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Feared or Funny Chairlift Rides

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As the snow starts to fall and the icicles form, the ski season approaches, and with it come the feared or funny chairlift rides. There are those who are terrified of floating on a chair fifty feet above the ground, and there are those who see these contraptions as just another place to sit between runs and maybe meet a snow bunny or two.

The most infamous part of the chairlift is the entry. The ominous low rumble from the wires ripples in the air like a drum roll, and then the chair swings around sometimes slow or sometimes fast. It is always a gamble.

Everyone has his or her own technique. Some say they peer anxiously over their shoulders as the chair hurtles around the corner, while others say they assume a relaxed attitude, staring up the mountain, knees bent, ready to be swept off their feet.

However, even for some of the advanced skiers such as Grant Sirlin ’16, getting on a chairlift is a daring task. “When I was younger, I tried to put my poles through my legs and under the seat like the older kids but I missed and fell off instead,” Sirlin recalled.

Chairlifts are designed to get skiers safely up the mountain, but there is always a risk involved. Caitlin Hartman ’14, Captain of the Girls’ Ski Team, recalled an accident on a chairlift describing it as, “I was riding up, under the chairlift I saw there were numerous ski patrol putting a four-year-old into a sled.” There are rarely serious accidents on chairlifts, but this was one of the rare times. “She had been fooling around on the chairlift, and her parents weren’t paying attention when she slipped under the bar. She fell roughly 30 feet and landed on a stump. She broke her arm and fractured her skull in four places. I do know that she is alive today,” Hartman said.

Next time you are preparing to hop on the lift that will whisk you to the top of the mountain, remember to bend your knees, pull down the safety bar and introduce yourself to your chairlift buddy. You never know — you could be sitting next to a future Lindsey Vonn.

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Will Dumke
Will Dumke, Staff Writer
To Will Dumke ’16, Inklings has not only brought him the opportunity to inform the school on the news, but it has let him jump in the back of a car and film screaming seniors as they drive from one end of town to the other. Raking in thousands of views last year, Dumke put together a short video that gave a glimpse of what the tradition of Motorcade was like on the inside. This video was by far Dumke’s favorite piece of his from last year and he aspires to keep working on his videography skills this upcoming year. But he’s not only in it for the multimedia aspect. Dumke likes being a part of journalism because it allows him to get information out to the public quickly. He loves to write both news and sports stories because he enjoys giving the “quick pop” of information that the readers are interested in. However, if you don’t find Dumke hunched over a computer writing a story or editing a video, he could easily be practicing the piano or skiing down the slopes of a challenging mountain. He is a member of both the Staples jazz band and the Staples ski team and loves being a part of both. Over the summers, he spends his time either helping little kids learn how to sail or hanging out with his friends. Going into his second year on the Inklings staff, Dumke hopes to work on his creative writing and put together a collection of pieces that he’s proud of.

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