A life on the slopes - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

A life on the slopes

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WELCH, Minn. (KTTC) -- 'Tis the season to be hitting the slopes.  With snow in the forecast some may be anticipating the fresh snowfall.  For one man from Northfield fresh snow is just the icing on the cake for his favorite season.

At Welch Village Ski And Snowboard Area not only do people take in beautiful scenery, they may get a chance to meet Rieber Paulson, a longtime ski instructor with a good philosophy. 

"If you live in Minnesota, you have to do something to enjoy winter," Paulson said. "Otherwise you're just cooped up."

Paulson has been skiing Welch for more than 50 years. 

"I think the last time I fell was 1967. And if you believe that I'll sell you Florida swampland," Paulson said with a chuckle. 

He knows the hills inside and out. But it's what he's known for that keeps the smiles rolling in.  His bike horn hanging around his neck and the story behind it?  

Paulson says his group of fellow skiers all had one so they could locate each other on various hills by honking their horn, which seemed like a good idea.

"But the one weekend at Lutsen there were two or three other couples with horns and we didn't know who we were going to end up with when we honked the horn," Paulson said.

Now the horn is more for show.  Paulson spends three hours of his day greeting customers on the patio.  Skiing since college, Paulson has seen the industry shift with the times. 

"Now you've got middle aged people. You've got older people on boards. You've got little kids on boards," Paulson explained.

But he won't be taking up snow boarding anytime soon.

"No. And I'm not going to. I could stand on that table and throw myself onto the ground in four different directions and get the same effect as the first two days on a snowboard," Paulson said.

It's more than another year of skiing for Rieber. It's another year of enjoying what he loves.

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