Resort and backcountry skiing and snowboarding in the western US and Canada, including our famous reader-submitted No-Bull Snow Reports.
Wed Jan 06, 2021 8:12 pm
I did not ski last week while Liz had to go to Florida again. The good news is that it snowed 16-24 inches on Dec. 28 in the SoCal mountains. The bad news is that was over bare ground and not quite enough for natural snow dependent terrain to be skiable. Baldy had opened its beginner gulch and tubing park on snowmaking. Thunder opened after the storm but only for its meandering Fire Road.
During the holiday period Big Bear was of course packed, aggravated by the usual traffic issues of amateur holiday snowplayers. No thanks!
So we returned to Snow Summit Tuesday, now 80+% open due to snowmaking during the cold period after the storm. Chairs 6 and 10 opened on Jan. 2. Liz and I arrived at 8:30, smoothly driving into the parking lot because it's free Mon-Thu non-holiday. On Dec. 22 there was a slow line to a checkpoint verifying prepaid parking.
Riding chair 1 we get a view of now well covered Wall and Olympic.
We connected again with locals Bob and Pat, the upper two skiers here on Olympic.
Liz is skiing with them here on chair 10.
We also skied chairs 7, 3 and 2 with them before they left at noon, while we took a short snack break.
Back up the mountain, the lodge at the top is closed indoors but has a (presumably takeout) BBQ outside.
San Gorgonio in the background looks normal while it had almost no snow Dec. 22.
During lunch hour we skied a lull in Summit Run's traffic. It was building back when we rode chair 2.
This is still about half its usual traffic load.
We took a rare run down the mellow chair 9, with this view of Big Bear Lake at the top.
We ventured off the groomed once, to roped off but shaded East Why.
It was crusty, adequately covered to ski but not enough for grooming yet.
I skied 22,000 vertical and we left about 3PM. We just snacks on the mountain, we decided to pick up an early dinner. Liz found a promising place online and we got there at 4:45PM, went in to order takeout and noticed a woman drinking wine at a bar. They offered to let us dine inside, so at that quiet hour we did so and were done by 6PM. Food was excellent, but we couldn't help notice their blocked off patio that had been used for outdoor dining. So the effect of the state closing of outdoor dining is that in order to survive, some restaurants have reopened inside on the "down low," like speakeasies of a century ago.