Downhill skiing in dwindling temperatures

Amelia Shankwitz, Staff Writer

Minnesota’s cold winter climate may somehow allow for fun

While some Minnesotans think of winter as a dismal and desolate season, rarely venturing outdoors and awaiting spring in the living room with a cup of hot tea I, on the other hand have learned to embrace the cold and enjoy winter.

At five years old my mom signed me up for my first downhill ski lessons at Hyland Ski and Snowboard Area and despite taking a few tumbles I’ve stuck with it for thirteen years. Throughout many ski trips with my mom and younger sister I’ve learned the woes of frostbite, hidden patches of ice and the occasional beginner sprawled in the middle of the run.

When I was twelve I went on my first big trip out West to ski in the Rockies. My most vivid memory was hauling my own pair of skis through the Denver Airport along with a bag of fleece and long underwear that weighed as much as me.

As I trudged behind my mom, I realized how remarkable alpine skiing is. There are few people in the world that get excited to pile on clothes and expose themselves to the elements atop a mountain, especially twelve year old girls.

After many winters spent outdoors I find it astonishing that fellow Minnesotans do not appreciate the winter weather. Wintertime is an opportunity to enjoy sports and activities that are not available around the world and is unique to our climate. Through the frigid temperatures I have learned about my love for downhill skiing and how lucky I am to live in a place with arctic winters even if my fingertips turn blue.