Monterey County students hit slopes near Tahoe

The CHS Snowboard-Snow Ski Club will be heading north come Feb. 1 to tackle the slopes on a one-day trip to Bear Valley, a ski resort just south of Lake Tahoe.

This is the first time the club will be going to Bear Valley in the club’s six years of existence, as opposed to the usual Tahoe trip. A company called Xtreme Tours will be sponsoring the expedition, called “Snow Fest.”

“It’s the first year we’re trying this [company],” says Debbie French, the Snowboard-Snow Ski Club advisor. “It’s kind of cool because it’s geared towards high school students. There’s going to be a live band and a DJ, and you get to ski all day.”

For $99, students will get transportation to and from Bear Valley, discounts on rentals and lessons and a lift ticket to ski or snowboard all day. The trip is not reserved just to CHS students, as high school students from all over the peninsula will be going. According to French, the trip is being offered to Monterey High, Pacific Grove High and Santa Catalina students, as well as to those from other schools.

Needless to say, participants are excited for the trip.

“I think it’s a good opportunity,” freshman Francis Lansdowne says. “It’s really cheap compared to other places. And it’s always good to get out and try something new.”

Both experienced snowboarders and skiers and those new to the sports are welcome to go. Lessons for beginners will be provided.

“Usually if you were going to do this, you would have to have an instructor or friends that do it,” Lansdowne says. “But this is school-provided, which is pretty cool.”

The students will be taking a bus to and from the locale with two adult staff members, and students’ parents are welcome to go along…but they may prefer to sleep in, as the bus will be heading off to the slopes around 5 a.m. and won’t return until 10 p.m.

California experienced its driest year on record in 2013, and Tahoe received only 8.08 inches of precipitation, according to Lake Tahoe News. The lack of snowfall was responsible for the cancellation of a previously planned trip for Jan. 11.

“It’s the first time I’ve ever seen the trip get cancelled due to lack of snow,” French says. “There were only three lifts open.”

Though there has been a recent lack of snowfall in the Tahoe area, the club isn’t fazed.

“There’s supposed to be a snowstorm coming in, so we’ll be fine,” French explains. “Also, a lot of places are making snow.”

So far, three CHS students have signed up and paid for the trip, but anywhere from 10 to 20 students are expected to go.

-Sam Graves