High Hopes and Even Higher Slopes

Submitted into Contest #36 in response to: In the form of diary/ journal entries, write about someone on a long-awaited trip.... view prompt



The sun has declared war on the once abundant winter snow. All that is left is some slush with the scarce remaining ice forming imperfections on it, like the leftovers of a feast. By tomorrow there will be none at all. The diminishing snow matches my excitement on this ski trip. At this rate, all that would be left of the once wondrous slopes will be sludge and memories. We would have taken this monotonous 4 hour trip for nothing.

We go around a bend in the road, and suddenly there is an explosion of light. White was all I could see. It was like the mountain was painted the brightest white by a celestial being. The resort snowmakers had created, not just snow, but a new hope for me. We first arrived at the hotel unpacked and dressed up. My excitement was mounting like the snow from the snowmakers.

After what felt like an eternity, we finally reached the slopes. We carried the surprisingly heavy skis and poles to the snow, got our lift passes and got into the skiing area. I wanted to try out the biggest slope, but I told myself to first get used to skiing. So I got onto the gondola for the smallest slope. A small breeze caressed my face. After what again felt like an eternity, I reached the top. I looked down the slope and could see my parents and sister, just little ants from this distance. I perched at the edge of the slope and pushed off. I copied the techniques I had seen the other skiers using, going side to side with my skis parallel to each other. It was exhilarating: the wind rushing by me like a howling wolf, the snow spraying behind me like a flock of surprised starlings, and the speed of a jet. It appeared I had a knack for it, easily avoiding obstacles and balancing myself with almost careless pressure on one of my feet. When I reached the bottom, I decided to try a taller slope.

Again I got on the impossibly long gondola ride to the top. I reached the top and again looked down. This time all the people were indistinguishable, insignificant specks. It was colder up here and the wind was fiercer. I felt a little nausea at how high up I was, even with my good head for heights. The skiers up here were much more experienced and faster, some even going on the jumps and other tricks. This slope was also a part of the tallest slope with skiers from the tallest slope coming down from impossible slopes at blinding speeds. I took a deep breath and set off. I had to watch out for the bullet like skiers flying past me. I again went from side to side, but still reached an uncomfortable speed so I shaped my skis like a pizza slice, with the vertex facing the way I was going. That helped slow me down. But seeing the other skiers zooming past, some even younger than me, I emboldened myself and decided to go full speed. There is no words to describe the feeling of this speed. The trees and snow by me were a blur. In what felt like seconds, I was at the bottom.

I looked at my watch and realized an hour had passed by at the speed of my skiing. I went back to the cafe, met up my parents, and ate lunch, telling them about my intoxicating journey. My sister was also skiing, but just on the smaller slopes. After we finished lunch, we got out in the snow and I asked my sister if she wanted to ski with me. She said yes so we got on the gondola together. On the ride, I told her what I had learned, telling her to go from side to side and not straight down. We reached the top and set off. Of course, my sister paid no heed to my advice and went straight down. She was going to fast. Spontaneously, a skier in front of her dropped. My sister swerved to avoid her and spun out, spraying snow in all directions. Her ski and poles also went flying. Luckily, she was wearing a helmet. I shook my head in annoyance, and made my way over to her. I asked her if she was okay and she said yes. I held out my hand for her but also slipped and fell. I tried to get up on my own, but it was no piece of cake. Finally, I gathered speed and pushed up. I told my sister to do the same but it was too hard for her and I couldn't help because I was already far down the slope from her. I told her to take off her skis and walk down to me. She did that and I tried to help her put them on again. For some reason, the clamp was stuck and wouldn't hold her boot in place. After much trying and slipping, we finally got it, and made it to the bottom of the slope. She didn't want to try the slope again and just used the smallest one. We stopped skiing and went back to the hotel for the day.

That night, I could barely sleep, fantasizing all I would do tomorrow. The next day, I kept trying to get better at the slope I was on. I set my eyes to the tricks. First I tried a small jump. I had noticed other skiers leaning forward while doing tricks so I did the same and prevailed, managing to keep upright. The next time down I tried bigger jumps, which also worked, on the most part. Finally, I started on the rail and ramps. I went down a ramp, which was surprisingly steep, and almost fell, barely keeping upright. Next, I tried a rail. I came at it at an angle, jumped up, and rode a small part of it. I did fall after, but that was mostly because I was so surprised I made it. I tried again a few times and made it.

At that point, I thought I was ready for the tallest slope. I waited for a person around my age to get on the gondola and followed them. The gondola for the biggest slope was startlingly fast compared to the others, so made it to the top in almost no time. Seeing the past 45° angled slopes, it felt like I left my stomach at the bottom of the slope. When I reached the top after the agonizing trip. We were at the peak of a mountain. I could see a long way in all directions. In the direction I came from I could see the freeway past the parking lot, with the cars on it like ants marching in a line. I watched the person I had seen before go down. He had apparently been doing this for years and went down the treacherous slope like it was nothing. Well, so much for following him. I took a deep breath and set off. The slope was much harder than it look, and it had looked hard. The only way I could stop myself from breaking the sound barrier was going down in a path almost perpendicular to the slope. When I reached the sides, I swiveled around and went the other way. I kept doing this and finally got to the slope I went on before. From there, it was easy going compared through what I had just been through. I nailed a few tricks and that was it for the day. That was our last day so I reluctantly bid the milky slopes and we headed back. At least I would get to go next year.

April 10, 2020 20:53

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