By Jess Landman
The winter season quickly approaches and, with it, the winter sports that many enjoy.
With SUNY Plattsburgh being nestled in the northern Adirondacks, it makes this college the perfect destination for students who enjoy winter activities, such as skiing and snowboarding.
More than 200 students have already joined Plattsburgh’s Ski and Snowboard Club, which is quite a few members for an all new e-board to handle. The elected officers are still trying to figure out the exact roles of everyone in the club, but that has not stopped them from putting on and planning events.
This uptick may have stemmed from the new ski3 season pass that the club is offering. This allows members to get season passes to Whiteface Mountain, Gore Mountain and Belleayre Mountain for a discounted rate. For an average adult, a season pass to Whiteface would be $1,200 and a student season pass would be $450, but with this pass, students pay $300 for a season pass.
The most recent event hosted by the club was Rail Jam. This was held behind Memorial Hall Nov. 15.
President Quinn Pascale and Vice President Alexandra Baker along with the rest of the e-board, put in hours worth of work to make this event happen.
The idea of Rail Jam is to get ski rails from Whiteface Mountain and put them behind Memorial Hall. Then, they must get snow that has been wiped off the ice at the Field House by the zamboni. Lastly, they must transport that snow to Memorial Hall and cover the ground around the rails. This, in turn, makes a small terrain park in which students who have skis or snowboards may attend and use to do tricks.
Pat Bly, the digital content coordinator at Whiteface Mountain, attended SUNY Plattsburgh and was a part of the Ski and Snowboard Club in 2016. He was also a participant of Rail Jam then as well and he said that he remembers how much time and work they put into getting all the snow to Memorial Hall.
Bly said the only part Whiteface has in setting up the event is the legal aspects and transporting the rails to and from the mountain. Everything else, including the lighting and getting snow from the Field House is up to the club.
The whole processing of these steps takes copious amounts of organization by the e-board to get the rails from Whiteface Mountain.
Pascale was especially excited to have Rail Jam this year because the last time this event was put on was 2019 due to the pandemic. Whiteface did not want to risk doing business with the college and possibly causing an outbreak, but they have agreed to let the club use the rails this year.
A year-long member of the club, Michael Brockway, attended Rail Jam.
“It was really cool to see all the talented skiers that this school has to offer and snowboarders alike,” Brockway said. “It also got other people to go out and see everything, so I think that had a big draw from non-skiers which may help grow the popularity of the club.”
This is not the only event held by the Ski and Snowboard Club however. In the spring semester, the club also plans on hosting a beginners class at Titus Mountain in skiing and snowboarding.
This will be open to anyone in the club who has never skied before, and they must complete the class before being able to go on different trails. This helps ensure the safety of the new skiers as well as everyone else on the mountain. The course is free, but if participants do not already own skis, they will have to pay for the rentals.
As for the more experienced skiers, they are encouraged to attend, but they will not need to take the course. This is presented as an opportunity for members of the club to get together and to meet new people and have a good day on the mountain.
The club’s most popular event, however, would be the Adventure Film Fest presented by the Ski and Snowboard Club every year.
This is an event where anyone from the club or even the community can submit videos that they took on the mountain. Then they will all be displayed for everyone who attends the event.
“COVID really hit the club hard because a lot of the stuff we do is so many people that the school told us we couldn’t do it,” Pascal said. “Last year, the one thing we actually got to do was Adventure Film Fest, which was really fun.”
This year as well, the e-board members have been trying to set up a system to better allow people in the club to meet up and ski together on the mountain. In previous years, members might text in their GroupMe when they would be going to a mountain, but it was never well planned and the majority of the time, the members would not meet up with each other.
This year, however, there are plans to have certain dates where members can carpool together to get to a mountain. This not only helps people who do not have a car get to the mountain, but also helps members meet new people and ski with others they may not have skied with before.
“It wasn’t for meeting new people and that’s what us officers wanted,” Baker said. “We wanted it to be more of an event community, and for people to make more friends who have common interests, like skiing.”
The ski and snowboard club here on campus is a great way to meet new people and enjoy the 2022 ski season in the Adirondacks.