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Students shred slopes on boogie boards as snow blankets Santa Ynez Mountains

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Posted at 10:28 PM, Dec 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-13 02:49:42-05

The latest round of winter storms brought a dusting of snow to higher elevations of the Los Padres National Forest.

A series of powerful winter storms brought inches of snow to the highest peaks of the Santa Ynez Mountains over the weekend.

Snow blanketed the ground and covered tree limbs along Figueroa Mountain Road which was full of visitors on Monday.

“We got up here and there was like six to eight inches of snow and it was like completely covered, the whole road was covered they had to bring a snowplow and a truck up here,” said Kielson Lawton who made two trips up Figueroa Mountain Road on Monday.

Much of the snow that fell over the weekend had melted away, but Ranger Peak was still covered in inches of snow. Nearby Figueroa Mountain still had a dusting as well.

“Because we’re from California, we don’t have sleds, we use boogie boards,” said Lawton.

Students from Midland Boarding School in Los Olivos hit the slopes on boogie boards and were picking up some impressive speed.

“We were just having a normal day today and we woke up and saw snow everywhere up on the hills and the mountains,” said student Ava Savant.

“What brought us up here is we happened to not have to do anything for sports and Michael, our sports person on the farm decided ‘hey, why don’t we just skip sports and do something fun,’” added student River Peace.

Seeing snow for the first time in months felt more like home for students who are from colder parts of the country.

“I am from Alaska, so I saw snow two months ago over break, and… snow is snow,” said Aren Buchheiti.

“I live in Chicago so it’s like really snow there right now,” said Annika Faust. “I’ve kind of been missing it a lot, been kind of homesick so it feels really nice to see it. It makes me feel like it’s home.”

For others, the snow is a rare treat.

“I live in China and the last time I saw snow was like four years ago but due to global warming, we don’t have much snow,” added student Kevin Liu.

The rare snow day was also a chance to unwind as the semester comes to an end.

“I think we all really need it with the semester coming to an end. it’s definitely been a lot of tests, a lot of exams,” said Alison Held.

The Forest Service urges continued caution because routes such as Figueroa Mountain Road can become even icier once the snow melts.