Shellow and Snow: There’s No Stopping His Flow

Every spring and winter break, Jordan Shellow skis at skiing resorts in Northern California with family as a yearly tradition.


Jordan Shellow and his family skiing during the 2017 winter break.

Ivanna Tjitra, Staff Writer

An endless blanket of white stretches over the mountaintops. Sophomore Jordan Shellow stands in the midst of it all, surveying the area. The heat of his breath fogs up his goggles. His fingertips tingle with the bite of cold, frigid air. Years of learning and experience have led to this very moment. Now, it is just Jordan and the ski run in front of him. A path — a fun and fast one — draws itself out in his mind. With a push of his poles, he drops in.


For Jordan and his family, skiing plays a big role in their lives as it brings the family together. Every spring and winter break, the Shellows travel to Lake Tahoe to ski at various ski resorts for family gatherings with grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Jordan’s paternal grandparents owns a house on North Shore, relatively close to Northstar California Resort. Together, the family has also been to Alpine Meadows Ski Resort, Diamond Peak Ski Resort, Heavenly Mountain Resort, Kirkwood Mountain Resort, Mount Rose Ski Tahoe, and Squaw Valley Ski Resort; they have also skied at Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, located outside of Lake Tahoe.


Jordan has been skiing since he could walk. He was enrolled into ski school, but grew bored since the school was too easy and he did not feel comfortable skiing without his family. At eight-years-old, Jordan was the youngest out of his three brothers to stop attending ski school after complaining that he hated ski school with a passion. However, that does not mean Jordan did not love the sport. With the guidance of his parents, he taught himself how to ski.


Jordan’s dad, Scott Shellow, has been skiing since he was a little boy and was taught by his own dad. Raised through skiing, Mr. Shellow passed the torch down to his three sons.


“I care more about the family bonding and the vacation part of [skiing],” said Mr. Shellow. “I was lead to introducing skiing to my kids because it’s how my wife and I were raised. My wife has been skiing all her life too.”


Rhonda Shellow, Jordan’s mother, forced him to learn specific skills. In an attempt to motivate him, Mrs. Shellow would threaten to put Jordan back into ski school if he did not learn how to properly use his poles. Sometimes, Jordan’s parents would bribe him with stuffed animals.


“Once I mastered that skill, around the December of eighth grade, there was a huge jump in my skills on mogul runs,” said Jordan. “The poles made me a much better skier since they helped me maneuver better. If my mom didn’t teach me that, I wouldn’t be at the level I’m in where I can do any [ski] run I want.”


With two brothers, Jordan can be at peace when he is alone amongst the field of snow. Some of his brother’s best memories with each other is skiing. Evan Shellow, Jordan’s eldest brother, reminisces about teaching Alex Shellow, the middle child, specific ski lessons.


“I taught Alex how to find the best way down before going down a run,” said Evan. “One of the most important life lessons I’ve learned while skiing is to not rush things.”


Skiing is the one sport Jordan really takes pride in. In seventh grade, a seventh grader doubted Jordan’s skiing abilities to ski down a double black diamond, a run that is recommended for experts only. Wanting to prove himself, he pushed himself more and more every time he had the chance to ski.


“[Skiing] gives me a drive to push harder and it lets me escape from everything,” said Jordan. “It’s calm and peaceful and lets me be competitive at something I’m good at. It lets me bring out something I don’t have all the time because I’m not super good at any other sport.”


Through skiing, Jordan has learned significant ski lessons that correlates with his own personal life. One of the most important lessons he has learned is the importance of strategy and planning. When confronting a mogul run, a run with bumps in the snow, Jordan must stop to plan his path between the moguls. Additionally, Jordan must handle his speed and know how to quickly fix a situation if he loses some control of his skis.


“In my opinion, it’s all about being versatile and mapping out a path and being a strategist, which is connected to life because you have to be versatile and have a good strategy,” said Jordan. “I can handle speed and quickly fix a situation, but it’s a nuisance sometimes. Minor mistakes sometimes send you down a path you don’t want to be on, or make you lose control of your skis.”


Continuing the family tradition, Jordan and his brothers enjoy being raised along skiing. Jordan hopes that he can one day ski with his own family. Having skied for 12 years, Jordan has obtained enough knowledge to showcase his skills while still having room for improvement.


Many Californians may have never seen snow before, but that is where Jordan finds himself the most comfortable. Surrounded by snow and family, Jordan can stay reassured that he can always find pride in his skiing abilities.