Story by JP Pollard

Skiing and snowboarding are two of many activities that are available to BYU-Idaho students during the winter.

“People don’t know how fun the outdoors are,” said Blake Jensen, a sophomore majoring in general studies. “Skiing is one of my favorite things to do.”

Skiing has been a part of Jensen’s life for a long time. He said he skied as often as he could during his childhood.

“I started skiing at around 3 years old, and I have been putting boots on and stepping into bindings ever since,” Jensen said. “I skied every season besides one due to an ACL tear and two others during my mission.”

Jensen said skiing has also helped him make friends and connect with his family members.

“I grew up in Washington and skied Snoqualmie West Summit during high school,” Jensen said. “I really like skiing Park City in Utah and have skied there with my grandparents every President’s Day weekend.”

Jensen said he tries to make time for skiing during college.

“The first day I found out I could pick up my pass for Grand Targhee, I left right after my class got out and spent the rest of the day up on the mountain,” Jensen said. “I try to ski every weekend, and any day I can get ahead of my homework, I leave to get a few hours in on the slopes.”

Jensen said skiing has been an escapade for him.

“You have to be absolutely present in the moment or you might wreck,” Jensen said. “It is one of the few times where every stress melts away in turn while your face freezes.”

Jensen said skiing is an exhilarating experience for him.

“Skiing has always been something I love, and, honestly, if I could do it every day, I would,” Jensen said. “I love the first few runs where the snow is fresh and untouched. Digging hard on my edge and making big carves is a feeling unmatched by anything else.”

Katelyn Sundwall, a freshman studying exercise physiology, said she has had great ventures and experiences snowboarding.

“There are endless opportunities with snowboarding,” Sundwall said. “Once you are past the beginner stage, therein lies the challenge to go faster and become better.”

Sundwall said she enjoys snowboarding at places with quality snow because they allow her to do a lot more with her snowboard.

“I’ve come to learn that there is so much you can do when it comes to good powder,” Sundwall said. “I love the speed and the style.”

She said her journey through snowboarding has been fun and exciting.

“I love the way my board feels under my feet when I am steering tight turns,” Sundwall said. “I love the exhilaration of jumping. There is so much about it. You have to experience it to know.”

The closest ski resorts to Rexburg are Kelly Canyon Ski Resort, Grand Targhee Ski Resort and Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, according to Sled Shed, Skate & Snowboard Shop.