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.
Olancha Peak Panorama
Summer Ski Tips
Lounging on Hammock in Flagstaff
San Gorgonio Panorama