Mount Peter Writing Contest Winning Essays 2020

1st Place

Abbey D.

16 years old

Favorite Memory at Mount Peter

My dad and I have been going to Mount Peter for almost 4 years now. It is by far our favorite ski place near home. We live just under an hour away in Ridgewood, New Jersey. Due to our close proximity to the mountain we were always able to find the time once my dad got home from work and I got home from school to zip up to the mountain and get a few runs in. In winter of 2018-2019 my dad and I both had season passes and were at the mountain many times a week. Skiing has always been that one special thing that me and my dad always did together. We made so many memories together at this mountain these past few years that it is so hard to pick just one single memory so I will be sharing a few of mine.

The one memory that really stands out to me was when my dad and I brought my now 18 year old sister to Mount Peter to ski for the first time. I thought what better a place to teach her than where I started. The night before we came we went and rented her skis and boots from Mount Everest in Westwood, New Jersey. We were all so excited. I still do remember this day, it was Sunday December 30th in 2018. It was a cloudy and calm day around 30 degrees fahrenheit. We first went into the base lodge and got all suited up. After that we went out and walked over to the learning area where we got on the basin carpet for my sisters first run down snowbasin. After going down that once we decided she was ready to try something bigger. We went over to the patriot and all got on together. She was nervous but excited since it was her first time on a chairlift to go to the top of a mountain. We rode up to the top and got off to go down lower rim run. My dad had to help her up and off the lift. Once we got off we started to go down the trail. My dad was skiing backwards right in front of my sister to be there to catch her in case she couldn’t stop. I remember she wanted me to stay either right next to her or behind her in case she needed me. My dad first started working on her stopping by doing red light green light while in front of her. He had to catch her a lot of times. She continuously fell over and over but we were all so proud of her for still getting up and trying again. Me and my sister are very close with each other and I'm so glad I got to share this experience with her at my favorite place.

Like I said earlier how hard it was to share just one memory I decided to include another one. I remember a Saturday in October of 2017 my dad and I had left our house early in the morning because I had a fall softball tournament later that day back in New Jersey. That day we were going to pick up our season passes. You guys were having your 25th annual ski and snowboard sale and also were selling the old chairs from the lift that was renovated over the summer. We got there and first went to get our passes when we heard we could take a ride up and down the comet chairlift, so that's what we did after. I had heard prior to us going that you guys would be selling the old chairs from the old lift and I really did want one. I begged and begged my dad until he finally caved and bought one. I remember later that week my dad drove back to Mount Peter to pick it up. He surprised me and came home with the number 9 chair because that was my favorite number. These are only 2 of my favorite memories at Mount Peter and I am really looking forward to making more with the years to come. Thank you for being such an amazing place!

2nd Place

Sophia L. Age 10

My Mount Peter Trip

One day in February my parents said they had a surprise for me and my sister Ella. I had no idea what it was. They said we were going to Mt. Peter for two days! The first day we would go snow tubing and the second day we would go skiing. I was so excited! Me and my sister had never snow tubed or skied before.

The next day we drove to the hotel. When we got there, we put on our snow pants, coats, boots, hats, gloves and new goggles and we left for Mt. Peter! I was so, so happy. When we got there, I thought I was going to explode! The snow tubing hills were so big. I was ten years old, but I was a little bit scared. We stood on line for about 10 minutes which is pretty decent and then watched a video on what to do. Finally, they let us in…we rushed up the stairs and got on line. We each grabbed a tube and got on the carpet lift. When we got up to the top of the mountain we got on line. It was a LONG way down. When it was my turn to go down I pushed off the ground and slid down the mountain. The wind was blowing in my face as I screamed! Suddenly I started to slow down. As fast as I could, I got off the track, so the next person could slide down. It was so fun!!! I waited for the rest of my family and then we did it again. Then my mom said that she hit the wall on her turn down the mountain. The next round we let her go first so that if she knocked into the wall again we could see her. And sure enough, she knocked into the wall again. It was crazy! When me, Ella and my dad got down the mountain my mom said she got a new tube. We went back up and this time my mom did not bump into the wall. We continued to go up the carpet lift and down the mountain until it was time to leave. I had a fun day. I was so excited for tomorrow.

The next morning, I woke up early. I waited for the rest of my family to wake up and we headed back toward the mountain. When I got there, I was happy. First, we got on our ski clothes and then we got our supplies which included our boots, skis, poles and helmets. Next, we went to the place where they teach us how to ski. They taught me and Ella how to pizza wedge. We also practiced walking with skis on too. When the class was over our parents took us to the mountain. We took the carpet lift up and went down the mountain. My mom said I was good! We went a few more times and then I asked if we could try the big mountain with the big lift. And she said yes!

