My first time snowboarding!
So it’s about 6pm when I start getting ready for work. It’s Saturday night & of course, work is the last thing I want to do. I get a text from Yvette asking me to come to Lake Tahoe for a couple of days. The offer sounded tempting but I knew that I should really go to work. Yet 15 minutes later I was convinced. With only an hour to pack I made some calls, pulled out my suitcase, & frantically started pulling clothes off their hangers. Part of me was upset because I didn’t have the time to fully prepare in the way that I would have liked to but I was just happy to be going. The best part was that Alexa didn’t know I was going so I would get to surprise her. Sure enough when they pulled up Alexa was surprised & ecstatic to see me waiting there. Yvette threw all my stuff in the back of the car & we started our 6 hour drive.
We got to Lake Tahoe at around 2am. We stayed at Harrah’s on the South side of the lake, aka Nevada. Harrah’s was nice but not as top notch as Vegas of course. The hotel did offer all the classic Vegas amenities though including a casino & even a Starbucks which of course made me happy. However, no free wifi ~lolz~. Our room was super nice & very spacious. I felt like it had a lot of modern features included & it was very clean as well. By the time we had everything settled it was already 3am which meant we only had four hours to sleep.
Sure enough 7am rolls around & we’re forced to roll out of bed. Alexa & I start our morning routines & try to do our make up as fast as we can in order to get out the door by 8am. Being that this was my first time snowboarding I didn’t really know what to wear? I didn’t know what people wore under their snowboard gear & like I had said, I really didn’t have time to pack properly. Thankfully I had packed Active socks, a Thrasher sweater & a pair of leggings that would suffice. I was a bit sad though because I didn’t pack my pair of Lulus that Ydalia had given me & they would have been perfect to wear. I also highly recommend wearing a sports bra as well, I can’t even imagine snowboarding without one.
Finally we were on our way to the North side of Lake Tahoe, aka California. The drive was a little over an hour & it was absolutely stunning. This was my first time really seeing Tahoe since we had arrived during the evening. There was so many towering green trees & mountains of snow that surrounded the glistening, smooth lake. We passed through cute towns full of mom & pop shops & cabins. At one point we passed a mini-golf course & it was so funny to see all the cartoon statues buried under snow. This was also the first time I had seen icicles. Some of them were giant, they looked exactly like the kind that could kill you if you were hit by one.
I think we ended up getting to Squaw Valley at around 10am which was past our initial plan. The lifts open at 9am which was when we were aiming to arrive. However, with a wrong turn & a little bit of traffic we were put behind schedule. So make sure you plan for traffic, especially when driving in icy conditions. Traffic getting there was about 20 minutes or so. Traffic getting out? Well, that’s another story.
Squaw Valley has a resort called The Village to host it’s skiers & snowboarders. The Village was super cute & offers upscale resort amenities such as dining, bars, & shops. Truthfully there is a good variety of whatever you may be looking for in those fields. All the staff is super nice too & totally fits that chill snowboarded stereotype. At one point Alexa’s boot was having some issues so we went to one of the shops to see what we could do. The shop had a good selection of apparel & a great store playlist that was going on as well. We weren’t fully able to figure out what was going on with Alexa’s boot but the sales associate was nice enough to help her out & fix her boot the best he could in order to get her through the rest of our day. So yeah, 5/5 for all the employees.
Squaw Valley was actually the host for the 1960 Winter Olympics. So as you can see, I was about to snowboard on the real deal which made it all the more intimidating. Rest assure though, 25% of the terrain is said to be for beginners. Overall there are 270 runs which I believe is split between Squaw Valley & Alpine Meadows. Alpine Meadows is about 15 minutes away from Squaw Valley & The Village offers a shuttle to get there. Passes for the mountains were $110 for “young adults” I believe & $134 for “adults.” The lifts open at 9am & close at 4pm. After we had bought our passes it was time to suit up & head out.
I’m not going to lie, I was super nervous to finally get on the snowboard. I had surgery about 3 weeks ago so I was kind of scared that my body wouldn’t be able to keep up. I had also heard multiple horror stories about how hard snowboarding is. I would always hear people say it’s like a three day process to learn & that it’s just a never ending cycle of falling on your ass. Plus Alexa had told me that she dislocated her shoulder the first time she went snowboarding. Yikes.
Not only was I scared to get hurt but I was also scared that I would get frustrated, be forced to quit, & end up disappointed. Throughout December I had went through a lot. I was sick, stressed, & ended up in surgery because of it. I wasn’t even really able to enjoy my holiday season because of everything that had been going on. All of it had just put a big damper on how I was feeling about life & about myself. I usually am all about trying new things & giving life my all. It’s almost like I used to feel invincible & that “Chrome would never stop spinnin'” but December 2015 had really taken that spirit away from me. I really wanted to feel on top of my game this day but I wasn’t sure that I would fully be able to.
Well with the help of Alexa, Yvette, & their family I was able to get to up on the board in no time pretty much. Sure I wasn’t flying down the mountain or hitting rails but I was able to get going — physically & mentally. Of course I ate shit a fair amount of times but I really do like to think that I conquered snowboarding. It truly felt so good to be up & active again. To be outside & to be with good people, to laugh & just play in the snow. The best part of this day was just to feel like myself again & to feel that spirit I had been missing. It’s so crazy how the body works in harmony. The solution for clearing my mind was never in my head, it was in my body & simple activity. So yeah, get moving. Try new things & go outside every once in a while, it’s very important.
Overall this was a really great experience & I can’t even begin to explain how excited I am to go again. However I am afraid that wherever I go snowboarding next just won’t compare to Tahoe. The powder was perfect & there was so much terrain to cover. Just when you think you’ve seen it all the gondola will take you over to a whole new area full of trails that you haven’t touched yet. I really enjoyed my time here & I hope to see myself here once a year truthfully.