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SoCal questions

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Just learned I'm probably going to Riverside CA for work next Friday and two or three Fridays after that. Could squeeze in Saturday(s) after to ski Big Bear or maybe even both days if I'm staying out to work following Mondays, don't really know what's up with the schedule yet.

Anyway, I wonder if SoCal folks could clue me in on conditions, crowds, and logistics at Big Bear or other local areas. I'll probably fly in / out of Ontario and will be staying in Riverside. Any bus connections from Riverside to ski areas or should I plan on renting a car?

Also I remember reading somewhere that Big Bear and Snow Summit have sort of split identities -- one is boarder/park oriented and the other more traditional skiing focus. True? Which is which?
post #2 of 20

if you fly into ontario, you'll see mt. baldy and the snow that i can see now out the window from downtown LA.

there MAY be some more snow coming in late next week.

i am skiing baldy this weekend and will reply here w/condit's; hard to say how it's going to be up there.

no shuttle/bus services to any of the ski areas.

i do not recall WHICH of the big bear hills has more or less assumed the "boarder hill" title but yes, it's one of them. (you can discern which is which with a look at their respective websites, both of which can be found in the link above.)

no cruising at baldy. mainly steeper shots getting shorter turns out of you. you'll also get shorter lift lines (if you wait at all).
post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 
hmm. baldy sounds fun, look forward to your report. had plenty of cruising here in the east. is baldy generally less crowded than big bear/snow summit?
post #4 of 20

also, if you head up and find some weather, you'll be very happy to have brought your chains.


decent chance i'll be up next weekend as well.
post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 
sounds like i should rent a 4WD at least if weather looks likely.

nice pic. i've spent lots of time in downtown l.a. and rarely if ever seen it that clear though.

is baldy the tallest one -- right behind first interstate building or whatever it's now called?
post #6 of 20

officially mt. san antonio. sometimes referred to as "baldy bowl."

snow today not quite as in the pic but it's there, like a magnet.
post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 
i couldn't work with that out my window (as if epicski wasn't enough of a distraction).
post #8 of 20
parking lot, looking at chair one, january 1

************************************************** *****

and under chair 3 to top of thunder mtn., thin cover, november.
to give you an idea of general pitch at baldy.

post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 
nice -- looks challenging, especially if thin cover -- hasn't snowed recently i take it, but good base for socal this year, true?

stupid question - i'm used to skiing east coast temps hovering around 0 to 15 degree range and windy. weather.com temps at baldy today and for ten days looks more like t-shirts and shorts weather. what should i expect up on the mtn and what kind of insulation should i pack? (i have just a shell top and pants).
post #10 of 20
My view from my office in Glendale is of the mountains/foothills of Glendale/La Canada. If you could just raise the elevation about 8,000 feet and add some precipitation, those hills would make for a heck of a ski area.
post #11 of 20

Speaking of 8,000'...

In the village of Mt. Baldy it is 56 degrees.
On the mountain, at 7800 feet, it is currently 36 degrees (no wind).


(check that way-too-small scroll area, where you see the top portions of some letters.)
post #12 of 20
There are three resorts up in Big Bear.

Snow Summit
Bear Mountain
Snow Valley

If you're skiing the better place to be is Snow Summit. Take the high speed quad and go either to the left and work chair 7 all day or go to the right and work chair 3. Both will have short lift lines < than 2 minutes last weekend. Try to stay away from the beginners area or the runs in the middle of the mountain, they have areas designated for beginners and do not allow you to speed through the area. If you're riding Bear Mountain has much more terrain for you to explore. I can't give any advice as I only ski. Both resorts have been making snow for the last few days, but it's been warming up. Looks like there's a growing chance of snow Sun - Tues, so that weekend may be a nice one. Expect traffic coming down (going up too if you get a late start), there's been road closures on and off over the last month and a half. Check the websites listed above the weather report.
post #13 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thanks all. I'll still be on east coast body clock so no problem beating traffic.

Sounds like I ought to ski Baldy if conditions permit - bigger and badder than my usual east coast haunts. But Snow Summit's not a bad 2d choice, and I could get a longer day there (lifts close at 6, my flight home won't be til 12:30).
post #14 of 20
have had a couple blissful april days skiing snow summit, when the crowds were gone. maybe the SoCal sampler is in order?

ditto about chair 7; you can get some fun speed and bigger turns.

hope you bump into some nice conditions.
post #15 of 20
Thread Starter 
thanks. i'm certain to bump into SOMETHING and i hope it's nice conditions too.

the project i'm flying out on is likely to go into april - will certainly make the best of it (and try not to irritate clients / boss / wife by having TOO much fun out there).
post #16 of 20
I used to live in Newport Beach and ski at Snow Summit back in the late '70's. They used to limit ticket sales there, so if you wanted to ski on a Saturday or Sunday you had to buy your tickets in advance at Ticketmaster to be assured of getting one. Just curious, is this still the case? It was a good policy because the lines and slopes were much less crowded there than at the other Big Bear areas mentioned above.
post #17 of 20
flat light and "challenging" snow made yesterday another adventurous day at baldy. however, coverage is pretty good, once you get to the notch (restaurant, top of chair 1) and above (chair 3).

we were counting on some sunshine to "springen" things up some but got cool temps and even a few flakes coming down.

with my club card discount, i pay $10. and for that little, i'm just not going to have anything to complain about. now, if i'd shelled out the $40 for the regular ticket, i might've been muttering under my breath a little.

if you're cool with no-frills, give it a go, and try to ignore the surreal environment down at the base; some construction going on after the recent rains did a pretty good job on the terrain down low.

i spoke to a couple from back east when on the hill in january and they said it's the best hill they've skied, and they've skied 'em all back there. then again, they happened upon some favorable early season condit's.

if you're game for a game, take a shot; you may come into some nice skiing. if you desire a more groomed experience, hit the big bear hills or even mountain high (on a friday).
post #18 of 20
Thread Starter 
thanks ryan. well the only thing steady about my plans is they're always changing. now travel seems off until early march so it'll be march 4 before i hit it. i'll watch weather.com and hope for some cover. we've had such lousy snow back east though it couldn't be much worse ... and at least i'll be on rental skis!
post #19 of 20
If you can swing the drive go to Mammoth if Baldy doesn't have snow. Mammoth is a huge ski resort and has something for every one but can get crowded on weekends. Get to Mammoth early, get out of the base areas and stay high on the Mtn until quitting time. Mammoth currently has tremendous base depths that should hold out until June so March is a sure thing.
post #20 of 20

Bro Model sticks

saw a pair of these up there yesterday, leaning against a wall the Notch.

Not much need for these things up there right now.
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