With the recent winter storms in Southern Calif. and my need to burn off excess ATO; I had planned to head up to the mountains Friday to get some skiing in, as fresh natural powder is fairly rare out here in So Cal. With most of my friends having to work or hung up on other obligations, I was pretty much resigned to the idea that I was going alone; no biggie, I used to do this all the time when I was in the Air Force. But as luck would have it, I went to pick up Jay and Claire from the airport on Thursday, and pretty much bugged Jay about going to the mountains with me the next day. Keeping him mind that he and Claire had about 2 hours of sleep the previous night, went through a 6 hour flight, and then the asshole that I am is sitting there coercing him into waking up early the following day to head up to the local mountains and ski…. He caves.

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On a normal day, it takes roughly 1.5 to 2 hours from exiting the house to parking at the ski resort. Today took roughly 4 hours. I guess I am spoiled by the amazing snow plowing job that Tahoe does; as normally, on such a day, I wouldn’t even bother to think about putting on chains…. Douchbag drivers are putting on chains a good 5 miles before the final check point. Absolutely retarded. And since people are just cattle and do not know any better, they all pile on, 5 miles before the check point, to put on their chains… I push on, passing a few people here and there that have absolutely no reason to be driving up the bloody mountain.

This is an interesting experience since this is the first time I’m taking my little sports car up to the mountains AND driving manual. I used to always carry and use the chains for may old Camry, but for the past 6 or so years, I haven’t found the need for them. I picked up some chains at the local auto parts shop just in case – I really thought I wasn’t going to need them… Again, I’m spoiled by the amazing job that the folks up in Tahoe do…

The check point comes around, so I pull over and roll on the chains. Jay takes care of the passenger side, while I take care of the driver side. We get done and start driving. Something isn’t quite right, we’re slipping and sliding all over the place and I have no grip. I stall out several time. It’s a different world driving with chains and on a manual. We pull over and look at the passenger side chains, they’re not completely tight, so we fix that and move on…MUCH better. Still, we’re moving at a friggin snails pace – folks just don’t know how to drive in snow, in the mountains, etc. It was just driving me nuts. I kept passing people, including a number of 4X4 SUVs… ugh.. it just sickens me that they do not even tap into the potential of their “outdoor adventure vehicle”. The truck in the following picture was sliding all over the place, it was fun to watch, especially since I was keeping pace and not sliding what so ever.

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Once of the routes into the city was closed due to a jack knifed truck that got stuck earlier in the week, so traffic was a dizzying pace of 1-5 miles an hour. But what normally takes 1.5-2 hours took 4 today. We get up, park, suit up, and take the tram to the resort. Since it is already past 12 PM, we get half day tickets. Jay goes to rent skis and boots. Claire’s using Clementine’s old boots and skis that are still at the house – I brought them along just in case Claire could fit them… After getting settled, at about 1:45 we hit the lift and start our ski day.

Oh yes, this is real powder! Just like in Tahoe… I’m too used to skiing slush and ice at the local mountains… Guess I will have to schedule my trips after the storms hit and such from now on.

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Here are a few pictures I took at the resort. Pretty nice view with Big Bear Lake in the background and the random snow boarders camped out all over the bloody trails.

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Jay and Claire:

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Mrs Snowplow…videos taken using my crappy point and shoot.

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Multi-tasking, skiing and operating the camera, while weaving through Claire and Jay.. then skiing backwards.. Oh how I love the greens… I don’t have to pay attention to anything.

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Later that day, Jay calls down to where I’m waiting and says he’s gonna hit the water bottle with his ski pole. Which could be potential gold here… alas, he swung, hit it, then lost his balance from the swing and shift in weight… at least that was fairly humorous….

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While sitting on the ski lift, we pass the “bra tree”. Pretty much a tree covered with bras and other undergarments thrown up into the tree… where are all these free floating boobies now??? *sigh* I can offer up my “support” services.

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We skied until about 6 or so. In Tahoe, I’m normally done by 3:30 or at the latest 4. We really used that half day ticket to the fullest extent. Still, had we gotten to the resort at our normal time, the amount of skiing would have been the same. I’ve never skied after the sun has completely out of the ski. The resort offers night skiing; and by our last run, we were fairly tired.

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Video of the darkening skies as I sit on the lift to do a quick run while Claire slowly makes her way down the previous run…

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All in all, it was a good trip. It was a fairly relaxing day of skiing. Claire was with us and is a beginner skier, so Jay and I took turns waiting for her. While one of use waited, the other quickly skied down the hill to catch the lift back up and end up catching back up with Claire and whom ever was skiing with her. We were on some blue trails so some of the steeper areas she needed to take her time. We switched over to some of the greens where Claire didn’t need to stop much and did a few more runs. It was funny, at first she said she was done after 2 runs, I think we got about 6 runs or so out of her. The last run of the day was just Jay and I and we ended up just speeding down one of the greens for pure leisure. Not too rough a workout and a pretty easy day. Working out lately has seen an improvement in energy and fatigue. I just need to do a few more trips to get my ski legs back… The past couple of years of one trip a year isn’t cutting it.

The drive up sucked ass, and the drive down wasn’t as bad, but it too could have been better. Same inexperience and bad drivers were leaving the resort… but at least the bulk of them had left earlier in the day. We got off the mountain and back to Jay’s house by 8:45, that’s with starting the car and leaving the resort at 6:30. Not too bad. I need to make friends with someone what has a 4X4 so I don’t have to worry about the bloody chains… but it’s not too big a deal, I know how to put them on, drive with them, etc. I cannot remember the number of broken sets of chains I saw on the road; then having to avoid hitting them. Some of these people never even tried putting on their chains in dry weather or just as a test to at least get some practical experience. I’m still at odds with the whole chain requirement, but seeing how poorly kept some of the major roads were today; I am glad I had them. Regardless, it was a damn good day. Need to go up again next week or the following week….

Click here for all the pictures taken today.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. charlie

    beautiful slopes…so much better than the ones over here. soo jealous u got good slopes and snow…so i guess exercising does help, huh?

  2. Manny

    I was there on Friday, too! Can’t believe I didn’t see you!

  3. GameraBaenre

    You should check the forum more often. I posted that I was going last Monday. 😀 Probably gonna hit it up again next week or if I can fit it in, this week….

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