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Big Bear Lake’s Snow Summit

I finally made it to the slopes. It’s been almost two years since my last snowboard outing. After years of begging my nephew to come up and ride with me he called me over the holidays and informed me he was ready to join me on the slopes. What I didn’t know was my nephew had been preparing for this day for quite a while. He took some lessons last year and without my knowledge had become a competent snowboarder. When he arrived the night before with some of the nicest, most expensive gear I have ever seen, I knew I was in trouble.

It was my nephew Ryan’s birthday and in case you didn’t know, Snow Summit and Bear Mountain offers a free lift ticket to skiers and snowboarders celebrating a birthday. We arrived at Snow Summit early enough to be some of the first riders on the chairlift. It had snowed the night before and the conditions were perfect. The last time I’d been snowboarding, two seasons past, had been a disaster. Icy, hard pack snow may be o.k. for skiing but snowboarding on ice is a challenge.

After four runs at Snow Summit with perfect snow Ryan and I jumped on the shuttle to Bear Mountain. If you haven’t been to Bear Mountain lately you’re in for a bit of a surprise. The mountain has been transformed into a skate park for snowboarders. Every run has jumps, rails, jibs, and boxes from top to bottom. I have to admit, I was out of my element. As much as I love to snowboard, my freestyle days are far behind me and I was happy to cruise the flats and watch the action. My 21 year old nephew was in heaven. He was hitting everything in sight and landing most of his tricks. Oh, to have young knees again.

After a few runs I left the kids at Bear and headed back to Summit to spend the rest of the day carving turns on the wide uncrowded slopes that Summit is famous for. It was a perfect day on the slopes, for both of us. The Big Bear resorts truly offer something for every level of skier and snowboarder. When the day was over my nephew met me in the Bear Bottom Lodge for a beer and couldn’t stop talking about how great his birthday had been. It looks like he’ll be back up several more times this season. I just hope my knees can handle all this fun.

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