It was the New Year with new experiences to be made, so when I was invited to go snowboarding, I had to say yes! But there was one problem the closest I had ever come to snowboarding, was skateboarding and that was a big fat fail. I didn’t believe it when people told me, “Skateboarding and snowboarding are very similar if you can do one you can definitely do the other!” It’s blanket statements like this that we all should take heed to. As the date was coming closer for us to head to Mountain High, my friends could sense my unease for what awaited me on the snow slopes. So to counteract that my friends put me through some drills using a skateboard because they believed that this would help and it did… until it didn’t. It was the last day of my training and I was going down a steep driveway of sorts. As I was picking up speed, I failed to notice this unusually big crack smack dab in the middle of where I was going. With no time to change direction, I flew off the skateboard and ended up on the road with what felt like at the time a very broken body, but later we find out is a minor sprain in my middle finger.
The day came though where I reluctantly succumbed to my friends pleads and went to meet my doom on one of these mountain slopes at Mountain High.
For anyone like me with little to no knowledge about snowboarding and all that is required to participate, prepare yourself the list is long and can be pricey for us “noobs”.
So for starter you’ll need: a snowboard, bindings, snowboard boots, snowboard socks, snowboard helmet, snowboard jacket and pants, snowboard gloves, and snowboard goggles. So if you’re like me and did not own any of the items listed above prior to going snowboarding, thankfully most of these items can be rented at a fair price from a local sports store or whichever snow resort you head to.
The drive to mountain was one I’ll never forget because it was the coldest I’ve ever been in my life despite the three layers I had under my snow jacket it felt like I was in Alaska.
As we entered the gates it was everything I envisioned, multiple ski lifts and the white snow resembled those white fluffy pillows you only see in high class hotels, it was the closest I had ever been to a winter wonderland. It was projected to be overcast all day that day with the possibility of rain and yet the sun still managed to penetrate and shine through the thick layer of clouds hovering over the ski lifts ahead of me. It was just so beautiful and breathtaking that all that anxiety I was feeling on the way up just vanished, the sight of this place was enough to put my mind at ease.
So before I was able to go on the ski lifts that take and drop you off at the higher points of the mountain slopes for the bigger runs, I was advised to do a few runs on the bunny run. At Mountain High there are three types of runs: the difficult/hard ones that seasoned snowboarders for the most part stay using, a cruise run is a mellow smooth run used generally by those whose skill set lies between advanced and beginners, and lastly the bunny run, it’s a cheeky way of naming the children/beginner area. The bunny run was my home for most the morning and it was there I discovered when I ride a snowboard I am a “goofy” footed rider. There are three different stances that can be used when snowboarding: goofy (like me)is riding with front foot forward facing downhill, regular is more common among riders and that is riding with left foot facing downhill, and lastly duck footed which consists of having a stance you’re your angled toes pointed outward like a duck. The duck footed stance though is how I started out before I made it to goofy and the duck footed is best described as gliding like a falling leaf form left to right.
Thankfully I didn’t face plant in the bunny run area because that would’ve been beyond embarrassing since more than have those kids around the age of four could pass as little professionals.
After lunch it was time to go on the ski lift and meet my doom; the past week of training, my broken body, and my sprained finger was all for this moment … the big run.to give some perspective, leading up to this big run is a very big and long ski lift and from the ground looking up it didn’t seem too bad if you were to accidently fall off of this ski lift. After multiple times trying to just get a seat on the ski lift my viewpoint changed instantly; because once you’re off the ground and in the air with your snowboard hanging off your feet on what seems like a string like cord, with a strong wind swaying you back and forth, I was afraid to move a muscle.
I finally made it off the lift and there I was at the top of the Big Run it was cold and I was not ready at all but down I went. I fell numerous times in all sorts of ways: face planted straight into the snow, I managed to do a scorpion fall where you slide forward and your legs attached to snowboard go over your head… yes it did hurt, and when I could no longer stand up and snowboard properly I slid down the rest of the slope sitting on my bottom. The big run usually takes people 30 minutes to an hour but it took me three hours and it was the longest three hours of my life.
After that I stayed at the bar for the rest of the night just to be safe and I was thankful I made it out of there with no serious or visible injuries in sight. Others that day were not so lucky, a few girls had broken their collar bones, a man broke his leg and yes someone did fall off the ski lift but was totally okay.
The following day or days I should say, I was unable to move or walk, snowboarding is no joke. Despite the soreness I felt, snowboarding was a great experience.
I’m glad I challenged myself to do something new and since then I have been snowboarding again but at a different location up north called China Peak. I plan on going again next year to both locations and I recommend to everyone to put yourself out of your comfort zone, that’s exactly what I did and I’m telling you from experience you will not be disappointed.