Mark McKelvy reports from Hawksnest and App 2-21-06
First and for the record, today was my 30th day on the snow this season which is a new record for me by far and I still have many more to go, so I am very happy about that. Now on to the trip. I finally got Joe back up to Hawksnest since he hasn’t been back since last years NC Summit. The weather was forecasted to be mostly cloudy and in the 40s for the day and we drove back and forth between sunshine and clouds on the way up. When we arrived we had clouds and colder than expected temps at about 10 AM (with front row parking of course). The cloud cover quickly burned away and we had sunshine and perfect temps for the rest of the day so I was glad the forecast was wrong. Surprisingly, there must have been some snow or ice last night as the trees were all white which was nice to look at. It was absolutely deserted the whole day and the snow was very nicely groomed this morning so we made some fast runs down Top Gun which is always fun. Later on we rode the park and made runs down the rest of the mountain. After that, we brought out the snowskates, which were a riot! They are hard to ride and we have little experience with them, but there is nothing like falling down the mountain making a fool of yourself when the snow is soft. And by the way, snowskates on Top Gun can not be beat. Near the end of the day, Duggan (Little Buddy on the messageboard) who works at Hawksnest and is very cool, gave us a ride up the mountain in the new Park Bully to do some maintenance on the park which was really cool. We helped them reposition the c-box and the rainbow box and then made a few more runs. After that, it was head to the bar for a beer and then head to App for a short night session. When arrived at App just after 6 and there was nobody there either. We just lucked out today. The snow was pretty firm from the warm temps today followed by the cool night, but we still had fun. We met up with a few friends and made some runs with them before calling it an early night. All in all, it was another great day and a nice warm up for the NC Summit this weekend!
David Long reports at Ober Gatlinburg:
Everyone knew today would be a not so good day on the snow. With the rain that went through the area last night and early this morning I arrived finding slushy conditions. Even with the wet snow the riding was actually really good and nice. The sides are starting to be brown and the snow is beginning to turn the yellow that Ober so often sees during the spring. Now don’t get me wrong there is still plenty of snow base and the discoloration is not, I repeat NOT, from thin spots.
This being said I still took some runs down Grizzly and it has quickly become my favorite run at the resort. It’s not the longest run but it has a good pitch and a rider gains speed a lot faster than they realize. Plus most people avoid it! So on a busy day you still have it almost to yourself. Next time you’re there try it for yourself.
Lorrie Tomlinson reports from Appalachian on Wednesday:
There was a little drizzle in the air on Wednesday morning. Once I arrived at App, the precipitation had subsided. I did not notice a bus in the parking lot, but there were quite a few school age kids on the snow. Several talented individuals were showing their park skills on Appaljack. After reading the article by Joe Stevens, which by the way, I loved. (I do not mean to create more work for the guy, but I would like to see more stuff from him.) Anyway, Joe mentioned some of the "expert" skiers and boarders who would like slopes reserved for them so they would not need to "deal" with those not as experienced. I have also noticed people make comments like this. With Joe’s article fresh in my mind, I was really watching people on Wednesday. The regulars board riders at App (many are employees) did not have this attitude. These guys were working in teams. One guy would stop near the middle of Appaljack and another was spotting at the bottom of the run. They would patiently wait as some slowly made their way down the slope. I observed their facial expressions and listened tentatively for any negative comments toward the beginners on Appaljack. Nothing existed. These guys would just wait their turn. When the run was no longer occupied by anyone that could be injured, they would relay "all clear" from the bottom person, to the one in the middle of the slope, then to the guy at the top. The first guy could then speed down the run and catch some huge air on the last kicker. After watching and talking to several of the riders at App on Wednesday, I was amazed at the talent found at App. More importantly though, I was really impressed with their concern for the safety and fun of ALL the people on the snow.
We will keep a log of the best reporter’s submission, photos and reports. Trust us it is way to time consuming to post every pic…but send them…because we are tallying the scores. The winner of the Best On Snow Reporter for 2005-2006 will win $1000 in cash, a FREE Getaway Vacation and more. The contest will run from now through March 1st and we will choose the winner. Our choice will be based on the following and IN THE ORDER of importance.
Quality of Photos
Quality of Reports (well written, informative, unbiased)
Number of Photo Submissions
Number of Reports
Extra points will be given for getting smiling faces in the photos and including names and cities where you can.
Extra points will be awarded for creative ideas.
We will choose the winner based on how helpful and informative the reports have been.
As of 02/23/2006 here are the top vote getters. (We will only document the top three to five here throughout the season…and we may begin posting the top ten, depending on how close results are.)
We have a very close race going right now with only a few points (a day or two of posts) separately the top three.
1. Lorrie Tomlinson
2. Kent Jackson
3. David Long
4. Mark McKelvy
5. Christian Davies