After closing Monday and Tuesday to let the storm pass, Snow Valley Mountain Resort outside Running Springs and Mountain High near Wrightwood reopened this morning for skiiers and snowboarders.
You could actually see the rain and snow clouds forming during Olympic champion Shaun White's Air + Style LA snowboarding event Saturday at Bear Mountain in Big Bear, where besides a competition there was a live concert by Blink 182's Travis Barker.
Heading into today's 9 a.m. reopening, Snow Valley reported having received
four six seven inches of fresh snow and cold enough air temperatures for snowmaking atop an eight- to 18-inch a 12- to 24-inch average depth.
"This means leading up to the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend, Snow Valley will have its best conditions of the season," says Kevin Somes, vice president and general manager. "We are so excited to have conditions fitting the celebration of Snow Valley's 80th season and the unveiling of Southern California's first six-person chairlift, the high-speed Snow Valley Express."
He's referring to the transporter that will carry 2,600 skiers and snowboarders per hour on a 4.6 minute ride, covering 4,636 feet or well over 3/4 of a mile. "This six-person chairlift puts Snow Valley in impressive company: only about 75 of North America's 3,084 chairlifts are six-passenger, including those at iconic ski resorts such as Northern California's Squaw, Heavenly and Northstar, Colorado's Breckenridge, Vail and Keystone, and Utah's Park City," boast Snow Valley operators.
This month and February, the resort is participating in the national "Bring a Friend Challenge," an annual contest awarding prizes to those bringing the most newcomers for a lesson by instructors certified by the Professional Ski Instructors Association or American Association of Snowboard Instructors (PSIA-AASI). Burton, Head and Rossignol are among the suppliers of prizes, which will be awarded via randomly selected periodic drawings to those who introduce newcomers to beginner lessons. Rules and registration details are at www.skiandsnowboardmonth.org/special-programs/friend/take-the-challenge.
Like Snow Valley, Mountain High near Wrightwood closed Monday and Tuesday because of the storm, but resort operators said yesterday afternoon it was snowing down to 6,500 feet and forecasters were calling for three to seven inches of new snow by today's reopening. Average depths of six to 12 inches were reported before the storm.
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"Get your gear ready because Wednesday should be bonkers," reads the Mountain High website. "We also intend to make snow tonight and we have more water in our reservoirs ready to make snow with than we used all last season. This marks the beginning of a new, winter weather pattern with more storms on the way."
Tonight, Burton and Anon host the first of their "6-Pack series" in Mountain High's Playground, where free swag will be doled out.
The granddaddies of the region, Snow Summit and Bear Mountain in Big Bear, opened way back on Dec. 8. They had 28 trails and 17 lifts open Tuesday, despite the storm. Before the new snow fell, Bear Mountain and Snow Summit each reported average depths of 24 to 36 inches. Click here for information on either resort.
Mount Baldy has not yet announced an opening for skiing and snowboarding, although their tubing park appears open. Click here to keep track at what's going on up there.
Forecasters say the storm is giving way to mostly cloudy skies today, but you are still advised to check CalTrans' mountain road conditions before heading up at http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/roadinfo/mtnhwys.htm.