Between winter and spring break, one of the most popular activities is skiing. The adrenaline and relaxation brought by snow and mountains is remarkable, especially given how inhospitable such environments were only a century ago. Now, names such as Snowmass, Vail, Breckenridge, Park City, Deer Valley and Telluride color students’ imaginations as they long for the glory of the slopes.
Why is skiing so popular? More importantly, why is it so popular among such vastly different people? Having worked as a ski instructor, I have taught students not only from the United States but also from Brazil, Argentina, the United Kingdom, Australia, the Netherlands, Mexico and Saudi Arabia, all within about a three-week span. All gained great satisfaction from strapping on a pair of skis and sliding down the hill. Everyone can enjoy skiing, and, when you plan your next vacation, I think you should consider it as an option.
Skiing captures the imagination, recalling the glamour of the 1960s, the intensity of the Winter Olympic Games, and the glory of the Winter X Games. Yet between all these recollections, a few things remain constant: the incredible feeling of the wind in your face (and hopefully, helmet), the gentle glide of the skis on the snow, and the freedom and grace of movement against rugged and seemingly impassable mountains.
Compared to other popular vacation options, skiing is much more active. It’s not about lounging on a beach somewhere, overeating on a cruise ship or visiting long-lost family. Skiing requires effort; it requires learning and overcoming the fact that humans were not originally designed or adapted to slide down slopes of varying steepness on thin planks. However, once overcome, these hazards seem insignificant against the thrill of conquering a mountain.
Whatever you plan to do during your weekends or over your spring break, consider going skiing. Being in Missouri, we notably have a dearth of mountains at which to have a truly fantastic skiing experience. Nonetheless, there is one small place, Hidden Valley, located about 30 miles from campus where you can have a small taste of what skiing is truly about. Should you get the chance, I suggest you take a trip to Colorado, Utah, Canada, Wyoming or California and find out what skiing is truly about. Those who have been before will know just how fantastic and how unmatchable a great and challenging day of skiing is. Unfortunately, as always, there is a downside. In this case, it is the cost, as skiing happens to be rather expensive (This is partly why it attracts participants from so far away.) However, I would argue that it is worth every cent, as most skiers will attest that such a sensation is unmatchable, and true fanatics will describe it almost religiously. Take a moment and research a ski resort. You may even find that it is more affordable than you had previously imagined. And, no matter what you plan to do over your spring break, avoid the dark side: snowboarding.