For most students, Spring Break signals a week of relaxation: no school, hours of sleep and junk food, but not for me. Spring Break is an opportunity for my family to head to Reno for skiing. Of course, many of my friends act surprised: “There’s still snow?” (Yes, there is.) Although the snow is not as abundant as it is during the winter, the snow is heavy enough for skiers.
My family’s annual ski trips usually last around five days. When I say family, I’m talking about at least eighteen people who make the trip out to Reno. As my dad slowly approaches the Sierra Nevadas, the car windows become cold (and my cell phone signal dies). Throughout the years, the amount of snow has decreased significantly and patches of dirt now show through the layers of snow.
On the way, we stop by random areas to play in the powder. My family members and I take turns sledding down hills; some of us build snowmen. Last year, my cousin and I molded half of Baymax’s (the amazingly adorable robot in Big Hero 6) face in the snow. My cousin found round leaves and a thin stick for Baymax’ eyes.
Two days of our trip are dedicated for skiing. On those days, my family wakes up early to grab a good parking spot at Mt.Rose Ski Resort. My aunt hogs four tables on the second floor of the ski lodge for my large family (although during Spring Break, there aren’t that many people) and my little cousins check in for their ski lessons.
I go with my dad and sisters to grab lift tickets and our ski gear. We sit on benches and tighten our ski boots that squeeze our calves and bruise our shins and then get skis and poles. We put on all our gear: goggles, helmet, gloves, and skis. We head to the chairlift and make our way up the mountain. At the peak, the view is stunning: blue skies, white snow and brown cityscape sprawling in the distance. My dad, sisters and I admire the view before skiing down blue runs, snaking our way down the mountain.
After a few rounds, we head back to the lodge for lunch and then prepare to ski again, this time with my younger cousins. My entire family, not including my mom and aunts, all ski together on green (the easiest) slopes. My cousins race each other down the slope, leaving the slower ones behind. We pick up snow along the way, leaning down to grab handfuls to throw at each other.
A few hours of skiing (and falling) later, my family packs up and heads back to our hotel. We eat dinner at the nearby pho restaurant and then relax until it’s time for bed. The routine repeats again the next morning. Although it is tiring to wake up early, every year I still look forward to annual snow trips with my family (to throw snow at their faces, of course.)
Words and images by Lily Young