Go with a Pro at Bear Mountain and Snow Summit



Want to improve your skiing and boarding? Bear Mountain and
Snow Summit now offer  Go with a Pro, a fast-paced 1-hour clinic
designed for intermediate to advanced skiers and riders.

“Our Go with a Pro program pairs our best instructors with our
intermediate to advanced skiers and riders to provide the nudge they
need to go from good to great,” said Chris Riddle, Director of
Marketing for Big Bear Mountain Resorts. “Even the most avid skier or
rider can improve their skills. This program is designed to provide
tactical and real-time tips from our top professional instructors.”

For just $20, each 1-hour clinic is led by a top instructor and offered
daily at 1:45 p.m. at the Adult Ski and Snowboard line-up areas at Snow
Summit and Bear Mountain. For more information, log on to
www.bigbearmountainresorts.com or call 909.866.5841.

“Our instructors are some of the best in the country,” said Wally
Weber, Director of Snowsports for Big Bear Mountain Resorts. “The Go
with a Pro clinic helps experienced skiers and boarders take their
skills to the next level and learn some new tricks to hone their

To receive updates on the latest conditions and terrain information, text* “SNOW” to 52406 or call 800-BEAR-MTN or 888-SUMMIT-1. *Message and data rates may apply.

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King of the Hill postponed till Sunday at Mountain High

The King of the Hill Celebrity Boarderxross at Mountain High Ski Resort in Wrightwood has been postponed until Sunday. It was originally scheduled for Saturday.

Celebrities and bands will compete on a downhill intermediate course. Contestants will win Tyrant Custom Snowboard, Mt. High season passes, and lots of gear.

The event benefits the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Celebrities and bands will perform throughout the day.

Stay for the King of the Hill after party at the Bull Wheel. All the way from Amsterdam, the band Chemistry will turn Mt. High in to a European dance party.

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Skiing in Tahoe is Heavenly


Photos by Marlene Greer, Correspondent

By Marlene Greer Correspondent
Heavenly is huge.
The ski area, sitting at the southern edge of Lake Tahoe, straddles two states, spreads over an impressive 4,800 acres, and rises 3,500 feet from its multiple base areas to the top of its highest peak.
It’s so large that it is divided into two parts – the Nevada side and the California side – and is scattered with so many runs going in so many directions with traverses in between, that it can appear a bit overwhelming to first time visitors.
That’s the way my daughter and I felt when we stepped off the gondola and landed at Adventure Peak, the heart of Heavenly at 9,136 feet.
Adventure Peak has a bar, restaurant, sledding and tubing hill and provides access to both sides of the resort. And because it’s at the center of the ski area, it’s packed with people.
Once you exit the gondola, a large billboard displays what lifts are open and points left for the Nevada side and right for the California side. We couldn’t see a lift off to the right, just a trail that you can either pole through on skis or walk carrying your skis, so we headed to the Tamarack lift and the resort’s Nevada side – and never left. We spent the entire day skiing half of the resort. That’s how big this place is.
And that’s how much variety it offers.


