Some Eagles hear the ski slopes calling


Chewelah Independent

Sophomore Davis Croson attempts to grind a rail at 49 North’s ThanksJibbing event on Nov. 24. Croson has also competed at Mt. Spokane, mostly doing charity events.

By Drew Lawson, Reporter

Walking to class in frigid temperatures, while the wind blows and snow falls, is common place during winter quarter at EWU. While this may be an ominous sign to students who prefer warm weather, others see the cold weather as an opportunity for recreation.

Many students head to Mount Spokane, Schweitzer Mountain and other slopes to ski and snowboard on the weekends.

Reed Siclair, who works for EPIC Adventures, skied competitively for a few years earlier in his career and now does it regularly as a hobby. He was introduced to the sport 10 years ago by a group of family-friends in the Spokane area and has been hooked ever since.

“There was a group of guys that started skiing together, and I was family friends with one of the younger brothers,” Siclair said. “They made a movie, I watched that, and I got into it and started skiing.”

Siclair enjoyed success that included a first place finish in the  Kan Jam Amateur Division competition at Mount Spokane several years ago.

“I kinda stopped (competing) just because it’s more fun to goof around with your buddies,” Siclair said.

Snowboarder Davis Croson, a sophomore at EWU majoring in construction management,  also spends a lot of time at Mount Spokane, 49 Degrees North and other slopes in the area. He got into snowboarding and continues to snowboard because of the opportunity it brings to participate in a shared activity with friends.

“[Snowboarding] is really what we did every day after school,” Croson said. “Wednesday through Sunday we would just go up to the mountain. I would consider it more of a home…that was our safe haven.”

Croson has also done competitions at Mount Spokane and 49 Degrees North, mostly at charity events, enjoying some successful finishes.

“I have yet to get first, but I’ve gotten silver and bronze the last two competitions that I’ve been to,” Croson said. “I’ve done four competitions and gotten silver three times with bronze once.”

Croson added that he enjoys the communal spirit of the competitors, more than trying to win.

“It’s a competition, but there’s not a competition aspect to it,” Croson said. “Instead of it being like ‘Oh, I have to be better than this person,’ it’s more like if someone does something cool, you say, ‘That’s sick, what can I do that would also be sick?’ Instead of it being like a competition it’s more like a bunch of friends all riding and having a good time.”

Due to the proximity of mountain ranges such as the Cascade Mountains and the Rocky Mountains, there is no shortage of skiing and snowboarding opportunities in the area. The most popular in the area is Mount Spokane, but Siclair and Croson also mentioned several others. Siclair loves to go to Schweitzer Mountain Resort in northern Idaho, and Croson recently enjoyed his time at Mt. Hood in Oregon.

“I’ve been to Hood a couple of times in the past few years,” Croson said. “It’s pretty competitive, though. The stakes are high.”

This quarter, EPIC Adventures will be leading several skiing and snowboarding lessons at Schweitzer and a multitude of night ski/snowboard trips to Mt. Spokane. There are also day trips to other resorts in the area. Interested students can visit the EPIC Adventures desk on campus for more information or go to their website.