Leap of Faith

Flakes of snow were just starting to fall from the darkening sky. A whoosh of air blew by my face. I was shaking like a skeleton, but not because of coldness, but because of fear. Imagine, doing something you never have tried before, and if you do it wrong it could cost you. What I’m about to attempt on skies is something that you may see as easy or fun. But for me on that night it was the opposite.

My back was aching from sitting in the same seat for 2 hours plus. I turned around to see my friends talking about some new trail that Ski Sundown called Satan’s Stairway

“I heard it’s all made of ice and moguls.” James said.

“I bet they suck though” Sean added.

“Why would you say that?” Will asked.

“Think about it, last time we were here and the moguls were awful, so why should we had expect anything better then last time.” Sean replied.

“ I think they put the jump back on Stinger” I said.

Ya, and they still have the jump on…”

“Everyone please be quiet and sit down.” The chaperone said interrupting David.

I looked out the window and to my surprise we already arrived at the mountain. Looks the same as it did last week, but where there was once a long strip of trees, a stretch of white then takes its place only leaving a sliver of wilderness on either side.. I assumed that was where Stinger was.

“All people who are taking lessons may get off but people who aren’t please stay in your seat until we say otherwise.” The chaperone said.

We waited until all of the students retrieved their stuff from underneath the the bus. Once we heard the word “ok” Sean, James, David, Will, Robbie, and I raced to the front and went down the stairway off the bus. We got our equipment and trudged towards the lodge and as soon as I got into the lodge I zipped open my bag and changed into my stuff. A black Underarmour long sleeved shirt and pants, then over that would go my shirt and snowpants. Then finally my blue winter jacket, gloves ski mask and a helmet. But most importantly my ski pass.                                                                                                                                                              

I noticed as I went outside it was unusually cold, but I’ve felt worse.

About a minute later the rest came out. We clicked on our skis and headed towards the lift right in front of us. At the time it wasn’t crowded but when the clock hits 7 it’s like 200 people rush in. Which kind of reminds me of the first Spongebob episode when 1000 sardines raided the Krusty Krab.

The only part of this mountain that I really don’t like is the speed at which the lift goes, I swear my Grandmother could walk faster then the lift. And when we FINALLY got to the top there were 4 choices; To the right was Gun Barrel, under the lift was Nor’easter, to the left of that was Canyon Run (don’t recommend it). And then to the left of that was Tom’s Treat which was the trail we took. It was a green circle which means beginner. But that’s not why we picked that trail. We picked it because of the terrain park (has jumps, pipes, rails, etc). This was going to be my first time in a while doing a rail. This is what happened; I came down from the side going at a good speed, I jumped but not high enough and I face planted right into the snow. My rustyness showed big time, either that or I’m just really bad at doing rails.

For the rest of the time before we checked in and ate dinner we tried to do all the trails from Over Easy to Papoose. But when the hand on the clock struck 7:30 we went in to the lodge, checked in and grabed dinner. I had chicken tenders with french fries and a coke, which only took me about 10 minutes to finished. I finished early so I decided I was going to do a run by myself and check out the trail that I have been avoiding the whole time… STINGER.

Stinger is a black diamond on this mountain, but on a real mountain it would probably be a high green circle (beginner) or a low blue square (intermediate). I noticed as I was going up in the lift under me was Satan’s Stairwell but before that was Stinger. But the prized jewel of Stinger was the jump that was plopped in the middle of it. I felt like it was stalking me the whole way up the mountain, like it knew I was going attempt, and attempt is the word to do a jump off of it. So when I got to the top I got on Nor’easter and your first left was Stinger. As we entered you were greeted by some rails and pipes, and to the side of the pipes were 1 foot jumps which I did trying to prepare myself. After all the pipes and rails end there was a steep drop that then lead to the the newly groomed jump. I stopped and took a good look at it. Where I should go off of, where I should land. What I repeatedly said over in my head was tuck, tuck tuck. That was one of the key things to having a successful jump.

By the time I got to the bottom everyone was outside waiting for me.

“You ready!” Sean said trying to make me uncomfortable.

“Ready as I’ll ever be” I replied unedged.     

So we all skied towards the lift and what a surprise, David and Sean were next to me saying things to screw me up. The sad thing was it was working. When we got to the top we moved as a synchronized machine all leaning and going to the left. We waited on the side of the trail until we saw James and Will come. When we got to the trail I tried to go backwards on a box rail (a rail in the ground that is flat on top and is relatively thick) and worked. Even though I didn’t say anything I was still very happy. Then when we got to the steep part Sean, David, Robbie, James, and Will all went down and to the left of the jump and took out their phones. As I was up there all by myself I noticed flakes of snow were just starting to fall from the darkening sky. A whoosh of air blew by my face. I was shaking like a skeleton, but not because of coldness, but because of fear.

I really started to think to myself, what happens if a I mess up big time and hurt myself or worse, my parents notice that I’m hurt. But just as quick as that thought came to me was the same speed as I forgot about it.

“Come On, stop stalling I’m not getting any younger here” Sean shouted.

After that I pushed myself forward trying to gain speed and just before I left the ground I heard the words “TUCK!!” by everyone. That was the one thing I said to myself not to forget and what did you know I forgot.

It felt like slamming into a rock as I hit the cold stiff ice camouflaged as snow. I tumbled a good 20 feet before finally opening my eyes, and when I did I noticed one of my skis flat on the ground about 20 feet back and the other one still attached to my foot. But by a hair line. Everyone except James rushed towards me hockey stopping right into my face kicking up a punch of powder.

“That looked like it hurt” Robbie said.

“Ya no duh” I answered.

In the background I hear James screaming “Stop! Stop!” to the one person that was coming down the hill. I chuckled.

“Here’s your other ski” Tyler said.

“Thanks” I said.

As I stood up I winced as a shot of pain went up my lower leg. I tried to ignore it. I put on my other ski and went towards the lodge. When I looked at the clock it was 8:25 we had to leave at 8:30. So I clicked out of my skis, unbuckled my boots and undressed and put on my regular clothes. When I peeked at the clock again it was 8:28 so I sprinted (or whatever I could do with my leg) to my skis, put them in their holding case and went to the bus leaving a minute to spare. Already looking around I noticed my friends were on and for the rest of the ride home we joked and laughed and this all faded away as a memory.    

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2 thoughts on “Leap of Faith

  1. I really enjoyed your memoir Julio. It was a very good well rounded memoir. I really like how you mentioned what was going through your mind when you were flying through the air before finally slamming into the ice. I also really liked how you described the pain you were feeling after hitting the ice. Very good job Julio keep up the good work.

    Sincerely erick

  2. Dear Julio,
    I liked your intro and title because it made me want to read more. Also you added lots of dialog.

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