For the most part, the start of the year can seem a bit slow. You’re still shaking off the holidays, there are month-long health trends being observed, and the days are still cold, dark, and short. That’s not the case, however, if you’re up in the mountains.

Anyone who spends even minimal amounts of time in higher elevations knows that the time between January and March is one of the best times of the year. Fresh powder is abound in Mammoth, Tahoe, and the deeper reaches of The Rockies while the Thanksgiving to Christmas crowds have dwindled. It’s the perfect time for carving fresh tracks and enjoying bluebird days, so that’s just what we do. Plus, nature provides the perfect cooler, so you can place your 805s or Cervezas in a snowbank in the morning and reward yourself with a properly chilled one after a long day covering every trail from the peak to the base village. And if that doesn’t sound like an ideal way to spend a day, then we’re not sure we can help you.

But we’re not all talk. We recently hit Mammoth’s storied backcountry with 805 Authenticos Jordan Small and Gabe Taylor to see just how good this time of year is. We loaded our trucks up with boards and our backpacks up with cold ones and made sure we had everything we needed to make the most of it. And the result? Well, just about one of the most epic weekends of backcountry riding we’ve ever seen. You can see it for yourself in the video below.

There’s nothing better than getting some turns in and sharing some well-earned cold ones with friends. Especially when those friends are Jordan and Gabe, who are two absolute legends on the mountain. We talked to Jordan afterward to get a full debriefing on the weekend and talk about the rest of his winter. Read on to hear about his favorite spots, his best tips for boarders this winter, and more:

805: How are you feeling about this snow season? 

Jordan Small: Really excited about this upcoming winter! We have already had some really solid snowfall around the country which is always a good sign when winter shows its face early. I have some fun projects in the works Including a 32 team video and some other smaller projects I’m working on. This time of the year I’m just getting my feet back again riding the locals and getting ready to start filming again. 

Tell us about your routine when you hit the mountain. How do you start and end the days?

If I’m riding pre-season, like in Big Bear, my routine is usually getting up early around 5 a.m., getting some coffee in me, and making the drive up to Bear. I always stop at Dank Donuts for some good food before hitting the mountain, and we usually end up finding some stuff to get some clips on or just proceed to hot lap with all the homies. After boarding the day usually ends with a group hang at the deck bar at Bear to sip on some ice-cold 805s! 

What would be your top five locations to snowboard this winter?

So the first spot I always spend most of pre-season is Bear Mountain. I always start my winter getting my legs back and it’s one of my favorite places on earth to ride my snowboard. Second on the list and my favorite place I have ever traveled to is Japan. Japan is just full of the sickest spots and has one of the coolest cultures I have ever had the pleasure of seeing. The third on the list would be Finland. Finland is one of the best places in the world to film street. They always have snow and there are so many cities to travel to find really good spots.

Fourth, which is somewhere I always love riding, and almost like a second home to me, is Mammoth Mountain. I spend a lot of time there during pre-season and post-season. Mammoth is especially special during spring when winter is wrapping up everywhere else. They always have an insane park and good vibes. Fifth would be somewhere that I haven’t made it to when there is snow which is New York. I love cruising around Manhattan on a skateboard but haven’t had the pleasure of catching a good snowstorm there to film. I’m hoping to keep that one on the radar this winter and catch one of those freak storms!

Any tips or recommendations you have for fellow boarders this snow season? 

I would say stick to the West Coast this winter. It’s looking like it’s going to be a snowy one this year! 

You can keep your eyes peeled for Jordan’s feature in an upcoming 32 team video that’s due later this winter. But if you can’t wait that long, you can keep up with his winter travels on Instagram and see more from both Gabe and Jordan on our channel now.