It was snowing when I arrived on a Saturday night. It was a winter wonderland. There was no night skiing at Bear Mountain which meant the next morning would deliver fresh powder skiing. The good news about staying with gung-ho snowboarding instructors was they were also pumped to wake up at 5AM.
Unfortunately, I decided to be the driver in the morning with the plan of my buddy and I meeting the others at the mountain to try to get first chair. The unfortunate part of this story was my “light on the wheels” car caught a small patch of ice and popped us up on a rock near the entrance of the 7-11. Not the door entrance, the driveway entrance. To make a long story short (plus reliving the memory of what happened will make me annoyed again) we hit the mountain a little later than expected. However, the crew of locals who helped to lift my car off the rock and leaving minimal to no damage were so helpful, I felt as if I was back in the Midwest. Yes, Midwesterns are the best. Yes, we are.
The Rock that almost got the best of my car
Once we got to the mountain, there were still some patches of nice riding powder available. We met up with everybody and they kept harping about the amazing powder they had and that there was a lot still untouched off the groomed paths. Okay, so I admit I first thought, “Yeah, no problem. Even though I’ve never skied in the backcountry, (backcountry including the off the beaten path in the trees at a resort) I can do it.” Haha yeah, right.
We took CHAIR 8 to the top. As we started our "out of bounds adventures" with me going last, I did the first bit and stopped. I was not prepared with my boots and fear-not presence. It was steep and there was not a lot of room for making wider turns. I told those in the back with me I was going down the groomed path. THE DOUBLE BLACK DIAMOND. Also knows as, Geronimo. At least this route had more room and there was no chance I would smash into a tree.
At the top of Chair 8
Since getting back on the mountain, I had yet to ski a double black. Actually now that I think of it, I don’t remember ever had skiing a double black. I know Bear Mountain’s double blacks are not as intense as let’s say a Mammoth Mountain’s double black or those found in the European mountains, but remember I had a boot situation. The result? I nailed it! No falling and smooth cutting moves all the way down. I had conquered my first Double Black Diamond.
We hit a couple more runs and then après skied on the mountain, and watched the Men’s USA Olympic Hockey Team lose the gold to Canada. Perhaps, there was too much winning that day for me that they had lose. Sorry USA Men’s Hockey Team.
Needless to say, on my first trip to Big Bear I conquered 1 rock and 2 black diamonds. Not bad if I do say so myself.
Quick break was had at The Beach Bar. Haha, get it?! Beach Bar.