Resorts hope to reopen with snow
A snowstorm this week could be just what the slopes need, after a so-far depressing start to the ski and snowboard season at local resorts.
The season was off to a promising start in mid-November as a few storms brought enough for all local resorts to open, but a cycle of warm weather caused them to shut down around Thanksgiving. Even rainy days were too warm for manmade snow, so Mountain High and Snow Summit shut its lifts, though Bear Mountain continued to operate.
It's been a waiting game for riders looking to hit the slopes, and they could get an early Christmas present with the coming storm. Snow Summit announced on its website that it could be open in the next few days, and Mountain High officials in Wrightwood say it could open Friday or Saturday.
"The forecast is calling for a powerful winter storm to reach Southern California Wednesday afternoon producing colder temperatures and 6-10 inches of natural snow," the Mountain High website reads.
"We've been waiting for a change in the weather, and with fresh snow and the best snowmaking conditions of the season, Mountain High will be open just in time for the holidays," General Manager Ben Smith said.
Mountain High will offer night skiing from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. when it reopens Wednesday through Sunday.
Lifts at Mammoth Mountain have much to boast about, with recent storms cold enough to produce a healthy base to start the season. The current base is 4.5-6.5 feet, and so far in December, they've received about 36 inches of snowfall, with much more expected with this week's storm.
28 lifts to access 3,500 skiable acres of 11,000 feet in elevation – the highest ski resort in California. The mountain is typically one of the first in the nation to open and one of the last to close – sometimes staying open until the Fourth of July.
Bear and Snow Summit Mountains:
Getting there: Driving requires stomaching a windy and congested road up the main route, and it usually takes about 2.5 hours. Take State Route 330 / Highway 18 through Running Springs, but check road closures and beware of weekends and holidays. Highway 38 through Redlands is a bit longer, but the roads are more tolerable and usually have less traffic.
Tickets can be used at both resorts.
Tickets: adult, $59; seniors, $49; young adults (13-21), $49; children (7-12), $25; and children under 6 are free.
A group of smaller resorts in Wrightwood, is closer to Orange County, and takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes to get to – perfect for a quick fix or half day of riding.
Getting there: Take the 91 Freeway to I-15 North. Exit Highway 138 West and make a left on Highway 2. Mountain High is three miles past Wrightwood.
Tickets: adult, $59; adult half-day, $54; adult night, $30; child (7-12), $25; 70 and older or 6 and under, free with paying adult.
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