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Skiing Montana slopes scary, yet awe-inspiring

I'm a bad child. I lied. In my last article I told you it was my last article about skiing. It wasn't entirely a lie. This article isn't all about skiing. But mostly. Sorry, but here it goes.

If you've ever wished you were in the clouds, I know just the place: Whitefish, Mont. My family was skiing last week at The Big Mountain. Literally, when we were skiing, we couldn't see hardly five feet in front of us. It was almost dangerous. Well, what I consider dangerous.

Anyway, it was scary at times, like when all of a sudden you hit a bump and are sent flying into the air or when you whoosh by people that you didn't see. It did have advantages though. All week there was practically no one there. No lift lines means more skiing for us.

It started out with a drive to Bozeman, Mont. There isn't much to say about that, except for when I drove. I'm proud to say that I now know what rumble strips are for. When we finally got there, we went to my most favorite pizza place in the whole entire world. It's called Mackenzie River Pizza Co. (I'm sorry Zorbaz, but it is. You're in close second though.) We used to go there all the time when I was little and going back makes my trip even better.

The next day we went to Bridger Bowl Ski Area. I learned how to ski at Bridger Bowl so many years ago. The whole day was filled with, "Oh hey! Remember that run?" Or, "It's wol-ha-ha-ha-verine!" Wolverine was my favorite run when I was little. The ha-ha-ha part stands for a wolverine breathing. It's just one of the crazy things my mom and I come up with.

The last time we were there for a week was when Miika (our foreign exchange student from Finland) was staying with us when I was in second grade. During that week, he and my brother went off and skied together. I think I was more into the slightly easier runs back then, so they didn't want to ski with me.

One day they almost got stuck up on the mountain because they missed the lift. Fortunately, the lift operator was nice enough to let them take a ride up so the two of them could get back to our cabin easier. Dylan told me he remembered wishing that they would have done the ridge.

Doing the ridge means hiking up from the top of the lift all the way up to the top of the mountain. We had seen so many people doing it in years past, and we really wanted to try it this time around.

Recently they opened a new part of Bridger, and the Schlasman's lift serves back country skiing. In order to ski this area you need to have an avalanche transceiver.

We just so happened to have two of those (Thanks to Jeff!), so Dylan and I decided that we would do it. At first you think, "This isn't even bad!" Then you get to the top. The top of the lift is about 100 feet from the top of the mountain.

When we saw the little trail to hike up to the ridge Dylan said, "When we come up here with Dad we are sooo climbing up that. It would be so cool." Then I said, "Dylan, let's just do it now." So we did.

When we were done climbing up the hundreds of little steps cut into the snow on the route to the top, we took a look around. We could see for miles. It was a bright, sunny day so the visibility was great. All the way down the back of the mountain was more mountain. It was absolutely gorgeous.

After we put our skis back on, it was time to descend the 10-foot straight down drop of the cliff. I was so scared I could have wet my pants. Here I am on the top of a mountain, risking my life just to have some fun. I don't even wonder why people think I'm crazy anymore.

In my opinion, waist deep powder is the way to ski. Expecially through trees. Now that's the stuff! It was honestly the best run I've ever done.

After the lifts stopped running at Bridger, we drove the five hours to Whitefish. We got there and went to bed 'cause man, were we tired. We skied in the clouds all week. It was snowing, foggy and wet. My jacket and snowpants have never been as wet as they were this past week.

There was a run called Sandi's, which brought on me singing "Oh, Sandy" from Grease. It wasn't very good since I was mostly shrieking it.

After all the fun was done, it was time to go home. We didn't feel that bad since it was raining again and it was the foggiest it had been all week. I was happy for the rain though. You reach a point where you are sick of snow.

For most people it's around October or November when it starts to fall. But for me it's now, when finally it's time to take down our Christmas tree and take out our bikes and rain boots.

Berit Ramstad Skoyles is a freshman at Detroit Lakes High School.

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