Monday, January 14

Mammoth Mountain 2008

It was an inauspicious start to my 11th year in Mammoth Mountain. The morning before the day of the trip I became sick as a dog. I had left work very early that day and spent the entire afternoon in bed, hoping to feel better the day after...

Thanks to Dayquil and Night-Time Robitussin, i felt well enough to drive the next day (but a little lethargic probably due to all the medicine in my system). Apparently a fever is not enough to stop me from drinking a little because i picked up a bottle of cognac and some beer on the way up there lol. I suppose being out of town and drinking a little goes hand in hand regardless. Unlike the last trip, this time we were only an hour late, courtesy of Stan. He is like a girl when he gets ready for something. He likes to prepare for every possible scenario. You know, like the 5-shoe rule when your girlfriend goes out of town?! He even has a bladder repair kit for his hydration pack (Would have come in handy had he taken it with him to the slopes because mine broke. Rendering it useless, doesn't it?). He's like the anti-McGyver if you will.

I like the way my friend Melissa put it. She said "The Mountain healed me". Almost poetic. I felt sick when i left home and basically throughout the entire trip except for the time when i was actually in the ski resort. It seemed like my body would repel the sickness at least temporarily and then retain it once i'm back in the Cabin. I would feel so ill after dinner that i was forced to go to bed very early. Except for Saturday night, i think i was in bed no later than 10:15 pm which is almost an impossibility because i would be so anxious on such nights (to snowboard the next day). I guess in retrospect it was kind of a good thing because i got a normal amount of sleep (well except for the fact that i had to leave the loft and sleep on the couch because of Benson and Mori's snoring, on all three nights. That and because of the tiny orphanage like beds. Seriously...). Although it still felt like i got no sleep at all when i got up in the morning. But once i hit the slopes it all seemed to go away like magic. In fact it seemed like i got stronger and more energized as the day progressed, especially in day two. I remember saying i couldn't possibly last past noon on the second day because we rode ourselves into exhaustion on the first day. But come 1 pm that afternoon i almost felt like i hadn't been there for two days. Remarkable!

Stan, i must say is not a very good pathfinder. I mean for a guy who's prepared for anything, he didn't bother carrying a trail map. Hmm what does that tell you? He took us not necessarily to the most difficult trails but definitely the most strenuous ones (considering we had to be there for two days). He's brother even said it was the most tiring snowboarding day, ever. We covered so much terrain that first day that we all swore we would take it easy on the next day. Of course that would only last a few runs on the bunny slopes with our newbies before we ventured out and inexplicably end up in the moguls again. That afternoon was almost comedic. Seemingly every time out we would swear to traverse the easiest terrains only to betray it repeatedly. Speaking of our newbies; i think the best part was Mori's first run at the bunny slope aptly called "Discovery". Yup, newbies discover how hellish a first day could get haha. He got off the lift and fell just as i expected. But what i didn't expect was him ending up underneath the chair and almost being dragged by it ( I think you're suppose to let go of the chairlift Mori, not hold on to it hahahahha.) The guy at the chairlift control actually had to shut it down. Thanks for the memories, Mori...

I would like to thank Trixy for being so gracious and kind by the way. She was our Chef for the weekend and she was great. She made some succulent Salmon on Thursday evening and a somewhat impressive pan of lasagna for Friday. She makes perfect eggs too for breakfast by the way. But perhaps the most memorable of all Mammoth meals was the Thai Food we ordered on Saturday evening. For some reason (perhaps intoxication) i told the guys (who weren't at my previous trip) that i remembered the Thai Food, which we had on our last trip there, to be very good. But the consensus, after having consumed a good portion of the foods, was that it wasn't very good at all. It's kind of weird too because you couldn't tell the Pad See Ew from the Pad Thai. I swear to God they looked identical. They may have even tasted the same. And why they couldn't do Ala Carte is beyond comprehension. But best of all the cost was a very cool $20 each (that KFC idea that we initially came up with suddenly wasn't too bad). I guess a good cuisine wisdom to follow is to stay away from exotic foods when in such places huh?

Ahh Mammoth is always a good time. I love it when me and the guys just sit around after a long and exhausting day of snowboarding. Talking about the snow, the beautiful backcountry, the moguls that kicked our collective butts etc... My only wish right now is that (aside from getting the entire snowboarding crew together...) we were all at the same skill level. Because i think the only real way of enjoying a vast ski resort like Mammoth Mountain or any ski resort for that matter, is not only seeing the entire Mountain but being able to snowboard it at a highly skilled level. I think until you're able to that, you haven't really enjoyed snowboarding. Of course most of these guys began boarding many many years after Stan and I did. Keep pushing guys!


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