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Get To Know: Andy Minier

If you’re reading this post, then chances are you have some affinity for sliding on snow. Whether you ski, snowboard, tele or are on adaptive equipment, at some point in your life someone introduced you to the freedom that comes with being outside and making turns on a snow-covered slope. Like many, Andy Minier fell in love with skiing at a fairly young age. He was 12 years old when he joined a six-week ski lesson program at the Red Jacket Ski Club in Eden, NY and it was there that a ski instructor changed his life.

“That first instructor who took the time to talk to me, set me on a path that has given me the best friends one could ask for, a career as an athlete, administrator, coach and now snowsports director,” said Minier. “The power of a good instructor cannot be overlooked.” That instructor put Minier on a path of alpine racing that he continued on into college. And then one day, while hiking the ridgeline to Kachina Peak in Taos, NM, Minier came across some telemark skiers who showed him the power of freeing the heel and making graceful tele turns through the powder. “I sold my alpine set-up when I got back to school and began my telemark adventures.” 

From there, Minier ended up competing on a Tele-Mogul Tour out west in the 90’s and when he returned to the east coast, he even entered some alpine races on his tele gear. His presence at those races caught the attention of the USA Telemark Team in Vermont and he spent the next few years racing on the Telemark World Cup circuit. He has a National Championship to his name, an Eastern Championship, 3rd overall National finish, Top 10 in a World Championship and a 15th overall World Cup season. “Most of note, due to a very favorable handicap for telemark racers, I hold the all-time record for lowest handicap on the old Holiday Valley Nastar course on Cindy’s.” 

Having spent a fair amount of time on the slopes of Holiday Valley over the years, Minier was always impressed by the way the resort has grown over the years. “I have skied all over the world and there are few resorts I know of that are run more professionally and show more concern for the positive customer experience than Holiday Valley.” Now he is in charge of overseeing a staff of nearly 300 instructors. “This will be a season of learning and adapting for me and I come to this task with humility and an open mind,” Minier said. “Working with such an experienced and professional team is a pretty special opportunity.” 

Just like the instructor who impacted his life, Minier has a deep-rooted philosophy that making turns on snow is more than a hobby…it’s a lifestyle. And it’s a lifestyle that he is passionate about sharing with others. He is a certified United States Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) coach, as well as an official and technical delegate. He was the 2015 New York Coach of the Year and the chairman of the U16+ Ski Racing Development Committee. Minier has also spent time on the committee for both the U16+ and the Children’s Development Committee. 

Naturally, Minier considers being out on snow a lifetime sport. “Skiing can give a child who might not be likely to succeed in traditional sports an outlet to excel as an athlete, be it recreationally or competitively. Skiing has a certain aspect of artistic creativity that is attractive to many and is a sport where one can choose between a social adventure or the meditative experience of a midday, powder-filled slope all by your lonesome. In short, skiing and snowboarding offers participants the freedom to make of it what they want out of it.”

This winter you’ll find Minier out on the slopes on a set of Hero skis from Rossignol’s Master line because, as he says, “I think a cheater GS ski is still pretty good as an all-mountain east coast ski.” He sets everything up on risers with Outlaw NTN tele bindings and wears Scarpa race boots. 

If you’re looking to join Minier’s team, there are openings and he’s looking for people who want to succeed and grow as a teacher while also optimizing their potential as an athlete. It’s a great job and as Minier puts it, “The best part of a Western New York winter is a day when the snow sparkles under a rising sun and it squeaks under your boots as you walk out to the car with newly tuned equipment on your shoulder, heading out to the hills to see what this beautiful day will give you!”