Thursday, February 13, 2014

Ski Season in Ohio

Akron Empire is excited to introduce our newest guest blogger, Krystal Sierra. Krystal lives in Cleveland, Ohio with her boyfriend and son. She is the 2011 recipient of the A.W. "Bud" Collins Jr. Prize in Creative Writing and has been published by The Mill, Cleveland Review and others. She studied English Literature and Communication Studies at Baldwin Wallace University and will begin an MFA program in Creative Nonfiction this summer at Ashland University.

View and contribute to her current project at cle20something

Ski Season in Ohio
by Krystal Sierra

Skiers slipped down the smooth, cold hills at Boston Mills Sunday evening as the sun set behind them, leaving behind a sky streaked in pink, yellow, purple, blue and white. The slopes were crowded. People huddled in groups at the bottom, bundled up, cheery and saying, “Hi,” to those they knew. From 5-9 p.m. every other Sunday, the resort offers a Super Saver ticket—ski rental, lift ticket and access to the slopes at Boston Mills, Brandywine and Alpine Valley for $35—attracting many people.

What seemed most interesting to me, though, was a modestly hung, chalk-drawn sign announcing Boston Mills’ 50th anniversary. The anniversary seemed almost beside the point at a place where half the demographic is under 16. Boston Mills was crawling with kids, but that fed into the atmosphere. Everyone there, adults included, seemed to shed their everyday concerns for a little while. It was as if the whole place was living in the now. One big, breathing, pulsating thing living in the present moment. We were an ant farm waiting to explode from our hill. The lodge even smelled like earth.

 “We’ll start you off on Summit until you feel comfortable,” Joe Ostrica said, my guide for the night and a life-long ski enthusiast who grew up with Brandywine in his back yard. “We can go as slow as you want.” Before yesterday evening, I had never skied before.

I needed to go slow, and he proved to be a good teacher. After a slow run down Summit and another slow run down Buttermilk, we decided to change my rentals in. My poles were too short, and my skis weren’t waxed enough to give me momentum. We climbed Buttermilk six more times (not literally—we used the lift), with one break in between, and with his guidance, I learned to Snow Plow, turn left with the outside of my right knee, right with the outside of my left, how to slow down by turning up the hill and, best of all, how to lean into my own speed. By the time I was finished, my cheeks were frozen and I had snow up my back from falling down. But I was happy, and I understood why all those people had the same goofy smile on their faces. Skiing is an exhilarating experience.

It was 23° that night at Boston Mills, and it had snowed a few times in the past week. “Perfect condition for skiing,” Ostrica said as he packed his own skis into the back of his mid-sized SUV. “If it’s too cold, you spend the whole time in the lodge.”

Boston Mills Ski Resort is located at 7100 Riverview Road and their sister resort, Brandywine, is located at 1146 West Highland Road in Sagamore Hills.
Super Saver Tickets are available for February 23rd on their website now.

BMBW's Website
BMBW's Facebook Page

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