Waterman Update

snow-buried hut at Mount Waterman, CA

As far as I can tell this past storm put rain on the Waterman Crest and not much else, but there is still a great deal of snow up there from the big February storm.

Maybe an inch fell at the top of the mountain, which makes for yet another warm and underperforming SoCal storm. That said, coverage at Waterman is impressive from top to bottom—easily enough to open the lifts for skiing, if they're still in the skiing business.

The road situation remains the usual Caltrans gate lottery, with the added spice of an not-so-ambiguous LA County closure order on the Upper Big Tujunga bypass needed to get around the Redbox closure (apparently there is a split jurisdiction issue in this area).

Additionally, the road has not been plowed beyond Buckhorn, contrary to the information on the Caltrans website which shows the road open to Islip saddle.

What's the skiing like?

Currently we have what I'd call a wet and saturated snowpack in the 7K-8K range, which might have enough water in it to make wet slides a concern if things get warm. On the flip side, any time it gets cold at night, things will ice up immediately, so be alert—especially on shady and/or north aspects.

There is a bit of a crust, which we were not breaking through but which did make things a little grabby. Sunny aspects were skiing quite nicely, all things considered. Skiable coverage goes down to probably close to 6000 feet right now, which means you can look for snaggy turns even if the 6K gate is locked.

— March 4, 2024

Andy Lewicky is the author and creator of SierraDescents