At the young age of nine, I got the opportunity to visit Misstatement ski resort up in West Virginia. I had never even seen or drove through mountains before that. The ride seemed to last forever, the road was narrow and constantly snaking around the mountain Cliff sides. It was me, my dad, sister, dad’s girlfriend, and her two daughters all In a Chevy Tahoe. I remember looking out the window the whole trip just thinking to myself, If the driver makes one mistake we are all going to end up driving off a cliff.
On the way up there I decided I would try to teach myself to onboard, while the rest of my family would decide to try skiing. At the time I was big into skateboarding so it only made sense to me. Turns out snowboarding is nothing like skating, which I came to realize very fast. It’s a complete different story when my feet are strapped down and I’m wearing four layers of clothes to stay warm, rather than a t-shirt, some shorts, and sneakers. The first day of snowboarding for me was a miserable one, I had trouble getting used to the feeling of being strapped down using my body to stay up and balanced.
I was on my butt more than I was standing up. I wore way too many layers of clothes thinking that it would keep me warm, but being as I was sitting most of the time the clothes sucked a bunch of water up and I got even colder. To make it worse, most of the family took classes to learn the basics, but for some reason I don’t recall I didn’t take a lesson. They pretty much abandoned me all day on the beginners slope to myself. The next day when I woke up, I was so sore that I didn’t even want to attempt to try get back out on the slopes. Eventually I got back out there and it turned out to be a little bit easier the second day.
Needless to say the first year of snowboarding was the worst year of boarding ever by far. I’m glad I didn’t give it up though, because it would become an annual tradition in my family that I’d come to love every second of. My family makes it a point to go Misstatement at least twice a year, and has done so every year since 2000. My sister would always bring at least one friend, and my dad would always have his girlfriend, her son, and consumes would Invite some close family friends. It’s always a big family bonding experience. It’s normally a Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday trip.
Everyday we meet at lunchtime at the lodge to et way overpriced burgers and pizza. These years have gotten better and better every year. Now I only have fun boarding when I’m on the steepest parts of the resort, known as black diamond trails. I don’t like doing all the curving to maintain your speed and control, I prefer to go down the mountain straight building as much speed as I can and hitting all the jumps I can in the process. A lot has changed since that first day on the beginner slope. These vacations have always been my favorite time of the year. Visiting Misstatement every year is something that never gets old or boring.
The lace Is six thousand some aches. When vacationers first get to the resort, they have to notice an enormous parking lot that Is running right up the side of the mountain. Once the tourists park, they walk down multiple sets of stairs, depending on how far they parked towards the top. One thing they notice once they are out of the parking lot is a big wooden bridge with a crystal clear mountain stream running underneath it. Once they cross the bridge they’ll need to stop at the ticket windows to buy lift tickets. Tickets can purchase half day, full day, and night skiing passes, which get pretty expensive.
After tickets, if they need to rent boots, skies, or a board, the rental building is where to go next. Inside the rental building it’s hot, humid, crowded, and smells like mildew from all the wet smelly ski and board boots drying on hundreds of racks. But if your planning on skiing or boarding a couple time a year it’s probably a smart idea to buy your own board and boots to save money in the long run, considering its about forty bucks a day for rentals. Once the vacationers have gotten all their gear and lift tickets it’s time to go out the doors and hop on a ski lift that will take them to the top of whatever slope they hose to ride.
Riding the ski lifts are not as difficult as it may seem at first. It’s all about timing, when to hop in front of the next lift, and when to hop off. The key is to not fall when trying to get off, because they will have to emergency stop the lift to move from the off loading ramp, or they don’t stop it at all, and the people on the lift behind the lift rider trample you. But once the vacationers are on the lift headed to the top of the mountain, they start to realize how beautiful everything is in mountain country. At the summit they can see the whole valley, as well as another ridge miles way with a valley behind that.
The sight instantly takes their breath away. The skiers can see for so many miles in the distance that it Just starts to look foggy. The landscape is rough rocky hills and evergreen tress everywhere there’s not a ski slope. Misstatement doesn’t get enough snow throughout the winter, so at nights during the ski season they make snow. Every fifty or so yards there is a tall pole with a shoemaker on top. The snow machine looks similar to a cement mixer with large water hoses attached for water supply. It has to be no hotter than 30 degrees for the resort to be able to make snow.
Water is sprayed by little nozzles on the outside of the drum, while a fan inside the drum blows and freezes the water droplets all over the slope. If skiers chose to go for a night ski adventure, be aware that if it is not naturally snowing, they are most likely going to be making snow, so be sure to bring face protection, because the snow blowing from the fans will blisters skin, making for a terrible second day on the slopes. Fake snow is a little bit icy and not as fluffy as the real stuff, but it is still loads of fun. When we go to Misstatement every year I always have a blast. Snowboarding makes me happier than any other activity I do.
There is something so calming about going down a steep mountain on my board at forty miles an hour with not a care in the world or nothing to stress over. No feeling even comes close to that for me. Just being in those secluded mountains with the fresh cold mountain air is Just refreshing. I have so amazing memories with all kinds of family and family friends at the resort. I hope to be able to continue the family tradition for years to come and maybe one day pass the tradition on to my kids to be.