In case of snowboarding, such place is without any doubt sunny California, where inspired from surfing and skateboarding „Snurfer“ and later snowboard was born. This winter I had free time for a few months, some saved money and most importantly, friend inviting me to Mammoth Mountain, so the trip was set!
Trip to LA
For foreigners it used to be hard to get into USA in the past, but these days its super easy. Return ticket was around 450€, visa is done in few minutes thanks to ESTA system online. Only thing that sucked was the horrible line at immigration after landing. I had to spent something like 3 hours in line similar to one in a game of Snake from old Nokia phone, but after I was out I was welcomed by sunny LA.
First few days I spent in LA with my cousin, but then we hit the road. What was really amazing for me was diverse nature in California. In the morning I was in sunny summer LA, then traveling trought the deseert, forest and in few hours in snowy mountains. I do not know other place like this in the world, truly amazing.
Mammoth Mountain is like everything in America – BIG! Big mountains, big roads, big meals, big card, big snowparks. My good friend Branko is living here for 2 years know and I can see why. Mammoth is mekka for Amarican snowboarding, with local legends like Shaun White (who now owns shared of the mountain) or Jeremy Jones (the freeride one). When there is snowfall, Mammoth is the place to go for backcountry riding. I just arrived into the massive snowfall, when Mammoth had the biggest snowfall in a month in recorded history! Since all the snowparks were buried under the snow, I “had to” hit powder for first couple of days. In Europe powder days are usually only for few people, but here is was massive attraction. After first few runs on newly open lift, almost everything was ridden. If you wanted to have some fresh fresh pow, you had to hike. But not me lol.
I couldn’t wait until storm clears out and hit the park, sorry, parkS! Mammoth has 5 snowparks! Main park, Forest Trail, South Park, Jibs Galore, Transition park and few other small ones for which I had no time. Mammoth is really place for top riders. Big half-pipe, huge jumps and rails of all sizes and types.
In the main park you could see PRO riders doing the latest tricks on a daily basis, so the lift rides were more than entertaining. For me super fun run was nearby Forest trail, with very smooth medium features, tricks were just rolling! But my favorite was South park, huge line with everything you can ask for: jumps, ramp and tons of fun jibs. Hard to get enough really, check the video! For me the big surprise was the local hospitality, everybody was super nice and kind. Lift and bus personal were always smiling and taking to me, how nice! I wish it was like this everywhere…
Big Bear Mountain Resort
Most of my trip I spent in Mammoth, but on a way home I had to stop at shred mekka Big Bear which I knew very well from gangsta shred edits. It was amazing! Sunny shush shred like never before! I knew every feature so well from all the videos, so I was literally screaming after every new hit on a known jib.
Bear does not have a snowpark, bear IS snowpark! Most of the people ride snowboard, there were very few skiers. While I was there, there was a group of friends from Czech staying, so I felt like shredding in my home resort Špindl, how fun…
All my friends who visited USA for snowboarding recommended it and now I understand why. You may not like USA, but if you like snowboarding you will like trip to USA :)