Skiing East and West

Currently, I am snowbound in Salt Lake City, Utah. Not by a snowstorm here (it is actually seventy degrees and sunny), but rather by all of the snow back east that is preventing me from getting back to Ithaca. While I am ready to get back, I really can't complain about being “stuck” here—I'm with great friends in a beautiful place. And I've been able to ski!

Skiing in Utah, as you can probably imagine, is different from the skiing I am used to in New York. I usually go to Greek Peak, a ski mountain that is about a half an hour away in Cortland. Looking online, I can see that there are 4 lifts and 28 trails open. Greek Peak is open year round, being home to an outdoor adventure center, indoor water park, spa, and lodge. I can imagine that with all the snow, the conditions are some of the best of the season right now. Here, I've been skiing at Alta Mountain. There are 6 lifts open, and the number of trails is undetermined because skiers are allowed anywhere on the mountain. This means that to places the lifts don't go, people will climb up on foot and then ski down. I'm more of a blue square skier, and so certainly won't be partaking in that adventurous endeavor. Lots of respect for them, though.

In the Northeast it is very likely to run into some ice while skiing, but I'm now learning that peoples' definition of icy is very flexible. At Alta I took a run with my friend Mary, and though I felt like I was practically skiing on powder, she described it as “a little icy.” I guess I see this as the human instinct to adapt to our surroundings. Mary, originally from New Hampshire, has a new set of standards. And no doubt that if I were to move out west, I would soon have a new definition of normal. I don't know if I would ever get used to the beauty of the mountains, though (and in fact, I'd hope I wouldn't). While I've enjoyed my adventure in the mountains, I am looking forward to being back in Ithaca with a view of the water.

By Kathleen Malnati

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