Mountain ski resorts opening this weekend following storm, new snow  – San Bernardino Sun

Big Bear Mountain Resort and Mountain High in Wrightwood announced plans to open slopes starting Saturday, Nov. 12, following the hefty storm that blew through Southern California.

The storm brought several inches to local mountain resorts and, combined with low temperatures that allow snow making, the resorts will open limited lift services.

In Big Bear, both Snow Summit and Bear Mountain base areas will be open, though Bear Mountain will remain open only Fridays through Sundays during this early opening to the season, while Summit will be open seven days a week.

“The system that came in Tuesday was “pretty gnarly,” said Justin Kanton, spokesperson for Big Bear Mountain Resort, starting with a lot of rain and wind.

“It flipped over that night, we ended up with 6-to-8 inches of snow – in some areas over a foot,” he said.  “And conditions have just been excellent for snow making, we’ve been cranking out the snow the past few days.”

Bear Mountain’s limited service is partly due to a renovation wrapping up of the Laybacks Restaurant and bar, a project to improve the indoor-outdoor experience with better seating, heating and lounge areas.

Typically, resorts aim to open around the Thanksgiving holiday, so the early storm makes for a great season start, Kanton said.

Alpine Slide Big Bear opened three of its snow tubing hills on Friday, Nov. 11, with a base of 3-to-4 feet of natural and man-made snow.

Snowplay at Alpine Slide At Magic Mountain recreation park is one way to enjoy the Southern California mountain town. (Photo by Rachel Luna / San Bernardino Sun)

Alpine Slide has a “Magic Carpet” that gets riders up to the hill with ease. It also has a Mineshaft Coaster, the Alpine Slide ride and the Soaring Eagle, as well as mini golf and go-carts.

Mountain High in Wrightwood is also scheduled to open Saturday, Nov. 12, for season passholders, with the public opening on Sunday. The Wrightwood resort had hoped to open mid-week, but the storm came in later than expected. But the low mountain temperatures have allowed the snow-making machines to add a healthy base.

“It feels like winter again at Mountain High,” said John McColly, vice president of sales and marketing. “Snow fell this week and our snow-making team has been burying the mountain ever since. This is going to be our earliest opening in the past several years.”

Both the Blue Ridge Express and Coyote chairlifts at Mountain High will be operating this weekend accessing predominately beginner to upper-intermediate terrain. In the terrain park, more than a dozen features will be available for freestyle skiers and snowboarders.

Parking is free through Nov. 24 and lessons start Dec. 3. For those who just want to play in the snow, the Yeti’s Snow Play opens Thanksgiving weekend with tubing, sledding, and scenic sky chair rides.

Snow Valley Mountain Resort’s projected opening day is Nov. 23.

Mammoth Mountain, about a six-hour drive from Southern California, opened a week ago.

By the end of this week’s storm, the resort about six hours from Southern California had received about 60 inches of snowfall, making for the best November snow totals on record in 10 years. The resort this weekend plans on opening top-to-bottom with access to the summit off the gondola. Canyon Lodge will also open with limited service.

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