WRIGHTWOOD—Word on the street is if you want to really have fun on the slopes, avoid Mountain High. However, I had visited before and besides the icy and slippery slopes at times, I wondered why people said that. After all, it is close to Los Angeles and you can often get there without chains. So what is the big fuss?
They have several incentives to “bring a friend” or “1, 2, 3 Free” which means you get 3 lessons and then a free lift ticket on your fourth visit. I decided to go with my friend who previously gave snowboarding a go at Big Bear, but quickly switched to skis after getting up on the board seemed hopeless. Now determined to learn how to snowboard, off we went to Mountain High.
Purchasing a ticket was very easy online. Took minutes to seal a “Bring a Friend” package deal for $119 online. That paid for my lift ticket and my friend’s lesson and half a day lift ticket.
We arrived around 9:20 a.m. hoping to get in the 10:00 a.m. class. However, we had to wait 30 minutes to check in, then my friend had to wait in line for rentals for 3 hours in the freezing cold before getting boots and a snowboard. Of course, being the good friend I am, I waited alongside hoping, hungry and wanting to play not wait. You’d think they’d find a way for a weekend crowd to move the line faster. It was torturous. As we stood in line, we missed the 10:00 a.m. class, the 11:00 a.m. and the 1:00 p.m. class. After finally getting the gear, we made it to the 2:00 p.m. class.
It was full, but organized. The lead trainer was quick to gather the people in their classes.
Most of the teachers seemed to know what they were doing and did well. Within a few hours my friend was hitting the lift and coming down with smiles. I think in particular it had to do with the clear instructions and advice coming from Mark, the teacher. He discussed how to stop and how to carry one’s weight, as well as how to get up on the board.
We were famished after the long, but short day of snowboarding, and they have a few options for food. A lodge and the Bullwheel Grill up above the bunny hill. Beware that some of this food is just not safe to eat in my opinion and it’s not cheap.
All in all, even though its 20 minutes closer to Los Angeles than Big Bear, the 90 minute drive there, the 30 minute wait to check in, the 3 hour wait for rentals for the 2 hours spent on the slopes wasn’t worth it. I’d say take a drive to Big Bear and enjoy the softer snow and the better choices between slopes.