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Mercy High School ~ Farmington Hills, Michigan


Mercy High School ~ Farmington Hills, Michigan


Mercy High School ~ Farmington Hills, Michigan


Mercy girls hit the slopes!

Maddie Linton
The view of Vail, Colorado as captured by junior, Maddie Linton

It is the season of winter activities, and for many Mercy students, that means skiing. Traveling to ski resorts is a common tradition for lots of Americans. Whether it is Colorado, Utah, Montana or any other western state, it can be a relaxing vacation just like any other. Although Michigan has been having an unusually warm winter, western parts of the country continue to get frequent snowstorms, creating perfect skiing conditions. 

“In terms of total skier visits, 2020-2021 was the fifth-best ski season on record, according to the National Ski Areas Association. The NSAA said that there were more than 59 million skier visits across the U.S.,” according to an article by Kevin Byrne, Accu Weather.

He goes on to explain that since then, ski resort numbers have stayed relatively close to that. However, the 2023-2024 season has seen a downturn in numbers as a decreased amount of snowfall has occurred. This warm winter is caused by the La Niña weather pattern, which has been predicted by environmental scientists.

Although this winter may not be the best for skiing, United States ski resorts in the west are world renowned, and they still get hundreds of inches of snowfall per winter, not slowing them down. The biggest U.S. ski resort is Big Sky, near Bozeman, Montana. The mountain has 11,166 vertical feet and 5,800 skiable acres.

Junior Gabby Backus visited Big Sky and loved the experience of skiing there.

“The mountain was so big and I loved how there were so many different runs to explore,” Backus said.

”Everything out west is so spread out and it was fun to explore everything. It was an adventure each time getting down the hill, it would take a lot longer to get down than it would if you were to ski in Michigan,” Backus said. 

Big Sky sees thousands of visitors each winter. It is famous for its Lone Mountain Peak, the highest point. The peak has a beautiful, picture-perfect appearance when covered in snow, and extremely skilled skiers can take the southeast ridge chairlift all the way to the top, in order to ski the Lone Mountain Peak bowl.

“I love how beautiful the mountains are and there is so much variety,” junior Maddie Linton said.

She recently visited Vail, Colorado. Vail also has extremely diverse terrain and the town that tourists stay in has many amenities. These include spas, electric bike rentals, and heated sidewalks and streets to prevent the need for snow plowing. 

When asked about a typical day on the slopes out west, “We wake up, grab breakfast and coffee, head out to the slopes and ski for 2-3 hours, grab lunch on the mountain, ski for another 2-3 hours, go back to the hotel, change, go to eat dinner, go to the hotel hot tub with friends, shower, and go to bed,” Linton said.

Ski trips may have a structured schedule to them, but being among the mountains can be very calming and relaxing. 

“I love skiing Mount Hood in Oregon because I get to train with my friends,” senior Amelia Lampi said. 

She is a 3 year member of the Mercy ski team and a captain this year.

“Skiing out west really improves my racing because the runs are longer and more difficult so I gain endurance and strength while improving my overall racing. The training camps are really helpful to gain more experience and time in the gates,” Lampi said.

Skiing out west is a lot of fun for many Mercy girls. Although our February continues in an oddly green and sunny fashion, we can see that the western U.S. is still in the full swing of winter.

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