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Winter Lifts Him Up (the Slopes)

It's not that Sean Ellwanger doesn't like summer. It's just that the warm weather cuts into his skiing time, which can be a serious bummer for a diehard skier.

Sean, 26, a Stamford resident, has worked as a bike and ski technician at Outdoor Sports Center in Wilton for the past three years. He explains his love of the Alpine decline in no uncertain terms/ "Most avid skiers on the East Coast are forced to wait at least six months between ski seasons. When the first snow falls we are so desperate to ski that we'll drive five hours for one trail's worth of snow," he says.

Sean's enthusiasm for skiing began during childhood, when his parents took him skiing a couple of times each winter. Soon, like many of his contemporaries, he became enamored of snowboarding and ditched his skis in favor of the toboggan-like vessel. Once old-fashioned skis were updated with new-fangled technology, Sean rediscovered skiing. "It wasn't until I started working at Outdoor Sports Center that I picked up a pair of skis. With almost a decade of technology now in its favor, skiing became more fun to me than snowboarding," says Sean. He now snowboards just one or two days per season, whereas he skis a whopping 25-30 times a year.

And while some people spent the better part of November adjusting to less daylight and anticipating turkey, Sean's attention was elsewhere. His first run of the season was Nov. 12 at Vermont's Killington Mountain . He waxes philosophically about the experience. "Skiers usually enjoy the peace and quiet at the top of a ski run. It's something that can be very necessary for mental health." And that is definitely not a serious bummer.

Have you hit the slopes yet? If not, when's your first run planned? Let us know here, or email me, at

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