South’s Powderhounds – Skiing gives students gratification, excitement

Emily Pavlik, co-sports editor

Senior Bryan Scheffler stood on top of a steep mountain, flurries of snow falling in front of his ski goggles. Skis angled downward, he began to slide down the slope. Gaining momentum, Scheffler skimmed the powder until he reached the bottom, where he stood proudly as confidence coursed through his body.

Scheffler has been skiing since he was about four, and with the encouragement of his father, he was able to pursue the sport while forming a deeper connection with his dad.

“I fell down one too many times on that bunny hill, but through the guidance of my dad, I got the gist of it,” Scheffler said. “Learning to ski with my dad made me value him more as a person, and ultimately made me realize that we enjoy the same types of hobbies.”

Likewise, junior Kacey Holloman inherited her love of skiing from her parents, and with 13 years of experience, she has explored many different ski areas. Within these areas, different symbols signify the difficulty of each specific ski course. A green circle represents the easiest course, a blue square more difficult, a singular black diamond even more difficult, and two black diamonds represent the most difficult slopes. Since each mountain contains different slopes, a mountain in Colorado may contain a double black diamond that is more difficult in comparison to the Midwest.

“The highest course I’ve been on is a double black diamond,” Holloman said. “[Steamboat Springs, Colorado] is where I learned to ski.  I’ve grown really comfortable with the terrain and the mountain itself for sure.”

Holloman said that some skiing expertise can come easily, but there are still skills that can be difficult at times.

“Learning how to balance and maintain your movement are all really important,” Holloman said. “Turning is probably one of the harder [skills] to learn, but once you get, it it becomes a lot more fluid and natural.”

Another skier, junior Gio Canalia, has been skiing for approximately eight years after picking up the sport on a family ski trip.

“[A] harder skill could be jumps, [they] take a lot more repetition,” Canalia said. “A skill that comes easier is turning.”

Scheffler comes from a hockey background and said turns on the mountain come easiest to him. However, he believes that the mental aspect of the sport can be the most draining.

“Learning the technicalities and the formwork of skiing is pretty easy,” Scheffler said. “However, the mental game is arguably the hardest.”

Though Scheffler has a passion for the slopes, the work required to succeed while skiing can be mentally taxing for him. However, he says the perks of being outside and with friends have eased the stress he associates with skiing.

“It’s a good activity if you want some adrenaline while forming good relationships,” Scheffler said. “It’s also refreshing to see the nature around you as [you] are going through some of the nation’s most beautiful mountains.”

With Holloman’s experiences on the mountain she has found that Steamboat Springs holds a special place in her heart. The views on the slopes are beautiful, and the snow in perfect, she said. However, she returns to a lasting memory of one of her first times skiing.

“[At Steamboat] we skied down the backside of the mountain, we stopped in this little area in between trees, and we had a picnic lunch there,” Hollman said. “I was [approximately] five or six at the time, but I still remember it.”

While Holloman has had a lot of practice skiing, she continues to encourage others to participate in the sport. Although it takes practice she said it is worth exploring if someone is interested.

“[Skiing] is a really good opportunity to try something new,” Holloman said. “Skiing has always been a really enjoyable and exciting experience that I look forward to every year.”