Archive for Sunday, January 10, 2010

Outdoor enthusiasts take on Mount Oread snow

Sleds, snowboards mark range of skills

January 10, 2010


On the street

Where is your favorite sledding spot?

Campanile Hill on one of those trays.

More responses

Lawrence residents ride on KU campus

The snow blanketing Lawrence has made all kinds of winter sports and activities possible. Some snowboarders hit up the KU campus to take advantage of the powdery snow. Enlarge video

Jesse Lee, Lawrence, jumps off a mound of snow Saturday near the Campanile on the Kansas University campus.

Jesse Lee, Lawrence, jumps off a mound of snow Saturday near the Campanile on the Kansas University campus.

Mount Oread ski resort? That’s what it looked like briefly Saturday afternoon as five snowboarders were perched just skier’s left of the Campanile, buckling in their bindings and about to take off down the hill.

“We just wanted to make some turns,” said 31-year-old Jesse Lee who had just caught a little air as he went over a pile of snow.

Johnny Kim, 39-year-old assistant professor in the Kansas University School of Social Welfare, was the first to make fresh tracks down the hill Saturday afternoon. He did more than a half dozen laps gliding down the hill and then walking up the sidewalk.

Having to dig his board out of the basement, Kim said he hadn’t been snowboarding in seven years. But he wanted to get a few runs in before meeting up with college friends in Colorado later this winter.

While the ride was short and the hike back to the top was long, the snow was nice, said 28-year-old Jesse Sevier.

“It’s crazy for Kansas,” he said.

The snowboarders weren’t the only ones taking advantage Saturday of the abundance of snow on Mount Oread.

Right below the Campanile was Chaz Steele, who used a wake board that was missing a fin to slide down the hill. And according to the 22-year-old, it was the fastest thing on the hill.

“It’s very, very exhilarating. You almost feel like a flying squirrel,” he said.

Behind Steele was a group of young men who claimed to be “professional sledders” and members of the self-proclaimed “Sled Team USA”. They called their style guerrilla sledding, which pretty much meant they have yet to purchase a traditional sled and used just about anything to slid down the hill — including a sign with the words “Bus Traffic Only.”

When it snows, the group sleds several times a week, sometimes at midnight. The other day they took their training on the road, sledding out at Clinton Lake. In their free time, they go to class at KU.

“But we are thinking about sledding,” Andrew Inman said.

So what makes them professionals?

“Our intense dedication to the sport,” Inman said.

“And who’s to say we are not pros?” his friend Patrick Moore added.


canyon_wren 5 years, 10 months ago

In the late 50s--in additon to cafeteria trays on the hill by the Campanile--they were using ladders to go down the 13th Street hill. I imagine that's totally illegal now!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 10 months ago

"they were using ladders to go down the 13th Street hill."

I used to live just off of 13th St. on Ohio, and I recall one ice storm after which many of the cars parked on 13th spontaneously started sliding down the hill into each other. Fortunately, some of the drivers were smart enough to turn their wheels into the curb, otherwise it could have been a very slow-motion pile up.

chairs 5 years, 10 months ago

Wow, this made the news? Talk about a slow day.

geekin_topekan 5 years, 10 months ago

It's all fun and games until one of them gets wounded or maimed and the parents sue the university for millions of dollars, claiming that KU was negligent by allowing their child to be an idiot.

It's not like it hasn't happened before, right?

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