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Young skier goes all out for school project

Posted at 9:08 AM, Feb 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-15 09:26:19-04

NEW PLYMOUTH, Idaho — UPDATE (3/15): Henry has now completed his goal! On March 6, Henry and his family crossed off Cottonwood Butte from the list. Now, he'll turn his attention to completing his final project on Idaho's ski areas. We'll keep you updated on his progress.

ORIGINAL (2/26): One fourth-grader in Payette County is hitting the slopes around the state all in the name of education. We're introducing you to the ten-year-old who's visiting every single one of Idaho's ski resorts in hopes of getting an A+ for his history assignment.

"So we assign a project that a couple of teachers a few years back put together to really get the kids to be able to explore Idaho a little bit more," said New Plymouth Elementary fourth grade teacher Kassie Davis.

The assignment is meant to teach the kids about Idaho history by researching, asking questions to experts, or possibly the most effective route. But this year, one student decided to top everything from the past.

"I decided to go to every ski resort in Idaho," said New Plymouth Elementary student Henry Black.

But before mom and dad toss Henry, their ski equipment, and the rest of the family in the car to travel to all these winter wonderlands, Henry sends a letter to each mountain.

"What's their average snowfall, how many lifts they have, who owned the resort when it opened and who owns the resort in the present right now?" said Henry.

Though there's not a clear consensus on where the idea to ski every slope in Idaho came from, Henry is pretty certain he was the deciding factor.

"Let's just do it," exclaimed Henry.

Actually, it sounds like dad may have been the deciding factor for such an ambitious goal.

"Dad was on board. I took some convincing," laughed Henry's mom, Becky Black.

Their first expedition was to Soldier Mountain about a week before Christmas, and since then, they've already visited 17 others. Henry isn't just learning about the ski history of Idaho and discovering new slopes to shred, he's finding out how hospitable Idaho can really be.

"They're just really nice people so they gave me and sometimes my whole family free passes," said Henry.

And of course, an ambitious academic conquest like this calls for an equally ambitious final report when he turns it in this May.

"Separate pages for each resort and say some facts about it," said Henry.

And as Henry learns more and more about Idaho's ski history, he says he's learned something else from visiting some of the smaller ski areas in the Gem State.

"Everybody knows everybody. It's just the people that makes them good," said Henry.