Keeping cozy through ski season

Although many people in Ashland were anxiously awaiting the day that the Mt. Ashland ski runs would reopen, I was not one of them. I believe I have been to Mt. Ashland a total of three times, despite the fact that I am a born-and-raised native Ashlander.

I have a vague memory that my parents took me up there one summer to watch a meteor shower when I was about 5, though admittedly that actually could have been any mountain; I'm not quite sure why my memory has decided that it was specifically Mt. Ashland. The next time I went up was for a cross country skiing field trip when I was in the second grade. The last time I went up was another summer visit, to "rescue" a friend who had decided it would be fun to camp for a night on the mountain, but in the middle of the night panicked that he was about to be eaten by wolves. This was years before the wandering wolf known as OR-7 made an appearance, so in fact he was at a much higher risk of being bitten by an opossum than a wolf. In fact, that's probably still true.

So aside from a brief cross country moment when I was 7 years old, I have never been skiing. I feel like I have a lot of inarguably excellent reasons why I have avoided skiing, snowboarding or even (for the most part) sledding. I hate wearing big ugly shoes, I'm grumpy when I'm cold (my family would probably argue that the correct sentence here would actually read, "I'm grumpier when I'm cold"), the idea of something being strapped to my feet while I'm falling down the side of a mountain makes me a little anxious, and I hate it when the ends of my hair freeze.

I understand that not everyone feels the same way I do, though. Even my own little sister participated in the after school ski program while she was growing up. The fact that she broke her arm while snowboarding has helped add to my aversion of winter sports, but certainly isn't the causative agent. As my math teacher would say, those two things are only positively correlated. But I appreciate the fact that not everyone enjoys napping and reading Agatha Christie mysteries repeatedly all winter long. Skiers should actually be glad that I'm not interested in their sport; wouldn't they prefer to keep their ski slopes all to themselves?

Because I'm pretty apathetic about the whole thing, I haven't taken a side in the whole Mt. Ashland expansion debate. To me, it doesn't matter how many more "beginner" slopes they add, I will still never be interested in skiing. I could go skiing today, spend the entire day on the bunny hill and would still probably never return to Mt. Ashland, and, believe me, it wouldn't have anything to do with the fact that I had gotten bored of skiing the same hill over and over again. Maybe if they expanded the lodge to include some nice rooms for napping and could raise Agatha Christie from the dead to do a fireside reading explaining what happened when she disappeared for 11 days in 1926, then I would reconsider my stance on frozen hair. Some nice ballet slipper-style ski boots would really sweeten the deal, too.

Despite the fact that I don't go up to commune directly with the snow, I'm still glad that Mt. Ashland has gotten enough snow to reopen. I like to see the lights on the mountain when the night skiing is open, and I'm happy for my friends who work on the mountain who had anxiously been watching the weather reports, waiting for the chance to work again. There's nothing I like better than waking up from a nice nap, pushing aside the layer of paperback mysteries that have slowly blanketed me over the course of the winter, and looking out the window to see snow on the hills. It's a nice cozy feeling, just not for the people falling down the mountain with icicles on their heads.

Zoe Abel loves the winter and the snow, she just loves being inside for it. You can contact her at

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