Snow News is Good News

Hello Everyone –

About a month ago I told Mike Doble, this website’s Managing Editor (cool title huh?) that I was planning to attend this year’s’s Summit held each year at Snowshoe Mountain. I have had to pass the first couple of years of the event as it conflicted with my son’s birthday party. This year we actually planned ahead and things worked out. Except for the fact that me and a lot of other folks starting looking at that extended forecast, which called for a good chance of rain over the weekend, especially on Saturday. Then on Friday, all kinds of tornado warnings were being posted by the National Weather Service for the region. My company provides news coverage for national networks. Not the perfect storm in this case.

Wow, what a lead paragraph and I am still not at my point. So back to the poo-poo hitting the fan and I need to stop here and say I am very sorry for the loss of life and property due to Friday’s devastating storms. This time despite the weather forecasts all around the region from rain to tornados, we headed to the mountains. We got as far as thirty miles out from Snowshoe on top of Point Mountain (the only place to get cell service before making the drop into Valley Head) and CNN calls to see if we would head to Cincinnati to provide the network uplink services. We declined and continued on to the Summit.

Finally arriving and meeting with Mike and his clan for dinner, the skies opened up and one of the most dramatic thunderstorms hit the resort around 8 pm. All the while, I was checking National Weather Service radar as our Charleston vicinity home was in the path of a possible twister. So I got word from neighbors that everything was clear on the home front but nearby Kentucky got hammered. So the family finished dinner and headed to our farm at the base of the resort in nearby Randolph County. I have seen it rain hard at Snowshoe throughout the years and let me say when we stepped outside to head to our car, we strolled through a top-five downpour. It was just one thing after another. All I could think about was, “Boy, Saturday’s early morning turns weren’t going to be much fun in this rain.” Boy, was I ever wrong.

Now comes to the point of this week’s column, was I totally wrong about what to expect for those first turns. The rain stopped around 5:30 am, the temperature dropped to 29 degrees, the groomers came out and let me say the skiing and riding was perfect, considering what had just happened hours ago weather-wise. Hence the title of this week’s column “You Should’ve Been There”, because if you missed this year’s Summit because you had faith in a weather forecast ten days out, well shame on you and shame on me for even thinking it had any validity.

Mike and the gang put on another good show and hats off for the nearly 100 folks who made the trek this year. I got to meet a number of you and besides the turns with a lot of you on Saturday morning, I got to snowtube with Christian my soon to be eight year old son for two hours in the afternoon and life was perfect. Oh by the way, did I tell you when we left on Sunday morning there was snow at 2800 feet and still snowing. Well you should’ve been there and experienced it for yourself. Maybe next time.

That’s it for this week, just remember whether it be cold or whether it be hot, we’ll weather the weather, whatever the weather will be. Think about it! See you on the slopes. 

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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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