There’s nothing more gratifying than a short sprint to some quality man-made snowboard terrain. If you live in San Diego Mountain High is just close enough—and there’re no winding roads or dramatic changes in elevation and weather like the route to Big Bear. You hop on interstate15 and roll, pretty much. For the kids in Orange County and Los Angeles Mountain High is too easy—so convenient in fact that many shreds go night riding regularly after their nine to five is done. As the day skiers pack it in, the night shift is just gearing up to get down. And the people do get down. This is some urban shit. Tailgate parties in the parking lot, lowered whips, lifted rigs. Lots of girls in half shirts, less goggles, more sunglasses …

Mr. Sun was out and the Santa Ana winds had finally subsided. The surf was still blown out. The magazines were all completed. What to do? In the spirit of “keeping it real I decided to take Snowboarder Magazine Photo Editor Joel Muzzey and my trusty intern Evan LeFebvre to Mountain High for the afternoon. Joel called local boy Danny Williams and informed him he’d be shooting with both magazines big guns that afternoon. Pretty exiting stuff, except for the fact we were both shooting with our tiny Canon Elf’s! They’re great for bar shot—not so hot on the hill.

You know what? The jumps at Mountain High are sweet right now. The larger booters had nice pop, and those landings had plenty of steep transition. They were firm not icy. The temperature was warm and comfortable but it never got too slushy. Don’t leap for the photographic evidence Holmes—my photographic skills are wack. I did a bang-up job of negating Danny boy’s skills, as he’s really quite good! Don’t hold it against the kid. We spun laps till we lost count and made it back to the beach by sunset.

Oh, all right, it was pitch black and we were still out on the freeway near Escondido somewhere. But we got back pretty dang early. And we were three very happy SoCal dudes who’d just spent an entire day snowboarding.