The biggest risk I would like to take would be helicopter snowboarding in Alaska or The Andes Mountains.
I grew up watching, “Warren Miller” ski movies. My parents were quasi-hippies and the snowsport ethos really resonated with them. The ski movies, rented from the video rental store typically were a rare treat. We would usually watch them before the winter started or when a big storm was approaching.
This was my first exposure to helicopter skiing. It absolutely blew my mind that people could ride a helicopter up to the top of a mountain, jump out, and ski down whatever direction they chose.
My friends and I had ski passes to the local ski resort through a school-sponsored program that allowed us to ski at a meager price on Friday nights at Snow Valley Resort in Running Springs, California. It was the most fun I thi k I thi k I ever had at a school event. It seemed like every kid from the school was up at the mountain.
I moved to the mountains when I was 12, so I was not an expert skier, in fact, my first trip when I was five ended with me throwing a tantrum and swearing I did not like skiing because it was too SCARY! Fast forward to high school…
Even though it scared the heck out of me, I wanted to learn, so I did. Gradually I got better to where some of my school friends would occasionally ski with me. They showed me how to improve and pretty soon I was getting pretty decent. I started to faintly see that someday I might want to really push the limits with skiing.
On life went….college…girlfriends, and career pursuits occupied most of my time. One day about three months before my college graduation, my roommate and I decided to head for the mountains and try snowboarding. I had taken a lesson at some point but was still quite abysmal and my roommate had never snowboarded before.
We headed up to Big Bear and Bear Mountain Resort. It began snowing shortly after we arrived. It was a weekday and there was hardly anyone there. We proceeded to begin our painful day of learning by trial snowboarding. By the end of the day, we could sort of get down the intermediate hill, but this day had a profound effect on both of us.
After graduation, we decided to do a gap year and get jobs in Mammoth Lakes, California. We got hired and lived in a hotel room across from the resort. It was awesome! I lived there for three years, met my future wife, and became a dad. In my second year in Mammoth, I skied or snowboarded for 125 days. My third year was 115. I ventured into all corners of Mammoth Mountain. Double-black diamonds, halfpipes, quarter-pipes, rails, boardercross, powder days, even snowboarding behind snowmobiles.
So….my skill level is pretty high when it comes to snowboarding….high enough to legitimately do helicopter snowboarding, but it is quite a risk for a father of four, not to mention a semester of college in cost….ok…..maybe a month of college the way inflation is now. On the other hand, I am not getting any younger so…YOLO right?
Thanks for reading Bunchiesblog! If you have never skied or snowboarded before, I highly encourage you to give it a try. You won’t be disappointed (unless you happen to go when there is a blizzard, don’t go out in a blizzard folks)! Check out some of my other recent articles.