Big Bear, Jan. 13, 2021

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Big Bear, Jan. 13, 2021

Postby Tony Crocker » Thu Jan 14, 2021 12:25 am

With its concentration for park features, Bear Mt. generally attracts more people than Snow Summit. Like Garry, the local couple Bob and Pat tend to avoid it for that reason. I'm a variety junkie and in normal years I'm at Big Bear only one or two days, so I tend to ski both places on the same day. This season that's not a great idea due to the shuttle bus between the areas.

So our first two days have been exclusively at Snow Summit. Bob and Pat thought we were now far enough past the holiday period that Bear would be manageable so that's where we went today. We arrived about 8:15 and got close in parking, though now that the holiday period is past the lifts don't start until 9AM. The mazes are set up spaced but once they merged Bear Mt. was not doing a great job of social distancing.
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Liz at lower right is wearing our new 2020 solar eclipse mask.

The Bear Mountain Express chairs were generally occupied by parties of two or three. While this created a 5-10 minute lift line, it reduced the normally high density on the Park Run.
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I have to give kudos to the impressive grooming job I observed at Bear this morning. It has not snowed in the week since we last skied yet morning surfaces were actually better today. I know there are grooming attachments that can pulverize hard snow and they must be used intensively here.

We noticed the sign at the top of the lift, a bit of a ripoff of Baldy's slogan, "Real Mountain, Real Close."
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We also think the sign is a bit of a double entendre in view of the predominant clientele at Bear Mt. :lol:

Bob and Pat tend to avoid Park Run, just use the Bear Mountain Express once to get over to Silver Mt. Silver was empty and also impeccably groomed so you could really let 'em rip here.
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We skied 4 runs here before going to the base and taking Access Express to Geronimo.

Geronimo was also in excellent shape but tough for pictures on the lift because of sun glare on the chair line.
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On my 5th and final run here I got this pic of the upper pitch.

Snow Summit has good cell service but Bear's is marginal. This was a problem as Liz had to call Florida during eastern working hours. She tried from the Geronimo base while I took that last run but the call dropped.

Bob and Pat only skied to 11:30, so I suggested we take a chance on relocating to Summit. The lower part of Bear became abruptly slushy around noon with temps in the mid-50's. Bob and Pat aren't the only locals who just ski mornings because we scored this vacated parking spot at Snow Summit at 12:45.
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Liz made her call successfully from the top of chair 1 and then skied the Wall a couple of times. Snow Summit has a few chairs on the upper mountain where you can stay if the lower part gets slushy. I've been skiing the SoCal locals for 40+ years so I have a high tolerance for spring snow. In January the sun is fairly low so by 2PM you can ski at least 80% in the shade which helps a lot.

I skied twice on chair 10, once on 7 and 2 runs each on Wall and Olympic. I finished with a nice run on Ego Trip with a very sketchy exit beyond the chair 3 base to lower Summit Run. I totaled 14,200 on Bear Mt. and 9,000 on Snow Summit by 2:50. We were home by 5:30 with a takeout Chinese dinner from Arcadia.
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Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
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Re: Big Bear, Jan. 13, 2021

Postby jamesdeluxe » Thu Jan 14, 2021 6:49 am

Tony Crocker wrote: a bit of a ripoff of Baldy's slogan, "Real Mountain, Real Close"

It would be interesting to see how many variations of that marketing slogan there are across the country.
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Re: Big Bear, Jan. 13, 2021

Postby EMSC » Thu Jan 14, 2021 10:28 am

jamesdeluxe wrote:It would be interesting to see how many variations of that marketing slogan there are across the country.


It has to be a ton. Eldora is another variation on the theme, which has often used "Closer to You" as a slogan. Technically still in use currently, but not at all emphasized that way it is some years. Of course the Eldora GM came from Big Bear about 5 years ago so likely used to that exact messaging.
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Re: Big Bear, Jan. 13, 2021

Postby Tony Crocker » Thu Jan 14, 2021 12:21 pm

To me the market value of a slogan is in both how pithy and how accurate. In regional context Baldy's is about perfect IMHO. What Baldy needs more of is "Real Snow."
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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
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Re: Big Bear, Jan. 13, 2021

Postby ShiftyRider » Fri Jan 15, 2021 11:04 pm

Great report, all the NFL fans picnicked today...
20210115_111541.jpg

clockwise from top Ravens represent + Saints + Browns + Rams
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LA Chargers

Postby ShiftyRider » Sun Jan 17, 2021 8:59 pm

Oops, I guess I jinxed it...
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Re: Big Bear, Jan. 13, 2021

Postby jamesdeluxe » Mon Jan 18, 2021 6:59 am

I've mentioned before that I always like the landscapes surrounding the SoCal ski areas from photos posted on trip reports here.
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Re: Big Bear, Jan. 13, 2021

Postby Tony Crocker » Mon Jan 18, 2021 12:35 pm

jamesdeluxe wrote:I've mentioned before that I always like the landscapes surrounding the SoCal ski areas from photos posted on trip reports here.

On Christmas Day we drove up the Angeles Crest, hoping to see where last September's Bobcat Fire crossed it. The road is gated 3.3 miles past Newcomb Ranch at 6,300 feet. We hiked up from there to the ridge extending west from Mt. Waterman at 7,500 feet. At 3:30PM we had this view SW:
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The Mt. Wilson radio/TV towers are at left. The island in the sun glare is San Nicolas, 115 miles distant.

There was not a scrap of snow in sight on that hike, but it snowed two feet three days later. It has not snowed since.
http://bestsnow.net
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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Re: Big Bear, Jan. 13, 2021

Postby ShiftyRider » Mon Jan 18, 2021 2:16 pm

I had no idea until last week that you can see the Pacific from a couple spots along the drive home -- sea level is obviously below the LA Basin level, but the ships appear to be floating above due to the shininess of the water in late afternoon.
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Re: Big Bear, Jan. 13, 2021

Postby Tony Crocker » Mon Jan 18, 2021 3:20 pm

Yes there are occasional long distance views from the San Bernardino mountains, but they tend to be hazy through 60 miles of L.A. Basin. The ships above shiny water effect is often viewable from the top of Thunder Mt. in late afternoon.
Image
http://bestsnow.net
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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