Local resorts say recent snow a good sign, expect a busy holiday season – San Bernardino Sun


The recent storm that roared through Southern California blanketed local snow resorts, making for postcard-esque winter scenes on the slopes.

The snow fall – anywhere from 6 inches to 15 inches at local resorts – blew in quickly earlier this week and has cleared out in time for the holiday crowds that will start filling the mountain towns.

“It’s definitely a good sign for the remainder of the season,” Big Bear Resort spokesperson Justin Kanton said.

In addition to the natural snowfall, low nightly temps and humidity have allowed resorts to pad the base with man-made snow, allowing more runs and lifts to open ahead of the holiday break.

“It’s beautiful up here,” said Mountain High Chief Marketing Officer John McColly. “It’s definitely looking like a white Christmas up here.”

The Wrightwood resort got 6 inches from the storm and “snowmaking has been going non-stop,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of snow, we’re opening new trails.”

Night skiing kicks off this Friday, from 5 to 10 p.m., and the Yeti Snow Play at the East Resort will be opening daily starting Saturday.

The seventh annual Santa Sunday will happen again on Dec. 18, it’s an event where snowboarders and skiers can get a free lift ticket if they dress up in a Santa Claus costume – hat, beard, coat, belt and pants required – and donate $25 to the nonprofit organization Christmas Cheer All Year.

Participants must pick up their tickets and be at the Snowflake chairlift at 9 a.m. Sunday to participate in the Santa Run. The free ticket offer ends at 9 a.m. and reservations are not required.

Last year was the biggest gathering of Santas yet, with 308 participants, McColly said.

“It’s quite special when you have every lift filled with Santas and they are all coming down the hill,” he said.

The season got off to a great start last month with early storms and cooler temps, but then slowed down when the weather warmed. This latest shot of snow gives a nice relief ahead of the holiday.

“We’re looking forward to the busiest weekend of the season coming up,” McColly said.

A smooching Santa plants an uplifting kiss on another at Mountain High Resort's Santa Sunday in Wrightwood on Sunday, Dec. 19, 2021. Santa Sunday participants are required to donate a minimum of $20 to Christmas Cheer All Year, a nonprofit charity supporting our local community for a lift ticket, in exchange for a free pass.  (Photo by Cindy Yamanaka, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)
A smooching Santa plants an uplifting kiss on another at Mountain High Resort’s Santa Sunday in Wrightwood on Sunday, Dec. 19, 2021. Santa Sunday participants are required to donate a minimum of $20 to Christmas Cheer All Year, a nonprofit charity supporting our local community for a lift ticket, in exchange for a free pass. (Photo by Cindy Yamanaka, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

Snow Summit will have its own photo op with Santa from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 17.

Kanton said there’s a chance tickets will sell out during the holiday weeks, so people should always try and buy online – both to ensure entry, but also because prices are cheaper than buying the day of at the ticket window.

Summit and Bear mountains got between 6 inches and 9 inches of snowfall, which has been holding in place thanks to the chilly temps that followed the storm, Kanton said.

The Big Bear Snow Play reported more than 10 inches of fresh snow, perfect timing for Santa’s visit on Saturday.

Snow Summit will also celebrate it’s 58th annual New Year’s Eve Torchlight Parade during the holiday break.

Snow Valley near Running Springs reported between 12 inches and 15 inches of recent snow, allowing for Grizzly Ridge Tube Park to open daily.

Mt. Baldy will be open daily through the holiday season with scenic rides to the Top of the Notch, all-day snow play and skiing and snowboarding on Chair #2.

“Keep a close eye on weather forecasts when planning your trip, long range models are all over the place this season in our area,” Mt. Baldy’s website warns. “One thing is for certain, there is lots of activity in our forecast area showing lots of promise for a great season.”

If you’re looking for more snowy terrain, Mammoth Mountain’s storm total came in between 29 inches and 42 inches of new snow, with a 138-inch total for the season at Main Lodge.



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