the slopes was in a light rain. The slopes are empty and so are the lifts. The slopes are fast and carvable as well. Just wear a helmet and goggles (and a waterproof shell if you have it) and go play. I don’t know why it is, but I’d bet I saw more smiles and supporting nods from fellow skiers and snowboarders on those days, than even on some of the snowiest days. (Okay, maybe I should have not gone THAT far as there is nothing better than a true powder day.)

Let’s Cover the Resort News for Sunday:

Massanutten Resort – I am really quite shocked and more amazed at the job Massanutten and their hard working snowmakers and grooming crews did to keep ‘the Nutt open this late into the season. Today IS the last day to enjoy the slopes for the 2022-2023 ski & snowboarding season. They are open with 4 slopes and 3 lifts…and amazingly so after fighting marginal temperatures and less than 5″ of natural snow all season. Yeoman’s job there Kenny and crew!

Snowshoe Mountain – Now that the sun is out this morning, conditions look freakishly good at Snowshoe and they somehow managed to open up two ADDITIONAL slopes from Saturday’s count. They will play on 28 slopes, serviced by 4 lifts today. Snowshoe has previously announced that Apri 2nd would be their last day, but that is always “weather dependent”. They seem to have enough snow, so we will see.

Sugar Mountain Resort – They are standing status quo with 9 slopes open for day and night sessions. They are the only resort open for night skiing and snowboarding in the region. Sugar is getting some praise from a lot of our readers with many claiming that, “Sugar gets major bragging rights this year.”

Click to Enlarge this morning capture of Sugar Mountain.

We’ve seen Sugar operate with a LOT less snow than this, but with so few skiers hitting the mountain this morning, I wonder if Gunther will opt to “call it quits” or just stay open “because he can” (and to give himself a place to ride).

Actually, every ski area in the region has a right to brag about the incredible job they did to get open and stay open through one of the more challenging winter weather patterns we’ve witnessed in my 27+ years of covering the industry here in the Southeast and mid-Atlantic. For those of you who may have expected me to exempt Wolf Ridge from being able to claim bragging rights – I’m including them in there for finally giving up and selling the ski area. Hopefully, the new owners can work some miracles. We shall see.

Per Sugar getting bragging rights, I think a lot of people would argue that those bragging rights would unequivocally go to Snowshoe Mountain. Sure, they’ve have more to work with in terms of consistently colder weather patterns, but you have to play the cards you’re dealt and Snowshoe played their cards better than the other resorts in the region. A close second would have to go to Timberline Mountain (also in West Virginia) and then Sugar Mountain Resort would get my vote for third.

Hard to believe that THIS was Timberline a week ago!

Everyone else (all other ski areas in the region) would come in as a thirteen-way tie for 4th! Haha. Okay, probably not exactly, as other’s stood out, but I’m not going to rank 4th through 16th in this space.

Timberline Mountain – They fought the good fight and reopened for snow play yesterday and they will operate today with 8 slopes, serviced by 2 lifts for this, there last day of skiing and snowboarding for the season.

Wisp Resort – They ended their season after Saturday’s session. …and you know, I SHOULD have included Wisp in those bragging rights. In season’s past, they would have long been closed. Man they turned in a great season for all of their fans.

So “Upon Further Review”, Wisp Resort gets a nod with those bragging rights and this editor will plug them into the number FOUR spot meaning there is a TWELVE-WAY tie for 5th.

That’s all I got for now. Stay tuned to Joe Stevens’ EIGHTEENTH ANNUAL “SNOWY” AWARDS. He posted last season’s awards exactly one year ago yesterday. Thanks for that Joseph.

A Closing Comment to “LL” – You KNOW Who You Are…

I am not traditionally a betting man, however, I AM betting that you were planning to check back here to this daily post to see some reference to the email you sent me regarding an “Unfortunate Series of Events” that happened recently during a ski trip to one of the Southeast’s ski areas.

Perhaps you were even thinking that we might cover “the story” of how a young person in your group was “greatly mistreated”, etc.

I am responding on this post, because I did attempt to email you and it came back as bounced. Perhaps I got it slightly wrong?

However, I did read your passionate email to the resort, and the local newspaper. I saw your threats of taking your issue to the BBB and perhaps to the State Attorney General’s Office.

All I can tell you is that your young nephew made a mistake. It won’t be his last. Hopefully, he will learn by it and ski inbounds on his next trip to play in the snow. Ski area ski patrollers see countless skiers and snowboarders going off of marked trails and they have an obligation to stop skiers who do that. I am so thankful that your nephew didn’t hit a tree or some unmarked hose or piece of equipment that COULD have been on that closed trail. What if your nephew HAD hit something and injured himself or worse? Would you be holding the ski area responsible for NOT stopping your nephew from taking that run?

Believe it not, that is what ski areas have to deal with. They have a responsibility to keep skiers and snowboarders from breaking those rules that are there for our safety. I’m sure it was an emotional moment for all concerned. I’m sure the patroller might could have handled him or herself nicer/better. I also know that there are always three sides to every story. Your side. The resort’s side…and something in between that was closer to being spot on.

I did invest the time to read your long content share of the events. It sounded tense. However, nobody got hurt. As far as the response from the resort – that was standard procedure. They correctly shared that your nephew broke the rules – intentional or not – and his ticket was pulled. You emailed me, so I feel obligated to try and help. My help to you would be to tell you to drop it. The only thing that was “wrong” in this event was your nephew skiing on a closed trail. No other wrong was done. I can’t imagine the BBB or any other organization seeing that any different.

By the way, I looked you up and you are an amazing photographer and you live and photograph in one of my favorite parts of the south. Enjoy the serenity that surrounds you there and…. “Let it go Louie.”

That’s it for this Sunday. Stay tuned for Joe’s 2023-2024 (haha), I mean 2022-2023 Snowies!

Email as you like at [email protected]

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