THE SNOWIES 2010 by Joe Stevens

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Hello Everyone –

This is my last column of the year and to cap off what most are considering an excellent season in terms of weather and conditions across the region. I have come up with Joe’s fifth annual “SNOWY” awards or “SNOWIES” whichever suits you the best. The committee (once again just me) picked out ten categories and spent hours upon hours tabulating the results (watching a NASCAR rain delay and hoping Duke wins so that I have at least one Final Four team). So without anymore (thank goodness) fanfare, here are the 2009/2010 season “SNOWIES”.

1. Most Indecisive – Any weather forecaster out there who decided to increase the range of forecasted snow from say three to five inches to three to ten inches. Just seemed nobody wanted to be wrong this year.

2. Most Valuable – The majority of the resorts which took advantage of excellent weather conditions and opened terrain quickly using natural snow coverage. Kind of reminds you of the early days of the industry.

3. Unsung Hero – The true skiers, snowboarders and snow tubers who understood, if you took your time, getting to any resort during snow storms was well worth the effort.

4. Most Overrated – Road emergency status, give the highway workers the equipment to do their job and the roads will be safely passable.

5. Go For It – Snowshoe Mountain in West Virginia, Wisp in Maryland (partially) and Appalachian for staying open into April with tons of snow still on the slopes.

6. Fighting To The Bitter End – The “Be True To Your Sport” skier and snowboarder who made that one more trip to the slopes to help keep the slopes open.

7. Most Patience – Those who headed to the resorts this year during the many snow storms that blanketed the region.

8. Going The Extra Mile – Resorts that still offered traditional discounts for the month of March, even though the conditions rival January and February conditions.

9. Cy Young (Best Pitch) – Any weather forecaster who didn’t say “Stay home the weather is awful out there” during the afore mentioned snowstorms.

10. Stepping Up To The Plate and Hitting It Out Of The Park – Mother Nature for producing the amount of natural snow that will have people talking until the next snow storm.

That’s it folks for the 2009/2010 season – it’s been fun riding with you again this year. Just remember to always be patient as whether it be cold or whether it be hot, we’ll weather the weather, whatever the weather will be. Think about it! Time to get tuned for the 2010/2011 season.

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Joe Stevens, a member of the southeast ski industry since 1990 is a regular columnist for and serves as the Communications Director for the West Virginia Ski Areas Association.

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