Whitman Students Enjoy Skiing

Emily Solomon, Sports Editor

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It’s been a while since Walla Walla has seen as much snow as we have so far this February. For everyone who’s been at Whitman for at least a couple years knows that the weather can get pretty intense in the winter time. Last year was relatively mild, but the year before that consisted of cancelled flights and cancelled classes due to hazardous falling icicles and slippery streets.

Many Whitman students, especially those not used to dealing with the cold weather, have enjoyed the recent snow. Aside from snowing a couple days back in November of last year, this winter hasn’t been too bad relatively speaking, especially for those of us who come from warmer climates and haven’t quite yet assimilated to needing a puffy coat any time you take a step outside.

Illustration by Elena Kaminskaia

Emily Mercer, a sophomore on the Whitman Nordic Ski Team, shared her love for skiing as well as her gratitude for the recent cold spells of weather.

“We’ve been pretty lucky this year because we’ve had the opportunity to travel to a lot of races and the snowfall in town has allowed us to get some training in right here in Walla Walla,” Mercer said.

Eliza Van Wetter is the president of the Backcountry Ski Team here on campus, and laid out what her winter ski schedule looks like.

“I generally ski at least once a week,” Van Wetter described. “I go to Spout Springs Tollgate most often and occasionally to Anthony Lakes near North Powder, Oregon or the Wallowas near Joseph, Oregon.”  

Students have been very grateful for the recent snow on campus that, unfortunately, has yet to cancel classes, but has provided our ski teams with lots of practice time and space.

“The snow has been very good and plentiful this winter,” Van Wetter said. “Which is great for snow sports and even better for our rivers come springtime!”

Mercer spends many weekends and breaks with the team, which she explains has a unique dynamic compared to other ski teams on campus.

“The Nordic ski crowd and Alpine ski crowd have very different vibes here on campus, but I like them both,” Mercer shared. “Our team went to Mazama, Washington and Sun Valley, Idaho to compete in races earlier this semester, where it was great to ski around and enjoy such beautiful places. Next weekend a friend and I are going to Schweitzer, which is a ski resort in Idaho, which I’m excited for.”

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