31 December 2015

Mammoth Trip

This year Michael and my brother both had to work on Christmas Eve, so we all spent Christmas Day at home, then we drove up to my parents' cabin in Mammoth the next day. 

Michael & I spent the first couple days skiing with my mom and brothers at Mammoth. It was a lot of fun, and Michael even conquered his fear and went off Cornice Bowl with us (which, in my opinion, is the scariest run on the mountain). I thought he was going to back out at the last minute, but he surprised me and chose to do it, and he was so pleased that he had done it afterward.  The boys had a great time hanging out at the cabin, getting their fill of board games and movies those first couple days, with Grandma Faun & Papa at the cabin (my dad is still recovering from his knee injury, and couldn't ski yet this trip).  Then my family had to head back to San Diego for my brother to go back to work, and we still had a few more days that Michael had taken off work so we stayed a little longer. 

We took the boys skiing at June Mountain, about a 20 minute drive from Mammoth. It took us all morning just to sort through their gear, rearrange so the youngest 2 boys got larger coats and mittens, and some of the boys needed larger snow bibs, because they had grown out of theirs since last year. I sewed the younger boys' mittens onto the end of their ski coat sleeves so they couldn't lose them, and sewed up holes in a couple of pairs of mittens while Michael made sure they all had helmets and goggles and ski boots that still fit (luckily they all did). So that took a while, but we finally got out on the ski hill around lunch time. 

We took the tethers just in case the younger two boys needed a bit of a refresher course, but we didn't even end up taking them out of the bag. They just took off, not even trying out the bunny hill before riding up the first lift, then skiing down through the nice snow in the trees along the sides of the runs. They did great. 

I'd say it was the most fun yet we've ever had skiing with the kids. They could all do it, and they all did well enough that we could generally stay together down the hills. We convinced them all to do a black diamond run together (which is a little easier at June that a black diamond run at Mammoth), but they all did just fine, even if a couple of them were a little hesitant at first. We all love skiing the trees the best, and there are so many great places at June where the whole family can enjoy skiing the trees for long stretches together. (And you just can't beat June's kids ski free policy -- that's a big deal for our family!  I told Kolby he now has to stop aging, since next year we will have to start paying youth prices for him, oh well). By the end of the day we learned that Courtland is quite the speed deamon, often zooming to the bottom of a run in first or second place among our kids. Plus when we went down the run with jumps at the very end of the day, he went over every jump pretty quickly, including skiing down those little boxes and bars perfectly (which I now avoid, after trying those once or twice a few years ago and not doing very well on them). Lijah is as gung-ho and speedy as ever, always willing to try out anything.  Kolby does great, and is starting to develop some of the skills of an older skier. And he's great at helping us out by staying with some of his younger brothers while we make sure to stay with the others going through the trees. Isaac was a bit unsure about the black diamond run, but traversed his way down the hill just fine. And he makes his way through the trees with the rest of them. In fact, the youngest two boys got quite good at getting up when they fell in the deeper snow, most of the time not needing our help to get going again. Camden is a little cautious to start out on the hardest runs, but does well on them and has a good additude. 

For the first time ever since we started going to June a couple years ago, it was crowded there. (There hasn't been great snow up here the last couple years, and it's the holiday break). It wasn't crowded on the ski hill, but the parking lot and the lodge lunch area were crowded. That's good for this little resort to get some good business. The one down side is that we waited in line for an hour to ride the lift back down from the lodge on the hill to the parking lot at the end of the day. It was such a good day skiing with the family that we didn't mind the wait, and the staff was handing out free hot chocolate to everyone in line. But a couple of us were cold through by the end of the day, so I think if it's ever crowded like that again we will just plan to hang out inside by the fire until the line dies down. Anyway, great day skiing, and now we're looking forward to the next time we can go with the boys. 

The next day was New Year's Eve, and we spent a relaxing day at the cabin.  We took the boys to a matinee of the new Star Wars movie. Then Michael grilled steaks for dinner (something his dad always does on New Years). And at night we all walked down to the Village to watch the fireworks show. 

And then we got in one final ski day before heading back home:






And this is what it looked like as we drove away:

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