Families enjoy sledding down Gering’s ‘Suicide Hill’ during Thursday snow day

February 8, 2019

GERING — As frigid temperatures settled in the valley, the first good snow storm gave area youth a reason to break out the sleds and snowboards Thursday.

With Scottsbluff and Gering Public Schools closed, students headed to suicide hill in Gering.

Kami Gaasch, Lee Brenizer and Alex Ostendorf decided Wednesday night to go sledding upon learning that school was cancelled. Despite the 1 degree temperature and a wind chill of 14 degrees below zero, the three braved the bitter cold for an hour of fun.

“I had never been sledding and my boyfriend Lee and his brother said, ’You’ve got to try it,” said Gaasch.

When they arrived at Gering’s sledding hill, commonly nicknamed Suicide Hill, Lee said he was excited to go sledding since there was no school, and to see Gaasch go down the hill.

“I told her to go down the steep part of the hill, but she wanted to see us go first,” he said.

After watching the brothers go down the hill, it was Gaasch’s turn.

“I was scared, but it was fun,” she said. “It was definitely worth it.”

As she made her way down the field, she said she felt exhilarated.

As the sun continued to rise over the valley, the temperature rose to 7 degrees Fahrenheit at 3 p.m., bringing the windchill temperature to 9 degrees Fahrenheit below zero.

Josiah Frueh, 9, also enjoyed time sledding.

“My favorite part of sledding is to go fast,” said Frueh.

While the sledding is fun, Frueh said the hardest part about the activity is walking back up the hill after each run.

Frueh said he has sledded down Suicide Hill for three years and he continues to come because “It has a lot of fun places to go down.”

Frueh’s mother, Hopie Frueh, said she enjoys watching her son sled.

“I enjoy seeing him have fun,” she said. “We would come out here since he was 3 years old. We would go down the little hill and he would sit in our lap.”

A few years ago, Josiah decided he wanted to sled down the big hill.

“Oh, man, I was so nervous,” she said.

With the sledding runs beginning to show the frozen grass underneath, many families decided to return home and warm up.

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