Angry Giant of Troll Mountain
Don Arthur Torgersen
No one could
ski like the giants of old
Who raced through
And blazed through
up glaciers and tall cliffs of ice
And vaulted the
peaks at fantastic heights.
They soared over
canyons, swept oceans of snow,
While snow clouds
and avalanche tumbled below.
So beware, so
beware of the giants of old
Who rest on the
mountains and sleep in the snow.
It was wintertime in the western mountains. Aspen and Snowmass were
covered with newfallen snow, and the cold winter sun blazed brightly
in the sky. It was a great day for skiing and riding.
and Drummer, who were members of the Rocky Mountain Extreme Team,
were getting ready to attack the slopes of Troll Mountain. It was
a very steep mountain hidden in the back country behind Aspen Mountain.
It was a place where only expert skiers would go to meet the challenge
of the slopes.
The three boys
fixed their bindings, stepped onto their skis, and planted their
ski poles. Scott and Dana strapped snowboards on their backs and
adjusted their sun goggles. Drummer pulled down a white woolen cap
with blue tassels over his ears.
"Its a great day for a ski race. The snow is fast and
dry like powder. If you slip and fall, itll be like falling
into a pile of feathers. Im going to fly down Troll Mountain
faster than a golden eagle."
zoom down faster than a guided missile," said Scott.
win," bragged Dana, because I always win!"
The three boys
set off on their skis. They had to climb over a pass between Aspen
Mountain and Shadow Mountain to get to the back country, and that
took a lot of time and energy. When reached the other side, they
skied down to the edge of a frozen lake.
at the edge of the lake to take a rest. They saw a man on snowshoes
walking across the frozen lake, which was snow covered, and he was
coming straight toward them. He was wearing a parka with a hood,
and he had a rope slung round his shoulder.
The boys soon recognized their good friend, Uncle Hans
Sled-bo. Uncle Hans had traveled all around the world and had seen
many things. He loved to tell tall tales about trolls, gnomes, frost
giants, ships, sailing, and fabulous creatures.
ski bums!" he called out. Ive just come back from a great
expedition. I was tracking giant footprints in the snow.
I almost captured the abominable, com-bobble-abul, improbable Snowman.
You know, Bigfoot. But he got away again. Where are you boys going?"
going to have a ski race on Troll Mountain," said Drummer.
a fabulous mountain," remarked Uncle Hans as he scratched his
head. But then his eyes grew wide and he said, "Did I ever
tell you how Troll Mountain got its shape?"
The boys laughed
and said no.
Well, a long,
long time ago," began Uncle Hans, "a race of frost giants
and giant snow trolls ruled the earth. They came from a place in
the far north during the Ice Ages where it snowed all year round
and the sun was seldom seen in the sky.
fierce giants who were afraid of nothing, nothing at all, except
the sun. They built huge ice structures and tossed huge boulders
at one another like snowballs. They were so strong they could push
mountains apart and kick deep valleys in the earth.
giants were fantastic skiers. One of them was a giant she-giant
who skied on skis made from the tallest trees on earth. She skied
so fast that her skis smoked in the snow. And when her ski tracks
melted they formed creeks that ran down the mountainside.
was a giant he-giant who skied through the snow with great ships
lashed to his feet. Each time he took a step he left a deep valley
between the mountains."
giants were too big for their britches. Each one thought that he
or she was bigger and stronger than the others."
the biggest and strongest giant of all," claimed one.
the biggest and strongest giant of all," shouted another.
you runts," yelled another. "Im the biggest and
strongest, and Ill make you eat snow."
snow trolls argued for thousands and thousands of years. One day
they grew so angry that they charged at one another and had a great
for at least a thousand years more and probably longer than that.
The earth shook, the mountains trembled, the sky thundered. The
entire world was caught in a whirling, swirling snowstorm.
snow trolls fought so long and so hard that they finally grew tired.
They walked all around the earth until they found a place to rest
in these mountains. Then they lay down and went to sleep and were
soon covered with snow."
Uncle Hans Sled-bo
pointed straight out at Troll Mountain and said, "Stand back
and take a good look at the mountains. Youll see by their
shapes that many of them are sleeping giants. Be careful not to
wake them up," he warned. "They might get angry. Theyll
rumble and grumble and start fighting all over again."
Scott. "How come you said those fierce snow trolls were afraid
of the sun?"
replied Uncle Hans, "if a giant snow troll looks at the sun,
hes doomed, hes done! Hell either turn to stone
or burst into a thousand chunks and pieces. Who knows?"
Hans laughed a big, hearty laugh. He waved goodbye to the boys and
started to stomp off through the snow. "Let me know if you
see giant footprints in the snow. One of these days Im going
to catch Bigfoot, the abominable, com-bobble-abul, improbable snowman
and tie him up with my rope once and for all."
Scott, Dana and
Drummer began to cross the frozen lake to get to the base of Troll
Mountain. "If I see a giant troll," boasted Dana, "Ill
give his long nose a whack with my ski pole. Then Ill yank
off his tail and make him yell Uncle Hans. Hah!"
said Scott. "If you wake up one of those giant snow trolls,
Ill bet youll stand in you tracks and shiver and well
hear your knees knocking."
When the boys
reached the base of the mountain, they heard happy shouts and laughter.
Many kids were skiing, sledding, riding snowboards, and having a
barrel of fun on the sunny south slopes.
of the ski patrol was there. She warned the boys, "Make sure
you stay on the sunny, south side of the mountain. Theres
no skiing on the western slopes today.
has built up into a huge ridge near the summit.
When the sun comes round the peak and starts to melt the snow on
the western side, it could cause an avalanche. Youd be in
danger of getting swallowed up by tons and tons of tumbling snow."
The three boys
took a tow rope to the top of an expert ski run called Steeper Deeper.
When they reached top, they looked down the slope. It was so steep
and so deep they could not ever see bottom.
"Steep slopes are no place for slow pokes. Last one down Steeper
Deeper is an itchy twitchy troll
Dana pushed off
and down he shot like an arrowbut not on his skis. His skis
bumped something in the snow, and his legs began to split. His knees
caved in, his skis went wide, he did spread-eagle flops down the
mountainside. Before coming to a stop, he plowed right through the
snow with his chin.
right past Dana who was lying flat on his belly with his arms and
legs stretched out in the snow. Scott, riding his snowboard, slid
past, laughing hard.
Dana waved one
of his ski poles at his buddies and yelled, "Dont laugh,
you guys. My skis caught a trolls nose or else I would have
won the race. And thats a fact."