Mammoth Teen shred trip – by Gilad Lewandowski

Gilad LewandovskiSnow

It takes guts to get out of your comfort zone anytime, but as humans, we must do it so we can remind ourselves that we are not machines with ON/OFF switches. Getting out of the box is essential for creating memories and this adventure made another dream happen.

I was missing the mountain so much I couldn’t wait for FSR 2020. My mind was getting into winter mode but I did not want to do just the same as past years. I had a solution …  I wrote quick email to a few parents with teens under their wings… and there we go, Mammoth Teen Adventure is ON!

We booked two condos, two minutes’ walk from Canyon Lodge at Mammoth and called our favorite driver, Mr. Brian Lee. A few essential details to the parents and off we went to shred a big mountain – Mammoth.

Getting out of LA on Friday at noon was a challenge but we made it.  We arrived at our hotel tired but happy after dinner in Bishop. I gathered the teens for a quick briefing about Saturday’s shredding plans and then off to bed – dreaming about the slopes.

After waking up for 7:00 am breakfast we were on the mountain with the first lifts at 8:30 am. It is not easy to explain the exhilaration when getting on the lift for your first ride of the season. Your heart is pumping, your mind is already tuning itself for the ride but me… I had to try and control ten teenagers who were feeling exactly like me but with the potential of doing something that can end the fun on the first ride…

Yes, those few minutes of the first ride or the last ride of the day can be bad news for any outdoor guide or educator.  It was not easy to make the boys take it easy for the first run so they could warm up their snow riding muscles… they were ready to go big right away. Happily not all our riders were crazy fast and keeping the group together kept the speed slow enough not to get hurt.

Three rides into the session – we decided to separate into two levels and I took the faster group to explore the mountain. Some of the boys knew the mountain better than me, so it helped me to let them navigate and I could ride around them making sure no one got lost.

By the end of the day the weather got worse with snowfall forecast all night, promising the best powder day for tomorrow. I was super stoked for us to experience a real big mountain powder day.

Waking up the boys was not easy but a sunny sky and two feet of fresh powder is the best motivational boost for riding the perfect snow that I was dreaming of. On the lift we were amazed by the beauty of the mountain and the fresh snow. This was my time to take the lead and to show the boys a bit of my experience with powder riding.

At the beginning of the day we rode on the open runs but when I saw that the boys were comfortable we went into the woods and experienced even deeper powder while learning to keep our speed for floating above the snow pillows.

Los Angeles ski & snowboard program

Rainer advised us to check out Chair 14 which just opened… two feet of fresh, untouched snow were just about to be shred… Personally, that was the peak of the trip for me. Thank you Rainer, for taking us on this route.

Quick launch at Main Lodge on the mountain few more runs … getting into the van and off hole to the city of angels.

Thank you Mammoth for an amazing time and new memories to reflect on.