It was the first run out of the day and we had to hit the cliffs, everywhere else was icy so we decided go where the snow had been before.  It was the steepest area of the entire resort and the name deservingly fit it. The terrifyingly steep path down the mountain was scattered with cliffs of all sizes. Thinking we’d find better snow farther over and higher up from the chair, go where few had gone before we hiked up higher than the highest chair on the mountain. As we hiked we crested over a peak passing a sign warning of avalanches and danger I realized we were standing on top of the ridge of high cliffs with icy landings. Just days before I had said how crazy it would be to do a 50 footer like what I thought lay below but the landings were so rocky and I had only hit cliffs for two days. Scott led the way and the fear sank through my body at the thought of Scott leading us over the edge to our doom. I yelled out but everyone seemed to think all would be alright. As I crept up to the edge less than two feet away and I could not see a thing of what lay below. I dared not get any closer as the wind blew and the ground was slippery. I followed where the others went and to my great joy there was a snowy path leading through the jagged rocks. I dropped into the path with Harrison close in behind me. Making the few turns possible down the narrow path my adrenaline started to flow. This different part I had never been down before and the speed I gained was incredible. Dropping into the bowl my feet landed with a thud to my terror that the powder that had covered the extreme landscape just the day before had turned to ice. With the incredible speed from the path through the cliffs we carved into the mountainside with our dulled park skiis. I slid and bounced and flew as I cut across the bowl. It took incredible effort to cling to the mountainside path as I tried to stay as high as possible. The better snow and bigger cliffs were on the far side, we had to make it. We gained more and more speed as the path became more and more ragged. It was so tracked out and the path was so bumpy, so uneven and so hard.  I could see Andrew loose his balance off one of the bumps and he nearly fell. I could see the jagged patches of black rock lingering below him and the thought of the danger of what we were doing crossed my mind. I quickly brushed the thought away, I had to concentrate on where I was going. As I started to close in behind him one of the bumps caught me off gaurd. It was  bigger than I had thought and my ski popped off the bump sending my tips off the path. I landed backseat and my butt hit the ground. The sudden pivoting point on the ground acted like a slingshot and my ski tips shot up towards the peak. With a combination of the steep slope, the icy conditions and the momentum I carried from the steep descent I started to slide faster and faster down the steep pitch. My head led my body down the hill and my stomach was faced the snowy peak. I couldn’t see at all where I was headed. Almost instantantly the thought of the sudden cliffs dropping off below burst into my mind. The image of myself flying backwards off a sheer face to my icy doom sent a jolt of shock through my body. With surprising reflexes I pushed my skiis behind me, my tails jabbing into the back of my helmet. I pushed and pushed straining my legs  trying to dig my dulled edges into the thick icy crust. With only a fraction of a second left before my young icy death my skis gripped the into the ice. My mind was racing and my heart was racing. I looked up the where I had just come from and to my terror I had slid nearly 20 feet. I knew how dangereous the landscape was. My heart still racing in my chest I looked back down to where I was soon to have been. Merely 10 feet away lay the crest of a 20 footer with a landing as hard as ice.  Only a few feet ahead of where I fell the cliffs dropped off merely 10 feet from the path. To my horror I realized that If I had not reacted as fast or had fallen only a few feet farther my life could have ended in an instant with a crunch of my skull on the icy snow.

-Safety First!


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