Pine Knob: A Slippery Slope of Fun

On the Wednesday half-day before Thanksgiving, I visited the wondrous ski hill Pine Knob to hit the slopes with my friends. Pine Knob is a ski resort in Clarkston, Michigan, roughly a 45-minute drive from our beloved Berkley High. At Pine Knob, skiers can purchase rentals, a variety of food, and access the new terrain park.
It was warm out and had not snowed in a while, so I was a little concerned that the quality of skiing would be poor. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Pine Knob’s fake snow was not too slushy or icy. I purchased Doritos and a very large brownie in the food court. While I did not indulge in the hot chocolate or fries, the scent was quite delightful. The chair lift operators were very friendly and seemed happy to be there. I also found that many skiers and snowboarders were not wearing jackets. Instead, many were simply wearing oversized hoodies with snow pants.
It seems as though because of the largeness of this ski resort and the location of it being centered in between many highly populated suburbs, Pine Knob has become a sort of gathering place for high school students. Waiting in the chair lift lines, I saw many familiar faces of people who belong to schools, such as Groves, Clarkston, Brother Rice, and Seaholm. Something quite interesting I realized on my trip to Pine Knob was how it seems like skiing causes people to be more socially spontaneous. For example, strangers conversing while waiting in line for the chair lift. People were throwing snowballs at others that they did not know.
I theorize that this is due to the temporary state of a skier’s physical placement on the hill. After one gets on the chair lift, there is such a high probability of never seeing anyone who was waiting in that particular line, putting pressure on the scarcity of the situation and the specific group of skiers and snowboarders together. Even if one is to see someone they had met leading up to the lifts, the chance of being able to recognize that person is unlikely due to the snow gear covering up key distinguishing facial features. The thought that the person to whom they are speaking will never be seen again causes these high school students to speak freely and confidently. This environment changed my day of skiing from a fun snow activity to a social event in which I made many nameless friends.
I talked with snowboarding sophomore, Aidon Lelli, to get her personal take on the glorious Pine Knob.
“I’ve been snowboarding for around three or four years now, so I’ve been to a couple of hills,” Lelli explained. “In my experience, Pine Knob is ‘where it’s at.’ Not only are the runs great, but there are so many kids my age that I am constantly meeting cool and local people,”.
Lelli’s emphasis on the greatness of this close by hill helps show just how wonderful Pine Knob is. All in all, I had a fabulous time at Pine Knob and will definitely be going back. When it comes down to, if you’re bored and have little ski experience, I would definitely recommend giving Pine Knob a visit.