By Jack Aler ‘19
Legend has it that Scandinavian woodcarvers in Telemark, Norway, sometime around 1840 were the first people to develop skis. This invention took quickly, and shortly after, armies were using skis for training and competition.
Now, skiing is a fun, leisurely activity enjoyed by many across the world.
Well… it is fun for anyone who has skied more than three times. For some reason after about your third time skiing, you begin to get better and inevitably have more fun.
For any first time skiers out there, you want an easy course that is manageable so if you fall, you won’t be seriously injured.
I would recommend a ski resort in Lisle, Illinois, called “Four Lakes Alpine Snowsports.” It features a relatively flat bunny hill, and a slightly bigger hill with more of an incline. It is a very good place to learn to ski; in fact, it is where I learned.
“The hardest part of skiing is maintaining balance,” said senior Eric Martinkus. I agree; if you can learn to stay balanced, then learn to stop, then learn to turn, you have skiing mastered.
Once you seem to get this process down, you may want to try somewhere slightly harder, such as Alpine Valley Resort, in Elkhorn, Wisconsin, which is southwest of Milwaukee.
This is still an easy place to ski, yet the mountain is steeper and there are trees. As long as you can manage to turn, this is really a good spot because the runs are longer and more mesmerizing.
Once you master these spots, you may have to travel a little bit. There are great skiing opportunities where actual mountains are, which makes sense. Colorado is a world-class place to ski.
Vail Resorts has many prestigious ski resorts. Vail Ski Resort is arguably the best resort in Colorado, but another well-known one is Beaver Creek Ski Resort. This place is so nice that national championships are held here.
The Birds of Prey World Cup, a national event, just ended on Dec. 2. The grand event was the giant slalom, where Germany took home the gold by way of their star Stefan Luitz. Any other competitors that did not rank at least got to experience the beautiful scenery of the Rocky Mountains and smell the fragrance of pine in the air.
This is a very dangerous place to ski, although if you make a trip out to Colorado, I would imagine you are confident in your ability.
The West Coast seems to be home to the best skiing in America.
Senior Pat McGann agreed, saying, “The best place I’ve skied is Snowbasin in Huntsville, Utah. I’d say it was my favorite place because of the different types of black diamond skiing, awesome cliff runs, and great forest skiing. I got to ski there during a storm which made my experience. Also, this course was where the 2002 Salt Lake Olympics were held.”
The best place to ski in America, although up for debate, is Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The Grand Teton mountain range is incredible to see… and shred.
Jackson Hole Ski Resort is one of the most advanced courses, if not the most advanced in America. It has the steepest vertical drop of any ski resort in the United States.
My dad has gone on ski trips there and told me, “I went on black diamond runs all the time. There is a run called Rendezvous Bowl which starts from the top of the mountain, so everyone has to go down that. But, on the other side of the mountain they have a deadly run where you enter at your own risk. It is called Corbet’s Couloir. To enter the run you have to jump off a cliff. Then, when you land, you have a split second to decide which way to turn because there is a massive boulder in your way.”
My dad wisely avoided that run. I am grateful for that because I may not be here today if he had tried it.