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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “Cold weather hot for skiers, boarders”

    While storm after storm continues to blow through the nation, wrecking power lines and freezing pipes, electric companies and cleanup crews are cursing the skies – but skiers are reaping the benefits.

    The UA Elevation Ski and Snowboard Club will be patrolling the UA Mall this week to sign up new members for one of the fastest-growing clubs on campus, which has almost 400 members.

    “”This is only our third year,”” said Michael Henry, vice president of the club and snowboard instructor at Sunrise Ski Park. “”We will soon be the biggest club on campus.””

    With this season’s recent 17 inches at Sunrise and what Henry described as the best weather in two years, UA students are looking for ways to hit the slopes.

    The closest place to go is Ski Valley at

    We will soon be the biggest club on campus.

    -Michael Henry,UA Elevation Ski and Snowboard Club vice president

    Mount Lemmon, which has two lifts. The lower lift is the only one currently open, but the top lift should open soon if conditions continue.

    Members of the Elevation Ski and Snowboard Club are eager to hit larger parks. Their first trip, on Jan. 25, is going to Telluride, Colo., which has 1,700 acres open for skiing and snowboarding. The club hopes to see new members there.

    “”Anyone who likes to slide on snow is welcome,”” Henry said.

    The club is also preparing for the trip tomorrow night from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. with a percentage night at Penguin’s Frozen Yogurt and Desserts, 825 E. University Blvd., where the club will receive a percentage of all sales from the company at that time, said Ryan Velasco, president of Elevation Ski and Snowboard club.

    The recent Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend brought snow riders to the Arizona slopes.

    “”Martin Luther King is one of the busiest weekends (at Sunrise),”” Henry said.

    A combination of the long weekend and the unusually cold weather made conditions ideal for downhill thrill-seekers.

    Snowfall in Flagstaff, which has received 10.6 inches since Jan. 1, has already surpassed all of January 2006, which only reached 1.6 inches, according to the National Weather Service.

    One thing is for sure: Small groups from the Elevation Ski and Snowboard Club will be taking trips to Sunrise Ski Park and Arizona Snowbowl Ski Park in the coming months, Velasco said.

    Since the club has 10 sponsors, the most sponsors out of any club on campus, trips should be easy to organize, Henry said.

    “”Our members get discounts at Peter Glen and backcountry.com,”” he said.

    The club also has members who are ski and snowboard instructors who are willing to help out those still trying to learn, Velasco said.

    Members of the club have already hit the slopes.

    “”Salt Lake was incredible,”” said Joseph Macchi, Elevation Ski and Snowboard Club founder. “”It snowed for three days straight.””

    Along with Utah, California is a favorite among riders.

    “”Big Bear (in California) was awesome,”” Velasco said. “”It has an amazing (snowboard) park.””

    But after last weekend, snow sport enthusiasts are looking to Flagstaff for weekend trips. Sunrise Ski Park features a snowboarding park with rails, jumps and boxes. They also have cliff drops and wide jumps for skiers and snowboarders, Henry said.

    “”It is going to be a much better year than last year,”” Velasco said.

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