Ski Trip!

Ski Trip!

Last Thursday, January 8, was the beginning of Venerable House’s annual ski trip to Mammoth, CA. Our car arrived late Thursday night after about a 6-hour drive, around 11:30 pm, though the rental cars had issues and ended up getting there past 2 am…

The cabins we rented out for the weekend were just by, but still outside of, Mammoth Ski Resort. They came with a TV- and fireplace-stocked living room and kitchen, and an additional floor either above or below for bedrooms. My cabin last year was an intimate 6-person dwelling, while this year I was in a cabin with 10 others (mostly sophomore girls like myself, skewing the Caltech gender ratio quite a bit in the opposite of its usual direction).

A bird’s eye-view of the living and dining area of our cabin from the 2nd floor (all the laptops are for homework and video-watching purposes) There were many activities to do at Mammoth, all of them involving the snow and cold weather that we usually never have in Pasadena. The more intrepid went skiing and snowboarding; the skill levels ranged from beginner ski babies who took lessons, to a few cool pros who went off to the black diamond trails. Our cabin had the benefit of housing two drivers, which meant that we didn’t have to walk or deal with the bus system at all. On Friday, we went snow-tubing, an activity similar to sledding down a hill except that it takes place in an inner tube instead instead of a sled.

A few clever Rudds who had taken the menu course Ge1 (geology) with me last spring realized that the place where we snow-tubed was quite close to a geological fissure we had visited on our field trip in the class. So we waded through the snow and violated the “stay on the trail” sign to climb down into the earth itself and check it out!

Knee-deep snow, towering walls of rock, and a hidden army of snowmen…winter paradise! The cabins come with fully equipped kitchen, so our resident cooking fanatic, Lily, used this opportunity to whip up some delicious meals. Saturday night was Asian-themed, with countless meat and vegetarian dumplings, stir-fried tofu and celery, rice, and stir-fried vegetables in sweet soy sauce. Sunday night was Italian, with lemon spinach pasta, made-from-scratch lasagna, stir-fried green beans, and chicken legs. Lily also a fantastic baked apple coffee cake both nights, mm…

One morning, we decided to experiment with making French toast in different flavors. Every piece of bread was dipped in the customary egg and milk, and then came the secret ingredients–mint hot chocolate mix, soy sauce, even ground coffee…

Onto the soy sauce and cinnamon French toast! Friday was pretty much do-your-own thing. On Saturday, a large group of us (about 25-30) decided to go hiking along Convict Lake, which was 3 hours of up and downhill walking, majestic mountains, reflective waters, standing on old fallen logs, and just enjoying romping about in nature. Later, essentially half of Venerable converged at the ice-skating rink together for two hours of “normal” ice skating, experimental backwards skating, and simultaneous skating and dancing and singing to the happy songs being blasted from the speakers at the rink.

Smile! Good thing the weather forecast was wrong and it didn’t rain enough to close the rink! Saturday night after dinner, work had caught up with most of the people in my cabin. Aside from that fact, nights at ski trip are a good time to watch movies. We had watched the Bollywood film 3 Idiots on Friday, which had all of us laughing and singing and dancing afterward because we connected so well to it as students at an intense tech school and as friends who attend it together. I won’t say any more, but I definitely recommend watching 3 Idiots sometime during one’s years at Caltech; it has some wonderful themes and catchy songs and generally seems to induce happiness in people who see it.

And so on Sunday we packed up and made the long drive home. Our lightest weekend–the first weekend, when we don’t know enough in our classes to have sets for them–is over; school starts in earnest now. But we all concurred that it had been quite a fulfilling ski trip this year! Till next time, Anita