Powdered snow sucks. Helplessly trying to pack handfuls of powder together to form a snowball while my two older brothers are rushing at me is like someone being charged by a bear while trying to load a gun. I tried to run but as I got up they were already grabbing at me ready to dump me head first into the snowbank. These are the memories I’ll never forget.
Growing up in Anchorage, winter time has always been a big part of my life. Anchorage averages 102 inches of snow per year while the US average is only 26 inches. According to CNN, the record of 132 inches of snowfall, set in 1954-55, was broken by an inch in 2011-12. I was 12 years old with a backyard filled with 133 inches of snow.
My brothers and I always came up with plenty to do in the winter. With snow towering over our heads the ideas were endless. When our parents weren’t looking we would snow-skate off the lower roof into the giant mounds of powder. The neighborhood kids and my brothers built a treefort about 10 feet or so off the ground in our backyard and by winter time we would be jumping out of it and pushing each other off the platforms carelessly because the soft snow would brace our fall.
Winter time was always our favorite growing up. Winter meant frozen ice, which meant hockey season. We all started playing hockey by age 3, it was one of our favorite things to do competitively or on our own in the cul de sac with our friends. My oldest brother Owen played all the way into the Western Hockey League and the Canadian Hockey League while Jayce and I were running around the stands and rink watching his games and playing around getting in trouble.
My older brother Jayce and I started to get into snowboarding pretty seriously around age 7 and 10. We went almost everyday after school from 3:00 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. at Hilltop Ski Area. We would be out on the hill for so long we would get wind burn on our faces and horrible chapped lips, but that never stopped us from going out again. We would go inside the small crowded lodge, take a break for about half an hour to get a soggy piece of flavorless pizza and a hot chocolate to warm us up, and then we’d be back at it.
I’m always going to be looking forward to winter because of all the great memories it brings back of my brothers and I. Even though half of the time they were giving me a whitewash or locking me outside without a jacket or snow clothes.