It’s Saturday, January 27, and Waynesville, North Carolina’s Zeb Powell is an X Games medalist yet again.
The snowboarder laid down five incredible runs, landing them all, and took home a silver medal in the snowboard knuckle huck competition last night. Blowing Rock’s Luke Winkelmann – who joined Zeb to help him out with his final trick of the night – just missed the podium, and finished in fourth. He fell on one of his runs, and was likely just short of beating out Canadian Darcy Sharpe.
Both of them are back at it again today, along with Brantley Mullins, in the streetstyle competition.
Canadian snowboarder Liam Brearley – a 20-year-old X Games rookie – won gold. The feat is truly remarkable, considering that he didn’t even know that he was going to compete in the event until just a couple days before.
And while the medalists deserve all the respect, I’d like to draw your attention to two competitors: Dylan Alito and Nate Haust. Both competed in the knuckle huck competition at the respective ages of 33 and 31.
Call Dennis Quaid, because Haust was a 31-year-old X Games rookie. Haust made his X Games debut in his thirties, and was hovering around the podium all night before finishing in fifth.
Alito pulled off an unbelievably stylish Miller Flip…with just one foot strapped into his snowboard.
It’s never too late to follow your dreams, friends.
And the women? Yeah, they just set some records. Great Britain’s Mia Brookes, 17, became the youngest gold medalist to win women’s slopestyle. And Chloe Kim became the first woman to ever land a 1260 in the halfpipe. She hammered her first run, and her victory was truly never in doubt from there on forward.
I finally understand what all the hype is about.
I hit Sugar Mountain for the first time yesterday, and I had a blast. I didn’t hurt that the conditions were spring-like. Temperatures hovered between 50 and 60 degrees my entire time there, and every single run was absolutely firing. The snow was slushy, but with the exception of the area right off of the chairlifts, not too slushy.
Whoopdedoo, Tom Terrific and Boulder Dash were all stellar. There was plenty of loose snow to bop around in. I mixed things up, and used my Burton Skeleton Key – a directional board with a spoon shape – for some surf action, and it was worth it.
I made some friends on the chairlift that I wasn’t expecting to make. There was a big crew that had come in all the way from the Dominican Republic!
Carlos Eduardo de Lara, Fulbio Grullon, and a bunch of others were in North Carolina for the first time in their lives. Some members of the group had been skiing before, and some of them were first-timers. But they were having a blast. And most importantly, they were all almost Red Sox fans, with the exception of one Yankees fan.
It’s more mild temperatures at Snowshoe today. All 12 lifts are spinning, and there are 58 trails open.
From the snow reporting team:
With the additions of Lower Shay’s Revenge and Evolution Park this week, the Snowshoe side is now fully open for the first time in a few years. When the cold returns we’ll look to get Silver Creek to 100% as well. Race training will be taking place until 11:30 a.m. on Sawmill. A safe day on the mountain is a fun day on the mountain! Please ski and ride under control at all times and if you’re not familiar with the Responsibility Code, please be sure to brush up on it before heading out.
A few less trails today than yesterday. From Lynn Swann:
Today will be a few degrees cooler, but still spring-like conditions. We have 5 trails (2 beginner and 3 intermediate) and an average base of 25”. Two lanes of tubing are open.”
Rain or not, T-line is still 100% open.
“We’re still 100% open with plenty of snow despite the rain and warm temps, and our groomers will be setting you up with the best possible conditions all weekend,” the marketing team said “You’ll find soft and slightly saturated machine groomed surface on the majority of terrain today. The Drop and Off the Wall remain ungroomed for a more challenging terrain option.”
Meteorologist Brad Panovich just got back to North Carolina from skiing in Lake Tahoe, and believe it or not, he said that the snow was actually better back in the southeast.
We’ve got a good old fashioned blowtorch right now, but there’s colder weather and snow on the way. We’ve got some rain forecasted for today, so make sure you load up on that Gore-Tex, because it’s going to be a soggy one.
Remember, there’s a watch party at Atlantic Ale House at Beech Mountain today starting at 4 p.m. Here’s what else you need to know about the southeast today:
Don’t forget: Clear your calendar from February 9-11. That’s when Massanutten and SkiSoutheast will host team up to host our summit. It’s a great way to meet like-minded, snow-loving people, and possibly make some lifelong friends in the process.
Thanks to everyone that has already joined us on Discord.
Click here to join us on our new SkiSoutheast Discord channel. It is a great way to meet new snow loving friends and shares experiences, ask questions, and more!
And as always, email me at [email protected] with your thoughts and photos.