From E3 to ScareLA to CES, to a variety of theme park-related events, we have certainly had our fair share of traveling adventures for GamingShogun.com. But, when the opportunity to attend the recent media day at the Mountain High resort presented itself, I couldn’t pass it up. I had never been skiing before and, up until the media day, I was under the impression that I would careen down the slopes wearing only one ski to show up Ski Patrol bully “Blaine” and win the heart of the beautiful “Beth” only to realize that I truly belonged with “Monique” all along. Yes, I am referring to the venerable John Cusack classic, Better Off Dead.
Back to Reality
With these 80’s film-inspired ski fantasies living in my brain, I knew that I had a lot to learn about real world skiing. So we packed up the GamingShogun family truckster and headed off for the resort in the early morning hours. That was a good thing too, as it didn’t take long for the entrance road to the Mountain High resort to get backed up with cars trying to get to its three parking lots. The best advice I can give anyone wanting to have fun at Mountain High is to get there as early as humanly possible. This is one popular resort and skiers and snowboarders arrive in droves – the earlier you arrive, the better. You will get a better parking spot as well as place in line for any equipment rentals you need to do. As we waited in line for our equipment rentals, the nerves started in as this was actually going to happen. We were going to be sliding across a field of snow on a couple of “flimsy” sticks!
Mountain High is also home to three “lodges” were you can rest, chat with other resort guests, browse the pro shop, and grab a quick snack. However, Mountain High also has a great grill up the hill a bit on the West Resort called the Bullwheel Grill. I highly recommend taking some time out of your visit to dine here and enjoy the sights of the mountain – plus, the food is very good! Aside from that, Mountain High is also home to “North Pole Tubing”! This attraction is, as you would expect, a tubing ride down their special tracks located in the North Resort. We were unable to get to this attraction on the media day as it had already sold out by time we arrived. Again, if you want to do this stuff be sure to arrive early! From the looks of it, however, North Pole Tubing is a lot of fun.
The First Lesson
So, we got our ski boots and skis and duck walked up to the West Resort’s “moving carpet”, which is a slow conveyor belt to take you up to the bunny slopes/training area. Our instructor lined us all up and provided us with the necessary pre-lesson safety briefing and we began. The lesson started with the basics of how to fasten your boots and, after about an hour of training, we were slowly making our way down the bunny slope practicing our “pizza” and “french fry” ski configurations.
Unfortunately, I am not the most agile or coordinated of individuals and it took me quite a bit of time to get the hang of this. By the end of a two our session, I had gotten fairly good at going down the bunny slope at slow speed, still doing my pizza and french fries. I was feeling a lot more confident about it after that and think that, with some more practice time, I could be ready for hitting actual slopes in the future. Above all else, it was a lot of fun to do!
Additionally, it was a killer workout! I wore some heavy snow gear thinking that with the low temperatures, I would be a human Popsicle. With all the movement and maneuvering of the skis, I was warm and toasty – a little too much, actually. I would highly suggest wearing layers of light garments so that you can remove them if/when you start heating up.
An 8 hour lift ticket will put you back $69 dollars on most Saturdays, which works out to around $8.60 per hour of enjoyment – not too shabby! You can also purchase a 4 hour lift ticket for a little cheaper, but the 8 hour is definitely the best value. Mountain High has also introduced an online Express Pass purchasing method which allows customers to purchase and print out their passes. This will help customers avoid waiting in lines at the ticket window!
You can also rent the “Complete Ski Package” equipment set, consisting of skis, poles, and boots for only $30 dollars! Helmets are a separate rental, but can be donned for the low price of $5 dollars.
Mountain High was a lot of fun and something I would highly recommend everyone who lives in Southern California do, if physically able. It is right in our own backyard, located just off the 138 in Wrightwood, CA. While I never encountered Blaine or zoomed down the mountain on just one ski, the whole event was a blast and I can officially claim to have caught the ski-bug. I simply can’t wait to go back up and try it again. The snowfall this season has been really good thus far, and they estimate the end of season date to be sometime in March, so you have plenty of time to get on out there.