Big Bear Mountain is officially open for the snow season! Hooray! If you live in Southern California then you know how valuable this mountain is to skiers and boarders alike. It’s not as impressive as Mammoth Mountain but an 8 hour drive is just not imaginable at the moment. They currently have only 1 run open with a snow base of only a couple feet. Pathetic, I know. So as I wait for better conditions and runs to open, I want to reminisce on one of my most memorable snowboarding experiences to date.
A few months after my first snowboarding experience, I made a trip back to California to spend some time with friends and family. When I flew into LAX in the evening, some of my friends were already there to swoop me up and we headed directly to Big Bear. The drive was easy but it did start snowing along the windy road. We started seeing electric signs warning us to have chains on. Of course, we didn’t have chains but we were allowed to pass through in the SUV.
When we arrived to our motel, a couple of other friends were already checked into the room. We booked a 2 queen room just for the night for … 8 people. Yea, we’re really good friends. We did bring some air mattresses. So see, we came prepared. Do you have that group of friends that you can be completely comfortable and utterly silly with? That’s these friends. So of course, we all didn’t go to bed without causing a bit of raucous. One of the guys, TJ, kept going in and out of the armoir; swearing it was the same one from the book The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. It was that big. Then about midnight a knock knock knock came at the door. Like little kids we all kept completely still and quiet. One person answered the door while the majority of us tried to hide due to our fear that they would kick us out of the room since we were over max capacity. After the front desk employee asked us to keep it down and left, we all exhaled a sigh of relief and finally went to bed. I, of course, practically got no sleep that night. Not only did I share the bed with 2 other people, it was hot as Hades, and I’m pretty sure someone was snoring too! Thank goodness they’re my friends, huh?
The next morning we all woke up and headed to the resort. When arrived we had to do the usual purchase this and rent that. After all was said and done we were finally ready to hit the slopes! Everyone pretty much went to the lifts that brought them to the trails based on their skill level. As I was still a newb, my close friend (and fellow blogger) stayed with me most of the time. It was an awesome getting to spend time with her in an athletic aspect since we hadn’t done so in years. Along the way we ran into some of the boys, went on harder trails when I had the nerve to, and fell millions of times along the way. It was on this mountain that I finally learned to carve a little. Nothing fancy but I was able to slide down part of the mountain from side to side. It was an awesome feeling. A few other friends from L.A. met up with us on the mountain. If you’ve read my first snowboarding experience in Canada then you’ll recognize the tall white boy otherwise known as Bird.
Around lunch time, everyone met up at the bottom of the mountain and we all decided to head to the top for one last run as a group before eating. As we were going down the mountain we all split up. Lizamae and I went off to the right together where easier slopes were available while the guys continued on. We all meet in the parking lot where we parked the vehicles. Everyone made it down in one piece with the exception of Bird and the 2 other people that came with him – his cousin and her boyfriend. So I thought, “hhmm, he’ll call me when he’s trying to find us.” We set up a little BBQ station between our cars and enjoyed a kickback lunch together. We had been eating for a good 30-45 minutes and I still hadn’t heard anything from Bird. So I give him a ring and he answers.
Me: Bird, where are you?! We’re in the parking lot eating.
Bird: I’m at snow patrol.
Me: Snow patrol?! What the fuck happened? Are you ok?
Bird: I think I broke my wrist.
Me: Whaaat the fuck. You think you broke your wrist? How?
Bird: I fell trying to get out of this dude’s way. They’re telling me that I’ll have to go to the hospital and shit. Let me call you back.
Me: Ok ok. Yea, call me and let me know what’s going on.
Bird: Ok. Bye.
When we were done eating and started putting everything away an employee from the resort comes up to us.
Employee: Hey guys are you done BBQing?
Us: Yea, what’s up? (At this moment I thought the he was gonna ask for food.)
Employee: Oh, you guys can’t BBQ here. Fires aren’t allowed because it’s a national park. You can get in trouble for it.
Us: Oooh shit! Our bad dude. We’re sorry, we had no idea!
Whoopsie! But in our defense we were cooking with an electric grill placed on an asphalt parking lot. No harm done, right? We headed back to the slopes for a few more hours. When Lizamae and I were done boarding for the rest of the day, we hung out at the end of the half pipe where some of the boys were practicing on. When I finally defrosted inside the lodge, I checked my phone where a picture text was sent from Bird. Yup, that’s his wrist and yes he did break it.