Big Bear, Jan. 27, 2020

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Big Bear, Jan. 27, 2020

Postby Tony Crocker » Wed Jan 29, 2020 2:09 am

With Mountain High East closed midweek, I chose to ski Big Bear Monday. On the way I stopped for a picture of the top of Snow Valley.
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As jojo_obrein said, Slide Peak is history, looks to be wind stripped at the top.

I arrived at Snow Summit about 9:15AM. The upper lot was about 2/3 full but I did not have to pay. It never filled completely as Brownie was completely empty when I passed by on the shuttle bus later.

It was 39F as I drove through the town of Big Bear Lake. However, snow was all hardpack on the mountain until about 10:30. As always fresh grooming was intense so you could hold an edge, but I knew to avoid the few runs not groomed the previous night for awhile. Only in SoCal (or maybe Australia?) would you see this sign on a lift tower.
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I headed immediately for chair 10 but was surprised to see it and chair 6 closed. Liz and I had this experience in March 2017 and it's real PITA to get back to chair 1 from the base of 10. I went to Guest Services to complain and was informed that those two chairs would open at 10AM and that chair 6 closes at 2:30PM.

On Chair 6 only skier's right of Wall and upper Olympic were groomed so I skied those on the way back to Chair 10. View down chair 10:
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There is zero snow left on the south facing hills on the opposite side of Big Bear Lake.

I skied 4 runs on chair 10, one of them not groomed overnight and bit louder than the others. I exited via Log Chute and then skied the Westridge Park, where by 11:15AM most of the snow had softened. I skied Ego Trip and Zzyzx on chair 3 and had a quick lunch.

I took one more chair 10 lap, then skied Wall and Olympic. Cross section view there:
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Lower Olympic hadn't been groomed for a couple of days and skied a little smoother than the never groomed Olympic Bowl at Mt. High.

I took the 1PM bus to Bear Mt. after skiing 14,100 vertical at Snow Summit.

I skied 4 runs on the Goldmine Express. The area under the lift has park features top to bottom.
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The rarely operating Outlaw lift is at far right.

Weather at Christmas was favorable enough to build these two halfpipes.
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On my third run I traversed to the Outlaw terrain.
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This was another area that had been groomed a few days ago and was still firm at 2PM.

I moved via Showtime to Silver Mt. for 3 runs.
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As always it's necessary to ski to the bottom and then ride the Access Express to chair 8 and its 1,100 vertical Geronimo run. Bottom pitch of Geronimo viewed from Access Express:
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From the top of Geronimo, here's the view west to Goldmine Express.
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Recall that the right third of Big Bear Lake was frozen over with snow cover on New Year's Eve.

View down Geronimo:
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I was able to ski 4 runs on Geronimo before catching the 3:45 bus back to Snow Summit. On my second run after taking the above pictures the light on that bottom pitch was a bit flat. On the last two runs I avoided looking at bright objects/background up top to retain better visibility in the shade. I skied 13,000 vertical at Bear Mt.

On the bus I asked the driver about recent weather. As we all know from the tragic Kobe Bryant helicopter crash, Sunday was heavy overcast with local fog in the LA Basin. But she said it was sunny in the 40's at Big Bear, no different than when I skied Monday.

The primarily manmade snow is getting hardpacked from the repeated melt/freezing, yet at least recently it has not been quite cold enough at night to make more snow. The snow is about what I would expect vs. January 8 considering the weather since then. Perhaps the real mystery is how good surface conditions were at Mt. High East last Thursday with identical weather to Monday.

Mountain High's occasionally thin coverage did inflict some damage on my K2 Recon skis January 8 and 23 so Garry Klassen had given them a fresh tune. Thus I was quite comfortable skiing a lot of "Killington packed powder" on Monday.
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Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
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Tony Crocker
 
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