Taking Penn State Pride Outwest

By: Lyndsie Smyser

Two weeks ago, on spring break, Penn State t-shirts were probably spotted all across the globe, from Panama City Florida the whole way down to Acapulco Mexico and across the ocean where students were visiting friends abroad.  While most students flock to where it’s warm, the beaches weren’t the only places that you could find some Penn State pride.  For my spring break, I traveled to Breckenridge Colorado with 24 other members of the Penn State Ski Club.  Having become quite tired of the freezing cold weather and snow, I was beginning to question my decision to forgo Mexico in order to pursue my passion of skiing, but this didn’t last for long.  Colorado was by the far the best place I have ever skied.  The knee deep fluffy powder was no like no other conditions I had ever skied in, and the view like nothing I had ever seen.  I am left with many great memories from the trip, but one stands out the most.  At the very top of Breckenridge Mountain, there is a place where you can hike 300 vertical feet to the 13,000-foot summit of the mountain.  This area is inaccessible by chair lift and to ski off the top is to ski down a face that is nearly straight down.  All week my friends were trying to convince me to do it, but I was really nervous for several reasons.  One was that at the high altitude, it is really hard to breathe and I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to do the hike.  Also, the skiing at the top of the summit was very difficult and steep and I was afraid that I would fall and roll the whole way to the bottom.  Finally on the last day they convinced me to do it, and I have to say it was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had skiing.  The coolest part was that the group of us who hiked to the top took a Penn State flag up with us and planted it on top of the summit.  We asked someone to take a picture of us with the flag, and he took a picture with his own camera too saying, “I want to show everyone that I met the Penn State Ski Club, you guys are awesome.”  Along with planting the flag we also put a Penn State Ski Club sticker on a sign at the top of the mountain.  Along with being proud of myself for hiking and skiing the difficult terrain, I was ever more proud to show my Penn State pride at the top of the summit of Breckenridge.

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