Gone South

Well it’s kind of a midseason update, and this ’15-16 has been rather rough. Little to no snow back east and the thaws have been frequent. But there was a rare dump in the southeast, so that’s where I went: down south. And I crossed three more states off the bucket-list: North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia. Yup, skied all their 1K’s. I’m done with ‘m. I’ve done my duty for now. But I’ll return again learn more and truly enjoy their fine facilities.

It all started with a conference in Atlanta the last weekend of January. Yes, I could have flown, but why? Figure about 5 hours living room to hotel if factoring in shuttles, check-in, flight, luggage pick up plus transfer – if I can book a direct flight. So that entails an uneasy sleep the night before plus basically an entire day at a total estimated cost (figuring in, parking, shuttle, tips and fees) that exceeded $400.00!

Or I could leave by car the night before, eat en-route, pop in one of my Great Courses lecture series, nap a couple hours pre-dawn and arrive at the Hotel about the same time, have a vehicle to use in Atlanta (yes free parking at the hotel), and then visit all the “hard-to-get-to” ski resorts of the southeast, AND spent a couple days with family in both Nashville and Richmond – all for about $77.28 in gas.

The conference was very useful! I learned about studied up on two aspects that will advance my blog effort: travel and teaching. I have added a booking engine that promises to save you the reader and follower time, but more importantly money. And I was introduced to online educational opportunity. (Note that education,  teaching and instruction are my “other” life-long life-long passions.)

Now as if I needed any further conviction, the southeast was victim of or better stated, recipient of a rare storm that dumped about 24 inches of snow the week before I left. What could be better? Was this sign from “above”?  Or what?

But lo and behold, as fast as it came, the temps soared into the 60’s before I could get my skis on. It pored cats and dogs at Sugar Mt, but the temperature reached a high of 66 degrees! It was with the drenching. Great mountain, Still good (spring) snow; No line;  Free ticket (70+); And new friends.

Wintergreen was a comparable experience: Hoity-toity facility, decent mountain; No lines (mid-week); Sunshine with great spring conditions; Great moguls; And I was blessed with professional courtesy (PSIA).

Snowshoe was an OK experience: Great, expansive facilities; New Friends; Impressive snow making; Decent steeps in their “Northwest Territory”; But too crowded on their “other” runs (it was Friday, and Southeasterners are not known nor expected to ski well (or sanely!); And I actually got too cold (22 degrees) skiing through the snow makers pummeling and coating the steeps!. Oh well, if you’re gonna play, you’ve gotta pay!

And I drove through the night to arrive in time for my Saturday clinic and coaching at the at the Buffalo Ski Club – Extreme Team program and “my guys” officially labeled my “Snow Dogs”.

In this escapade, I visited Sugar Mountain, NNC, Wintergreen, VA, and Snowshoe WV. Now, I still have NY (5) , MA (4)  VT (3), NH (5)  & ME (4) , all with just a few untouched 1K’s to visit. But I doubt it’ll be this season, the year of El Nino. Spring is rushing in hard and heavy!  Thus, I’ll re-direct out west in March and April … more to come.

Come, Ski With Me!


(This “Gone South” post is 1st of a string that includes visits to Sugar Mountain, NC,  Wintergreen, VA and Snowshoe,  WV.)
[Link to Idaho Odyssey the second excursion in ’15-16]

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Skier, rider (of sorts), wanderer, teacher, coach, blogger (wannabe), perpetual child, ...