The Lehigh ski team practices before their final race, which took place the weekend of Feb. 11 and 12. The team's captains are Abby Bryer, ‘23, and Isaac Bell, ‘23, both of whom are experienced racers. (Photo courtesy of Abby Bryer)

Hitting the slopes with the Lehigh Ski Team


Despite facing warmer temperatures and no place to practice this season, the Lehigh Ski Club team earned a place at the regional competition.

The team competed in their final race the weekend of Feb. 11 and 12, and will head to regionals on Feb. 17 and 18.

In past years, the team typically competed in five or six races per season before regionals, while also practicing two nights a week at Blue Mountain Resort in Carbon County, Pennsylvania, about 30 minutes from campus. However, due to a lack of space at Blue Mountain during practice times this season, the team has only been racing on weekends.

Co-captain Abby Bryer, ‘23, said some of their scheduled races were canceled due to warmer weather this season, meaning the team has only competed in four races in the regular season this year. 

Despite these conditions, Bryer said the members enjoy every weekend.

“The snow conditions have definitely been tough,” Bryer said. “Our race last weekend was canceled at Camelback because they didn’t have enough room for us. It definitely has been a little tough to work with that, but overall we’ve been doing really well with what we have been given.”

As a club sport, the ski team is open for any students to join. 

Co-captain Isaac Bell, ‘23, said the team is composed of members of all grades and skill levels this season. 

“It’s a really good mix,” Bell said. “There’s some past racers, but there are also people who haven’t skied before and just want to try it out.” 

Bryer said the team is young, with only three seniors. She said it’s exciting to have more freshmen interest to help grow the team.

One of the newest members, Abi Masillo, ‘26, grew up racing and raced throughout high school. 

“I joined because I wanted to continue racing after high school and to have something to do besides just school, and it’s a fun way to get away for a weekend,” Masillo said. 

She said she is looking forward to the future of the team and eager to see what it achieves in the coming years.

Lehigh’s ski club team competed in their final race between Feb. 11 and 12, these results qualified them for the regional competition on Feb.17. (photo courtesy of Abby Bryer)

The team has seen some changes since Bell’s first year, he said. During his sophomore year, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, they were unable to have a team due to restrictions. As a result, the team is much smaller than when he first started. 

“This is definitely a smaller team but one that is deeper than the team we had my freshman year,” Bell said. “There are five guys who are really good — they raced in high school, as well as (for the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association), which is a next step above high school racing.”

Both the men’s and women’s ski teams have found success this season. The women currently sit at sixth place and on the cusp of fifth, while the men rank second. 

The top six teams for both women and men qualify for regionals, which will be hosted at the Seven Springs Mountain Resort in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. 

Bell said the men have been locked in for regionals, while the women secured the spot after the race this past weekend.

He said the top two teams from regionals make it on to nationals. During his first season, the men’s team made it to nationals, so he is hopeful the team will be able to do it again. 

Most of the regular season races are located between two and three hours away from campus, as they race all around Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey. Bell said for each race, the team rents an AirBnB for the weekend, since they have races on both Saturday and Sunday. 

“The team energy is great,” Bell said. “Everybody just hangs out the night before and then races the next days.”

Typically, Bell said the weekend consists of a giant slalom race and a slalom race, but it depends on the mountain the race is on. The giant slalom race involves two poles with a flag in between them and the gates further apart than a slalom race, which is a race with a single pole and the gates close together.

Bryer said she finds it fun to watch her teammates and cheer them on. She encourages anyone with an interest in skiing, regardless of their experience, to join.

“(The ski team) has been one of my favorite parts of my time at Lehigh so far, and it’s a really good way to meet people,” Bryer said. “I don’t think I would’ve met or become as close with the people had I not done ski team.”

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