The West Virginia Open; WinterFest (Two of them!) and More Happening!

First Trax

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Conditions are GREAT, GREAT, GREAT today. Several ski areas are AT or near 100% open and with sunny skies this could be an awesome day to hit the slopes. The weather is looking great for the next week or two so conditions will continue to be AWESOME!

We have several events to promote today, so check the slope report for all of the details, check out these events and go play!

Before we get to the fun, here’s some quick notes:

The Homestead – It was good to hear from these guys for the first time in two weeks. They are reporting 100% open with all 5 trails and they reported a 65-112" base with 15 features in their terrain park and 4 lanes of tubing open. Ice skating is open and they report, "We have a best snow base in years!"

(At least for a day, they are sounding like a ski areas 😉 )

Wintergreen Resort GETS TO 100% open! They now all 26 trails open, snow tubing, terrain park and great conditions.

Snowshoe Mountain is back to 59 of 60 trails open today and perfect conditions. They have informed us that Lower Shays Revenge will open on Friday and that will get them to 100% open for the first time since the 2006-2007 season!

Laura Parquette writes, "Also Get ready for the richest rail jam in the region this Saturday, January 24th. One lucky skier and one rider will be walking away with $2,000 each so drop by and check out the action. Registration occurs the day of the event at the Depot. With so many events and activities to choose from, Snowshoe Mountain is the place to plan your winter escape. Book by February 13th and get your 3rd night FREE! Call 1-877-441-4FUN to make your reservation today! *Please be aware, Slaymaker will be closed today from 6:30PM-8:00PM for employee racing*"


January 24, 2009

West Virginia Open

One Event, Two Winners, $4000 Dollars

Get ready for the richest rail jam in the region! Yup, Snowshoe is throwing it down at the West Virginia Open. This season we up the ante with a $4000 cash purse. One skier and one rider will walk away with $2000 each! But it won’t be easy. You’ll be competing against the best freestyle athletes in the Mid-Atlantic & Southeast… and you’ll have to step it up to take home the cash.

Event registration takes place on the day of the event at The Depot.

January 24, 2009

Registration – 2:30pm- 3:30pm – The Depot

Warm-Ups – 4pm-5:00pm – Skidder

Event – 5:00pm-6:00pm – Skidder

Awards – 6:00pm 


Ski Beech was doing a Winterfest long before Blowing Rock started their annual fun, but Beech shelved that event for several years and at the prodding of many – they are bringing it back. We’re not certain how much Beech has promoted it, but WE want to invite you guys and gals to show up and make it a HUGE DAY for the mountain. Beech’s website only says, "Winterfest tons of Crazy Events with Music and events all day into the night."

However, the cardboard box derby was always a fun, wild and crazy event and we’re hearing that some local businesses and students have been planning some cool and crazy cardboard creations with which to race with. The weather should be PERFECT and the snow will be as well.

<Okay guys, we can HOPE that there will be some talented ladies like these showing up Saturday!

Beech first held the "Great Cardboard Box Race" back in 1983 and it kicked off an annual Winterfest tradition. They revive that tradition this Saturday and Sunday and there will be LIVE MUSIC, a Village Rail Jam, numerous other activities – and perhaps the most popular event – the Bathing Beauty bikini contest! That event will be held Saturday at 11:30am, appropriately enough on the Play Yard slope. The event is open for skiers or snowboarders who dare to ride in their bathing suits across the play yard slope. Contestants must be 18 years or older and will be judged based on beauty, poise, creativity and originality. We’ve received word (and a few pics!) that some gals (and maybe even a couple of crazy guys) are already "tanning" for the event! 

(The Waiter / Waitress Contestants are not required to wear bathing suits! But it would be cool, huh?!?)>

From what we have heard Ski Beech is also including a Ski Beech Waiter/Waitress race where the goal is for area restaurants to enter a skier or snowboarder to ride across the Play Yard while balancing a tray of beverages! Hopefully they’ll get enough entries to do that one as the winner is simply the one who carries the most beverages with the least liquid spilled!

The cardboard box derby will be held Sunday at 2pm at the Village Ice Skating Rink. Judging begins at 11:30 a.m. The boxes will be judged for originality and functionality/looks. Those entering must be sponsored by a group.

According to planners, derby entries can be piloted by one or two pilots but they must remain in their "vehicles" for the entire race. Ski poles or sticks can not be used for steering purposes and are not allowed to be attached to the vehicle. Helmets are required for each participant. Registration for the derby will be 9 to 11 a.m. at the administration building. There will be a $25 entry fee. To inquire about rules and regulations, call (828) 387-2011.

Live music will be held at the Beech Tree and it’s in the form of The Shane Pruitt Band and they will perform 8 p.m.- 12 a.m. to cap off the winter festivities of Saturday night.

Face painting will be available throughout the day session on Saturday.

There are many activities planned and tentative, but here’s as close as we have at this time:


<Word has it that some people have been getting ready, tanning even during all this snow!

11:30 a.m. Bathing Beauty bikini contest, Play Yard Ski Slope

11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Cookout and live bluegrass, View Haus Deck

4:30 to 6:00 p.m. Red Bull Village Rail Jam ski and snowboard contest (not sure if this will be on the temporary terrain park area)

8:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. Shane Pruitt Band, Beech Tree Bar and Grille


9:00 to 11:00 a.m. Great Cardboard Box Derby registration, Administration Building

10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Ski and snowboard demonstrations

11:00 a.m. Waiter/Waitress Race, Play Yard Ski Slope

12:00 p.m. Great Cardboard Box judging, Ski Beech Ice Rink

2:00 p.m. Great Cardboard Box Derby, Free Style Ski Slope

3:30 p.m. Ski Beech Sports Fashion Show, Beech Tree Bar and Grille


Blowing Rock’s version will be held starting TODAY and running through Sunday. You can click here to see the schedule, but this evening’s biggest event is their "Winterfeast" deal where all of the Blowing Rock restaurants come together with a fabulous dinner from 5:30pm-7:30pm.

Friday will feature hayrides around Blowing Rock, a Bonfire at dusk in the Memorial Park. Then they have a Winter Blues Festival at 7:30pm with The King Bees performing at the Hayes Performing Arts Center.

On Saturday they have a ton of activities going on, but the biggest draw is the 10am POLAR PLUNGE at the Chetola Lake. It has been ONE COLD STRETCH and it is our guess that the temperature around "plunge time" will be 32° or so and they will have to cut the ice to make a hole to plunge in. That will be one sight to see. Other big draws on Saturday will be the 11am-3pm Chili Cookoff, and the noon ice carving competition. They do another Saturday night concert with the John Cowan Band and they will light up another Bon Fire at dusk.

Sunday offers some closing festival activities. Check all of the fun planned out and if you’re in the area – join the fun! 

That’s all we have room for today. Go enjoy the super, fantastic, amazing, sweet conditions are your favorite ski area today!

Until Next time…

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