Young boy skiing

When Steve Eliasen was a teenager, he loved skiing in Wisconsin’s snow-blanketed forests.

Eliasen: “Moving physically, delighting in winter, in the snowscape, in the snow-covered cedars … when you’re out there, it’s just another world.”

Now, he helps young people have that same experience. He runs an organization in the city of Oshkosh that offers free ski lessons to students.

But as the climate warms, running a ski club is harder than it used to be. By the middle of the century, average winter temperatures in Oshkosh are likely to be seven to eight degrees Fahrenheit higher than they were in 1980. That means less snow for skiing.

As the #climate warms, running a ski club is harder than it used to be. Click To Tweet

Eliasen: “It’s not uncommon these days now, say in January or February, to have brown countryside.”

Eliasen has no intention of giving up. He believes skiing gives young people a rare opportunity to connect with nature and reflect on their place within it.

Eliasen: “I don’t know how you share that with students if not for physically, literally, getting out there in the world, and I worry there’s far too little of that.”

So even if there are fewer good ski days, he takes every chance he can to send a kid gliding through white powder for the first time.

Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media.

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