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Not All Mountains Are the Same

I feel the wind on my face and the butterflies in my stomach as the lift slowly pulls me up the mountain. The cold snow hits my face as I get lifted higher into the mountain. My heart is beating fast with anticipation. As we reach the top I slide off the lift with unexpected ease. I see all of the trees and frost covered mountains, it is an unbelievable sight for my ten-year-old eyes. I reluctantly stick my ski poles into the icy, hard ground and push off. I swiftly glide down the mountain. It is my first time skiing down a “real” mountain.

I am six years old when I first start skiing. I always go down the small bunny slopes on “magic carpets” and ropes tug me up the hills. I always take lessons with an instructor with my brother and sister. The instructor teaches me the basics of skiing. When I am in fourth grade though I decide to join ski club; this was my first experience when I had to be completely responsible for myself.

It is my first day at ski club; I put my skis into the lower compartment of the bus and go sit with my friend. I anxiously wait for the bus to reach the mountains and finally the bus breaks screech at Bradford ski lodge. I lug my heavy bag into the big wooden ski lodge. In ski lodge people are everywhere and everything is moving: the fire, the line for food, and the lift ticket area. I rush to pull on all of my gear which includes my snow pants, ski jacket, helmet, goggles, and gloves, along with my ski boots. I slowly and carefully walk outside with my big clunky boots and head to the ski racks. I snap in my skis and go over to the lesson meeting area.

I am familiar with the “magic carpet” conveyor belt but I am nervous about using the rope tow but my instructor helps me. My instructor teaches me how to stop quickly, move fast and get onto the rope. For the first few times we went only up the rope tow. Instead of the rope tow the last couple times we went on the small ski lift. Soon after I became comfortable with the smaller slopes but I wanted a real challenge.

I never really knew what it was like to ski down a “real” mountain. The mountains in Massachusetts cannot be compared to the ones in New Hampshire. One day during February vacation my whole family packs up their skis and heads up to Ragged Mountain in Danbury, New Hampshire. I reach the mountains and when I look up I cannot believe that people actually ski down the mountains. The mountains reach up so high the other skiers look like specks in the distance. I am filled with nerves and excitement and my brother persuades me to go onto the intermediate mountain with him and my sister. However I did not know that all intermediate mountains are different. I did not realize how long the lift takes and how big the mountain is until I was halfway up the mountain. My eyes look down at the harsh ragged bellow and I look back at the world I am leaving behind. Will I ever get down this mountain?

As we climbed higher up the mountain it made me more and more anxious to get off and go. When I finally get off I notice that we are not at Bradford hill anymore, this is a real mountain filled with steep turns. My whole body is in fear and I accept that my only way to the bottom is on my skis. My daredevil brother heads down first, I go second with my little sister cautiously following behind. I am shaking and I take turns while I slowly depart down the mountain, my brother long gone. Expert skiers fly past leaving my sister and I leaving us with fear. We slowly get better as we go down further and further, desperately trying to keep our slow pace. Our brother is no where to be found as he does not follow our cautious method. The cold only intensifies our fear and makes us want to get down the mountain more. I smell the cold February air I feel like this mountain is never going to end and I am overwhelmed with fear and regret. Time wears on and finally we seek the bottom. I take a breath of relief that I made it down that mountain alive.



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