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Bringing the snow to the inferno: Sun Devils take to the slopes

The Sun Devil Ski Club went on one of its last local trips to the snow this past weekend

sparky skiing

"Sparky hits some fresh powder, bruh." Illustration published Monday Feb. 27, 2017.

With or without experience on the slopes, the Sun Devil Ski Club provides countless opportunities for ASU students to explore the snow and cool down.

Dmitriy Presnyakov, the president of the Sun Devil Ski Club and an economics senior, made it a point that regardless of ASU's sunny location, students should still have the option to ski and snowboard.

“We basically bring the experience and lifestyle of skiing and snowboarding to a desert-bound school,” Presnyakov said. “The main misconception is that there is no skiing in the middle of the desert, so we basically bring the opportunity to do exactly that to people who would otherwise not be able to do that.”

The club began in the fall of 2015 with just 10 members. Since then, the leaders of the club took it upon themselves to reinvent the organization, which led to the growth of close to 300 members.

“When we started planning for the club we expected maybe 100 or 150 members to sign up for the season and this just completely blew up,” Presnyakov said. "We had no idea it’d get this big.”

Bringing the snow to the inferno: Sun Devils take on the slopes from The State Press on Vimeo. Video by Marcella Baietto.

The club is completely student-run, meaning the students are responsible for transportation, much of the funding and planning. The organization usually plans its weekend trips up to Sunrise, Arizona but also organizes out-of-state adventures.

“We go every single weekend that we can. Occasionally, we will go to Snowbowl and then we also have really big trips to Colorado and California,” Presnyakov said. “We went to Utah a couple of times and every year it changes.”

Spring break usually marks the end of snowboarding and skiing season, and to commemorate it, the club has planned a unique trip to both the beach and the snow to Big Bear, California and Rosarito, Mexico

“We managed to work with a tour company to secure something that we haven't done before, which is not just a ski trip but lots of people were interested in going to Mexico,” Presnyakov said. “So we got a spring break trip that is half and half, three days in the mountains and another four days in Mexico which is the best of both worlds.”

Taylor Schlicht, a film major, is the social media officer for the club, and when she came to ASU she hoped there would be a club for her that catered to her love for the snow.

“I actively searched on OrgSync hoping that a school this big would have a club that offered skiing and snowboarding,” Schlicht said. “This club is what got me back skiing again.”

A skier since the age of two, Kalyn King, a psychology junior, said the club welcomes various levels of expertise.

“We have people from all different abilities and we just love to get together to go skiing and snowboarding and the club definitely provides an easier way to access mountains,” King said.

The vice president of the ski club and Ph.D student John Garich said the organization really tries to keep costs low so that as many students have the ability to go on trips.

“We recognize that college students have a very tight budget at all times,” Garich said. “We want to be able to offer that cheap trip for somebody that is paying their way through and to still be able to enjoy that passion that they love.”

Collaborating with companies and retailers benefit the club by promoting their organization and providing discounts and resources for their members.

“We work really heavily with Ski Pro, and it’ s a really good partnership to have,” Garich said. “We are starting to look at furthering our breach and seeing what other companies we can work with.”

Garich said having a space to come together over common passions has really made for a great club environment.

“It is amazing to be able to share that with people who maybe haven’t seen snow before or for people who have been doing it for their whole lives,” Garich said. 

“We are all very unlike-minded people that like to do the same thing, and we can find new ways of having fun."

Reach the reporter at or follow @marcellabaietto on Twitter.

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