While other high schools students are taking their weeklong spring break to catch up on school work, do a little traveling or just enjoy some rest and relaxation, high school junior Amanda Barnes is busy pumping it up on the snowy hills of Heavenly with board slides, nose slides and lip slides.
"It's way more fun than I ever thought it would be," she said.
A camera crew has followed the 17-year-old Carson High School student during the past six weeks and will show their footage during an hour-long episode of MTV's "Made," scheduled for June 10. The air date is not definite.
"I always thought snowboarding was fun," Amanda said. "It was kind of crazy because I never thought I would get picked."
The final taping of her "Made" show occurs this Saturday at Heavenly where she will board in a rail competition against other snowboarders who have years of experience.
"I just want to try my best and not give up," she said. "If I give it my all, I'll be proud no matter what place I get."
Her coach, "The Dingo" hails from Australia and describes his student as an open-minded learner who has progressed over the past few weeks.
"I think she'll do well as long as she focuses on these last couple days," said 19-year-old Luke "The Dingo" Trembath. "I think she'll be ready for the competition."
MTV cameras taped Amanda at her school, her home and at her Heavenly hotel, where she is staying this week for a last intensive snowboarding session to turn her into a pro.
"Overall, this has been a really positive experience," she said. "I've learned so much. Snowboarding is a totally different lifestyle. It's kind of like therapy too. When you're up on the mountain, there's nothing else in the way. It's just you and your board and nothing else matters. It's really cool."
MTV producers visited Carson High School in early January to seek out students to showcase on "Made," a program that fulfills the dreams of its participants. Amanda's previous snowboarding experience, one time on the slopes, led her to describe herself as "not being very good."
When taping is complete, MTV will fly Amanda to New York for voice-overs for her "Made" segment.
"I hope that I represent Carson well," she said. "I hope that nobody hates me after they see it. I'm still in shock that they actually picked me. I just don't understand why I got picked."
Some might say it's her attitude about snowboarding, not the free gear from Burton and Grenade and lessons from an Australian pro, which has transformed her into a snowboarder.
"I seriously love snowboarding," she said. "This whole thing has been so awesome."
n Contact reporter Maggie O'Neill at email@example.com or 881-1219.
If you go
What: Heavenly Mountain Rail Jam with "MADE" contestant Amanda Barnes
When: 4 p.m. Saturday
Where: At the California Base Lodge at Heavenly Lake Tahoe
Information: Heavenly can be reached at (775) 586-7000