October snowfall whetted appetite for snowboard diehards | SierraSun.com

October snowfall whetted appetite for snowboard diehards

Dylan ThompsonSpecial to the Sun
Photo courtesy of Dylan ThompsonColton Morgan of Tahoe City slides a rail at Mt. Rose after a recent October storm graced the mountain with about 15 inches of snow.
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For most people, the act of snowboarding is reserved as a winter activity, coupled with consuming a piping hot cup of chocolate after meandering down a andamp;#8220;thrillingandamp;#8221; blue-square run. There is, however, an elite group of snowboard bums, you could call them, who, even during summer months, can be caught snooping around on long-distance winter forecasting reports throughout the World Wide Web, scanning radar models for the slightest bit of precipitation.This type of snowboarding can be considered more of an awkward obsession than a leisure-time activity. How does flailing down a hill strapped to a piece of wood capture people’s attention? Does five months out of the year not provide enough flailing time? For Tahoe’s snowboarding community, any month there might be a minuscule amount of snow on the ground, is a month dedicated to boarding.October 2009 will be in the books as one of California’s earliest months of snowfall, which allowed resorts like Boreal and Mammoth Mountain to have record-breaking opening dates. The opening of Boreal, on Oct. 9, attracted a large flock of displaced snowboarders to once again feel the pain of slamming into the ground as they executed gravity defying maneuvers. Unfortunately, Boreal’s football field of manmade snow lasted all but three days, as Mother Nature decided to make it rain in the mountains. However, the rain turned white at higher elevations, which in a snowboarder’s mind screams, andamp;#8220;Mt. Rose!andamp;#8221;Mt. Rose is one of the tallest, most accessible peaks in the Tahoe area, topping out somewhere around 9,500 feet. As it sounds like a headache to most andamp;#8220;flatlanders,andamp;#8221; a snowboarder’s brain can, somehow, function at such altitudes. As soon as Mt. Rose turned from brown to white, the parking lot at the summit started to look like the parking lot at Boreal, and objects like rails, tubes and pole jams began to mysteriously arrive on the scene. As people slid, jumped and spun their way to happiness, the presence of confused and intrigued non-snowboarders, staring in awe, reminded everyone to come back to the reality that pumpkins had not been acquired yet, and the plane ticket to mom’s house for turkey dinner had not been purchased. Mother Nature graced Mt. Rose with about 15 inches of snow and for the most part, cold temperatures. This allowed for the snowboarding fiesta to go on for a couple weeks. Sure, everyone’s new boards now have core shots and need a base grinding, but if you ask them, it was worth every rock they hit. Snowboarding is not just being strapped to a piece of wood while trying to slide down a hill, but more of a healing activity. These early season snowboard andamp;#8220;bumsandamp;#8221; know that when they strap in, they are focused on having a good time with friends and all their troubles are left behind in the lower elevations. As temperatures jump back to the seasonal average, and with no storms on the way, the panic of where to ride sets back in.Thanks to Mt. Rose, snowboarders had a place to level their heads this past October as they stepped into the mode of winter. As Old Man Winter shows his face more and more, the snowboarder’s blood pressure will return to normal and Mt. Rose will become a thing of the past andamp;#8212; but hopefully the future of next October.andamp;#8212; This piece was written by Dylan Thompson, a 12th-grader at Coldstream Alternative, as an assignment for Mrs. Parlette’s English 12 class.