Skiing at Big Bear Lake

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March 23rd 2008
Published: April 10th 2008
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Big Bear Lake

Red: San Jose; Green: Big Bear Lake


Shreya and I at Snow Summit
This season we had not been to skiing even once... We went to Reno-Tahoe in December, but by the time we reached the slopes, it was too late for skiing lessons! So, this weekend we decided to hit some slopes before winter is officially over. People generally go to northern areas for skiing and snow boarding. However, being different people that we are, we decided to go to Big Bear Lake in Southern California on the weekend of March 23, 2008!

This time our travel buddies were Pranav and Mohnish from San Jose, and Prutha, Nirav, Siddarth, Kanan from SoCal! Big Bear is 2-2.5 hours east of Los Angels and 7 hours south-east of San Jose. We decided to meet there directly. We had a nice and cozy cabin booked for as at Cal-Pine chalets in Big Bear. Party of four from SoCal reached there around 11 pm on Friday night, and we managed to reach at 2:30 am (instead of 3:30 am - thanks to Pranav's Schumacher-alike-driving).

Next morning we managed to wake up and get ready by 10 am (it's difficult for Nirav to get ready within one hour!!!). Good thing we had carried bread, butter, milk,
Skiing GroupSkiing GroupSkiing Group

Top (L-R): Me, Mohnish, Nirav, Kanan Bottom (L-R): Shreya, Prutha
eggs, etc. with us for breakfast! The cabin had a full kitchen with all the utilities needed. Soon, we were ready to ski!

There are two skiing resorts in Big Bear city - Big Bear Mountain Ski Resort and Snow Summit Ski Resort. Distance between Snow Summit and Cal-Pine cabins is just 3 blocks! So, we decided to go there to ski. They operate shuttles to the ski slopes from lower parking lot, which is really convenient at times when parking lots adjacent to the slopes are full. We rented the gear and purchased lift and ski school tickets. Shreya and I were new to skiing; hence we decided to take beginners lessons. Rest of us had been to skiing couple of time before and they decided to go for beginners to advanced ski lessons. There are some snacks stalls and restaurants near the ski slopes. Although we were not really hungry; we had some food there before hitting the snow.

The day was great. It was sunny and warm. Big Bear has number of snow making machines installed; however, that day all of them were off. I believe it had snowed some days back, and slopes had
Big BearBig BearBig Bear

Siddharth, Pranav, me, Shreya, Prutha, Mohnish, Kanan, Nirav with the Big Bear at the Discovery Center
plenty of it!

Ski lessons were quite useful. They taught us basic things like how to stop, how to stand without sliding down, how to take turns, etc. Soon, our instructor took us to some higher slopes and asked us to practice braking and turning. Shreya was initially a bit worried, but she turned out great! The instructor also took us to the beginners’ slope by a lift. Getting down from the lifts is a bit tricky. Somehow, every time but once I fell down while getting down from the lift! Although, many times it was due to the balance of the person sitting next to me.

I had expected to fall down several times on the slopes; however, to my surprise Shreya and I were not at all bad! We had so much fun skiing... Next time we'll go for intermediate classes and slopes.

After 4-5 hours of skiing, all of returned to the cabin for refreshments. After a while, we drove to the lake. Unfortunately, all the lake side activities were closed in this season. All we could do was to drive around the lake!

Kanan suggested a Chinese restaurant - Mandarin Garden from a brochure that she got at the front desk of Cal-Pine. We saw it while driving around and went inside. While the servers were setting up tables for us, we looked through the menu... to our surprise, we didn't find a single Chinese item on the menu!!! Very soon, somebody pointed out that the name of the restaurant was "Mandolin Bistro" and not "Mandarin Garden"!!! It was kind of awkward asking the servers not to bother setting up a table for eight and leaving the restaurant!

Thanks to the borrowed GPS, we found the correct restaurant and reached there. It took us really long before we were done with the dinner and reached our cabin. Earlier we had decided to go for bowling at night; however, after hours skiing most of us were out of energy. We decided to watch some comedy movie at the cabin... Pranav had carried number of comedy movies. Instead of going for some new movie, all of us zeroed down to Partner. We must have watched it 3-4 times... why not once again?! To some it might be a brainless comedy... for us, it was the reason to watch it 😊!!

Next morning, we had to check out by 11 am. After checking out, we went to a local breakfast place. After the breakfast, we visited Big Bear Discovery Center. They have a nice exhibit of wild life and geology of San Bernardino National Forest. We spent an hour or so there before we left for home.

Useful links:
Big Bear Lake Information
Snow Summit Ski Resort
Big Bear Discovery Center

Where to stay:
Cal-Pine Chalets
Golden Bear Cottages
There are number of cabins and motels in the city - anything inside Big Bear City, CA is probably very close by to the ski resorts!

Where to eat:
Being a city, there are number of local restaurants apart from the usual chains near Big Bear Lake


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