In early January, a snowboarding enthusiast, Brandon Smith, set off from his home in South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Mountains for the highest point on the mountain.
He’d never skied before, but he was ready for a day of adventure.
But that’s when it hit him that he wasn’t going to be alone.
“I got a call from my friends, my family, asking me if I wanted to come ski with them,” Smith recalls.
Brandon Smith’s dream got real in early January when a snow boarder’s nightmare was shattered.
The snowboarding community at large was still reeling from the loss of two ski fatalities in the past two weeks.
But for the last few weeks, the community was focused on the safety of the sport.
Smith, a mountain biker, was inspired to try his hand at snowboarding after seeing a YouTube video of a snow boarding instructor named Scott, who taught at a high school in the US.
Smith went to see him.
He and his friend were planning to take a trip to Mount Snow in Utah.
He told Scott that he’d like to get a snowpack, a harness and a snow-pumping device.
The two went on a snow day.
Smith’s dream came true.
The next day, Smith and his friends set off in their snowboard, headed for the peak of the mountain, and landed in the town of Wachusett, South Dakota.
“We’re in town on a snowy day and we have a snow bag, a rope, and a harness on,” Smith says.
“There’s a lot of snow on that mountain.”
He says he’s happy to be able to share it with others.
“It’s been the greatest experience of my life,” he says.
Snowboard instructor Scott says snowboarding is a very safe sport.
(CBC) Smith, who’s been snowboarding for over a decade, says he was very surprised by what he saw.
The mountain is a huge body of water with very few people skiing, and snowboarding can be very dangerous for the inexperienced.
Smith says he is now able to ski in the mountains, as he did when he was young.
“You’re going to have to be careful, but there’s no doubt that it’s one of the best snowboarding experiences of my career,” he said.
Smith is now back on his mountain snowboard in Wachuset, South Carolina, and hopes to get back to skiing with his family next year.