Sliding into Ski Season

Krystin Paine Contributing Writer

    With the winter season creeping upon us, UMF students are getting excited about ski season. Skiing is one of the most popular outdoor winter activities Maine has to offer and a great way to make fun memories with friends and family.

    Priyanka Miller, junior and psychology major, has been skiing since she was five years old. “It’s like a freeing feeling to be skiing down a mountain.” Miller said.

    “My fondest memory of skiing is when I went with a few friends and we were teaching one of my friends how to ski,” said Miller, “One of my friends almost fell down the mountain but it was just really fun and it was just really nice to hangout with them.”

    Garrett Pooler, sophomore and rehabilitation major, has never been skiing but is willing and excited to try this year. “My friend, Noah Erskine, was the one who convinced me to try skiing this year,” Pooler said. “I’m looking forward to learning how to ski. I’m also a little nervous because it is mildly dangerous.”

    “I think it will be a fun new experience that all my friends can enjoy doing together,” Pooler continued. “I plan to go skiing at Titcomb Mountain some time during the winter, hopefully as soon as it opens.”

    Emily Murphy, senior and rehabilitation major, recalls the first time she skied. “It was absolutely amazing. I didn’t really know how to ski but I yeeted downhill going full speed screaming as everyone on the ski lift watch me from above” she said. “Then, I crashed at the bottom but popped right back up laughing because it was the most fun I had all semester. I was happier than Eloise on a Friday afternoon.” 

    “I would love to go this year and have another great experience. It would be silly not to take up the chance to go,” said Murphy, “I skied at Titcomb Mountain and it is so inexpensive and reasonably close to campus.”

    Chivan Panosain, sophomore and undeclared major, has been skiing around two years. He usually skis at Sugarloaf Mountain in Carrabassett Valley and Titcomb Mountain in Farmington. “I like the thrill of going fast down the mountain,” Panosain said, “The first time skiing, I went to the top of the mountain at Sugarloaf. It was absolutely beautiful. Looking down from the top, I saw everything covered in snow. The view was amazing.” 

    “Definitely almost hit a tree, though,” said Panosain, “I had to throw myself to the ground to stop. At the time, I didn’t know how to. I was zooming.”

   “I am so very excited for ski season,” Panosain continued. “I can’t wait to try doing tricks on the rails and other stuff. I just want to improve my ability.”

    Noah Erskine, sophomore and secondary education, has skied since 5th grade. “I remember one time, a bunch of my buddies and I loaded the car and went to Sugarloaf,” said Erskine. “We got to the mountain and it was a very nice day. The lines were very short. This made it easier to go up the hills and trails quicker.”

    “Hitting the rails was such a thrill,” Erskine said. “My adrenaline was pumping because it is very dangerous to do tricks. Each time improving every trick made it easier to go down the mountain.

    Some places to ski or snowboard around Farmington are Titcomb Mountain in Farmington, Sugarloaf in Carrabassett Valley, and Sunday River in Newry, or Lost Valley in Auburn.

Sugarloaf Encourages the Wonders of Winter to UMF Students

Sugarloaf Encourages the Wonders of Winter to UMF Students

Graci Wiseman Contributing Writer 

    Walking into the recent Outdoor Recreation Job Fair, the whole atmosphere breathed winter, encouraging students to get outside and enjoy the glistening outdoor wonders of the season and the experience that comes with it.    

    Sugarloaf, a staple of Maine tourism and winter recreation, is a popular choice of seasonal employment among students. Employers there are looking to find students who are passionate about skiing and the outdoors as much as they are, and welcome students to the friendly, family environment they have created over the years. 

    Gabby Stone, the Manager for Reservations at Sugarloaf, has a strong connection to the mountain and the atmosphere it creates.“This was the only place I’ve ever skied at, I came on vacations and I spent every vacation week, long weekend and all other weekends at the mountain,” said Stone.“I started at a young age, 18 months to be exact and it made sense for me to do nothing but be there and be apart of it.” 

    Stone has always known working at sugarloaf would be in her future. “As a kid I have always wanted to work there, but didn’t know it would turn into something I wanted to do for the rest of my life,” she said.

     Stone is not the only one who has a love for Sugarloaf,  which has made it a major vacation destination for many years. “I believe that sugarloaf is a place where you come for a reason and a place where you want to be,” said Stone. “Go see for yourself!” 

     Charli Sayward, a UMF graduate, also works at Sugarloaf. She has had many different careers before she took the job as Events Coordinator at Sugarloaf. “I taught at Carrabassett Valley Academy and worked at Three Rivers during the summer, I then moved on to work at the Sugarloaf Inn before taking over the Events Manager position at Sugarloaf,” she said.

    Sugarloaf provides many opportunities for people who enjoy skiing. “For me it is a natural fit, I love the outdoors and the recreational aspect of working at Sugarloaf,” said Sayward.

Charli Sayward (Photo courtesy of Graci Wiseman)

    She encourages everyone to embrace the outdoors and exercise.“It is all about you and what makes you happy and finding what fits for you,” said Sayward. “Finding something that you love where you get to be outdoors can really benefit your mental health.” 

    Kayla Begin, a sophomore English major, has been skiing for as long as she can remember and the sport has helped her to emotionally overcome a pressing medical concern with an immediate family member.

    “It was an emotional escape for me when I didn’t think I needed one,” said Begin. “It all started when I was 4 years old and we took a ski vacation to Pennsylvania; ever since that day I fell in love with skiing.” 

    When Begin was in high school she continued to pursue skiing. “Throughout high school skiing made me feel like myself, when I was going through a rough time,” said Begin. “I also taught at Lost Valley[ski resort] when I was 15 and it was my first job.” 

    Begin started working at Sugarloaf last year, but has already learned so much. “I was teaching with people who have been doing skiing for years, and I am still getting used to it, but I continue to learn and love what I am doing,” said Begin.

    Begin has always enjoyed winter and the activities that came with it. “I always liked winter, I first started doing figure skating along with skiing for 10 years each,” said Begin. “But I stuck with skiing because how cool it was and I wanted to share it with younger generations.”               

    Sugarloaf is meaningful to many people as Stone knows the mountain, “is a part of many peoples lives, and will always be a part of mine.”

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