Stay cool.

Members of the URI Alpine Ski Racing TeamOn snowy days in Rhode Island junior Erin Regan heads to Yawgoo Valley Ski Area—a 10-minute drive from campus and the state’s only skiing and snowboarding destination.

Erin calls snowboarding at Yawgoo “a snow-day tradition” for the URI Alpine Racing team. “It’s a small mountain, but it’s so close to campus, so we just go up and down all day, goof off a little, and enjoy a day of riding,” she said.

An elementary education and communication studies major, Erin started snowboarding with her family as a child. She  loves the feeling of freedom it provides. “It’s nice to be somewhere you can clear your mind and not worry about the stresses of school,” she said. “It’s a great escape.”

I think Yawgoo is an amazing place for people to learn skiing and snowboarding. It’s a great place for beginners to perfect their skills and for experts to come hang out and have a blast.

The proximity of Yawgoo to the Kingston campus makes it an ideal spot to put in some time on your skis or snowboard without traveling to the mountains of northern New England. Even when the weather doesn’t cooperate and deliver much snow to the area, powerful snowmaking at Yawgoo makes it a great option.

Alumni Brendan Gouin and Dylan Gamache have even achieved a bit of fame for their snowboarding exploits at Yawgoo. Together with three friends, they are known as the Yawgoons, and have demonstrated how a passion for snowboarding and some video-making skills can turn heads in the competitive international snowboarding world—as evidenced by this recent feature in The New York Times.

As a student, Brendan often visited Yawgoo. “I think Yawgoo is an amazing place for people to learn skiing and snowboarding. It’s a great place for beginners to perfect their skills and for experts to come hang out and have a blast,” he said.

If Yawgoo’s 310-foot tall slopes aren’t enough to get your adrenalin flowing, there’s the URI Alpine Racing Team, a club sport that competes on mountains in New Hampshire and Vermont against six other universities in the Northeast.

Team treasurer Kyle Dorion said that while ski racing is usually considered an individual sport, he enjoys the team aspect of the URI program. “I like that you get to see how your individual success reflects on the team,” he said. “If I do poorly, then the team does poorly, and that motivates me to ski well.”

Kyle also enjoys the relaxed atmosphere of the competition. Participants in the season’s final race wear outrageous costumes—last year the entire team dressed in prom outfits, and the year before they were all clowns.

“This is a team where you don’t have to be super competitive to do well,” Kyle said. “You can enjoy the sport of ski racing, get some time on the snow, meet some new people, and broaden your horizons.”

Pictured: URI Alpine Racing Team
Photo credit: Phillipp Arndt

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