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MOUNT VERNON — A chill hits Laurel Sherman’s face, turning her cheeks bright red as she carves her skis down the mountain.
It is a bright, sunny day around 20 degrees. The perfect day to go skiing.
“I love the feeling of my cheeks getting windburn and feeling the wind on my face,” she said.
Sherman, a junior at Mount Vernon, tries to go skiing as much as she can every winter. Her most recent ski trip was to her favorite local ski resort, Sundown Mountain in Dubuque. But occasionally she will go back with her family to where she first learned to ski — Colorado.
During the early years of her life, Sherman lived in Littleton, Colo., a small suburb of Denver. This is where she was introduced to skiing. Sherman was taught to ski by her father when she was only 2 years old.
Sherman’s family has traveled back to Colorado to go skiing since moving to Martelle. Their favorite place is Copper Mountain. One of Sherman’s worst memories happened at Copper Mountain when she was still very young. She was going down a challenging hill, lost her balance on a patch of ice and ended up wiping out, losing her skis and poles.
Sherman wasn’t injured, but her pole wasn’t so lucky.
The experience of wiping out as a young child could make some afraid to ski again, but it didn’t stop Sherman. Today, she has grasped the technique and is a very talented skier. Her favorite hills to go down at Sundown Mountain are blues and blacks. Sherman loves the challenge of a difficult hill and the feeling of accomplishment after successfully making it down without falling.
In order to stay warm while skiing in below zero weather in Colorado, Sherman wears a hat, gloves and many warm layers under her coat and snow pants. She also brings goggles and her personal pair of skis and poles.
Sherman loves to ski and plans on skiing for as long as she is able. She also plans to teach her children to ski when they are young so they can enjoy family ski trips like Sherman did while growing up.
Sherman has some advice for skiers.
“As you are learning, don’t be afraid to challenge yourself,” she said. “If you fall down, just get back up and finish going down the hill.”