January 10, 2013

Snow Valley: Top to Bottom

Sure, Andreas Fransson skied the Whillans Ramp on Patagonia's Aguja Poincenot...but has he ever skied Snow Valley?

I highly doubt it.

Andy Lewicky

ANDY LEWICKY is a Los Angeles-based writer and photographer who enjoys good books, jasmine tea, long walks in the rain, and climbing and skiing the big peaks of the California Sierra. email | follow



  1. Dan Conger says:

    Nobody there … there are really only two resorts I want to ski in So Cal. Baldy and Waterman. However, I would want to go right after a big cold storm, and that’s the real kicker. I’ve skied Bear, Snow Summit and wasn’t impressed with either. But, hey, I grew up near Mammoth and I’ve got pretty high standards for ski areas as a result.

  2. Phil Miller says:

    I was over at snow summit the same day. A lot more people. Weather and snow were awesome. My first telemark session! First knee drop. Perfect conditions for firsts.
    From the run you showed, it looks like a great place for kids to learn, so long as visibility isn’t socked in.

  3. Gregg says:

    For me, Snow Valley was always the place I passed on the way to Big Bear, wondering why anyone would stop there. But the last two weeks I’ve brought my six year old there several times for some nice beginner turns. It’s an easy place to deal with, the slopes have way fewer crazy teens than Mt High or Bear, and the flat terrain means even a novice can get the thrill of skiing from the top. The staff is very friendly as well.

  4. Gregg says:

    One related question: has anyone skied the bear creek drainage off Snow Valley’s eastern side? It looks steep–I couldn’t tell if there is a practical way to get out to Rt 38.

  5. Andy says:

    Agreed – Snow Valley is perfect for kids. And with the whole mountain open as it is right now, it’s a lot of fun for me, too!

  6. Brad says:

    SV is pretty small, but I’ve already been twice this season without going to a Bear mountain at all. It’s cheaper, closer, and much less busy. Sadly it’s also smaller, but big enough for a day of skiing (if Slide Mtn is open).

  7. brad brown says:

    Skied there like 30 years ago, keep driving by to Summit since ’71. Fun on a pow day, more steeps (sorta), some tree runs, excellent lift system with 0 unwanted hiking,, too expensive yes (costco usually has later season passes for like 1/3 off, this year they have Snow Valley for 69/100 worth of lifts. My next season pass is senior rate!!). Mammoth/kirkwood (my fav)SS is not bit it’s closer and if you watch the weather… I have gaped at the east flank of SV for decades but never skiied it. 38 is a very long haul uphill. Been guessing ski down then hike up but forest service road may be down there possibly -anyone know?

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