by Ethan Shaheen January 10, 2023 3 min read
Skiing has, and always will be, one of my absolute favorite things to do. Whether it be a spiritual connection with the mountains, the sensation of floating through knee-deep powder, or hyping up your crew with a loud “yyeeeewww,” every devoted rider has something that draws them to the sport.
I began riding at 3 years old on the east coast of the United States. The mountains of New England certainly develop a thick-skinned, rugged skier mentality. Frigid temps, relentless winds, variable snow, and bulletproof ice are all too common characteristics of an east coast winter. Despite less-than-ideal conditions, my stoke for the sport grew every winter, culminating into the passion that I have for skiing today.
After college, I joined the US Coast Guard and was stationed in Seattle, Washington. The cascade mountains of the Pacific Northwest of the United States have a plethora of steep technical terrain, beautiful vistas, and a hefty maritime snowpack. We’re never short of precipitation here, we just always have to hope our snow dances push temps below freezing anytime a storm cycle rolls through. However, when we do get the good fluff, man…it's hard to beat compared to anywhere else!
My new home in the Pacific Northwest has completely reinvigorated my skiing. I started taking avalanche education courses and getting into backcountry skiing. I’ve gotten the opportunity to summit and ski notable volcanoes throughout the cascades, such as Mt Adams, Mt Hood, and Mt St Helens. I started dabbling in freeride competitions and amateur skimo races. Additionally, last season I spent the majority of my winter training as a candidate for part time ski patrol at my local hill, Crystal Mountain. This is my first season as a certified patroller, and it's been such an incredible experience to give back to the skiing community through this role.
I always try to ensure that skiing remains a priority in my life. However, this season has been especially challenging to maintain that with the start of my graduate school program. This past fall I started a Doctorate of Physical Therapy at the University of Washington. My studies are focused on developing skills and knowledge in rehabilitation sciences. The ultimate goal of this program is to become a certified clinician that can assist individuals in recovering from injuries, surgeries, and other ailments to physical health. The coursework is certainly demanding, from long hours in anatomy cadaver labs to continuous physical therapy skill evaluations.
Despite the rigor of my coursework, I’m still ensuring that I have enough time for skiing. I mean…I just have too! Skiing provides such a wonderful outlet to relieve the daily stress that comes with being a graduate student. Whether it be meeting up with a few buddies for a quick tour after class or scouting that next big mountain line to drop, skiing continues to provide so much for my mental well being and happiness.
It’s such an honor to be riding alongside the Paradise Skis team this winter. The “VICE 105” and “VICE Tour” have been the perfect quiver to tackle every goal I’ve had my eyes set on thus far this winter. With plenty more objectives to hit this winter, both in the classroom and in the mountains, I am super stoked to see what’s in store!
By Kevin Doherty-Regalia
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