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A Day on the Mountain This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   Themountains are empty except for the ski-lift operators and some expert skiers whohope to be the first to leave their mark on the trails. The sun has just risen,and a thick coat of fog has nestled beneath the pine trees. The air is crisp andcool, and I can smell the remnants of a fire somewhere not far in the distance.It snowed heavily last night, so the ground is blanketed with a fresh layer ofsnow. It's that perfect texture, the kind of snow you want to pick up and presstogether.

I place my feet into my boots, then slide them into my skis,making sure to hear the click. As I inch my way to the ski-lift, the cool airrushes past my face. My cheeks are flushed, but it doesn't matter. It just addsto the excitement. I insert my poles deeper into the snow, then push off. My skisglide through the snow, leaving traces behind. Exhilaration runs through my veinsas I lunge forward. I repeat this process until I reach the concrete stand of thelift. Gripping my poles tightly in one hand, I hold out the other for balance andwait for the chair.

Once seated, I silently admire the surroundings. Ihold out a gloved hand and let the snowflakes settle on it. I watch them linger,and slowly disappear. Tiny icicles have formed on all the trees and shinebrightly in the sun. People have begun to gather at the base of the mountain, anda long line has formed in front of the lift. My mouth curves into a smile; I amrelieved that I got an early start.

The top of the ski lift is now visiblein the distance atop a blanket of mist, so I sit up quickly. My legs danglerestlessly as I prepare to dismount. With my poles still in one hand, I slidedown the mound of snow and curve around the cluster of people in front of thelift. Eager to take advantage of the fresh snow, I glide over to the side of themountain and find a trail that looks appealing. I take a deep breath and begin tomove down the mountain, rotating my body each time I turn.

As Iswiftly slide down the mountain, the air shoots past my body, and I imagine I amskiing all alone. In deep concentration, I focus on my form and keep my skisparallel. When I reach the bottom, I am disappointed, but eager to tryagain.

I ski all day until the mountains are once again empty and nolonger covered with thick, loose snow. Patches of slick ice are now exposed. Mybody is exhausted, yet I am still in high spirits, wanting to continue. Overcomeby fatigue, though, I unbuckle my boots, signifying the end of skiing for theday. I carry my skis over one shoulder and trudge through the thick slush thatcovers the base of the mountain. Satisfied with my performance, I leave themountain with a smug smile.

Tempted to take another run, I stop and turnaround. The clouds have emerged and covered a large portion of the sun, so threequarters of the mountain looks dark. The mountain seems so large and overbearing,with the skiers merely scattered dots. I enviously watch people sipping steaminghot chocolate through the lobby windows, and head toward the hotel. There'salways tomorrow.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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