ABA Member’s Retreat. This was THE event, the one I’d heard people raving about last semester when I first joined ABA. So I went in with high expectations, and I have to say that it didn’t disappoint, despite the setbacks. Overall, I had a fun day learning how to snowboard, falling on my face, and spending time with friends.
We left for Tahoe on Friday. Spirits were high. People chatted, played Mafia, and watched The Hangover. I sat with the Pubs crew and ate tons of junk food that we bought from a quick stop at Safeway. And so the hours passed. And passed. What had originally been a four hour bus-ride, turned into a FIFTEEN hour crawl.
Because of certain “weather conditions,” the road to Tahoe was briefly shut down and then reopened. Car chaos ensued as cars moved at 5 mph on average. Instead of spending the night at a cabin we had rented out, we ended up sleeping in the bus. When we woke up the next day at 7, the outside had transformed into a winter wonderland. It was beautiful.
We grabbed some breakfast and coffee at McDonald’s. Soon, we were at the entrance of Alpine Meadows, a well-known ski resort at Tahoe. We changed into our snow gear, picked up our rentals, and headed out to the slopes.
It was a picture-perfect day. This was the day typically seen in movies. There was fresh snow, the sun was nice and bright, and the air was cool and fresh. Definitely a good start to a fun day.
I headed to the green slope with some other beginners and Steven. We took the ski lift up to the hill, and Steven gave us a quick, and I mean quick, tutorial on snowboarding. The first yards consisted of slowly sliding left, towards a fence, because the slope was slightly slanted and I didn’t know anything about turning.
After several minutes, I was frustrated with my progress and just got up and went down the hill. I figured that wiping out would be a better alternative than slowly sliding on my back with a board attached to my feet.
I didn’t die; in fact, I did much better than expected. I would go for a bit, realize I was going too fast, and sit down on my butt amidst a spray of snow. It was fun.
I went on this track, called Meadow, six more times during the day. Each time, I got a little better, and a little faster. At this point, I had not learned the concepts of slowing down/stopping, so I sort of just went down hill at full speed.
It was very fun, until I wiped out. Multiple times. This culminated in a nasty flip that involved my snowboard and feet bending over my head. My back really hurt after. I decided that I needed to learn how to slow down.
Lunch came after. I was starving and wolfed down a sandwich. Suddenly, I realized that my Flip camcorder was missing. Crap. It must have tumbled out of my pocket when I took that tumble.
I spent a bit looking for it in the snow. No luck. I was pretty bummed, but I realized that things like this happen. I wasn’t going to let this ruin my day, and I definitely won’t be bringing electronics with me the next time I snowboard.
The next hill I decided to tackle was a blue one, called Hot Wheels. I went with Linda, Delwin, Jay, Alvina, and some others.
Hot Wheels was definitely harder than Meadow. And I was experimenting with heel to toe turns, which I had mistakenly thought would slow me down. After many tumbles down that hill, Linda explained to me that I should start with heel to heel turns.
It worked. When we went back to Meadow again to look for my camcorder, I practiced a bit and got the hang of it. Roundhouse, another blue hill, was next. It definitely became my favorite hill. The course was bumpy, but I was turning pretty well.
To add to the fun factor, a lot of the ABA alumni and members were there the same time we got up, so we went down together as a group. Definitely the highlight of my trip.
By now, I was thoroughly exhausted and sore. I decided to do one more run with Madonna and Alvina at Hotwheels, to avenge my earlier fail. This time, I did MUCH better, but the track was a lot less fun than Roundhouse.
Soon, it was 4:30 pm. I returned my gear, met up with everyone at ABA, and talked about our adventures that day. I found out that due to the earlier snowfall, the road to our cabin was blocked, so the officers had decided to head back to Berkeley a day early.
It was definitely not good news, but at the same time, I had so much fun that day that I didn’t mind. The ride home was fun, too. We ate more junk food, watched Paul Blart: Mall Cop, listened to a typically epic ABA Mafia game, and dozed off in exhaustion.
ABA Member’s Retreat 2010 verdict? Despite the minor setbacks and the sore body I suffered the next day, I had an absolute blast spending time snowboarding and with friends. And I decided that I will definitely be heading back to Tahoe in the near future.
Special thanks to Michelle Lau for providing the retreat pics!
More snowboarding adventures to come at randomtidbitsofthought.wordpress.com.