Skiing the Dolomiti, Siena at Cimo Uomo


As my skiing was limited to the barest of slopes, I'm delighted to present a guest post by Siena, who thrilled to each peak and crag of the alps she skied. I hope her words convey the beauty of her experience, which she describes as the best of her life.

We stood, breathless at the sight of it. Cima Uomo. The clouds tore themselves apart, leaving a wide expanse of blue so deep it was almost purple. The untouched snow at the edge of the slope gleamed like diamonds. The falling snow caught the light so it looked like silver glitter.

It was even more exquisite on the way down. Huge snow-covered mountains zipped past us, and I felt like I was flying. It's real, I told myself. I'm actually skiing in the Alps.

I turned to the side where it was more powdery, enjoying the way my skis sliced through the soft snow. I felt great. So great that, unfortunately, I didn't watch where I was going. I veered sharply to the right, and off the slope. The snow was nearly up to my knees and I fell face first into a drift of powder.

Now, I know that snow is often described as a blanket, but, if nothing else, I learned that day that falling headfirst into snow is not nearly as comfortable as falling into a soft, downy comforter. It didn't hurt, but it was really, really cold. (Yeah. Snow is cold. I feel so smart.) I couldn't seeanything. I couldn't find my poles, even though they were attached to my hands. By the time I got out, I looked like a snowman. A Siena-shaped hole was printed in the snow. So I think I won the prize for most comical fall.

By the time we were done with the slope, the clouds were closing and the sky was grey once more. It was as if somebody decided to give us blue sky to end the day, and now that we were done, they had sewn it back up again. Oh well. It didn't matter. My dream of skiing in the alps had come true.

Siena is an American 10-year-old currently living in Spello, Italy. She finds the challenges of moguls less daunting and more thrilling than the challenges of attending Italian public school—though she is enjoying a newfound sense of competence at successfully taking science tests, navigating the thick waters of social dynamics, and discussing drawing and music in a foreign language. In her free time, Siena enjoys reading, dressing up her little brother for shows of her devising, handicrafts, drawing cats and fairies, writing, and practicing drinking cappuccinos. But really, she'd rather be skiing.