Some weeks after New Year’s, you decide to spend the day at a nearby ski resort. You make sure to bring a thick winter coat, a scarf, and a pair of gloves. Pulling into the resort, you’re surprised to see a lot of cars but, strangely, not many people. As you pull open the carved wooden doors, you find a huge crowd of people. You’re just about able to squeeze in, but there’s no way to continue forward. Curious as to what attracted everyone’s attention, you stand on your toes to better see above the heads of the crowd. Standing on a table in the middle of the room, holding a microphone, is your old friend Jerry.
You seize the opportunity to move ahead in the crowd by waving to Jerry from the door. He spots you almost instantly, and you see a big grin of delight spread itself across his face. Jerry urges you to come forward. The crowd, which was previously airtight, makes a wide path for you to advance. Jerry hops down from the table and puts his arm around you, asking how you’ve been. Responding that you’ve been alright and was considering a day at the fabulous Courchevel ski resort, Jerry insists that you hang out with him today.
Vail Mountain Resort
While in line to get the required skis and special boots, Jerry begins to tell you of another ski resort he once had the pleasure of visiting. Jerry describes the Vail Mountain Resort as a glorious place where all you can see for miles around are magnificent mountains. With obviously fond memories he goes on to say that he once spun out of control on one mountain and was forced to walk many miles back to the lift station, where he was safely escorted back to the resort.
Before heading outside, Jerry convinces you to share a cup of warm hot chocolate and a plate of cheesecake with him in the dining room. As you both stare out in appreciation at the high mountain courtesy of the floor to ceiling windows, Jerry tells you about another ski resort: the Aspen Snowmass. According to him, there is one treacherous slope, hidden from casual sight by the snow covered mountains, that will test the skill of even the most hardened of skiers. Of course, Jerry was able to complete it, but not without suffering some slight injuries along the way.
Finally, you and Jerry walk through the doors leading outside to the ski slopes. You tell Jerry that you were planning on tackling the smaller hills first before attempting the mountain looming above. Jerry acknowledges the wisdom of this course of action, stating that it’s a good way to warm up. While coasting down the hill, he tells you of a ski resort he visited in Italy where he first learned how to ski: the Cortina D’Ampezzo. Jerry explains how the instructors, while easy going people in many ways, are some of the most strict and dedicated teachers he has ever met.
Somehow, the subject turns to Japan, which is a place that you’ve been thinking about travelling to for many years. Jerry has been to that country a few times himself, and he takes the opportunity to tell you about Niseko, a world famous ski resort that can be found there. From a certain hill in that resort, Jerry tells you that you can glimpse, off in the distance, a nearby volcano. He goes on and on about how dramatic it is to race down the snow covered slopes while imagining that burning lava is chasing after you.
After becoming comfortable with the small hill which you’ve been practicing on, you decide to try the slightly larger one ahead. You and Jerry walk over to the hill and grab a rope which pulls you to the top. On your way up, Jerry laughs and says that this reminds him of when he was at the Chamonix ski resort in France, where he once had to hold tight to a thickly knotted rope in order to drag himself out a cleft in the mountains. This memory seems to be a fondly remembered one, so you assume that he was never in any real danger.
You ask Jerry what his favorite ski resort is of all time, and he ponders this question for a while. After about 10 minutes of silence during your descent down the ski slope, Jerry finally says St. Moritz is his choice. He explains that this European town is nestled at the foot of a gigantic mountain and has been around for many years. During the moments when he isn’t skiing, Jerry likes to walk around the town, where the friendly inhabitants make him feel at home. In no other place, Jerry says, has he felt more welcome.
Taking a quick break, you and Jerry decide to sit down at the outside tables as you again look up toward the tall mountain. Jerry, after sighing, tells you that this reminds him of another ski resort in Argentina he was at with a friend, many years ago. The person he was with was, at that time, engaged to someone they did not love, and so Jerry suggested the trip to get their mind off the upcoming marriage. While at the ski resort, Jerry’s friend thanked them for being there for them, and then disappeared the next day.
In the same way that Jerry was there for his friend, you’re going to be there for Jerry. With this thought in mind, you get up and ask him to accompany you to the top of the mountain for a race. Jerry nods and looks up at you with a grateful smile as he pushes himself to his feet. The lift which takes you both to the top brings back more memories for Jerry, although of a much happier variety. He tells you that the ski resort with the most incredible view from the lift is Deer Valley in Utah.
Reaching the top of the mountain, you position yourself at the edge of the near vertical slope and look to Jerry. Asking him if he’s ready, he responds that he was born ready. After counting down from five, you both take off. You dodge trees and rocks left and right as you speed down the mountain at a breakneck pace. As you’re about to cross the finish line, you look to your left where you spot Jerry right beside you. The race ends in a tie and, skidding to a halt, Jerry exclaims in delight how he has never had so much fun, not even during his race through the Val d’Isere ski resort.
What is your favorite ski resort that you’ve been to? Do the ones on this list interest you? Let me know in the comments below!
A new face on the writing scene, Josh VanAkker brings a breath of fresh air to the world of blogging. He enjoys working with new styles of writing, and has employed a good number of them in his many blog posts.