Junior Caden Whitmire (he/him) started skiing when he was five years old. He said he hated the cold weather at first, but he ended up enjoying it and has been skiing ever since.
“I was in lessons for a while. I didn’t like that at all. But once I got a little older, I really liked it because I could go fast. I could do these tricks and I guess I just like the freedom of it， too,” said Whitmire.
Whitmire usually skis at Stevens Pass and prefers to ski in the daytime because most lifts close at night, although he noted that there are fewer people and shorter lines during night skiing for the lifts that do remain open.
Though Whitmire has skied in many different locations, his favorite skiing memory was a family vacation in Montana with his friend Liam’s family.
“We rented out a house all together. It was just a super fun time. We were all just skiing there for three days straight. It was a 10 hour drive there, so we were all super tired, but then the next day, we’re all ready to go whenever we get time,” said Whitmire.
Whitmire said he’s better at normal mountain riding, but he also enjoys going to the terrain park to do tricks even though it is scary.
“I’ll try to do tricks. I’ve done like a 361 before, and I kind of want to do a backflip this year. It’s one of my goals.”
Junior Sofia DiBlasi (she/her) has been skiing for 14 years. She said she skis competitively and does downhill races across the Northwest. During the winter season, DiBlasi said her favorite place to ski is Stevens Pass, located in Skykomish, since that’s where her mom grew up skiing.
Diblasi skis competitively for the Pacific Northwest Ski Association, and trains 2-3 times a week with her coaches and team. The competitions DiBlasi participates in are the highest level among her age group. After 12 years of being on her team, she has formed close bonds with her teammates. She said they are like a family, who all support each other on and off the snow.
DiBlasi also recalled a memorable moment she had before a race when she took a tumble in the snow.
“I was doing a warm up at the top. We had a whole run clear, and I went around the corner in skis that were taller than me,” she said. “I ran into powder, and I rolled all the way down the hill, and then by the time I got to the bottom, four people in front of me had all crashed on the same run.”
She said that some of her favorite people to ski with are her mom and teammates. Though she usually skis with people who are at a high skill level, DiBlasi shared a little about what she would do if she were to introduce someone to skiing.
“I would not make them go on the easiest run; I would make them go on a chairlift,” said DiBlasi. “I wouldn’t put them on a magic carpet!”
Sophomore Wendy Barben (they/them) started skiing around elementary school, skiing every week or every other week during the season with their parents.
They mentioned that the reason they enjoy skiing is that they like winter and that there are great views that make the ride up the lift enjoyable as well. Barben said that getting off the lift and onto the runs is fun because being so far into the mountain makes it feel like nothing else matters, but sometimes it can be a little scary.
“There are times where it’s really peaceful, and then there’s times where it’s really stressful,” said Barben. “If there’s a lot of beginners in one area, I don’t want to hit them.”
Barben also mentioned an awkward moment they had while skiing when their mom couldn’t catch up to them while in line for the lift.
“I had to ride with some strangers because my mom wasn’t fast enough and didn’t get onto the seat,” they said. “And their friend was left behind, so it was just two friends and then me.”
Barben said their favorite people to ski with are their family friends and mom. Since they’ve also tried snowboarding before, they offered their opinion on the rivalry between skiers and snowboarders.
“Because I’ve done it once, I don’t like to see them as different people. I just see them sitting down a lot,” said Barben. “I don’t really like the rivalry between people who could be having fun together.”
Senior Kevin Wang (he/him) has been skiing for six years. Wang’s brother introduced the sport to him, and it became a passion for him.
“It’s just really fun; [I] kind of feel like I can do whatever I want. And it’s good to get away from my daily life. There’s no service in the mountains,” said Wang.
Out of all the skiing locations, Wang said he goes to Crystal Mountain Resort, located in Enumclaw, the most. Crystal has a wide slope, where you can ski however you want without a specific rule, which is called the free ride.
“It’s a big resort. And I noticed that I don’t do a lot of free rides, but there’s a lot of terrain for free rides. And I like to go on those runs a lot. It’s just a good environment,” Wang said.
But not every moment on the mountain is perfect, and Wang recounted an embarrassing moment on the snow.
“I was just skiing to the chairlift and these other two guys came around me and they took the lift. And so I got hit by the chair,” said Wang.
For people who hope to try it out, Wang said that skiing is a unique experience unlike other sports.
“I don’t think there’s really anything you can do to prepare for it, per se. You kind of just learn while you’re skiing. It’s pretty physically demanding. If you ski pretty hard, it’s a pretty good workout,” said Wang.
Wang said that although he enjoys skiing, he would not consider it as a career. But that doesn’t stop him from putting effort into the sport.
“It’s kind of just something I do in my free time. But I enjoy it, so I like to push myself — get better or get as good as I can and learn a lot of tricks.”