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Escape's Ski Spectacular

Posted: January 22, 2009 4:12 p.m.
Updated: January 23, 2009 6:00 a.m.

Whether or not the weather cooperates, many Southern California ski resorts are ready and waiting for you. Join Escape's Ski Spectacular and choose your destination.

 

While nothing says "skiing" like stepping out your front door into an 80-degree Santa Ana wind, it actually is winter. And, on the hopeful side, there is, maybe, a chance of snow this week in the local mountains.

But some of the Southern California ski resorts have been making their own snow anyway, and are open for business. Beyond that, if you're up for the drive, the Mammoth area is packing a good base. So quit procrastinating. Clamp your sticks over your sunroof and burn some gas before the price goes higher.

Whether you lock your feet onto one board or two, it's ski season, and Escape gives you the So. Cal. 411 right here.

Mountain High
Mountain High is home to three resorts. Even though they are only a mile apart, they offer stunning differences in both terrain and atmosphere. There are 16 total lifts.

West Resort: The West Resort is filled with an assortment of technical trails and skillfully designed terrain features for progressive riders and skiers of all skill levels. It is also Southern California's only local resort open seven nights a week.

East Resort: The East Resort offers the longest trails in Southern California serviced by a single high-speed quad. Rising as high as 8,200 feet, the East Resort offers traditional skiers and snowboarders a true alpine experience without having to journey far from home.

North Resort: Mountain High's new North Resort offers 70 acres of beginner terrain perfect for families and introductory skiers. It is also home to the North Pole Tubing Park, the largest tubing area in Southern California.

Location: Mountain High is just an hour or so from the Santa Clarita Valley, 24510 State Highway 2, Wrightwood, CA 92397.
Phone: (888) 754-7878
Web: www.mthigh.com

Mt. Waterman
Mt. Waterman has some of the most challenging runs south of the Sierra Nevada, yet also plenty of beginner and intermediate terrain. There are three chair lifts and more than 100 runs.

Location: Mt. Waterman is only 55 minutes from downtown Los Angeles, making it the closest recreational ski and snowboard park adjacent to Los Angeles County. The resort is located in the Angeles National Forest, just 34 miles north of the I-210 freeway on Highway 2 (Angeles Crest Highway).

Phone: (818) 790-2002, snow phone

Web: www.skiwaterman.com

Mt. Baldy
Mt. Baldy offers all levels of skiing and boarding. There are 26 runs spanning three mountains, with wide-open glades, tree runs, bowls, moguls, groomed runs, cornices and natural wave-like quarterpipes. Mt. Baldy has been developing its terrain park - hits, jumps and rails are all part of the fun.

Location: End of Mt. Baldy Road, Mt. Baldy, CA 91759. The resort is east of Highway 57 and west of the I-15 freeway. Arrive via the I-210 freeway or the I-10 freeway.

Phone: (909) 982-0800

Web: www.mtbaldy.com

Snow Valley
The Web site indicates Snow Valley's geographical location normally brings more snow than most other local resorts. The average annual snowfall is 150 - 160 inches. Twelve ski lifts service 35 trails.

Location: Snow Valley is only 30 minutes from the base of the San Bernardino Mountains. Take the I-10 freeway to Redlands and transition to the I-210 north to Highway 330. Follow Highway 330 up the mountain where it joins Highway 18 in Running Springs. Snow Valley is just five miles east of Running Springs on Highway 18.

Phone: (909) 867-2751

Snow report: (800) 680-SNOW (7669)

Web: www.snow-valley.com

Bear Mountain
With 100 percent coverage for man-made snow, when necessary, and an emphasis on "youth," Bear Mountain is full of terrain parks, and offers more than 150 jumps and 80 jibs, a standard halfpipe and a "superpipe." There are 12 lifts, including two high-speed quad chairs and 17 miles of trails.

Location: Bear Mountain is located in the Big Bear Lake area of the San Bernardino Mountains. The address is 43101 Goldmine Drive, Big Bear Lake, CA 92315.

Phone: (909) 866-5766, for general information

(800) BEAR-MTN, 24-hour snow report

(909) 866.5841, reservations

Web: www.bearmountain.com

Snow Summit
Described as "the premier mountain resort experience in Southern California," Snow Summit offers world-class snowmaking and meticulous grooming over 100 percent of its developed terrain. There are 18 miles of wide-open, interconnecting ski runs and 14 lifts, including two high-speed quad chairs.

Location: Snow Summit is also in the Big Bear Lake area of the San Bernardino Mountains. The address is 880 Summit Blvd., Big Bear Lake, CA 92315.

Phone: (909) 866-5766 for information

Reservations: (909) 866-5841

Snow report: (888) SUMMIT.1 (786-6481)

Web: www.snowsummit.com  

Mammoth Mountain
The big boy of "Southern California" skiing, Mammoth Mountain is blessed with more than 400 inches of annual snowfall and the higher altitude usually keeps things white until summer. There are thousands of acres of ski terrain, 150 trails serviced by 28 chair lifts, and a variety of runs for all skill levels (including seven terrain parks).

Cross country skiing is available at Tamarack Cross Country Ski Center (www.tamaracklodge.com/xcountry).

Location: 1 Minaret Road, Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546

Phone: 800-MAMMOTH (800-626-6684)

Web: www.mammothmountain.com

June Mountain
Small crowds, pristine conditions, quiet scenery and an overwhelming sense of "being away from it all" make June Mountain the perfect complement to Mammoth. It's ideal for those looking for a more soulful skiing experience. Yet the resort offers 35 named ski trails, serviced by seven lifts.

Location: June Mountain is located about 20 miles north of Mammoth Lakes. From US 395, take Highway 158 west at the June Lake Loop. Drive approximately four miles to the ski area.

Phone: 800-MAMMOTH (800-626-6684)

Web: www.junemountain.com

CROSS COUNTRY SKIING

Mt. Pinos
Mt. Pinos has some of the best cross country skiing in Southern California when snowfall allows.

Location: Take I-5 north from the SCV for approximately 35 minutes to the Frazier Park offramp. Go west and follow the signs past Frazier Park to the Cuddy Valley/Mt. Pinos turnoff. Turn northwest and proceed about 10 miles to the road up to the base of Mt. Pinos. Turn left at the Portero Highway intersection (chains are sometimes required from this point).

Access to the best skiing is usually found from the parking lot at the top (approximately 22 miles). There is a Nordic Ski Patrol building in the parking lot. Ski up the unplowed road on the north side of the parking lot. Go early; the parking lot can fill up fast on the weekends.

Snow/road information: (805) 245-3449.

Web: Current snow conditions for greater Frazier Mountain can be found at www.frazmtn.com/fmcoc/snowcond.htm.

Rim Nordic
Rim Nordic offers cross country skiing when snowfall allows. (The resort was closed at press time.) There are groomed trails, rentals and ski lessons.

Location: The resort is located at 35050 Highway 18, Running Springs, CA 92382. Take I-10 east to I-215. Then drive north toward the Mountain Resorts on Highway 30. Follow the signs on up the mountain to Highway 18. Travel five miles east of Running Springs.

Phone: (909) 867-2600

Web: www.rimnordic.com 

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