Huddlebee Review: (By: Joshua Lee)
Our most recent trip to Mountain High was a lot of things. For our son, it was his first, and long awaited, ski trip that we had been promising for the past few snow seasons. As a parent, this was total nostalgia of times where we had come to learn how to ski / snowboard and just hang out with friends. For both of us, this was a trip we will never forget.
Let me first preface that for anyone that has not visited Mountain High in a quite some time, it is not the same Mountain High that you will remember. Every part of the Mountain High experience is now sprinkled with technology and conveniences that makes every part of the trip more enjoyable, streamlined, and just more fun! For starters, check in and renting the equipment is a breeze. No longer are the days where you might take an hour to get your equipment at different times…in fact, everything was computerized, scanned, and even the fitting was done efficiently and with common sense. Patrons are lined up along a raised platform where Mountain High staffers can fit your skis / snowboard boots right then and there. In fact, our son’s boots initially didn’t fit (and this could be because your foot is wider, or you have a mid-size, etc) but the important thing is we found out right there and were given the right size before leaving to the next station of getting our skis / poles.
Another example was was the “magic carpet” ride; known for the escalator/conveyor belt that automatically brings you to the top of the top of the beginner’s slope. Long gone are the days of having to walk up the hill manually or being pulled up by a pole. By the time you are at the top (whether you take the “magic carpet” or the lift for the more advance levels), you are well rested and eager to get start down the hill (as opposed to being out of breath and tired).
The staff and instructors at Mountain High were amazing. Another contrast to the days of old (and this is with a grain of salt since the last time I took lessons) is that the lessons are skill levels with layers to them. Specifically, each level is earmarked with a skill set rather than general description of beginner / novice / advanced, etc. It was rather easy to determine your skill set based on whether you knew or could “stop,” “plough,” or “traverse.” This was true for the adults just as much as it was for the children (ages 13 and below). By the time our son completed his lesson, he had learned the skills within the first 3 levels; by the end of the day (and just a few falls), he had almost mastered them. (This is more than I can say for myself, but I did accomplish the Snowflake run after a full’s day skiing…)
Even with all these awesome upgrades to Mountain High, the highlight were the memories created by parent and child. In between the eager snow runs and lessons were the hot meals together (3 options to choose from: causal cafeteria, outdoor BBQ, or sit down cabin-like restaurant), the selfies taken on the lift, and just the simple laughing of watching each other fall in the soft snow while trying to get our skis on and off…. You know your kid has been bitten by the snow bug when he’s already begging to go back to try snowboarding even before driving down the hill as we exited.
If you’re like us, maybe you’ve been wanting to bring your family to go skiing or snowboarding, and it just feels too overwhelming. Maybe we were guilty of this had it not been for a media day event. In fact, it now feels silly thinking back about it and appreciating just how close Mountain High is to our home. Literally, it is SoCal’s closest winter resort. From North OC it it is about an hour drive (90 minutes from downtown LA.) Take it from us (total novices to all of this), January is the perfect time to hit the slopes and pick up a new sport (or improve on existing mountain skills)! Whether through skiing, snowboarding, or through tubing, snowshoeing or – new this year to Mountain resort, snow-biking! – there are plenty of ways to enjoy the winter weather at Mountain High. Even if you’re the parent or friend that just goes to support everyone else, pull up chair, hot-cocoa, and enjoy the free wifi! No excuses.
(Visit us on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/huddlebee/ for more images.)
Deals and Packages : Mountain High offers special lessons and packages throughout the month of January. Bring a friend in January for midweek beginner lessons for two for the price of one (including lift tickets and rental equipment). Mountain High also offers its “123-Free” lesson package throughout the season: when participants complete three lessons – which come with rentals and lower-mountain lift tickets – they will receive a season pass to take their skills to the next level.
By: Joshua Lee (Media Passes were provided for review, all opinions are our own.)