By Ryan Collins and Terrence Echols
When the snow starts to fall, what is one of the first things you think about? Many students at Jamesville-DeWitt High School think about skiing or snowboarding.
With this year’s extremely cold, yet not very snowy weather, everyone has been limited in terms of how often they can hit the slopes. Sophomore Ryan Middleton, who has skied for the past four years, has yet to go down his favorite mountain, Toggenburg, this year. “The snow is crappy this year,” said Middleton. Middleton said that he plans to go about twice this winter season. “It hasn't really affected me this year,” said freshman Nico Modesti who skies at Toggenburg Mountain despite the lack of snow. “We haven't had any snow this year,” said sophomore Dan Thompson who usually goes snowboarding at Four Seasons or Toggenburg. Sophomore Claire Rigney usually travels to Toggenburg Mountain once a week.
With the lack of snowfall so far this season, many people have been riding on artificially made snow rather natural snow. With today's technology, there is a simplistic way to artificially create snow so people can ski in almost any winter weather. It is produced by a machine that uses a high-pressure pump to spray a mist of water into the cold air. The water droplets then crystallize to form “fake” snow. However, many students prefer real snow over artificial snow. “I like real snow more because fake snow makes it too icy,” said sophomore Sadye Bobbette. “I've noticed that natural snow is much smoother then the artificial stuff,” said Modesti.
Though there is not much snow in Syracuse, others have found it around the country. Over holiday break sophomore Matt Cappelletti visited Mammoth Mountain in California for a five day vacation with his cousins who live there. He flew to the Golden State in hopes of getting a new experience of skiing outside of New York. “Mammoth Mountain is 1,200 feet tall, which is six times bigger than the largest mountain in New York state,” said Cappelletti. He had a great experience there and said that there were nine total terrain parks, which are separate designated areas on the mountain where skiers and snowboarders perform tricks. Most mountains around this area usually only have one terrain park.
Sophomore Caroline Darcy has been to Vail and Beaver Creek in Colorado. When in New York, Darcy visits Toggenburg, Labrador and Greek Peak mountains. Junior Dylan Fleishman traveled as far as Oregon to ski last year. Rigney has been to Vermont to ski last year with her family. When in New York, Sophomore Sadye Bobbette has been to both Vermont and Colorado to ski. Modesti, fellow freshman Taku LaClair and sophomore Andrew Barclay have also traveled out of the country to ski. Modesti and Barclay have gone up to Canada to ski while LaClair used to ski in Japan. “My mom competed nationally in Japan when she was younger,” said LaClair who has been snowboarding for 10 years. LaClair and his family lived in Japan for three years was when his mother skied competitively. “She was a downhill skier who skis for fun today,” said LaClair.
Some students at J-DHS competitively ski and have traveled to many different states to participate. Barclay is an experienced former competitive ski racer and current ski instructor at Toggenburg Mountain and has been skiing since he was 3 years old. Barclay decided to retire from ski racing because it was too time consuming and he had to travel frequntly. During his racing years, Barclay claimed to have skied at every single mountain in New York State. Junior Michael Swan is a current ski racer. Swan has competed in races all over the country. He has been to Utah, Nevada, California, Vermont, and Canada. Swan said he has skied since he was 6 years old and that he usually skies around 100 days each year. Freshman Paige Petrell is also a competitive skier and has skied since she was about 18 months old. “I ski everyday” said Petrell who has traveled to Colorado, Vermont, Oregon, Utah and Maine to ski. Petrell’s favorite place in New York State to ski is Toggenburg Mountain.