My daughter and I are intermediate skiers who generally hit the slopes only once a year on our annual mother-daughter ski weekend. We don’t come to a mountain to blast off rock edges into deep bowls or snake our way through a mile of dense trees.
Heavenly has that type of expert skiing, and lots of it, but we prefer mostly groomed runs with a side trail among the trees or maybe a dip into a few moguls.
That’s what we loved about Heavenly. It has so many intermediate groomers.
On nearly every run, you can choose to veer off on a comfortably wide tree trail, into a couple dips and jumps, or just cruise through some off-piste terrain.
We were told by one avid local skier that Heavenly has the most intense tree skiing around Lake Tahoe. But we found that Heavenly also makes tree skiing accessible to intermediate skiers.
Another thing we loved about Heavenly (and so it seems did everyone else) was the views. With deep blue Lake Tahoe on one side and the Carson Valley in Nevada on the other, skiers and boarders couldn’t help but stop and snap pictures at every opportunity.
If you’re standing there admiring the lake, don’t be surprised if you’re handed a camera from a foreign visitor and asked to take a photo or two for the family album.
Heavenly is definitely a tourists’ mountain. On the slopes and on the chairlifts, you’ll meet people from all over the world.
My daughter and I met two women from Poland, a father and daughter from England, and the patriarch of an extended family from Japan, who spoke enough English to inform us this was the clan’s second trip to Heavenly.
It’s also a destination for ski clubs from across the nation. We met people from clubs in Nashville, Grand Rapids and Dallas.
They were staying at one of the three casino hotels in South Lake Tahoe and skiing Heavenly along with Kirkwood, Sierra-at-Tahoe and Squaw Valley, three of the lake area’s other popular resorts.
With all these tourists, you might think Californians would bypass Heavenly and hit the slopes of Tahoe’s lesser known ski resorts.
But not so for friends Garth and Mike from Walnut Creek who ski Heavenly every weekend during the season. Their reasons for returning to Heavenly: Snow quality, superior tree skiing, vastness and the cheap price of a season pass.
Vacaville residents Monica and 8-year-old daughter Hailey come up with the family once a month to ski.
“It’s close to home, and the kids love it,” Monica said.
Heavenly’s proximity to Sacramento and San Francisco makes it a popular choice for Californians. But popular also means crowded, especially on weekends, with the biggest crush between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
All this popularity can be felt on the slopes, where you find yourself weaving between downed skiers and worrying about the person coming up behind you. There are long lift lines, but Heavenly’s many high-speed lifts move people quickly. It’s best if you can ski Heavenly during the week.
It’s also best if you are a good skier. Only a small portion on one edge of this vast resort is suitable for the beginner, which is not enough to experience Heavenly. There are better choices around Tahoe for beginning skiers.
Heavenly offers easy access for day trippers and for those staying at one of the numerous hotels or casinos in South Lake Tahoe.
Parking and lifts are available on the Nevada side at Stagecoach and Boulder lodges and on the California side at California Lodge.
For those staying in South Lake Tahoe, the easiest access to Heavenly is to take the gondola from Heavenly Village.
The gondola is walking distance, even carrying skis, from most hotels and is free with the purchase of a lift ticket. Or you can hop on the free Heavenly ski shuttle which drops skiers at Heavenly’s base areas.
Marlene Greer is a La Verne freelance writer. She can be reached at mmgwrite@aol.com

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Women’s Edventures set for Big Bear ski resorts


Women’s Edventures offers ski and snowboard clinics for women of all abilities. The next two will be held on Feb. 25, 26, and Feb. 27, 28 at Bear Mountain and Snow Summit.

The clinics are taught by PSIA and AASI Certified Women Instructors. The two-day clinics include a two-day lift ticket, five hours of instruction each day, video analysis and a personal improvement strategy.

Breakfast, lunch and snacks are also provided, as well as a goodie bag and raffle.

The cost is $269 per person.
For more information call: (714) 469-6748

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Cholula Triple Air returns to Mountain High


The $25,000 Cholula Triple Air returns to Mountain High this Saturday, Feb. 20.  The Triple Air is
the resort’s largest one-day
snowboarding competition and
participants come from as far away as Utah and
Colorado to
battle for the enormous prize purse. 

Cholula Hot Sauce, Monster Energy, Powder And Sun Ride Shop, and Jarritos Soda have pooled $25,000 in cash
and prizes, and the top rider takes home $10,000.

Cholula Triple Air Show is a modified big
air contest.  Not one but three enormous jumps stand between the rider and the
podium, and competitors are judged
on their amplitude, execution, and technical difficulty.

First held in
snowboarding‘s method-grabbing
heyday of 1998, the Triple Air has been bringing top-name riders to the region
for 12 years and past participants include Shaun White, Chaz Guldemond, Kevin Pearce, and Keegan

 “The Triple Air is where we shine. 
It’s our largest event of the
season and this year it will be at the East Resort so it is easily accessible
to all spectators,”
said John
, Director of Marketing,

 Registration takes place from 7 am to 9 am in the Angeles Crest Caf (East Resort), and the event begins promptly at 10 m.  Entry fees are $150 for Open
Mens Snowboarding, $125 for Open
Women’s Snowboarding, and $125
for the Open Skiing division. 

prizes are paid out to 16th place in the men’s division, 6th
place in the women’s, 6th place in skiers, and there is a
special $1,000 cash prize for best trick. 

All competitors receive a free breakfast, souvenir bib, and lunch compliments of Wahoo’s
Fish Tacos.  Immediately after the event, a huge party rocks the Snowshoe Saloon with DJs,
raffles, and guest hosts, the
Monster Energy Girls.

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Ski with an Olympian at Four Seasons Resort in Whistler

there anything better than a day of skiing? Yes, if that
day includes hitting the slopes with an Olympic athlete along with
overnight accommodations at Canada’s #1 rated hotel.

only AAA Five-Diamond hotel in Canada, the Four Seasons
Resort Whistler brings the Olympic legacy within reach of visitors after the games with a “Ski with an Olympian” package. It includes three night’s accommodation, a treatment in The Spa, and a day of skiing with one of the best winter athletes in the

The package is offered
in partnership with Best of Both Golf & Ski, a luxury outfitter
specializing in British Columbia travel experiences, Ski with an
Olympian is available as a package as well as an add-on activity
through the Concierge.

more information or to reserve this package, guests should call Four
Seasons Resort Whistler’s reservations department at 888-935-2460 or
visit our website.

