The Apache Pow Wow

‘Tis the Ski-son

Tanya Lee, Staff Writer

Some families have a winter tradition. Whether it’s heading up to the mountains and staying in a cabin for a week or vacationing in a foreign country, a family tradition brings more joy and cheer to the holiday season. For my family, that winter tradition is going skiing.

Now, you’re probably wondering, “Skiing? Isn’t that pretty dangerous?” As someone who has fallen dozens of times while skiing, I can personally attest to the fact that going skiing is the complete opposite of playing it safe. And yet, there’s something amazing about gliding down a slope strapped to two slabs of wood, metal, and fiberglass.

Getting ready to go skiing is one of the most awkward situations I have ever faced. When you watch Olympic skiers flying down a slope, they seem so graceful and elegant. But once you actually don the mountain of jackets, big puffy pants, three-pound boots, and jumbled pile of headgear, it feels like every piece of equipment is determined to defeat you. It’s practically impossible to move comfortably, and the massive gloves make it even harder to handle the dozens of small zippers on your clothes.

Skis are also an absolute pain in the neck. Your fingers get sandwiched between them, they slip from your grasp, and once you actually put them on, the entire situation gets even worse. As a beginner, going across flat terrain is extremely tiring. Switching between a combination of dragging yourself forward with your skis and shuffling across the landscape, you finally make your way into the ski lift line, your back drenched with sweat, despite the temperature being 40℉. And then, you wait. And wait. For what seems like eons you inch forward, nervously trying to avoid getting your skis caught in someone else’s.

When you actually get onto the ski lift, the weather seems to do a complete flip. What was previously a bearably cool temperature suddenly makes you feel like you’re actually in the subzero Arctics. The cold seems to seep through every crevice in your clothes, despite the fact that you’re wearing four layers. But at the same time, it’s beautiful. The sun shining on the glistening snow. The soft dusting of snow on the evergreen trees. The mountains rising in front of you, perfect in every way.

Going down the slope is also an unforgettable experience. The wind stings your face like a thousand tiny needles, and your nose begins to run uncontrollably. But once you begin your way down the mountain, everything fades away. The soft whirring of your skis on the snow is all that fills your ears, and all you can see is the glistening snow in front of you, gleaming like a blanket of crystals. It all ends too fast, and all you can think is, “I want to go again.”

Even lunch is a special tradition for us. Since my mom doesn’t ski, she always waits patiently in the restaurant, ready to supply us with snacks and water. Our lunch is almost always the same: instant ramen that we bring from home. We usually don’t add anything special, but there’s something about the freezing cold weather that makes the warm noodles taste even more delicious. The hot broth burns my tongue, but I still gulp it down eagerly, happy to let the soup thaw my frozen body from the inside out.

In the end, skiing can be a wide variety of things: a competitive sport, a frightening experience, or a fun activity. For my family, skiing means only one thing: winter.

Graphic Courtesy of DRIBBLE.COM

1 Comment

One Response to “‘Tis the Ski-son”

  1. Tim Rhee on December 20th, 2017 9:48 AM

    I haven’t gone in a while, but thank you for bringing back those memories in your writing!

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‘Tis the Ski-son