When you think of great skiing in the US, you think of Colorado, Utah, Northern California, Wyoming, Washington, etc. Southern California? You don’t think of that do you??? Well when the weather is right – you should. Because some of the country’s best jewels are located a hop, skip and a jump from the Mann’s Chinese Theatre (where the premiere of “The Story” was held.) And these mountains have gotten a nice little additional two feet of snow in the last week. And, there is still a little more to come.
Where do you start? Hows about the longest line in the continental US is located right near Palm Springs! Yup you heard me. It’s right in between the outlet malls, the Indian Casino, 7423 Windmills and of course an access to the area…the Palm Springs Aerial Tram. Although very few people have skied the line…or should we say “white ribbon of death” those who have like the great So Cal Ski Mountaineer, Andy Lewicky say it is a life changing experience. It ends up on Government land. The Desert Water Agency to be exact and they don’t want you there! Watch for the rattlesnakes and other assorted wildlife. Avalanches, snow bridges, big cliffs, etc.
So getting to the resorts. Mountain High is so easy to get to, you can practically go there for lunch and be back in the office for your 4:30. The place is great! Super pro, super nice people, great lifts…grade A place. There are actually 3 mountains with 3 seperate base lodges and parking lots. There twin tip and snowboard crowd certainly have all kinds of great stuff there, but it is a skiers place as well. Lots of fun stuff to bomb.
Not too from as a crow flies you find two quirky jewels in Mt. Baldy and Mt. Waterman. You can find stuff off the back of these resorts that will can turn your Charlie Browns Christmas Tree nutsack into looking like you have Welcome Back Kotter in a headlock. Yea, I said it! Just sayin…it’s hairier than crap back there. Waterman is kind of held together by duck tape. It is super quirky. The guy taking your ticket is the same guy putting you on the lift and the same guy who is driving the snowcat. But boy you can find some great stuff off the back.
Mt. Baldy is just perfect. It’s is professional enough to always be running when there is snow, there is insane stuff off the back and it still has a big dose of the quirk factor going for it. There have been some road closures of late that create some challenges in getting there, but once your there – you’re standing on top of the world and looking down at Los Angeles.
Bear Mountain and Snow Summitt are by Lake Arrowhead. You don’t have the nutz stuff like Baldy and Waterman, but there is a very solid infrastructure there. Lots of runs, lifts and terrain features. It is a paradise for twin tippers and snowboarders. It is a fun day trip and there are a lot of places to stay to make a vaction out of it.
Lastly, Mammoth Mountain, Squaw Valley, Heavenly and all the Sierra’s ski resorts have just gotten pounded with snow! So whether you head East or North from LA or LAX, now is the time. Go grab your new Head Jimi 110′s and get while the getting is good! And in the immortal words of lyrical genius slash poet Rebecca Black…”It’s Friday, Friday…”