March 23, 2012
Skiing San Diego
It is a strange, strange thing to get in your car in L.A. and head south to go skiing. Stuck in traffic on the 405, I began to wonder what sort of fool's quest I was embarking upon, but the trip to San Diego ended up being one of my most memorable Southern California mountaineering adventures, offering incredibly beautiful views and unexpectedly good skiing. Yes: skiing.
Cuyamaca Peak, elevation 6512', is a little over 30 miles from downtown San Diego. Skiing there is rare but not unheard of, and the same storm that put snow on I-10 in Beaumont covered Cuyamaca Peak with a good 24" base. Let me give a huge thanks to SD insiders Brent (who runs a San Diego Backcountry Skiers group) and Bill for the tip that Cuyamaca was in season. This is one of those peaks where you don't have a lot of time once the snow falls.
Finally, I have to say it felt very exotic to ski in such a warm, sunny place, so close to the beach and the blue gem of the Pacific. When it was all over, I was more than a little reluctant to head back home to that frozen wasteland to the north, Los Angeles...but I'll be back.