Story by Jamie
Hello Everyone! I decided to go snowboarding for the first time on my 29th birthday. I booked an instructor at Hilltop in Anchorage, AK. I was super excited! The check-in and equipment rental process was super easy and fast. With my snowboard and lift ticket in hand, I was off to the hill.
Let's just say that after falling over a dozen times in 45 minutes, I realized snowboarding was probably not for me. I left my lesson and went back inside and asked if I could switch to skis. The rental shop was accomodating and and swapped my snowboard out for skis. I took them to the bunny hill and was ready to give it another try. Before I made it to the top of the little hill, a good Samaritan gave me some advice: make the skis look like french fries to go fast and shape them like a pizza slice to go slow. After a couple runs down the bunny hill, I felt ready to try out the real hill.
I nervously approached the ski lift for the first time. I was surprised at how easy it was to get on and off. That is, minus the small detail of I'm terrified of heights. Even the height wasn't that bad; I just closed my eyes and hung on to the lift. After my successful ascent to top of Hilltop, I took a moment to look around. It was beautiful! I could see all off Anchorage and Sleeping Lady. The view was definitely worth the scary lift ride.
Then reality hit me: was I really ready to go down Hilltop after only practicing 2 times? At first the slope wasn't too bad; I french fried and pizza sliced at a speed I felt was comfortable. Even with a helmet, I was mildly concerned about breaking bones. I was only about a quarter of the way down when two showoffs skied right up next to me, covering me in snow. I realized I knew them. They were my friends Lindsay and Anna.
Anna taught me the critical skills of how to turn and stop. It was nice to have someone there to help you. I went down Hilltop twice and only fell once each time at the steepest part of the hill. It was so much more fun than I ever thought and will definitely be going back!
If you ever thought about going for your first time, I suggest you set up an appointment with an instructor about a week before and, of course, invite your friends! The instructor only cost me an additional $5 and was very helpful. Also, don't forget your helmet and stay safe!
Skiing is a great activity, so get out there and get active Alaska!