We got on the lift which took us up in the air. I was a little nervous to get off the lift. When me and my mom did get off I went sliding into a snowless ditch! A man helped me get out of the hole and I started to ski down the big mountain. When I got to the bottom I went again, and again, and again. Then I went with my dad again, and again, and again until we had to leave. My sister did not make it to the big mountain but that’s ok. I made it the blue square and I was so proud of Ella and myself. Before we left we got hot cocoa. I can not wait to return to Mt. Peter again next winter!

The End.

Third Place

Rylee M. 8yrs old

This was my second year ever snowboarding. My first year I stayed on the magic carpet basically the whole time. I tried my best to master that first. I didn’t even go up the lift until rally day and I cried the whole way up cause I was scared. After that I loved it! I went up a few more times that day and had a blast! Rally day was the best day of the season!

This year was the first year I tried the weekly lessons. I had the best instructor ever! His name was Sean. I had lessons every Thursday night and it was the best night of the week. I went to the mountain right from the bus and got my homework done so that I could snowboard. I also got to stay after my lessons every Thursday to snowboard until Mount Peter closed. Sean made the lessons so much fun! He taught me so many new things. Some of those things were how to stop, how to carve, how to toe brake, how to do jumps, and how to spin in a circle while coming down the mountain. He is such a good snowboarder and one day I want to be as good as him. I even drew a picture of him and gave it to him at my last lesson.

Every time I went to the mountain I got to see some of my friends. We had so much fun going up on the lift by ourselves and then racing down the mountain. Most of the time they would beat me down cause they are skiers and didn’t have to strap in and could just get off the lift and go. I did get up the courage to go down the black diamond this year and it was awesome! Snowboarding with my friends is so much fun!

This year my dad was able to come with me. He grew up in Utah and Colorado so he is pretty good! I was so happy he could finally get some time off of work and I could show him how good I got at snowboarding. That day was so much fun! We went up the lift so many times and would race down.

Another fun day was when the pink whale would come. I loved getting the stickers and putting them on my helmet. It was so funny to see the pink whale skiing down the mountain. My friends and I took a picture with the whale. I also bought a really cool T-shirt too that day.

I couldn’t wait until Rally day!! I was really bummed it got cancelled but understand why and I can’t wait for next year. It will be even better! Hopefully, I can get my baby sister on skis or even a snowboard next year. Some of my other goals next year are to grind a bar and perfect my 180 jumps and try a 360 jump.

Honorable Mention

Flashes of Fun on Mt. Peter

Cheryl P. 59 years old

Bundled in snow gear, our five-year old granddaughter shuffles off to the Basin Carpet with a capable, red-coated Mt. Peter ski instructor. I walk into the comfortable viewing area at the base of the hill and watch the novice and skilled skiers reach the top of the hill, turn down and practice the tactics of snow-mobility.

It’d been years, maybe decades, since I skied last. But ski I did. Every weekend. Sometimes twice a weekend. Since I was a tween. Up, down. Up, down. Swishing. Running the moguls. Oh, I remember, while sitting in high school classes, I doodled skiers on my peechees. After college, I married a skier. We taught our daughters to ski. My favorite pair of skies were Rossignols. I wore mittens because gloves did not keep my hands warm enough.

Wait. What? What’s going on?

Back to the present, at Mt. Peter. I become aware of the ski instructor and our granddaughter gliding over snow to the chair lift. I want to yell, “She’s never been on a chairlift.” Not to be left behind, my imagination races, conjuring baseless worse case scenarios of our granddaughter screaming bloody murder as she notices a growing distance between her and the grounded snow below.

Through this imagined storm of worries, my legs carry me outside toward the chairlift.

Intrigue hits me like a snowball and I find myself standing in six inches of newly fallen snow from the previous night. A radiant blue sky touching my vision. I’m suddenly calmer.

A somber mental argument ensues. Do I return to the viewing area and sit patiently? Or do I do what comes more naturally? Remain a hyper-vigilant grandmother and ski.

Weighing in on the debate, I have no ski gear. I’m dressed in single layer cotton, the antithesis of smart outerwear for wet and cold weather. And I find inside my coat pocket, a pair of gloves appropriate for driving a heated car but ridiculous for skiing.

Rolling my eyes, I take a minute to look inside my mental snow fort. Ah ha, a hidden arsenal of protection against the cold. Hotflashes: flashes of heat internally produced and conveniently warming my body.

I walk to the office, buy a chairlift ticket, rent ski gear, and find myself at the top of Mt. Peter grinning. I shove off with a thrill. I didn’t forget how to ski.

I soon locate our granddaughter. She’s on the ground maneuvering her skies to get back up after a fall. I approach cautiously. She sees me and says, “Gramma.”

Gramma may be one word, but said with energetic comprehensive inflection and tone, our granddaughter really said, “You see me. This is so much fun. I’m getting it. Did you see me ride on the chair? The chair was my favorite part. I see you. You can ski. Can we ski more at Mt. Peter after my lesson and ride the chairlift? Can we get hot chocolate too?”