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The Feather

The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

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Sierra Summit vs. Badger Pass

Winter weekends now mean one thing to me: skiing. As freezing wind slaps my face and I zoom down the hill, there is no place I would rather be. However, I’ve learned that the success of my trip depends not only on the skiing itself, but on the resorts that provide the attraction.

This winter I skied at both Sierra Summit Mountain Resort and Badger Pass Ski Area, in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Although I enjoyed both locations, I detected a distinct difference in the ski resorts’ goals and purposes.

Sierra Summit boasts dozens of intertwining runs and multiple areas to freestyle, which show off the talents of brave skiers. The runs flow into the flat, sprawling foot of the hill, making it difficult to trudge across the long, smooth pathway. After using my poles to push myself along for a painfully extensive time, I finally gave up and decided to simply carry my skis to the next chair lift.

Badger Pass provides a different set-up. With only ten runs and hardly any freestyle opportunities, this ski resort finds families congregating at its focal point, one lodge at the bottom of the hill.

Since all the runs and chair lifts base out of this single area, I enjoyed the quick trek between slopes and chair lift. While not skiing, I could observe my friends and family finish their run.

I found Sierra Summit most conducive towards to those just learning to ski, and those quite experienced. It sports a minuscule “run” with barely any slope and a “magic carpet” (a flat escalator), as well as a slightly larger “run” with a bit more slope and handle-tow transportation system. Yet between learning and taking on the big hills, a beginning skier finds there is not much diversity in run choices.

Even the prices at Badger incline towards the skiing family. Currently, for a family of up to four people, one hundred dollars buys a pass for three days of skiing, three days of ice skating on the Yosemite Park Valley Floor, discounts on the Ice Skating Season Pass and discounts on ski rentals. My family made money on our first trip up to Badger, through a deal available at Yosemite Winter Club.

The bargains at Sierra Summit are better suited for individuals. For example, on most Sundays, the resort hosts a deal for anyone in high school — lift tickets for ten dollars.

While both locations supply indoor eating for patrons at their main food stations, the picnic seating is all outside. Sierra Summit has a drastically larger indoor eating area, which makes it easier during the twelve o’clock rush to find a seat.

After reviewing the pros and cons of Sierra Summit and Badger Pass, I will still ski at both locations. With my family, I prefer to venture out to Badger. On those excursions with my friends, I’ll hit the slopes at Sierra Summit.

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