Jake Flannick • SMN Correspondent
Michael Wagenseil is settling into his element, arranging displays of ski equipment and clothing as he finishes a flurry of preparations at a new rental shop in Maggie Valley amid the beginning of what is considered a rite of the winter season here.
It is familiar territory to a man who has spent years working at ski areas across the country, including in Colorado, whether as a lift attendant or a member of the ski patrol.
Flips, spins, big jumps and high speeds — these things challenge the average human being, but, for big-air snowboarder Zeb Powell, they’re no big deal.
Five days out of the week during ski season, the 13-year old can be found out on the slopes at Cataloochee Ski Area in Maggie Valley, grinding on rails, zipping down hills, twisting and turning head over heels in the air. He dominates most competitions he enters into and is always working on the next big move.