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Rise over run

Sophomore enjoys cold hobby on the Colorado slopes

January 29, 2015


Ski instructor and Jillian Cheney smile after a long day on the slopes. Photo taken by family member

No one goes to Colorado just to see the sights and head on home. People from around the world come to the Rocky Mountain State for their world class skiing and snowboarding.

That’s why it was somewhat difficult to enjoy myself when even my grandfather skied like he was training for the Olympics.

The last time we were in Colorado, it was spring break. The sun was out, and we barely had to wear even a coat to stay warm. This time was much different. My fingers turned red with cold, and there was often so much snow falling that it was hard to see a few feet in front of me.

Actually, I even ran into a tree on my first day. Once I’d wiped out, my cousin had to climb up the mountain to help me out of the incredibly deep powder. It was probably a half an hour ordeal in which we had to take off skis, crawl through thick snow, and nearly topple down the mountain as we tried to put our skis on again.

The weather was miserable for the most part, I was the last one of my family to make it down the mountain, and my muscles ached for days after we were through. But it was hard to miss the astounding beauty of the place. On the rare occasion that it wasn’t snowing hard enough to block vision, the sun would come out and make the snow sparkle. The treetops were covered in snow, postcard material at their finest.

There’s a moment–and it happens to everyone–where you realize the magnitude of where you are and what you’re doing. I think for me it was when we were skiing a trail that skirted the edge of a mountain and I could see a whole town down below. The sun was setting, my cousin was far enough ahead of me that I felt alone, and I felt like I was on top of the world.

Spending time in nature is always accompanied with a sense of freedom and wonder that I can’t find on the screen of an iPhone. That’s probably how it was created to be.

I definitely wasn’t the fastest skier on the slopes. I probably didn’t look the coolest, either. But my vacation spent in Colorado provided me with a feeling of joy that cannot really be explained unless you experience it.

Photo taken during Jillian Cheney's ski trip by a family member.
Photo taken during Jillian Cheney’s ski trip by a family member.

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