Mountain Air

December 2, 2011
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My chair slowly began moving, whisking me roughly along the line that it hung to, leading me towards the top of the hill. I sat at least a hundred feet above the ground, on a large metal seat. If it were not for my 5 pound weighing puffy pants guarding me from the icy touch of the seat, my bum might had frozen right to it. The bars were old and warn; a dark grey with small splotches of green, the little evidence of where the earthy colored paint had once been when it was new. The seats were a dull black, rubber-like material with large tears in them, no doubt from years of use and the wear from the suns warming rays on them. The chair was long, and sat four people, but I sat on it alone in the brisk air. It hung from a wire above, attached by simply a metal ball holding it to the thick line that carried somewhere around 50 chairs similar to mine, and all the people that they carried. There was a bar there for “security” that most people choose to pull down, to have something to grip onto or to keep them in place if they were to fall to their deaths if something were to happen. I chose to keep it back, if I was going to fall, I felt I would have better luck jumping into a pile of soft, gentle snow, rather than falling on a hard metal chair. The trees were tall, as big as houses and there were thousands of them, as far as the eye could see. Their thin leaves looked wet and dewy with shimmering globs of liquid, from the rapidly melting snow atop of them. My purple Roxy snowboard dangled loosely from my tightly tied boot that it was binded to, with my other foot hanging freely beside it. I tapped the side of free boot lightly on my board, knocking some snow off that had built up in the middle from my previous run, and then watched as the clumps of snow tumbled down from it, heavily towards the ground. Plop. I heard the clumps of wet snow dive one by one and smash against the blanket of glistening untouched snow. The untouched snow did not as if it were very deep, but if u observed carefully you could see little tree tops peeking outward, and the tip of a rock here and there. I had no idea if it were the tips of the large majestic trees, or if it were rather small trees that had just started to sprout. Either way, I found it beautiful. I laid my head back, and gazed upon the seemingly endless blue wonder that was the sky, the sun blaring bright in the center, breathing its rays of warm plentiful sunshine onto what little of my skin was showing. I took a deep breath and smiled to myself. The air was different here; it cleared my nose and allowed me to breath in air so fresh and clean that I felt like I could actually taste it. It is unlike anything you can buy in some aerosol can, despite what “Mountain Scent” labels they might advertise, or be able to experience anywhere below this high of elevation. It was similar to when you first take a bite of spearmint gum, your senses instantly are stimulated, you can feel yourself breath. It is something hard to describe. The scent of pine trees seemed to purify the air, with a crisp forest-like smell. I let out my breath slowly. The wind whispered as it whistled through the trees. The occasional sharp sound of a board, slicing through the freshly patted down snow that lie up ahead was all that could be heard.
The wind brushed through my hair as the chair carried me over the white, glowing snow. As I got closer to my destination the runs in which the snowboarders slid appeared to my sight. They were gliding down from the mountain on the hard, patted down snow, which glittered brightly from the sun beating down upon it, while leaving “S” shapes trailing behind them. A snowboarder came drifting around the corner, in a cool, sharp manner, his boarding slicing through the snow and forcing it to splatter with each turn he did. He was almost a ballerina, gracefully skating around his rink- his snow. His body was stiff, but freely moving through the twists and turns. He was completely in control. His bright orange goggles glared through the sun. Atop of his head was a brown, rusty colored beanie in the shape of a bear with beady black eyes, with tiny little ears sewn onto the sides of its head and a cute button nose. He wore two coats; the outer one was Christmas red and had been so big and puffy that it looked like it had thousand goose feathers were stuffed up into it .The second was a thinner, dim grey hoodie which he zipped up tight. I watched as he boarded onto a small black box on the edge of the run, squaring his snowboard straight and holding his arms out like a scarecrow, balancing himself atop of the beam as he slid across it. It was breathtaking.

-Stephanie Joseph





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