Skiing? Thanks, but no
VAIL – For Seneca Toussant, skiing is just something he hasn’t gotten around to.”I don’t have a real reason for not skiing,” he said.Toussant, 29, lives and works as a civil engineer in Eagle-Vail. The ski trails of Beaver Creek Mountain are visible from his office building. The Louisiana native has lived in Colorado for six years, but it was horses, not skiing, that brought him here – he works part-time as a horse wrangler at a kids’ camp near Dotsero.Life in the towns at the feet of Eagle County’s ski resorts revolves around skiing and snowboarding. Your next door neighbor could be a former World Cup skier, X Gamer or more likely a skier who had 100 days on the mountain this year. But look closely enough and you’ll find locals who don’t ski or snowboard and have no interest in doing so.Toussant hasn’t gone skiing at Vail or Beaver Creek since he moved to Eagle-Vail a year and a half ago. He skied two days several years ago at Sunlight Mountain near Glenwood Springs. He’s gotten a few offers – equipment included – to learn, but hasn’t taken any of them up yet. He stays busy even without skiing, whether it’s horseback riding, going to concerts or visiting Aspen.”There’s just so much to do,” he said.
One drawback? He doesn’t get to skip out of work for the morning on powder days, he said.”Definitely before I leave the valley, I’m going to learn,” he said.’Destroyed by skiing’Jens Werner, 28, of Avon prefers going up an ice cirque to going down a ski slope. Last year, he didn’t ski one day. This year, between a work trip – he does public relations for an agency in Vail – and obligations to friends and his girlfriend, he skied seven days. He didn’t have a pass this year, and he didn’t try to get one.Werner’s real interest is ice climbing. He climbed 25 days this year, mostly in East Vail but also in Ouray, Redstone and near Glenwood Springs.When Werner moved here after college, he worked in a physical therapy office. Exposure to people with ski injuries there turned him off to skiing, he said.
“I saw all the people who were totally destroyed by skiing,” he said. “The enjoyment that I got out of it wasn’t worth the risk. … When I got into ice climbing, I had something else to occupy my seasons.”He enjoys the relative solitude of ice climbing. The lift lines can get to him sometimes, he said.”Every time I’m up on the mountain, I’m having fun,” he said. “It’s just that I don’t seek it out over other things.”Besides ice climbing, he snowshoes, fly fishes and runs.Werner said he doesn’t mind the higher cost of living in a ski resort area, even though he doesn’t ski.”I look at it as an outdoor recreational whole, not just a place for skiing,” he said. “I don’t mind paying a little more for a mortgage or a little more for a carton of milk, because I still enjoy my time here doing other things.”
‘Hasn’t been very appealing’Nickole Moriarty, 28, didn’t move to Eagle County to ski. She hasn’t skied in the year and a half that she’s lived in Eagle-Vail. She came here for her job – working as a reservations agent at the Vail Cascade Resort and Spa. Despite working at a hotel that has a ski lift to Vail Mountain out its back door, she isn’t interested on strapping on skis or a snowboard.”It hasn’t been very appealing to me,” she said.Moriarty moved to Eagle County from the Denver area, where she was a bartender. Taking the job at the Cascade was a “huge” career move for her, she said.Potential injuries are a big turnoff for her, she said. One friend broke his back skiing, and another broke his wrist.Her last day on skis was when she was 16. It was freezing, she said, and she remembers sliding down the mountain on her rear end.”It just wasn’t a very good day,” she said.
Moriarty spends some of her free time at bars, where she likes playing pool. Friends don’t comprehend her aversion to skiing, she said.”They just don’t understand why I’m here,” she said.Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 748-2929, or firstname.lastname@example.org.Vail, Colorado
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