Since its opening in late December, I’ve visited Warner Canyon Ski Hill more times than my bank account is comfortable with. 

Before moving to Lakeview, I had never touched a snowboard let alone stepped on one and gone carving down the mountain at speeds that would be sure to either send me tumbling through the snow or worse.

Fast-forward two months from the first time I stepped on a board and I’ve recently purchased my own and brag to my family and friends back home about Warner.

My first day included a lot of kids ages five and up showing me up, appearing to already be masters at a young age and no signs of slowing down. I’m incredibly appreciative of not only being taught to snowboard, but to have a place that I was told is “one of the best places to learn”. 

As an affordable option to escape reality for the weekend, Warner Canyon is a place where children, parents, young adults and even the older community members come together and enjoy a new experience in life, or a pasttime they’ve enjoyed for years. 

I have written a lot about how this community comes together and creates opportunities unlike other places I’ve lived and been around and the hill is no different. As a totally volunteer managed place, the upkeep for the hill might seem easy, but plenty of individuals and hard work goes into keeping the mountain at tip top shape. Lakeview truly has a connection to the ski hill and when it’s closed, the town is a different place. From what I’ve heard in the past, when it’s not open the community is in almost a depressed state. 

I’ve enjoyed a lot of the pieces of learning to snowboard over the last few months. Whether that’s hanging out with friends on the deck at the lodge, falling on my tailbone so many times it feels restructured at this point or jamming out to my favorite tunes while trying to do my best Shaun White impression, I’ve somewhat learned the ins-and-outs of the sport, but what I’ve appreciated most is the view. 

As you climb the hill on the lift, looking in a full 360-degree fashion, Lakeview and the surrounding areas can be seen for the beauty it is. 

I’ve almost gone numb to the view.

Some days it looks as if it has been painted by Bob Ross himself, or displayed on a green screen making your mind believe that the view could only be something out of a photo from National Geographic or a Planet Earth film on Netflix. 

In Ohio, there aren’t mountains. What we call “mountains” is known as rolling hills to anywhere out in the west. Truly, I have never been around mountains for longer than a few days during a vacation or during a short time when my sister lived in Phoenix, Ariz. 

The view reminds me of the little things in life that we take for granted. 

For me, it’s the memories I’ve made during my first season snowboarding in the little town in the middle of nowhere and the countless number of biscuits and gravy I’ve eaten from Warner’s lodge kitchen. 

So here’s to more snowfall and memories made at one of my favorite places on earth, Warner Canyon Ski Hill. 

 

— S. Garrett Shaw

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