Skiing Kratka Ridge

Skiing SoCal's lost ski area, Kratka Ridge

Yesterday I took my daughter to ski Kratka Ridge, one of Southern California's "lost" ski areas. It was her first official day backcountry skiing in Southern California.

I do think Kratka (a.k.a. Snowcrest) is by far our best area for beginning and introductory touring—and it would be an excellent choice for powder-stash skiing as well if you could get to it during storms (alas: you can't).

What makes Kratka ideal? Effortless access (you park at the base), an abundance of gentle rolling terrain, a perfectly north-facing aspect, no possibility of getting lost, and plenty of adventure.

Aim west for lower-angle terrain, including slopes with no slide potential. Or try veering east if you want more advanced runs. For such a small area, Kratka really is a gem of possibility—and you get outstanding views as well.

I pick this easily over Buckhorn and Waterman if you're just getting started and want to know where to go. You might actually have fun here! My daughter did—which is important. Skiing, as I often say, is supposed to be fun.

Even SoCal backcountry.

— March 18, 2024

Andy Lewicky is the author and creator of SierraDescents

Walter Kibler March 18, 2024 at 11:02 am

That's awesome! I want to get up there sometime before the season ends. I've done the Waterman face before. I ran into some ski patrollers on snowmobiles up there, so I guess they do some mountain operations, even if it's just for friends and family probably.

Chuck Murchie April 13, 2024 at 11:53 am

Is Angeles Crest Highway open to Kratka Ridge?

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