Local ski resorts offer benefits to Wildcats

(Graphic by Autumn Mariano)
(Graphic by Autumn Mariano)

With winter’s arrival in Utah, a new arena for outdoor recreation has arrived too. Weber State University is a short distance from three ski resorts: Powder Mountain, Wolf Mountain and Snowbasin.

“I was really lucky because my parents were skiers, and they started skiing in the early ’40s. So I started skiing when I was 3,” said Kirk Langford, vice president of sales at Descente. “We went skiing every Saturday and Sunday, Saturday at Snowbasin and Sunday at Alta.”

Many natives of Utah have grown up skiing, but there are many different technologies in the ski industry geared toward different skill levels.

“It’s something to do in the winter time to get you outside,” said Kassandra Sqrow, a rental technician with the WSU Outdoor Program. “We live in Utah, and Utah has some of the best snow, as they say. If someone is a beginner, I would suggest the rocker technology. The rocker technology these days makes skiing harder terrain a lot easier for new people. But for never-evers, a traditional camber underfoot ski is perfect.”

With all the new technologies arriving in the ski industry, some skiers find it difficult making a decision on what to buy or rent. The rocker technology has an earlier rise to it, which makes it easier to float through the snow, because the tip goes over bumps and thicker snow more easily than the traditional camber ski does.

“I think, honestly, any boarding or skiing you should start to get rid of the winter blues,” said Naomi Mohr, snowboarding instructor at Wolf Mountain. “Get out and enjoy it, whether it’s a sunny or snowy day. . . . My husband skied for years and then got out of it. Then when my kids were 8 and 3, just getting back into it has been such a good thing for my family.”

Many different ski resorts are geared to different abilities. Wolf Mountain has a magic carpet meant for beginners. For more experienced skiers and snowboarders, Powder Mountain and Snowbasin offer larger ranges of advanced terrain.

“I know with Powder Mountain, I believe on Wednesdays they have student days,” Sqrow said. “Also, at the Outdoor Program we offer back-country trips. We have a Bloomington Canyon yurt up in Idaho just out of Bear Lake where people go and back-country ski. It’s an awesome place.”

WSU students can get discount day passes at Snowbasin and Powder Mountain. Powder Mountain’s discount pass costs $55, a $10 value from its regular pass. Snowbasin’s WSU discount pass is $74, a $12 value. Wolf Mountain offers a student night on Thursday nights. With WSU ID, the lift ticket only costs $12.

From getting above the inversion to burning calories on the slopes, many health benefits are associated with skiing and boarding. According to Fitday.com, the average person burns about 450 calories per hour while snowboarding or skiing.

“It’s winter fun out in the sun, good Vitamin D,” said Mark Moore, a ski instructor at Wolf Mountain. “It’s physical exercise that people need in the winter time, otherwise they get shut in.”