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Jib City Nights in Wrightwood

Come out to Mountain High tonight for Jib
City Nights presented by VANS.  The crew will be barbecuing free food and
serving up free beverages.

Best yet, they’ll be giving away a bunch of free VANS schwag
during their Best Trick competition. 

Jib City Nights begins at 5 p.m. so
grab a night ticket for just $30.

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Kirkwood a favorite with skiers in Lake Tahoe

By Marlene Greer, Correspondent

Improving your skiing is all about taking a new skill and being able to use it on a smooth groomed run or a steep pitch. Especially if you’re zigzagging through trees or bounding through a gully.
And Lake Tahoe’s Kirkwood Ski Resort has what it takes to get skiers and snowboarders moving across the mountain.
“What is brilliant about Kirkwood is the natural terrain of the mountain allows that natural progression to take place,” said Nick Brittain, a college student from New Zealand who is spending his summer break teaching at Kirkwood’s Learning Center.
The beginners’ terrain is a mix of wide groomed slopes of varying pitch, a set of funny bunny rollers, and little gullies with treacherous names like Ditch of Doom and Ditch of Gloom.
“We start at the magic carpet,” Brittain explained. “Our first aim is to move from the carpet to the chair lift, then from less gradient to higher gradient to off-piste. We build their confidence. What we love is involving different terrains and seeing skill level improve. Kids absolutely love those terrain variations.”
So do his adult students.
“We take aggressive and fun-loving adults through the same progression as the kids,” the Kiwi said. “If we did nothing but groomers, it would get boring.”
For a couple intermediate skiers out for the first time this season, Brittain started with easy groomed runs to get a feel for our abilities. Then, with comfort and confidence restored, he led us down a short, but steep advanced level groomed pitch.
“This is how we build confidence; we take a blue (intermediate level) run into a portion of the black,” he explained.
Then it was on to some easy tree trails and a deep gully. Brittain showed us how to use the gully’s high sides to slow down and turn rather than plow straight through or use quick hockey stops. This skill is needed on the steep terrain at the mountaintop, where plowing doesn’t work.
Kirkwood is known for The Wall, a long ridgeline at 9,400 feet, where expert skiers blast off into Wagon Wheel Bowl, and Thunder Saddle, a collection of difficult gullies. The ski resort is what one local resident calls an “aficionados mountain.”
“It has open ridgeline skiing, above treeline skiing, lots of tree skiing, secret stashes, and one-man and two-man chutes,” said Mike Frye, a former Kirkwood ski instructor. “Their brand is off-piste. It’s big mountain skiing. To get the most out of the mountain, you need to be a good skier.”
Kirkwood is one of the lesser known ski resorts around Lake Tahoe. It’s located about 35 miles south of the lake off Highway 88.
The Kirkwood shuttle costs $15, less with a lift ticket. The bus picks up skiers at major South Lake Tahoe hotels beginning at 7:30 a.m. and arrives at the mountain at 9 a.m. The shuttle leaves Kirkwood at 4:30 p.m.
Kirkwood may be a little out of the way, but it’s a favorite among locals. “Fewer people, more snow and steeper terrain,” one admirer said.
That’s definitely Kirkwood. I skied there on a Thursday and there were no lift lines. No dodging around people stopped on the slope in front of you. There was just the three of us on some runs in the morning.
Kirkwood has 15 lifts, including a high-speed quad for its beginning area. Two new lifts opened last year. Seven lifts at the bottom provide many points of entry for skiers.
The mountain has two base areas – Mountain Village and Timber Creek. The beginners’ area at Timber Creek is separate from the rest of the mountain and has its own lift. There’s no through traffic. Parents see this as safer for their kids, Brittain said.
Though known for its expert terrain, Kirkwood is great for intermediate skiers, with 50 percent of its terrain designated as blue runs. But much of that terrain, and most of the mountain, isn’t groomed.
“Our customers prefer it that way,” said Tim Cohee, senior vice president Kirkwood-Mountain Springs. Kirkwood skiers, he says, are the more adventurous type.
“If your kid jumps on a trampoline and skateboards, those are the people we get here,” Cohee said.
That doesn’t describe me or my mountain ski lesson buddy for the day. We preferred the cushy groomers and stopped frequently to take in the gorgeous mountain vistas.
But before we ended our lesson and mountain tour, we couldn’t resist trying the Ditch of Doom and the Ditch of Gloom.
Now that’s progress.
Marlene Greer is a La Verne freelance writer. She can be reached at mmgwrite@aol.com

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