Section: Features

A Mount Vernon club cultivates snow-sports enthusiasts

A Mount Vernon club cultivates snow-sports enthusiasts

Ted Rice, pictured above, moved to Mount Vernon from Conventry, England. Upon moving to Mount Vernon, Rice immediately joined the club. | COURTESY OF TED RICE

With winter coming fast, many students are preparing to bundle up and stay indoors. The Mount Vernon Ski & Snowboarding Club, however, presents another option. Starting on Mansfield ski resort Snow Trails’ opening day, the group will offer programs allowing local residents to ski, snowboard and tube up to seven days a week.

“Unlike a school or a more formal club, where you provide transport, this is a group of all sorts of people from all walks of life,” said Ted Rice, the primary organizer of the group. Rice, who is originally from Coventry, England, began skiing during a business trip while working for Rolls Royce to Calgary in Alberta, Canada. After a colleague invited him to come skiing in Banff, he was hooked. He learned about the Mount Vernon club upon returning and joined immediately.

The Club offers package deals for lift tickets, lessons and add-ons to people of all ages. “It’s something to do on a snowy evening or snowy weekend when you’re inclined to stay around the College or go to the library,” Rice said. “You can get yourself up to Snow Trails, which is like a 22-mile road trip each way. And boom, you can participate.”

According to Rice, the Snow Trails facilities are continuously improving each year. For example, Snow Trails now uses multiple snowblowers and chillers — a machine that is driven by a fan and injects cool water from a well on the property into the mountain, which makes it easier to create artificial snow.

There are various packages available, all dependent on the amount of time one decides to ski. For lift tickets, after Nov. 14, it cost $205 to pay once a week, $275 to pay everyday and $120 to pay for tubing only.

The tubing option is popular among both children and adults. “The uniqueness of [the tubing] group is that we have people from all different walks of life, and some of us try and get in touch with others … and we perhaps hang out together [on Saturday morning],” Rice said. In addition to its outdoor activities, the ski resort has a lodge which boasts a wood fireplace and, every now and then, various live performances.

The Mount Vernon Ski & Snowboarding Club takes pride in bringing all sorts of residents to the slopes. “It attracts people who aren’t indigenous to this area to participate in local activities and interact … It brings to Mount Vernon, to Kenyon College and the Y[MCA] and the library, some balance to the academics, and a physical outlet,” Rice said. “I think it’s awesome that we can learn together. We can pursue physical sports during the summer months and in the winter we can get together and celebrate the winter.”

While the start and end dates for the club are not final, there are some important times to note at Snow Trails. On December 14, there is a kickoff party, on Jan 25 there is a midseason party, and the ski season efficiently culminates in the 59th annual Winter Ski Carnival on Feb 22 and 23.

While the semester may be winding down, and the temperature has started to descend from chilly to frigid, don’t discount the opportunity to meet people from the local community and engage in a sport and activity that is only a short drive away.

Students or faculty interested in getting involved with Mount Vernon Ski & Snowboarding Club can contact Ted Rice by cellphone at 740-507-9170 or by email at ted.rice@roadrunner.com. They can also contact Rachel Goeppinger at 740-263-0223 or rgepp4@gmail.com.

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