February 23, 2015

At The Eleventh Hour, Snow

At The Eleventh Hour, Snow

I was thinking, yesterday, about skinny runs. For those of you who skied in the 70’s or 80’s, I’m sure you remember them, because that’s all there were: narrow, winding runs that ran through trees. We skied a lot closer to trees in those days—and a lot slower. By the wide-open-highway standards of today, many of those old runs would look more like catwalks (more…)

Posted in Current Conditions | 7 Comments

February 11, 2015

Mammoth Found Encased In Ice

Mammoth Found Encased In Ice

Yes, I’d heard Mammoth Mountain saw rain virtually from top to bottom over the past few days, but some things you just have to see with your own eyes to believe. Holy Mr. Freeze, Batman, that’s a lot of ice! Mammoth looks like it’s been speed-glaciated. Great gleaming sheets of ice are everywhere, along with the staccato scrape of screaming ski edges (more…)

Posted in Current Conditions | 5 Comments

February 9, 2015

Reluctant Post-Storm Discussion

Reluctant Post-Storm Discussion

I guess we have to say something about the storm, though for the past few hours I’ve been wondering if maybe it would be better if we all just pretended it never happened. Hey—how about those northeast blizzards? Makes you want to grab your XC skis and catch a flight to JFK, no? OK, sorry about that: back to the west: (more…)

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February 2, 2015

San G Siren Song of the Day

San G Siren Song of the Day

Yes, there it is, the continuing siren of San Gorgonio Mountain’s north face, as seen yesterday from the View Haus at Snow Summit. Sorry the photo quality is so poor: one of our cost-cutting measures over the summer was to dump the Nikon and the long lens, which leaves me (temporarily, I hope) without a good way to get telephoto shots (more…)

Posted in Current Conditions | 2 Comments

January 20, 2015

The January Report

The January Report

This is not Year Four: I refuse to call it that. Yes, there are indications Mammoth Pass will see its lowest February water survey reading in history, and yes, Mt. Baldy has already given up the ghost here in SoCal, but I am not yet ready to face reality. We still have a solid thirty days or more to choose to believe a March Miracle is coming (more…)

Posted in Current Conditions | 7 Comments

January 1, 2015

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

It was cold! We darted up to the Big Bear Lake area just in time to catch a surprisingly potent overnight storm, plus a very un-SoCalish 10° F day at Snow Summit. The Bear resorts are now proudly declaring they’ve got better conditions than at any time last year, and with a foot of fresh powder, who can argue? The Wall should be open this weekend, if it’s not already (more…)

Posted in Current Conditions | 13 Comments

December 22, 2014

Mammoth Wind

Mammoth Wind

If the north wind is the scourge of the Sierra (as Mingori and Greenberg write) it is doubly so for isolated, treeless Mammoth Mountain. High winds and holiday crowds made for harsh conditions on the hill Saturday and early Sunday, with Mammoth forced to shutter not just the top but also many of their key arterial, lower mountain lifts (more…)

Posted in Current Conditions | 3 Comments

December 11, 2014

It’s Coming In Warm…(UPDATED)

It's Coming In Warm...(UPDATED)

Good news, bad news again from the west coast: indications are we’re on the cusp of seeing a major winter storm hit California, perhaps the most significant storm of the past several years. Also good: indications are that we have an authentic storm track pattern setting in, in which a number of storms—not just one and done—are en route (more…)

Posted in Current Conditions | 2 Comments

December 7, 2014

Snow, Rain, & Mesh Canopies

Snow, Rain, & Mesh Canopies

The good news is it’s early December and there is skiing in Southern California. The bad news is last week’s heavy rain did exactly what you’d expect to the local resorts’ man-made snow: it hammered it. In the space of a week we’ve gone from pretty good inbounds skiing to disturbingly-familiar, just-barely-hanging-on ribbons of coverage (more…)

Posted in Current Conditions | 6 Comments

November 27, 2014

Summit Opens

Summit Opens

Skis touch snow once again and I say AAHHH it feels good. Opening day 2014: once again I am in awe of Snow Summit’s snowmaking capability. We drove past an utterly bare Snow Valley (my 5-year-old called it “dead”) and I began to worry, but Summit with its higher base elevation and its bountiful lake water had created a fully-covered top-to-bottom Miracle Mile for us (more…)

Posted in Current Conditions | 2 Comments

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