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A Frightening Experience


I was the first person to ski off the chairlift that day,
arriving at the summit of Bosquets Mountain, nestled in the
heart of the Berkshires. It was the type of day when the
clouds seemed to blanket the sky, leaving no clue that the
sun, with its powerful light, even existed anymore. It was
not snowing, but judging by the damp, musty, stale scent in
the air, I realized it would be only a short time before
the white flakes overtook the mountain.
As I readied myself to make the first run, I took a moment
to appreciate my surroundings. Somehow things seemed much
different up here. The wind, nonexistent at the bottom,
began to gust. Its cold bite found my nose. Its quick and
sudden swirling movement kicked loose snow into my face,
forcing me to zip my jacket over my chin. It's strange how
the gray clouds, which seemed so far above me at the
bottom, really didn't appear that high anymore. If I had a
tall enough ladder, I might be able to touch them. As I
gazed out over the landscape, the city below seemed
unrecognizable. The enormous buildings which I had driven
past earlier looked like dollhouses. The towering
had it not been for the tiny stream of gray emerging from
them. At this distance, the smoke spiraled upward like tree
branches reaching for the sky.
The air was raw and stung me through my many layers of
clothing. There was snow all around me. It was on the trail
and in the trees. There was so much white, that my eyes
became blinded by so much absence of color.
It was too cold to remain at the top forever, so I decided
to make my run. I gave a strong push with my poles,
starting my skis sliding gently across the snowy terrain. I
kept my speed slow in order to feel out the mountain and
its changing conditions. Ahead of me lay a carpet of
virgin, white snow totally untouched by other skiers. A
skier's dream. The steepness of the mountain increased my
speed as the cold air whistled past my ears. I edged my
skis which responded to perfection , cutting into the snow
and tracking across the mountain.
As I gained speed, my turns grew in length. Approaching the
steepest part of the trail, I noticed an imperfection in
the snow. A large bump jutted itself out of the ground,
waiting to devour skiers. Unfortunately I noticed the bump
too late to adjust my turns and change my course to avoid
it. As my right ski passed over it, my cold muscles were
unable to absorb the shock sent to my leg. The sudden jerk
of my ski sent it screaming off of my foot, leaving only a
ski boot behind. 

Unable to keep my balance, I leaned forward, sending my
head on a course straight for the ground. My face was so
cold it felt like it was on fire. I spun and tumbled as my
inertia pulled me down the mountain. My arms and legs ached
as they pounded into the snow. I finally stopped after the
mountain had enough fun with me. I stood up, painted with
snow. The snow on my face melted, leaving drops of water
trickling into my mouth. 

As I looked up the hill, I noticed my two skies, my poles
and goggles some thirty feet above me. I put aside the
throbbing pain of my muscles for the moment and began to
climb up the mountain to retrieve my equipment. I had a lot
of climbing to do and was winded as I stepped back into my
skis. I thought about the near disaster as I began to make
my way, more cautiously than usual down the mountain. When
I neared the bottom of the mountain, I realized I had
avoided a trip down the mountain in the dreaded ski patrol
sled. I smiled to myself as I skied back into the lift line
for my next run down the mountain. 



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