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Skiers hit Sundown slopes

Success+in+the+snow--+Senior+Avery+Laberge+congratulates+a+young+skier+during+a%0Alesson.+Lessons+are+between+one+hour+and+one+hour+and+a+half%2C+and+anyone+from+the%0Aages+three+and+older+can+participate.+
Success in the snow-- Senior Avery Laberge congratulates a young skier during a
lesson. Lessons are between one hour and one hour and a half, and anyone from the
ages three and older can participate.

Success in the snow-- Senior Avery Laberge congratulates a young skier during a lesson. Lessons are between one hour and one hour and a half, and anyone from the ages three and older can participate.

Jason Armistead

Jason Armistead

Success in the snow-- Senior Avery Laberge congratulates a young skier during a lesson. Lessons are between one hour and one hour and a half, and anyone from the ages three and older can participate.

Annika Sager, Features Editor

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Ski Sundown is a ski and snowboard area in New Hartford, Connecticut with 16 trails and 70 skiable acres. 11 students and one faculty member from the high school work as instructors, teaching people of various ages and skill levels how to take on the slopes.

The instructors from the school include seniors Jimmy Pescosolido, Vini Munshi, Nick Vendetti, Jack Beisel, Alex Connelly, Kam Modaressi, Avery Laberge, Suhaib Abu-Hasaballah, and Josh Mirolyuz, juniors Abby Simard and Ryan Plickys, and science teacher Laura Butterfield.

A day on the job consists of group meetings to start, lesson assignments, and finishing with the actual lessons that last an hour and thirty minutes. Munshi’s main reason for taking the job as a snowboard instructor was to make a difference in young snowboarders’ lives.

“When you see a little kid cruise down the mountain safely and end up with a smile, it’s a great feeling,” Munshi said.

Abu-Hasaballah has worked at Sundown since he was a junior. While he also gives lessons, his favorite part of the job is time designated to free ski. He credits his love for skiing and willingness to help younger skiers as his reasoning for taking the job.

“Every student I get learns differently and it’s challenging to shift my teaching style to fit everyone best. At the end of the day, however, it’s the fact that I’m allowed to continue the cycle that I myself was a part of and share my love for skiing,” Abu-Hasaballah said.

Simard agreed that getting to teach others on the same mountain that she learned to ski on and sharing her love for the sport with younger skiers has been a great aspect of this job.

All of these instructors have had lots of experience on various other mountains including Mount Snow, Loon Mountain, Stratton, and even once in the Alps. They all agreed that skiing in Connecticut is a different experience from skiing on the big mountains in Vermont and in the West.

“Our climate is typically warmer than the rest of New England, and so our snow melts during the day and refreezes at night. It makes the conditions icy for most of the season. We also rely quite a bit on snowmaking as we haven’t gotten much natural snowfall in the past few years,” Butterfield said.

Because of these slightly warmer temperatures, the conditions are not as powdery as mountains more north or west. Despite what some claim as lesser conditions, Sundown still has its perks.

“Skiing in [Connecticut] is definitely very different just because of the size of the mountains, the level of skiing isn’t anywhere near other places. But when you’re with a good group of people, it’s easy to have just as much fun as you would anywhere else,” Connelly said.

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Skiers hit Sundown slopes