You are as USELESS as the first R in FEBRUARY!

First Trax

One recent reader sent me an email with that sentiment in it. It was so funny and clever that I HAD to laugh. If it hadn't been a clever way of trashing us, I'd have been ticked off. Actually I enjoy clever repartee every once in a while.

I'm guessing that the reason for the disatisfaction was that I didn't answer Jorge from Orlando's question. A-c-t-u-a-l-l-y there are MANY questions that go unanswered every single day via this website. Something happened as a result of our most recent website redesign that took place during the off-season. We put our contact information in the footer of every page of the website. I'm not really certain WHY we did that but I suppose its because we tend to do that on most every website we build for clients.

Anyway, shortly after that new design went LIVE we began getting phone calls and more emails than we've ever received. I answer the ones that I can, although I have to say that its a full time job in and of itself. We figure that about anything you'd ever want to ask about is covered on the 42,300 pages of the website. (By the way that is NOT an exxagerated number). As of this morning, AFTER this post, the website will be a 42,301 page website. Everytime we post a new photo, FirsTrax report or video, we grow a little. With this being our 17th season covering the ski and snowboarding happenings from around the area…we've built a pretty sizeable "ant hill".

Anyway – "we got a information here".

So thankfully that means that we don't get VASTLY MORE calls and emails than we do…but we get enough of both to keep us busy.

The calls that we receive tend to go like this:

"Hi are ya'll going to be open for tubing today?"
(Bear in mind that WE are not a ski area, so we first have to figure out WHERE they think they are calling and THEN inform them as to whether or not the resort HAS tubing and then look to answer their question.)

"Hi will you guys be open March 29th for skiing and tubing?"
On this one we have to be a little bit Nostradamus to discern FIRST if the weather will cooperate and we also have to apply our insight and knowledge…AFTER figuring out WHERE they think they are calling! If they are asking about Sapphire Valley, then the answer is "no". If they are calling about Snowshoe – then the answer is "probably" and if the answer is about Beech Mountain, then the answer is "doubtful" AND "no". It is DOUBTFUL that Beech will remain open that late in the month because they never do…and the answer is also "NO" because Beech doesn't do tubing.

See what I'm talking about?

NOW…add in the EMAILS that we receive and you're in for some fun. Here are some examples:

Can ya'll tell me how much it costs to go tubing at Appalachian?

I'm looking for the closest ski resort to us here in Sweetwater that will be open for a trip that we are planning for April 12th. Can you help?

My family has never seen snow and we have a family reunion up there close to ya'll. Can you tell me if there will be any snow left?

You may THINK I'm making those up, but I PROMISE you that those are only the tip of the iceberg regarding the kind of questions that we receive.  To ANSWER THOSE questions, we'd have to get into a back and forth email campaign to first inform them that there ISN'T any tubing at Appalachian and then respond back and forth where we'd suggest that they go.

To answer the Sweetwater question we'd have to ASSUME that they are not in Sweetwater, Alabama and perhaps in Sweetwater, Florida. We've then have to inform them that there will be NO resort open on April 12th unless some kind of freak cold and snow event happens up around Wisp (where they've extended their season around that date in the past).

To answer the "Family Reunion" questions we'd have to be AMAZINGLY patient, which I will admit we are not. Well at least I and Kenny Griffin aren't. Tonette would answer every one of those and all of the others, so I don't pass them to her…because she wouldn't get ANYTHING else done!

Soooooo, some questions go unanswered. …and I guess that prompts the occasional disgruntled reader to write a venom-filled email blasting us about how we don't answer their questions.

…and then we get one like the "…more useless than the first "R" in February…" email – which I will admit that I REALLY enjoyed.

…and THEN we get this one…

"I am trying to settle an argument with my husband and knew that you could help. I told him that your resort uses artificial snow and that the reason you close so early every year is because few people know it's artificial. If more people knew it was not real snow and would be interested in skiing in June that you could be open. He says that the snow is not artificial and that you could not be open year round.

We agreed that whatever your answer is will decide our argument. Can you help?" – Mandi and John B., Atlanta, GA.

John, my boy, you win…in MORE ways than one my friend. God Bless you both!

So if you email us some nonsensical, unanswerable question – be prepared to not get an answer from us. Admittedly, we have a lot of fun with some of your questions and comments and sincerely appreciate every one. Bring them on…

CHECK THE SNOW REPORT for all the updates…

Also there are TONS of events happening at nearly EVERY ski resort this weekend. In fact there are SO many that I can't cover them all here. Hopefully Tonette and Kenny have updated the EVENTS LISTINGS to cover them all.

If you guys are looking for SEASON PASSES…NOW is the time to buy depending on the resort that YOU call your favorite. MANY ski resorts are offering GREATLY DISCOUNTED pricing right now if you buy right now…and those who are promoting season pass sales right now are allowing you to ski on those passes for the rest of THIS SEASON AS WELL AS all of NEXT season.

The best deal is the $199 Season Pass deal that Snowshoe has going on right now, but if Snowshoe isn't YOUR favorite…then check out the deals at YOUR FAVORITE HILL right now. You can save a ton of money and enjoy more days on the snow!


…Photo courtesy of Asheville Citizen Times. See their story at:

I'll be heading up to Beech Mountain for the second half of the day as they are doing their Retro 80s fun today and tonight. We'll be giving away the CASH PRIZE of $500 for the best 80s outfit and you can check out all the fun at:

Email me your thoughts and reactions at: [email protected]

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