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The Never Ending Winter – A Patch of Snow and Lake at 10,200 ft. Elevation

Words| Zaiet Neev Photos| Jeep Eddy

Closing day at Mammoth Mountain might have been on August 6, but a about a week ago we found ourselves jonesing for more laps. And with the insane winter we had, there were still patches of snow left for us to explore. We geared up “semi” early (we might have sent it a little too hard the night before at Lakanuki), and set off on the trail, not really knowing what we would find. While it was definitely a long walk with our snowboards, it was worth every second of the journey.

Is this considered wake boarding? p: Jeep Eddy

Exploring the mountain trails with the goal of snowboarding in mind brings a whole new meaning to summertime activities. We trekked, jumped over creeks, took in amazing summer views, and chatted with pretty much everyone we passed about our end goal. We knew the patch was around there somewhere, and after some bushwhacking and mellow rock climbing, we found the spot, quickly booting up so we could take some turns.

Over the hills and through the woods, to Barney’s snow we go. p: Jeep Eddy

It might not have been much snow, but it was more than enough for us to get a taste of what snowboarding in September is really like. We lapped the patch for a few hours finding new lines and goofing off in the sun cupped corn snow, but I was starting to feel like I wanted to do something more exhilarating.

Zaiet Neev sending it into a clear landing. p: Jeep Eddy

Right when we first arrived, Jeep and I immediately began eyeing this cornice over the lake, and we talked about possibly sending it off the snow into the water. After a few hours of soul shred, I was definitely more than ready to live a little. Jeep set up under the cornice, and I strapped in on the snow, mentally preparing myself for the drop. Little did I know that it would be the coldest water I’ve ever jumped into in my life (should have known, as the lake is strictly snowmelt), but it made for one of the coolest shots I’ve ever gotten and was the best way to end a banger day.

Some may say that the eight mile round trip wouldn’t be worth it because the snow conditions aren’t ideal, but the expedition, coupled with the electric feeling of getting to snowboard at a time of year you never get a chance to, made for one of the best days I’ve ever had on snow. Pushing ourselves to get there made the turns that much sweeter, and I know we will all be riding that high until opening day at Mammoth in November.

Thanks to Jeep Eddy and Alison Brooking for coming along with me on this insane adventure, it wouldn’t have been the same without you guys!

More from TransWorld SNOWboarding here!