Skiing, snowboarding offer fun, winter outlets

When it comes to outdoor recreation, Norwich students have a lot of options but they dwindle when winter brings the cold weather and snow.
Fortunately, there are a number of ski resorts not far from Norwich University, such as Sugarbush Ski Resort, Bolton Valley, Mad River and Stowe.

James Cavalcante is a 19-year old sophomore biology major at the University of Connecticut who hails from East Greenbush N.Y., “At school there are opportunities to ski, but what is beneficial is that skiing is a hobby that can be (done)just about anywhere in the Northeast.” Cavalcante has been skiing for seven years now. Skiing is something that takes years of practice, according to Cavalcante.
stockvault-snowboarder for web

“There are a few necessities in order to ski,” Cavalcante said. “You will first need to buy the gear necessary for the weather. Until you became an expert a helmet is necessary. There have been many stories of skiers losing control and ramming into trees or other people on the mountain,” he said.
Proper attire is important: long johns with a warm long sleeve shirt should be the base of your clothing, wool socks are a must (Cavalcante wears Smartwool), waterproof ski/snowboard pants, a sweat-wicking sweater, a waterproof jacket that has two layers (one for wind resistance and waterproofing and other for keeping heat in), a scarf and warm hat, and lastly a pair of waterproof gloves, according to Cavalcante.
Alex MacMullen a 20-year old sophomore criminal justice major at Norwich from Groveland, Mass., said, “Skiing is a great way to spend the day, but at first will be tough to get into it.”
“When buying skis it really depends on your weight and skill,” MacMullen said. “Longer skis are used for people of higher weight and of greater skill. As a beginner, skis should be as high as your shoulders.”
“I have snowboarded, but skiing is far easier for beginners and much more fun, but it really is preference,” according to MacMullen.
Skiing and snowboarding requires the same general clothing, according to MacMullen.
Josh Gowie is an 18-year old Accounting major at Hudson Valley Community College from East Greenbush N.Y. who has done both skiing and riding but “my preference is snowboarding.”
“People do say snowboarding is tougher, but that’s why I like it. The challenge is greater and because of that it’s more fun and more rewarding,” Gowie said.
“Snowboard sizing will depend on a person’s skill and weight just like skis, but snowboards will be a little shorter than skis in length,” Gowie said. “A snowboard for a beginner should be just under shoulder height.”
“Skis or snowboard shoes will come along with the skis depending on where you get them and then they can get sized for you,” according to Gowie.
Although skiing and snowboarding are fun the sports can be expensive, with students saying you can spend up to or over a thousand dollars on equipment alone. Then there is the cost for tickets for the ski lift or a season’s pass, which will add to that budget, according to Gowie.
“If you’re serious about getting into it and sticking it out then have at least $800 to $1000 set aside for your budget,” Cavalcante said, “but for a beginner that may end up not liking the sport I suggest renting skis or a snowboard, which will save hundreds of dollars.”
The price of lift tickets can vary. If tickets are bought in a package or during fall when they are discounted, they are cheaper than daily lift prices, according to Killington.com.
At Killington, for example. lift tickets for adults (ages 19-64) this year will be $84 during the week and $92 during the weekends, but college students save 15 percent on their purchase, according to Killington.com.
The upshot is that skiing and snowboarding is available to just about anyone in the Northeast, and helps keep people active when the landscape is piled up with snow – but be ready to spend some money if you are interested in the sport.

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