Winter Vacation 2014
By Jay Mattson
On Friday, December 13, 2013 I opened 5 My Christmas presents because we were traveling on our winter vacation. We drove across Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri and Kansas over two days then into Colorado. December 16 we checked into the good night Lonesome Dove, at about 11 AM. We have stayed at Lonesome Dove on many other occasions. Almost every time we stayed in our favorite cabin “Clara.” Mom dropped me and dad off at Wolf Creek ski area, while she went grocery shopping. We skied for four hours, warming up our skills. Mom picked us up at the ski hill. I was very hungry. Mom made one of the best dinners that I ever had.
Ski hills have color and shape that code the difficulty of each run.
Double black diamond
Double Black diamonds with EX means Extreme
The first time I went extreme skiing was at Wolf Creek on this vacation. At the top of the Alberta lift I took off my skis, and then hiked with them on my back on steps that were kicked into the snow toward the High ridge. There was a sign at the top with the E X symbols. The sign said “watch for unmarked obstacles and avalanches.” I walked through that gate by myself. I felt like I had let go of a lifeline. I hiked for about 15 minutes. Then I got to the top of the ridge. The view was amazing, I felt like I could see 500 miles of snowy peaks and big plains. I turned my Go Pro camera on to record a 360 view. At the start of my run I looked down. My heart was racing and my hands were sweating, all I could see was rocks and trees and a very steep drop. So I started to think “is this really a good idea?” I said to myself “I'm here I'm not going back and I will not fall!” Then I dropped in. The snow was unexpectedly powder. It was like skiing through whipped cream but nowhere near as tasty. I did turns the whole way down this steep section, then I look back at my tracks then skied through some trees. It was so much fun that I did it again while dad took pictures.
On a ski hill you can meet a bunch of different people at different skill levels. Here are the people I met. When I was going down Alberta face I saw three kids. I asked them what they were doing. They were building a jump. I asked them if I could ski with them. They said, “ok.” Ethan went first. He hit the jump and went really high and did a tail grab. Then Cody went. He did a nose butter which looks a little bit like a handstand at the end of the jump. Evan did a straight jump. It was my turn. I started towards the jump, I knew exactly what I was going to try… A backflip. As I left the jump, my right ski came off. I knew landing with one ski wasn't going to be easy. Then I realized I wasn't rotating fast enough to land on my feet. I landed on my back which sounds more painful than it was. Ethan skied over and said “dude are you okay?” Cody and Evan skied over and invited me to ski with them. We skied to more jumps then the three of them showed me some terrain I hadn't been in before. I skied with them for two days. We had so much fun skiing together that we exchange contact information, and I hope to ski with them again sometime.
Since my dad's college switched to semesters this spring break was really long. After our skiing trip we went to the Grand Canyon and camped in the campground and then started hiking the next day. T
he first day we only hiked about 5 miles but descended 3000
feet. The next day we descended about 2000 feet to Bright Angel camp ground.
After we left Bright Angel we hiked across a big suspension bridge that ended
in a tunnel. We climbed 2000 vertical feet and found the Tonto trail on a plateau.
We spent three days on the Tonto trail. Then we camped on horse shoe mesa. The next day we left camp and went up some of
the scariest trail that I have ever hiked on. In some places the trail was
built above air with ice and snow on it! After we finished hiking the Grand Canyon
we drove to Durango, CO to ski at Purgatory. We skied there for two days then
we drove to our next stop in Gunnison Colorado so we could ski Crested Butte.
Then we drove to Monarch ski resort where I got injured. After that we drove to Michigan to see my aunt and uncle. As we got close to Michigan it got really snowy, and the roads were really hard to drive on. We made it to Aunt Lauri and Uncle Tom’s safe and sound. It was so snowy that we stayed inside for the three days we were there. Dad had driven to Ann Arbor Michigan to do research so my mom and I got on a train and rode to meet him. Then we drove home to Athens, OH.