While most of us have been counting the days ‘til warm weather returns, there’s one Orange resident who is sad to see the last piles of snow melt away.
Annemarie Sliby, 51, is a ski lover who swooshes down the slopes all season long from Thanksgiving’s opening day ‘til mid-April when there’s one last ribbon of snow winding from mountaintop to bottom. “I go ‘til the bitter end,” she said. Sliby has loved the sport since her dad first took her skiing at age 14. “Skiing is exciting, it feels like flying!” she said. “I love the adrenaline rush you get when you’ve had a great run. It never gets boring—bumps, jumps, trees, corduroy cruisers—you can do something different on each run. I love the beauty of the mountains, the smell of the winter air and fresh pines, and the friendliness of all skiers – because we share that common bond. And of course I love the Après ski—the ending to a perfect ski day!”
Once she hit her 20s, skiing became a regular winter time activity, one that has taken her to the top of mountains in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, out west to Utah, Montana, Colorado and California, and most recently, to the Alps of Switzerland.
This year Sliby joined a local ski club for the first time where she met a group of like-minded ski enthusiasts who ranged in age from 20s to 60s. “I wish I’d done it years ago,” she said, pointing out the discounted group rate made skiing in Europe more affordable. Her trip this year to San Moritz was an interesting change of venue, not only for the breathtaking scenery, but the sensation of skiing above the tree line. “I was amazed at the beauty of it, it was just gorgeous,” she said. “The slopes had a different look than out west where you have trees and big trams. Since there are no trees everything is all white. There aren’t many signs that tell you where you are going – and the few they have are in German –there just neon colored sticks marking the trails. It wasn’t the best skiing in the world because they had less snow than usual this year, but the beauty of the country and the mountains left me in awe.” She also enjoyed the elegant eateries that dot the mountainside and the outdoor, sheepskin-covered barstools designed to keep skiers warm and the brief stopover in Italy to eat pastries on the way to the mountain.
At home Sliby takes off several weekends a month and heads to Vermont, typically skiing at Mount Snow or Killington. “If you ski the east you can ski anywhere, we’re used to skiing on everything from ice and hard packed snow to powder. In the Alps the native skiers didn’t know how to change their skiing style moment to moment like skiers from the East Coast in the U.S.” she said. Sliby admits since she loves the “crazy stuff”—skiing the varied terrain in the trees and the knee-bouncing bumps of moguls – she typically skis with men, except for long-time ski buddy, Carol Cody who she began skiing with in the 1990s. “There are not a lot of women who ski,” she said. Though Sliby doesn’t fly off the big jumps, she can often be found alongside teenagers in the terrain parks, riding the half pipe and getting “a little air.” “The half pipe is so much fun!” she said.
Sliby, who is executive assistant to the president at PEZ, still has a couple of weeks left of her favorite spring skiing when she can peel off a few layers, put on sunglasses and catch some rays as she barrels down the mountain. When she finally puts her skis away she’ll brush off her sneakers and get out her bathing suit for her warm weather activities – running, hiking, paddle boarding and kayaking. And hope for another cold, snowy winter in 2016.