My life is going downhill!


Luke Rosso riding a Flat-Down-Flat rail at seven springs.

Lizzy Nicholson, Writer

     These are not just pieces of wood, steel, and fiberglass. They are tools of escape. A medium for personal expression. A way to challenge our fears, push our limits and share incredible experiences with your friends. This is what true happiness is for children of the mountain. This is what snowboarding and skiing is all about. The feeling of adrenaline that one gets while standing at the top of a mountain, staring down on the slope below and then just sending it down the mountain as fast as possible without any thought going into what could happen and just letting loose of all your worries as the snow blows over your face and googles is unlike any feeling you will ever experience. 


Emma Jiancristoforo stopping for a pose on a Black Diamond slope.

This isn’t just a winter sport for many people, this is a way of life filled with memories, pain, failure, risks, ecstasy, defying limits and lessons to cherish forever. Children of the mountain know one thing for certain and that is that these sports are not one meant to be easy, that’s why not everyone is able to do it and keep their hearts on this sport for so many years. 

    “ I have been snowboarding for about 7 or 8 years and I really like to do different flips,” said freshman Luke Rosso. 

    “ I have been skiing since I was 5-years old (11 years total) and one of my favorite tricks that I know how to do is a 180,” said freshman Emma Jiancristoforo. 

      Now it goes without saying that someone that has been snowboarding or skiing for that long has definitely endured every feeling and many injuries to get to where they are today. Falling on rails, boxes, moguls, jumps and just in general can’t keep you down on the mountain. No one ever achieved anything by falling down and staying there and not getting back up.  And that goes for certain with Rosso saying that his favorite tricks are doing different flips on his snowboard and Jiancristoforo’s favorite is doing 180s.  Getting back up over and over again definitely doesn’t go without its rewards and Rosso can definitely testify to that as well as Jiancristoforo

     “I used to ride for PA Freestyle but I left that because it was expensive and I didn’t learn anything about it,” said Rosso.

     “I have not been on a competitive team, but a lot of the ski resorts that I go to have the racing courses open. Sometimes I try them out,” said Jiancristoforo.

     For those that don’t know, PA freestyle is a competitive snowboarding team that focuses on excelling snowboarding in the disciplines of Slopestyle, Rail Jams, Halfpipe, Slalom, and Boarder Cross. Having the chance to be on that team is a huge honor for anyone who rides for them, it’s some of the best of the best in PA. For a freshman in highschool to be on that team before they were even in high school is a major accomplishment. In Jiancristoforo case, she hasn’t been on a team but she does racing on the mountains she goes to when they have the racing poles up. 

    For those that don’t know, the most common type of ski racing that resorts have for the public is Slalom: which is skiing between poles or gates. According to Jiancristoforo, it’s a lot harder than it sounds; you are traveling at speeds of 50mph or faster trying to weave in and out of poles, it’s not easy.  Rosso said it took  years of winters practicing tricks and riding in general to get on that team even though he left after some time due to personal reasons. 

   “My favorite part of snowboarding is that I like to learn tricks with my friends and I like to do so on one of my favorite mountains, Seven Springs; I have ridden a few other mountains but this one is fun and it also is my home mountain,” said Rosso. 

Luke Rosso riding a Flat-Down-Flat rail at Seven Springs.

     “I enjoy skiing because it is an escape from reality and my favorite resort is Alta, located in Utah,” said Jiancristoforo.

    A large sum of what makes snowboarding and skiing so fun is that you can enjoy it with those close to you; even better is enjoying it while being at your home mountain. Another big part of these sports is that it provides an escape for people and a chance for them to just enjoy the beauty, peace, and quietness of nature.  Being able to enjoy something so dear to your heart with those around you just makes it that much more enjoyable; and that can definitely go without saying the circumstances of what has been going on these past two years. 

     “COVID has affected me because the ski patrol makes us wear a mask in the lift line,” said Rosso. 

     “COVID has affected my season in many ways. First of all, with any mountain you go to you have to order a ticket beforehand. The reason for this is because they don’t want too many people in an area at one time. This also has a positive affect on my season. There are less people, which means you get more of the mountain to yourself. Another downfall is that you have to wear a mask the whole time. Sometimes you may get hot while skiing/snowboarding, but you are not able to take your mask off,” said Jiancristoforo. 

     Ski Resorts now require you to wear a mask while you are in the line to get onto a ski lift and while you are on the lift. Anyone who does any sport knows how hard it is to breath sometimes after hitting it hard and giving it your all in said sport or trick and being out of breath after. Now try wearing a mask after sending it down a 40%+ grade slope going 50+ miles per hour in 20 degree weather… not fun.  But like how Jiancristoforo said there is some positive to this. Ski resorts now have a limit of how many people can be there at the same time which means more mountain time and less of a wait to get onto the lifts. 

     On the opposing side of things being not fun, something fun and interesting that not many people may know about is that skiers and snowboarders will always make fun of each other; it’s almost an unwritten rule that all boarders and skiers follow. You will hear them scream and yell at each and call them names just for not riding what they do. And you almost always find snowboarders challenging skiers to a race down steep hills to see who has the fastest speeds. Rosso and Jiancristoforo said they would ask someone who rides the opposite of what they do the following…

     “I would ask why they chose skiing,” said Rosso. 

     “Why did you choose to snowboard?” argued Jiancristoforo.  “Did you ever try skiing?”


Emma Jiancristoforo stopping for a picture at the peak of a mountain.

Skiing and snowboarding is a way for people to just shut your brain off and live within the moment. People of all ages enjoy these sports and enjoy it on all different levels. But one thing is for certain that all children of the mountains can agree on is that you only live once so send it and never think twice. And always remember that even if you may not be able to buy happiness, you can always buy a lift pass which is practically the same thing.