April 7, 2014

The Wildcard Winter

The Wildcard Winter

The long lens came out repeatedly as I drove up and down Highway 395 this past weekend. Some snow fell up there last week—you may not have heard. Sue calls it “The most powerful storm of the winter”, and by this year’s standards she’s not lying. Depending on where you look, the Sierra high country saw anywhere from one to four feet of April No-Fooling snow (more…)

Posted in Current Conditions | 2 Comments

March 24, 2014

Bare Mountain

Bare Mountain

Perhaps I go too far in comparing yesterday at Bear Mountain’s “Access Express” chair to a Hieronymus Bosch nightmare, but if you’re worried about what the endgame for Southern California skiing might just look like, this was surely was an unsettling landscape. Ribbons of brown snow wound through muddy fields, whilst crowds of people shuffled slowly across it (more…)

Posted in Current Conditions | 6 Comments

March 10, 2014

Gorgonio Is In

Gorgonio Is In

Where did all the snow go from last weekend’s massive wet system? San Gorgonio, apparently. If I’d seen this look at the north face a few days ago, I’d have tried to ski it. Instead I took the kids to Snow Summit, and picked up a pass for the rest of this and next season at the (you will feel like) Screaming Deal price. First of all, the snow: (more…)

Posted in Current Conditions | 4 Comments

March 3, 2014

San Jacinto Sunday

San Jacinto Sunday

As I wrote awhile back, you can use the SoCal ski resort webpages to get a pretty good idea as to what’s happening in the higher backcountry elevations. Two of those key indicators are (1) is Mt. Baldy Ski Area open? and (2) is it raining at the top of the Palm Springs Tram? The mid-storm answers to these questions were not promising (more…)

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February 25, 2014

Significant Rain/Snow?

Significant Rain/Snow?

Weather may be typical SoCal mundane right now, but the Los Angeles Times reports what could be the wettest storm in years is en route for later this week: forecasts call for as much as one to two inches of rain in the basin, which in a normal SoCal winter would qualify as…a normal SoCal winter storm (more…)

Posted in Current Conditions | 9 Comments

January 27, 2014

Snow Valley: January 2014

Snow Valley: January 2014

AARRRGH!! Really: Aargh! There’s no other way to say it. I feel my stubborn side kicking in, and now I’m wondering: who will quit first? Will Snow Valley management throw in the towel and close, or will I and my kids give up and stay home? Based on the look of things today, I’d have to say Snow Valley has absolutely entered the heroic-measures phase (more…)

Posted in Current Conditions | 5 Comments

January 21, 2014

Summit: Still Solid

Summit: Still Solid

I can’t say if Snow Summit is currently offering the best skiing in California, but I can say their snowmaking capability remains unmatched. Where Snow Valley just down the road seems about ready to flatline, Summit’s ski runs feature full, abundant, rock-free coverage from top to bottom and edge to edge (more…)

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December 28, 2013

Downtown Driest Ever

Downtown Driest Ever

Are we really already in hoping-for-March mode? 2013 isn’t even over yet. I was doing okay until I checked the numbers for Mammoth: last year, Mammoth Mountain saw 147″ of snow in December on top of 60″ in November. This year, Mammoth is poised to report 24.5″ for December on top of a pitiful 10.5″ November. (more…)

Posted in Current Conditions | 11 Comments

December 18, 2013

Just Add Snow…

Just Add Snow...

Please!!! Was I really driving with the A/C on today, mid-December, at 7000 feet in the San Bernardino Mountains? Alas, yes: NOAA gave the high temperature in Running Springs as 67°. At Snow Valley, with not a whisper of wind, it was T-shirt weather on the slopes, and mind-blowingly hot even then (more…)

Posted in Current Conditions | 3 Comments

December 1, 2013

Mammoth Thanksgiving

Mammoth Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Apparently I wasn’t the only one who thought a little skiing might be nice this holiday weekend. Very thin coverage and only four lifts running wasn’t enough to halt a full-on SoCal invasion at Mammoth Mountain. We had to park at the “F” sign on Friday. “F” I tell you. And the mountain itself was rocky-rocky. Next time, I really think more of you should just stay home (more…)

Posted in Current Conditions | 2 Comments

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