Ski resorts open for business

Students take to the slopes

Major ski resorts are finally opening up for the season, making the dream of skiing or snowboarding a reality once again. Students at the school are getting geared up and are ready to go to their favorite resorts.

One of these students is Gwendolyn Giles, a senior who has been skiing for 14 years: since she was in preschool.

For 10 out of the 14 years of her skiing life, Giles has been participating in races. During a good snow season, she would practice every weekend and race every third weekend.

Giles raced for the ski team in Sugarbowl for seven years and then moved to Squaw Valley three years ago because of its more attractive features.

“I like Squaw because it’s big and they run their ski team well,” said Giles.

Junior Grant Gabaeff is an avid skier and is looking forward to skiing another season at Sugarbowl. He does not participate in competitions, but still enjoys skiing enough to go up almost every weekend.

“It’s a way sick sport unlike any other that I can do at school,” said Gabaeff. “With baseball, I’m restricted to a little grass field, but when I’m skiing, the possibilities reach as far as my imagination can go.”

Gabaeff prefers to ski at Sugarbowl because it is easy to get to and has many runs that suit his preferences, such as exciting jumps on the side of a run. His family has also been going to this resort for a couple of years and the memories of skiing there have added up.

“It makes me feel tingly inside when I think of all the bonding time I have had with my family at Sugarbowl,” said Gabaeff.

But not all skiing has to be about jumps and speed.

Senior Gabrielle Driller looks at skiing as one of the many things she can do at a ski resort, which is why she likes Northstar. After skiing, she enjoys going down to the village and simply enjoy her time there.

“At Northstar, the ski experience for me is more than just an adrenaline rush,” said Driller. “When I’m done with skiing for the day, I can relax with my family, eat some food and maybe even do some shopping.”

Because of the fewer amounts of snow that has been falling on the Sierra Nevadas, ski resorts will have to broaden their appeal by being more than just skiing.

Giles has even had trouble practicing every weekend and participating in races because the competitions have started to take place in Southern California or out of state.

“The lack of good snow has been quite a downer,” said Giles. “I wish I could go back to skiing every weekend again, but with this snow it’s just not practical.”

Giles’s home resort has implemented what they call the Renaissance Plan, which is a five-year, $70 million plan to improve all aspects of the resort experience. They are in the process of building a Bavarian-style beer garden and electric car charging stations

“I really hope that resorts will be able to stay open,” said Giles. “Skiing has been such a huge part of my life and it would be a shame to see it go.”