UAHS skiers and snowboarders enjoy winter season by taking trips to nearby ski resort
By Emma Klebe, ’13
The metal edges of senior Tom Raphael’s snowboard dig into the takeoff of Capital Park’s Big Air Ramp at Mad River Mountain. As he soars through the air he grabs his board and lands a five forty spin. Raphael is one of many students who will visit this winter oasis throughout the season.
Although Ohio’s mountainless terrain and flat farmlands aren’t known for skiing or snowboarding, students take advantage of one of the few ski resorts: Mad River Mountain. Located only 45 minutes northwest from Columbus in Bellefountaine, Ohio, Mad River offers a different hangout for students.
According to the Mad River website, the 24 slopes and two terrain parks span 144 acres, making Mad River the largest ski resort in Ohio. Along with a range of slopes, the resort also offers tubing, ski/snowboard lessons, equipment rental, and lodging which includes restaurants.
Freshman ski and snowboarder Anna Murphy said the often pricey tickets are worth the expense. She compared Mad River to other resorts in the U.S. Murphy said that because of Ohio’s flat terrain, the mountains here don’t measure up to Rocky Mountain resorts out west, but are still enjoyable.
“Compared to ski resorts out west, Mad River isn’t as good, but for Ohio it is the best place to go,” she explained.
One of the main attractions at Mad River is the terrain area, Capital Park. According to Madriver’s website, OnTheSnow.com chose Capital Park as “the best in the Midwest Terrain Park category in the 2011 Visitors Choice Awards” because of its ever-changing features.
Freshman trick-skiers Liam Campbell is one of many students who take advantage of the award-winning park. Campbell has been skiing since he was 7-years old and has experienced a variety of ski resorts.
“Mad River is a great resort as far as the Midwest goes,” he said. “They have an awesome terrain park with a really good setup and maintained features.”
During the winter, Campbell goes to Mad River three to four times a week and competes regularly in trick competitions.
Raphael also enjoys snowboarding and practicing tricks at Capital Park. He has been snowboarding for nine years and goes to Mad River four to five times a week. Such dedication is time-consuming, but Raphael said that skiing or snowboarding are great activities that get him out of the house.
“Mad River is a great place to go in the winter because you will always have a good time,” he said. “It’s better than sitting at home.”
Although Campbell, Murphy and Raphael aren’t involved in the high school ski club, the Ski and Snowboard Club at UAHS organizes trips up to Mad River several times during the season.
The club offers four organized night trips throughout the winter. Since January 11 (the club’s first trip), the group has left for Mad River after school on Wendesday by charter buses and returned to the high school at 10 p.m.
Whether it’s through Ski and Snowboard Club or with friends, Mad River mountain includes a variety of events and activities for high school students.