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.
It's a little odd seeing snowy runs adjacent an absolutely snowless landscape, but it's great skiing either way, and baring a major warmup, Summit looks like they're in great shape for the foreseeable future. I picked Summit today because I was alone with both my kids, and I just couldn't face Snow Valley's archaic chairlift system.
With Summit, I hate the extra drive, and I hate the inflated rates, but once I'm skiing, there's no question they offer the most complete resort skiing experience of all the Southern California ski areas. And maybe I should relax a bit about the extra money: you can put a lot more turns on little tiny legs when you're riding a high speed detachable lift.
So I say go up there and get it if you want good groomer/cruiser skiing. Summit is not hurting—not yet, at least. As for the rest of the SoCal resorts, Summit's extra five hundred feet or so of base elevation makes a big difference. Things are getting desperate elsewhere. Finally, for all you backcountry masochists, here's a shot of Gorgonio's north face.
Andy Lewicky is the author and creator of SierraDescents