Hellgate Students Prepare For Winter

Sophia Geranios, Reporter

Winter in Missoula is approaching quickly. Montana is known for its frigid and long winter months, and the inhabitants for their love of all snow sports and cold weather activities. Living in the north comes with its advantages and disadvantages, and no matter which side winter falls on for you, you must prepare accordingly. The students at Hellgate have many different ways of getting ready for the oncoming winter season, whether it’s decorating for Christmas, preseason skiing, or keeping in shape for cross country.

From winter sports to simply putting snow tires on your car, everyone has their own way of getting ready for winter. Alex Upton, a Christmas fanatic, has many ways of preparing for her favorite holiday season. One of her traditions is making a Christmas bucket list. On Upton’s list she has various events, crafts, and activities. One of her most treasured traditions to get into the Christmas spirit is the Nine Mile Christmas fair which Upton described as a ‘blast’ and has faithfully attended for five consecutive years. Once she’s checked that off her list, she’s on to her next tradition: Christmas movies. Upton stated that each year “I take everything off my Netflix list, and replace it all with Christmas movies,” enthusiastically adding, “Frosty is a classic!”. These holiday preparations aren’t just for people in the Upton home, Alex makes sure to include her cats by hanging their stockings above the fireplace each year. 

Another Hellgate junior, Miles Colescott, has been running cross country for 3 years. While the XC season technically ends November 16th, with cross regionals, training does not take a pause for bad weather. In the time between cross country and track the runners of Hellgate continue to practice outside. In regards to training and preparations, Colescott said “We still will run workouts and maintain a high mileage so our track season will be successful.” The team continues to run outside until the temperature reaches below 15 degrees when they will switch their practice inside. Colescott said that the cold air and early sunset can make off season running difficult, but the cross country team persists through winter. 

On the other side of the spectrum are skiers. These athletes wait all year for snow, most nearby ski areas open in December, although many avid skiers in Missoula begin their preseason preparations weeks in advance. Wren Filardi, an ex-ski racer, says to get ready for the hills to open, she would partake in activities like conditioning, dry land training, and team bonding. Filardi has been skiing since she was 4, and looks forward to the snow every year. Once the ski areas open she goes “Both days every weekend that Snowbowl is open and then as many early and late season days as I can.” Skiers like Filardi mentally prepare for their time to enjoy the winter weather all year long. 

There are many ways Missoulians and specifically Hellgate students prepare for winter, but no matter what, it’s on its way, so get ready!