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A little background on this trip. It has been a tradition that my family has done ever since I first started skiing around age 5. With the family business closed over Christmas, this provided the perfect opportunity to head north for some colder weather and snow! So began an annual family ski trip over Christmas, literally Christmas Day and one of our presents. Some years it has just been the immediate family, while others has included extended family and even friends. One thing I love about my family, people are always welcomed to join in on our activities.

Well that’s pretty much the condensed version or maybe the whole version of how this ski trip started. Fast forward to the present year and the day after Christmas my mom, dad, sister, and I loaded up our snowboard gear into the truck (Christmas Eve and Christmas was spent with family and friends in town). It was a 3 1/2 hour drive to Pinetop where fresh snow was waiting!

Day 1: Sunrise had received 5” of snow the night before so I was excited to play in some powder. Being Sunday, we were all expecting a busy mountain. Contrary to what we thought, the overcast day provided short lines (5min wait tops) and open mountain runs.

Not many people at all!

Not many people at all!

Strapped in and ready to go

Strapped in and ready to go

My dad is a good boarder!

My dad is a good boarder!

Cruising some wide open runs

Cruising some wide open runs

It was a blast hanging out with the family and even got a couple videos of the powder and a gnarly crash.

Sunrise’s Park is nothing spectacular but it made for some good entertainment and low key challenges. My dad even rode a couple of the box rails! Yea he’s got some skills in his old age.

Some rails and jumps in the park

Some rails and jumps in the park

Brie catching some air!

Brie catching some air!

There’s just something about being up on a mountain whether its hiking, biking, snowboarding, or any other means that just captivates and draws me in with its beauty.

Just hanging out on the mountain

Just hanging out on the mountain

What a view!!

What a view!!

What a view!!

What a view!!

Just stunning!

Just stunning!

Day 2: Another night and another 2” of fresh snow on the mountain! It has been several years since sunrise has received this much snow with a solid base of about 50”. All three mountains were open and all but one lift was running. A nice sunny day meant a more crowded mountain.

Full Parking Lot

Full Parking Lot

Crowded...but not crowded

Crowded…but not crowded

Dodging the crowds, Brie and I headed over to the furthest mountain, Cyclone. It was pretty much desolate when we first arrived and plenty of powder to play in. Making new tracks in untouched snow is one of my favorite things to do.

Obviously you can tell she's enjoying the slow lift...

Obviously you can tell she’s enjoying the slow lift…

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Can't Beat It!

Can’t Beat It!

Brie heading through some fresh powder!

Brie heading through some fresh powder!

It was great to have this family trip and time together. I’m so lucky to have such a great family that loves the outdoors and all of the various activities and adventures that comes from it!!! Oh and if you didn’t know already, Arizona is an amazing place where you can be hiking and mountain biking one day and then 3-4 hours later be snowboarding up in the mountains through some fresh powder!

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