No I haven’t been in Europe for all the epic powder. Although I’m a little jealous of all the face shots I’ve missed in France and Austria and been told about numerous times by buddies back home, I’ve actually had a great time out here in the States. I saw the New Year in with friends in LA and then the following day started off on a slightly hungover road trip to Mammoth with my boyfriend Alex. The sun was shining, the landscapes were awesome, and we couldn’t wait to get to Mammoth for some 2012 shredding.
Now Mammoth didn’t quite have the pillow lines my mates have been smashing in Europe but we stayed positive and hit the slopes. Considering there was so little snow, the parks were in really good condition with loads of little fun boxes to play on as well as a really good kicker line. Alex and I spent the next week riding in no more than our jumpers as it was so hot, and by the afternoons we were riding home through slushy snow. It was like spring riding in January – crazy.
On our day off we had time to check out the toasty hot springs in the aptly named Hot Creek a few kilometres outside Mammoth where reports of exploding geysers have been on the increase in recent years. The valley it self and the streams were beautiful, the water running through is obviously freezing but we managed to find our own little hot spring and although warned not to swim we couldn’t resist and jumped. After the initial freezing toes situation we found a great spot and were pleasantly surprised by the roasting hot water. Not even the delightful egg sandwich sulphur smell could put us off. A great experience and a nice change from the mountain for a day.
We had planned to also visit Northstar, but plans are for changing and taking into account the lack of snow all over California we decided to take up the challenge and take a road trip to Utah to check out Park City. It was a long old drive but full of awesome views, sunsets, random cars, long straight roads, tumble weed, rocket launch pads, coffee stops, and full-blown car singing.
We made in about eight hours and there was actually snow on the ground so we were stoked. Again still not the amounts of snow Europe was receiving but definitely enough and the park had a great set up of small and medium kickers, tons of rail features and a great atmosphere.
There was a super friendly vibe here and we rode pretty much everyday straight for eight bluebird days.. woohooo! Ben Kinnear came out to join us for the second week and told us all about his previous week teaching some clients how to ride deep powder in France. It was great to have another riding buddy although Ben was a little distracted at times as the local girls decided to celebrate spring break early due to the warm weather.
I was fully entertained by the park for the whole two weeks and can see why Torah Bright likes riding this mountain. Eventually it was time to move on and the crew all went their separate ways, Alex back to UK (with a broken arm, doh), Ben back to the Austrian powder to coach the Army freestyle team, and myself to Breckenridge, Colorado where the temperature was about to drop and the vibe would change as it is getting close to X Games time.