Many Ways to Ski

by Hadley Choate

Many students in Ouray spend their free time in the winter skiing and snowboarding. Some people ski at the local ski hill in Ouray that has a tow rope, others ski at Telluride, and some brave souls backcountry ski on mountains like Red. 

Freshman Vera Jirnov skis at Telluride. She said that skiing gives her “time to forget about everything I am worrying about, but also makes me worry, but in a good way.” This was Vera’s first season skiing and she said that “going up more and challenging myself helps me improve.” 

Some students have been skiing their entire lives. Junior Maryjane Cervone said that she has “been skiing since I was two years old.” Although she “enjoys skiing,” she said, resorts can be very expensive and unenjoyable when she can’t afford to eat because of the prices. 

Sophomore Ella Skoloda mostly skis backcountry. She said that backcountry is enjoyable but “has a level of risk” and is “more difficult.” Resort skiing has “safe terrain,” she said, and to ski backcountry you need to “know how to be safe.” Ella said she prefers backcountry because it has “better terrain and snow,” and because resorts have “too many people.” 

Outdoor education teacher Mr. Chiang has skied both backcountry and resort but he too prefers backcountry skiing. He said that it is more of a “wilderness activity. Resort skiing is fun and it is outside but it is recreational. The experience in the backcountry is usually one of more solitude.” Yet he also warned that “avalanche danger kills a number of people each year.” Still, he concluded, “Skiing is great one way or another.”