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On The Sideline: Skiing

Perhaps one of the most adrenaline-filled moments I have ever experienced was when I stood at the top of a ski slope, leaning gently into my skis in order to begin my descent into the course.

I am by no means an experienced skier, but I believe that the thrill of plunging skis into fresh snow on a new mountain will never cease to fill me with an intoxicating mixture of dread and excitement. If you like snow and excitement, pull on some ski boots and hit the slopes for a few hours.

There are two types of skiing in which people participate: downhill and cross-country. Downhill skiing is the most popular kind of skiing. In this category, a person stands at the top of a slope, pushes off with skis and ski poles and weaves back and forth across the slope.

If you want to ski down a slope with uncontrollable speed, forget the weaving. Just tuck your head, bend over and push off straight down the slope, but be careful of the trees on the way.

Cross-country skiing is more popular in Europe and is incredibly difficult because it works every major muscle group in the body.

Now is an excellent time to pick up skiing as a sport. Eastern is situated close to several ski resorts that offer affordable prices for lift tickets and rentals. Spring Mountain is only fourteen miles away, and offers lift tickets for $22 if you go after 4 p.m., plus $20 for rentals. This mountain is recommended for beginners and does not offer much of a challenge to more experienced skiers.

Bear Creek Mountain Resort is about 30 miles away and offers lift tickets for $46 for a four-hour lift ticket on the weekend. The tickets are less expensive if you are under the age of 21, or if you go during the week. Bear Creek is rated as being a great mountain for beginners and intermediate skiers, and is a great place to begin with lessons.

Some other popular places that are just a little over an hour away are Ski Roundtop, Blue Mountain, Camelback and Jack Frost. All offer comparable prices for students, and most offer ski lessons to beginners for a small fee. Grab some friends and reserve group-discounted tickets.

Before you leave, check out Web sites like weather.com that offer information about the snowfall and conditions of the slopes. Revel in the excitement of a new and adventurous sport. Happy skiing!

To suggest a sport for On The Sideline, email the Waltonian’s sports editor Chelsea Post at cpost@eastern.edu.

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