Proximity to Sierra Ski and Board Resorts Draws Students to Slopes For Winter Fun

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Senior Josh Kleemann boosts a tail grab over a kicker at Sierra At Tahoe. When not in the park, Kleemann likes riding bowls and chutes at Alpine Meadows.

Derek Popple, Features Editor

As snow begins to line the majestic peaks of the Sierra Nevada, students rush to get their own piece of the gnar.

With the heavy snowfall at the beginning of the season, Tahoe is well prepared for a long snow season.

A free skier, junior Sebastian Buras is stoked to go ride Heavenly which has received 226 inches of snow this season.

“I like Heavenly because it has a huge variety of terrain ranging from parks to steep tree runs,” Buras said. “Also the snow is great, much better than last year.”

Although talented in many different aspects of skiing, riding park is Buras’ forte

Park riders execute a range of tricks like spins and grabs over boxes, jumps and rails.

“My favorite trick is either 270’s onto rails or butter 360’s,” Buras said.

When he isn’t doing butter 3’s, a technical trick where the skier spins on the tips of their skis, Buras can be found doing 540’s over the kickers in the park.

Buras’ biggest inspiration is freeskier Andy Parry, who rides for Line Skis.

“I like Andy Parry because of his steezy style as he flows through the park.”

Other Rio students enjoy going to one of the many other resorts in Tahoe.

Senior Josh Kleemann has skied for the past 15 years and learned from his father who did ski patrol at Northstar for several years.

“I like to ride chutes and moguls, but I’ve started to ride park this season as well,” said Kleemann.

“Also, I have tickets to several resorts, so I never get sick of being confined to just one or two, but I would still like a season pass.”

Kleemann’s philosophy for skiing is to always maintain speed and style, and one can often see him fearlessly bombing runs in Tahoe.

However, skiing and snowboarding is not all fun and games.

According to the Center for Disease Control, of the 213,000 injuries related to outdoor sports beside bicycling, 26 percent of those were from snowboarding. Also, of all ski related injuries, 12.5 percent involved fractures according to ski-injury.com.

Typically, skiers suffer lower body injuries most often, while most snowboard injuries affect the upper body.

The most prevalent injury in snowboarders is a fall on an out stretched hand, or FOOSH for short.

An injured wrist means the rider will be off the snow for around eight weeks, and if more fractures occur, the rider might not ever be able to snowboard again.

Despite these looming dangers, students still make the pilgrimage to Tahoe each weekend in search of fresh pow and snow bunnies.

“I understand the danger, but there is still nothing better than getting stoked after sticking a banger,” Kleemann said.

“Gliding down fresh pow pow with the frost nipping at my nose, I feel as if angels take my hand and guide me down the mountain in a state of extreme nirvana.”

When asked if they skied, snowboarded, or neither, 25 percent of Rio students said that they snowboarded, 19 percent that they skied, and 56 percent said that they did neither.

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