Snow Valley, Feb. 28, 2024

Tony Crocker

Staff member
I decided to ski here for only the second time since 1985 because:
1) Snow Valley is now on Ikon.
2) The shorter drive was appealing because with with weather forecast I was planning to ski the next day also.
3) Snow Valley's snowpack is robust, opening the possibility of lots of off piste variety on Slide Peak.

As for that weather it rained lightly on Monday, so I wanted a clear and warm day, which is what we got Wednesday, though by SoCal standards temperate with highs only in the mid-40s.

RFID gates for Ikon were installed only at the base of the ski area rather than at the chairs.

The first run at 9:30 was quite firm, but anything with partial east exposure softened soon after that. Here's Liz on Lake Run, infrequently open being fairly low on the hill and without snowmaking.

Liz was intrigued by some of the park features.

This one looked like hammerhead shark from above.

I illustrated with a few inches of air.

We skied 10 runs on the high speed six-pack, which climbs a modest 875 vertical feet in almost a mile of length. It was built in 2017. Before that it was a long slow ride for that vertical, which explains the multiple shorter lifts on the map, nearly all of which are now idle and several not shown on the map.

There are about 4 major runs and a few variations on the lower mountain. Crowds were light, so the groomed skiing was pleasant for nearly all of those 10 runs.

This is Race Peak, which is about as steep as the lower mountain gets.

View of Slide Peak from the top of the six pack:

You can see that coverage is excellent. There are two lifts converging a the top but the one on the left is neither used or on the trail map.

We took a scenic route to get to Slide the first time, arriving just before noon.

The top "hippie liftie" was enjoying a mellow day with a soap bubble bottle.

The three groomers on Slide were all in fine spring mode for the 2+ hours were there. West Slide:

Steeper East Slide:

The Slide Peakj lift is 420 vertical. View off the back over San Bernardino, with Lakes Perris (left center) and Elsinore (upper right) in background:

We tested the off piste under the lower part of the lift.

It was still firm and not too pleasant with the beginnings of moguls.

I had to take one run on the fall line near the idle chair.

That was frozen granular too, though smoother.

This is the reason we are not at Baldy. Steep north facing ungroomed remains frozen after the rain. It will take stronger sun sometime in March to get some decent spring skiing out of this. New snow would be even better, but the storm dumping massively in the Sierra is expected to be no more than a foot in SoCal. With cold temps and high winds I'm skeptical that's enough to bury the coral reef.

We skied 16,800 vertical.
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I'm fascinated by your reports of various SoCal ski areas. I lived at Long Beach Naval Shipyard (long closed) for three years as a young boy in the mid-1960s. My older siblings skied some of these mtns, but they never took me on their bus trips offered by US Navy special services/recreation. :icon-sad:
During my early retirement years 2011-2019 SoCal local fell to a meager 3% of my skiing with mostly punishing drought seasons and routinely restricted operation other than at Big Bear. The years starting with pandemic 2020 have had some major dumps of snow, attracting me to many more local days. But none of those dumps came early enough in the season and with enough consistency to make the short list of strong seasons that occurred about 1/4 of the time from 1978-2010.