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I pause at the top of the mountain. Looking out over the edge is almost as adrenaline-charged as the race down the mountain. The sky is a beautiful clear blue, but the air is still as icy as it would be if I was in a blizzard. There’s a gust of wind that cuts straight through my striped jacket, sweatshirt, and thermal shirt and chills you to the core. The pine trees wave and their branches rustle, throwing snow off, and onto skiers and boarders. I hunch over to prevent myself from being pushed backwards over the other side of the mountain. I’ve had plenty of close calls with that when I was younger. The sun is shining, but it provides no warmth. It’s like a contradiction to me; wouldn’t you be warmer as you got closer to the sun? Around me the snow glistens, like it’s sprinkled with sparkling diamonds.
I look down the face of the mountain. It seems so steep from the top, but once I get going it won’t seem as bad. Every time I look back up at a mountain I just conquered, it surprises me to see how steep it was. At the base of the mountain are plenty of people, though there’s hardly anyone on the mountain. From where I stand, the people appear to be the size of my Polly Pockets, now stored in my attic but once a favorite toy. They seem like ants, moving in and out of the lodge rapidly. They’re just an assembly of busied, different colored dots. But once I reach the bottom, they’ll be in proportion, all with different purposes and destinations instead of wandering aimlessly as though they aren’t humans.
“Are you ready to keep going?” my dad asks, skiing up beside me. “You killed that last part.”
Maybe so, but each time I get to a new edge on the mountain, I have to stop. I guess what I’m doing is waiting for my courage to build up. I’m also waiting for just the right opportunity to begin my sweep down the mountain. I like to plan out my ride down the mountain; where I can turn, what parts look the steepest, what I should avoid. Each trip down a mountain is a new one. The ground has been reshaped, there are more people, or maybe there are new obstacles such as a dangerous boarder or a pair of misplaced gloves. Because of my inhibitions, I could never be a competitive skier. I like to sort things out too much. Yet once I get going, my brain puts things together faster. My legs work almost automatically, switching back and forth so I can turn. All my eyes have to do is be on the lookout for previously unseen dangers, rather than scope out a route.
I take a breath and start my trek. I put my weight onto my left foot and lean against the mountain, making a sharp turn and spraying snow along my path. I quickly shift my weight to my right foot and turn away from the imminent trees with their wide trunks and low hanging icicles. The powder flies into the air and lands on my face in a mist. I move smoothly back and forth across the snow, nearing the foot of the mountain. The cold air is numbing my lips and face, and my hands are frozen holding my poles. My dad flies past me and flakes of snow spray up from his path and land on my goggles.
Suddenly, I have reached the bottom. People are moving around me and I ski between them till I reach my dad at the lodge. There’s almost no untouched snow, footprints and ski and snowboard tracks have scarred the ground. I lift my goggles up and it reveals a whole new world of bright white and vibrant greens.
“Ready to go again?” my dad asks after a quick rest. I nod and place my goggles back over my eyes, turning the world into a gradient of burnt orange. By the time I reach the line for the lift, my lungs are rapidly filling with icy air once again. The chair approaches from behind me and scoops me up, carrying me to the top of the mountain for yet another expedition down the looming mountain ahead.



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Kaeley G. said...
Feb. 15, 2013 at 3:39 pm:
i love the imagry that was used in this. I have never been sking and now i really want to give it a shot.
 
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