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California: Mammoth or Big Bear? - Page 2

post #31 of 46
Thread Starter 

Thanks very much for this very, very helpful information!  This is all good to know.  I'm looking forward to the day when I get out there.  

post #32 of 46

When I was a little tyke...long,long ago...we drove from San Diego to a rented cabin at Bear Mountain and spent our days riding toboggans, sleds, and snow disks on the ski slopes. (I guess that I was the original saucer boy...sans booze). Haven't been back in a bunch of years, but I remember Bear Mountain being essentially like the Catskills with deeper snow. I can't picture myself on a snow disk at Mammoth.

post #33 of 46

Because snow is relegated to the higher elevations and the majority of the people living at beach level, there is no need for snow tires.  The policy does get a little annoying though.  Not because of the chain policy itself, but the uneducated drivers that think just because they have a pickup truck, they think they can go anywhere. NOT.  The trip to Mt Baldy in Jan, there were pickups strewn up the Mt w/chains.  I was passing them as they were standing still in my Subaru Forester w/o chains or snow tires.  I do think they need to have a requirement to pre-register for a permit to even drive roads above 3000 feet between Nov & Mar.  What ever, the policy needs improvement.

post #34 of 46

BTW, I am also from Upstate, NY.  Been in SoCal for 20 yrs.  Let me know if you need a Ski-Pooler to share Gas, Condo and Beer.

post #35 of 46

If any of the SD peeps is heading to Big Bear you should consider taking the snowbusxpress its $50.00 round trip

www.snowbusxpress.com snowfight.gif

post #36 of 46

I live in Orange County SoCal.

I have skied Bear Mountain many times - and have skied Mammoth many more times.

As a general rule - if you want a ski weekend - the drive to Mammoth is well worth it.  Sure, it's five hours - but when you wake up in the morning after the drive - you are skiing one of the best ski areas in the world.  In any case - it is 50 times better and probably 100 times bigger, steeper, and cooler than Big Bear.


Big Bear/Snow Summit are great day-trip destinations for mid-week skiing.  They are not great weekend ski trips.  Due to their proximity - they get really crowded on the weekends.


Mammoth has some of the best skiing terrain around - big, wide-open spaces, steeps, chutes, trees, many, many choices.


I have driven to Mammoth so many times that I could probably do the drive blind-folded - the drive is no problem.


Five hours to Mammoth is a much better deal than the two hour drive to Bear Mountain/Snow Summit.


There are even closer ski areas to LA which can be fun if they get alot of snow.


Mt. High is a pretty easy drive - they have night skiing - and it can be fun for a quick day trip.

Mt. Baldy is very close - but south facing, so their season isn't really long - and they don't make much snow and depend on natural snow which is hit or miss.  On a big snow day - Baldy is great fun.  I've skied a place called Mt Waterman that rarely opens - but has really great steep tree runs.


You can also drive/fly to Tahoe to ski.  Tahoe has many more ski options than Mammoth - but the drive is further (but flights are more frequent).  Mammoth is better than the Tahoe resorts, however.


Enjoy Southern California - great skiing - and you can go home to great weather - you don't have to live in the snow and ice.

post #37 of 46

As for chains - they are generally only required on big snow days - and then only the last few miles up to town from the highway.  On very rare occasions, chains are requires from just outside of Bishop (about 35 miles from Mammoth).  There are generally chain installers there who do it for a fee - but if you can do it yourself, they have some space where you just put 'em on.


Chains are not generally required - and the roads are generally pretty clear - except during or shortly after big storms.


The chains are usually not required for 4-wheel/all-wheel drive vehicles.  I bought an all-wheel drive car just for this purpose.  I haven't put chains on in over ten years.


The same goes for other southern california resorts.  Mt. High, however, rarely needs chains as the road is not very steep and not very curvy.

post #38 of 46
OP: first off, welcome to LA, CA, one of the best places to live for entertainment, weather, summer, and winter sports.

BB is great for a quick day trip and consistent day and night skiing. It's a small mountain with groomers mostly.

Mammoth is a big mountain with a variety of terrains. Its ski season lasts a lot longer. In good snow yeas, I heard they are open until 7/4.

If you're a hardcore skier like me, you'll go to both regularly.
post #39 of 46

post #40 of 46

The OP should look at a few ski clubs in LA. Huntington Beach SC has a condo/house at Mammoth with great rates but there's bed sharing. Santa Barbara SC has trips to places (ike Tahoe/Incline Village). Long Beach SC has a few club trips.


I like tahoe.  LAX-Reno is 1.5 hours in the air + say an hours drive to a tahoe resort, whereas OC's SNA-RNO is often 3-4 hours in the air via Vegas and is often 3x the cost of LAX-Reno. But LA traffic can be horrendous. Do your research if you're flying.


There's a season pass - the Monarch Mtn group's pass - that has, irrc, some of the SoCal resorts + Sierra at Tahoe and many many more. Might be woth looking at.


Have a look at youtuve vids of the resorts you're thinking about.

post #41 of 46
Haha I realized how old the OP is. My bad
post #42 of 46

Anyone been to Mammoth in the last week or two?  How is it skiing? I may piggyback a few days skiing on a work trip out there next week.

post #43 of 46

I was there last week and the skiing was great. If you like spring skiing and warm weather Mammoth should be good for a few more weeks.

post #44 of 46

I plan on hitting Mammoth for Memorial Weekend, an early closing to be sure.

post #45 of 46
I have been skiing there almost every weekend for the past month also. The snow condition there has been far better than how it was in Snow Summit two months ago. Amazing stuff...
post #46 of 46

There is a rumor banging around on the Mammoth forum about MMSA buying a controlling interest in Snow Summit/Big Bear.  That would be an interesting merger.

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