Weekly Granite Peak trips let students try downhill skiing

By Rachel Taber

Each Wednesday, Lawrentian students ski at Granite Peak in order to take their minds off their studies and de-stress. Downhill skiing enthusiasts hit the slopesin the evening and then chow down at Culver’s afterward.

The group leaves Wriston turnaround at 4:40 p.m. for Granite Peak. “It’s a weekly ski trip that we have just gathered enough popularity with that we’re now taking a bus,” said Lawrence student and trip leader Don Yarbrough. “So we go to Wausau, which is a town about two hours west of here, and there’s a ski hill on Rib Mountain.”

“The reason we go on Wednesday nights is because with the lift ticket Granite also includes ski rentals—it’s a mid-week deal they got,” said Yarbrough. Students must sign a liability waiver and pay a small amount to go to Granite Peak. “So it works out really well for us because we can charge very nominal dues.”

Granite Peak caters to skiers of all skill levels and capabilities. “They have a lot of access and capability to get it to beginning skiers, so they make it really amenable to people who have never skied before,” explained Yarbrough. “It’s also got enough short and steep [hills] to cater to people who know how to ski, too.”

The Granite Peak ski trips are organized through ORC and information is typically sent out to those on the email list.

“If they’re not on the ORC email list, it’s going to be by word of mouth,” Yarbrough said. “There’s no exclusivity to it, we can pretty much take anybody with.”

The weather this winter has been in the skiers’ advantage compared to the cold winter last year. “Last year it was -15 [degrees] most of the nights and it was pretty bad,” junior Charlie Hornbogen explained. “But this year it’s been pretty warm which is nice. I think it’s warmer in Appleton than it is up there.”

Granite peak uses man-made snow, which is how they are able to still offer skiing. “It’s all man-made snow, which is typically much harder snow because it’s a finer crystal particulate,” explained Yarbrough. “There’s ample snow over there, so it’s not been hugely affected by the warm weather.”