First-time skiers hit the slopes of Holiday Valley as ski season begins to wind down

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ELLICOTTVILLE, NY (WKBW) — As a relatively new Western New Yorker, 7 News’ Pheben Kassahun has had her share of “firsts,” like visiting one of the best wing spots in the area and even attending his first NFL game. to see the Buffalo Bills take on the New England Patriots in December.

No first year in this field is complete without tackling the cultural wonder of skiing.

“This season has been interesting. The weather turned out to be a great season for snow. We have had good conditions lately. We look forward to continuing this throughout April,” said Bryan Geehrer, Holiday Valley Ski Instructor.

Geehrer has been a ski instructor for two years. Growing up, he was a skier.

He said ski visits have increased during the pandemic, in Holiday Valley. According to I Ski NY, ski resorts across the state have also seen a 25% increase in new skiers over the past year.

“With COVID, all these new skiers are coming here having fun. We’ve had a great experience with people and everything. So business has been good,” he explained.

Elicottville Vacation Valley is ranked number two on the East Coast, in Ski Mag’s 2022 Ski Resort Guide, primarily due to its lifts and restaurants. With over 60 trails on 290 acres, the mountain sits at around 750 feet in height, which is quite small compared to other ski resorts.

On Wednesday, Kassahun decided to take up the snow sport and channel his inner Shaun White with ski instructor, Bryan.

“Today we’re going to take you on our magic carpet. We’re going to do a learn-to-ski lesson. It’s a lesson we do with anyone who’s skiing for the first time. From there, we hope to get you on the lift and possibly possibly the biggest hill by the end of the day.”

Others were also on their first runs like Noah, 4, who came with his family from Pittsburgh.

“Fun, skiing with mom,” exclaimed Noah.

Next on her to-do list was to warm up with a cup of hot chocolate.

The Alperts shared how they introduced their son, Noah, to skiing on Wednesday.

“It’s the best feeling to see the smile on his face and to be able to share it with him. I think back to my first days of skiing and look forward to sharing it for many years to come,” the father said. of Noah, Craig Alpert. .

It was also a great first for Jacky Skubic.

National Patroller, Jacky Skubic, shares her skiing experience after her 7.5 year hiatus.

“The last 7 1/2 months have been spent between surgery and recovery and physical therapy and gym time, and surgery and just repeating the cycle,” said national ski patroller Jacky Skubic. “I took an adaptation lesson and used outriggers a few times during the beginner’s slope for extra balance and stability.”

Although not his first day of skiing, it was his first day on the slopes after losing his left leg (below the knee) in a car accident.

“I feel normal. For the first time in 7 and a half years, I am back on the snow. I feel like myself again because patrolling was an important part of my life. A huge and useful part of my life”, Skubic “After the journey that I’ve been on, a lot of things that I thought were possible, it was just a way of adapting and trying to figure out what’s the new thing that’s going to work or how I can approach something differently that allows me to achieve the same goal or in a way that an able-bodied person might not think of doing something.

Holiday Valley’s closing day is set for early April, weather permitting.

Those who are brave are strongly encouraged to try the sport, but now without proper lessons before their first round.

Tips for beginner skiers can be found here.


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