Peter Noon | Balancing School and Snowboarding at Western Colorado University

Peter Noon | Balancing School and Snowboarding at Western Colorado University

I grew up in Fairbanks, Alaska, which does
not have very steep terrain. It’s very limited. And so coming here, being able to get to the
mountain and five minutes later stand on top of some of the steepest, rockiest, scariest
lines is just an amazing opportunity. You can push yourself every single day, and
that’s helped me evolve into the rider that I’ve always wanted to be. I fell in love with it instantly. It’s a lot like Alaska, but just the ease
and the access to be able to get out and recreate is unparalleled. Dropping into new lines or steep, consequential
lines is really a process. It’s something that can’t be rushed, so a
lot of times I spend all my days out poking around, getting familiar with the terrain. And then when everything lines up and the
conditions are good, I like to slowly build up the confidence that I know I can do this. The process of committing to it is super exhilarating. And definitely the terrain here needs to be
respected. First and foremost, my priorities are school. I haven’t skipped a singly class since I’ve
been to Western. I love going to class every day, and so that’s
really the bread and butter of my experience here, is going to class, being on campus,
participating. I think all the outdoor pursuits that are
available here are more of a motivator than a distractor. I know that I want to go up and ride on the
weekend or go mountain biking at Hartmans in the afternoon, and so to me that means
if I want to go do the things I want to do after school, I need to buckle down and get
my work done. It’s made me a better student because of it,
it’s has pushed me to work more efficiently and to be motivated by these goals of getting
out as much as possible. The Western Mountain Sports program is this
culmination of all different sports that involve mountains. My experience with Mountain Sports has really
evolved over the last four years. Being a coach on the Mountain Sports team,
it’s amazing to now teach people the mountain that I was taught just a couple years ago. The terrain at Crested Butte is real. When you’re out in the farthest parts of the
mountain, you feel like you’re as close to being in the backcountry without actually
being in the backcountry. It’s steep. It’s highly technical. It requires a lot of thought, a lot of processing. It’s certainly not mindless riding, which
I really like. I like to the mountain and challenge myself
and think through things and have it be this very active process of riding. Every year I get more involved with the school
and with the surrounding area, and in turn I start to fall in love with the place more
and more.

Antonio Breitenberg

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