Trip Report: Mt. High in SoCal
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langleyskier
April 8, 2006
Member since 12/7/2004 🔗
824 posts
I am sitting a mile from the beach right now after an hour and a half drive back from Mt. High Ski Resort in the San Bardino Mountains in southern California. Just thought i would give a little report about skiing in this area.

Woke up today at 6:00 Am west coast time (9 AM east coast) and left with my cusin who picked me up from my grandparents house (Huntington Beach) at 6:30 AM. By 7:00 we were driving through the high desert just west of the coast (weird to drive through a desert to get to a ski resort). At 8:00 we had arrived at the base of the mountain at around 7,000 feet (started at sea level). The resort has received 14 inches of fresh snow in the past week and had a base of 12-36 inches, which, i thought was a very conservative estimate for what i saw throught the day. Overall, the conditions were great (hard pack in the morning so stayed on the groomers then after 11 everything thawed up and the ungroomed stuff was perfect corn). By 2:00 we decided to call it quits and headed home.

I am now totally convinced that there is nowhere better in earth than california. I was born here and have spent many weeks of every summer with my relatives here but until now have never experienced the great skiing of socal. I highly recommend if anyone is visiting this area to take some time off and go skiing!

I have a whole lot of great pics but dont know who to upload them.
WP_Employee
April 9, 2006
Member since 03/7/2004 🔗
83 posts
Lived in Los Angeles (Toluca Hills specifically) for 6 months ending in Feb -- not planning on going back.

While I agree it is nice to be close to Mountains and Beach -- for me -- the LA area is a no go.
fishnski
April 9, 2006
Member since 03/27/2005 🔗
3,530 posts
Did the whole tour of southern Ca last year in june....I'm with you WP, they can keep LA!...Now If I could afford to live in Laguna Beach I might consider the move, Although the beach water temp in mid june was about 62 degrees...we are at 60 degrees right now in early april here in the carolinas. + they stay cold all year...we just keep getting warmer. The skiing in southern CA has to be comparable to the NC mountains...we get a little more snow, they have a little longer runs?
WP_Employee
April 9, 2006
Member since 03/7/2004 🔗
83 posts
I was actually surprised when I made my first trip up to the Big Bear area on how similar the resorts were to Snowshoe. Terrain was a little more varied -- but felt like Snowshoe.
JimK - DCSki Columnist
April 9, 2006
Member since 01/14/2004 🔗
2,723 posts
langley picked a good time to try socal skiing. northern cal has been on a roll for several years, but the local socal ski areas near LA had an unusually good winter this year.
WP_Employee
April 10, 2006
Member since 03/7/2004 🔗
83 posts
What defines unusually good winter? When I left in mid-feb, Mt High and Snow Summit had only received 7" of snow! It was pretty terrible -- it seems the latter part of the season has picked up -- but I wouldn't call this a great winter by any means.

The 04-05 season there was great -- Mt High/ Snow Summit opened in October.
Denis - DCSki Supporter
April 13, 2006
Member since 07/12/2004 🔗
2,220 posts
I get to LA frequently on business and always try to take a 3 day weekend on one end to ski. Normally I have gone to Mammoth or nearby June but once did Big Bear and Snow Summit. These are totally different than Mammoth with majority riders and an average age about half that of Mammoth. I brought my board on that trip but couldn't cut my age in half. I thought they were significantly better than Snowshoe with more varied terrain and some steeps. However, the real gem of SoCal is Baldy which I looked at but it had no snow. Baldy is steep with lots of great looking trees. The San Gabriel Mtns. close to LA tend to have big snow years or low (no) snow years. This is a big one but alas I haven't been to LA since Jan. and they were dry then. I also want to ski Mt. Baden Powell, which is backcountry.
http://www.telemarktips.com/Baden.html
langleyskier
April 14, 2006
Member since 12/7/2004 🔗
824 posts
Quote:

The skiing in southern CA has to be comparable to the NC mountains...we get a little more snow, they have a little longer runs?




actually, most of the resorts there range from 1500 to 2100 feet of vertical with great runs (nice variation of intermediate and difficult). I would say the socal resorts are far better than any of the mid-atlantic resorts (because of size, accessibility, and variability of terrain). Also, they average over 200 inches of snowfall per year and Mt. High has one blue that is a nice cruiser and is 1.6 miles long (think of a much steeper salamander)! I highly encourage anyone who loves to ski to take a day and try the socal resorts if they are ever stuck in the LA area during winter (its also cool to see the ocean from the top of the lift!!).
fishnski
April 15, 2006
Member since 03/27/2005 🔗
3,530 posts
This info is from the White book of ski areas....Snow summit at big bear lake gets 75" of snow with a 1200' vert(exactly the same as sugar mtn,nc)..Mt High gets 120" & has a 1600' vert....Snow Valley gets 132" with a 1141 vert...Mt Baldy is the big boy with 2100' vert, But the book doesn't give its snowfall...is that the ski area that you see getting the 200"?
Denis - DCSki Supporter
April 15, 2006
Member since 07/12/2004 🔗
2,220 posts
From a friend's story on a day at Mt. Baldy,
"Mt. Baldy is the Mad River Glen of the West. It's plenty steep, has hidden tree runs and is more than a little funky. The Notch Restaurant is quirky like the Base Box. There's ample backcountry and sidecountry access.

Someone explain to me how Mt. Baldy can offer such a superior product, but hardly anyone in LA seems to know or care. I'm not complaining, that's for sure, but everything else I like around here seems to have a gazillion people competing for it all of the time. Baldy skis like a world-class mountain, is less than 1.5 hours from
LA, and hardly anybody goes there."

The full story.
http://list.uvm.edu/cgi-bin/wa?A2=ind060....com&P=5844
langleyskier
April 16, 2006
Member since 12/7/2004 🔗
824 posts
Although Mt. Baldy is much larger than any of the other socal resorts but requires much more mountain driving, offers less terrain park features (which is very popular to californians who are predominately younger and snowboard), has little to no snowmaking (were only able to open a few trails until they finally had a good snowfall this year), and is more of a mom and pop resort. I really want to visit Baldy sometime because 2100 feet of vert must be great and i have heard that they slopes are extremely challenging.

Answering fishnski:

From MtHigh.com Here are the stats of Mt High:
Vertical Rise: 1,600 feet
Skiable Terrain: 290 acres
Permit Terrain: 515 acres
Average Annual Snowfall: 210 inches (8yr average)
Average Length of Season: Early November - Late April

Much better than any resort in NC let alone the east coast (excluding upper New England). Also, the 290 skiable acres (excluding the unmarked areas with great tree skiing) is much more than the 70 acres at Sugar Mountain.
fishnski
April 16, 2006
Member since 03/27/2005 🔗
3,530 posts
I hate to bring anyone down from a "Mtn High"....But even the resort website claims only 50" for the base & 76 for the summit for the YEAR so far! 210 inch a year ave must be a LITTLE off...The white pages listed the resort as having 120" a year..they are still only half way there on april 16th! Heavy snow at Tahoe & 29 degrees!!!! Now thats the place to be for snow lovers!!
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