#freshpow day on the slopes at Bear, Snow Summit and Mountain High

Snow Summit is a winter wonderland in March, thanks to productive cold-weather systems that went through Southern California on Thursday and this morning. This photo has attracted a lot of reaction since it was posted on Facebook earlier today. (Snow Summit photo)

By Jerry Rice

Fresh powder days in March are rare in Southern California – especially ones with storms that leave behind more than a foot of snow – so it may not be surprising that social media is burning up today with the latest reports from Bear Mountain, Snow Summit and Mountain High.

The photo of snow-covered tables and chairs at Snow Summit (above) has received more than 950 “likes” and 139 “shares” since it was posted this morning. Because a photo really is worth a thousand words, many of the comments have been appropriately brief: “Wonderland!” (from Freddie Merz), “Yes!!!” (Kelsey Elizabeth Stern) and “Wooooo Hoooooo” (Snuggle Bear Cabin).

Others said they were on their way up the hill (presumably after they called the boss to say they suddenly came down with some “ailment”), or that they would be there during the weekend.

With 12-14 inches of new snow at Bear Mountain, it appears to be time for some fresh-powder runs at the resort. (Bear Mountain photo)

Snow Summit reported 12 to 14 inches of fresh powder in the last couple days – about the same amount that fell at the resort’s corporate sibling, Bear Mountain, where the photo on the right was taken. Since being posted on Facebook today at about 10 a.m., the shot has received nearly 400 “likes” and 25 “shares.”

Snow Summit is 100 percent open, and only Bow, Deer and Goldmine canyons are closed at Bear, according to information on their websites. Also, skiers and snowboarders should note that Snow Summit will be holding its final night session of the 2012-13 season on Saturday.

With fresh powder at Mountain High, the snow depth on the slopes is 12-24 inches. (Mountain High photo)

At Mountain High in Wrightwood, they’re also excited about the conditions after receiving 6 to 8 inches of new snow. “We love fresh pow,” said the Facebook entry that was posted with the action shot on the left. “Share this photo if you love new snow as much as we do!”

The last time we checked, 61 of the resort’s Facebook fans followed through on that request.

$299 season pass good for this year and next at Mountain High

Beginning Friday, March 1, skiers and snowboarders at Mountain High can get an adult Anytime Season Pass good for the remainder of this season and all of next for just $299.

That’s a savings of 57% over a traditional single-year pass.  Plus anyone who renews their existing 2012/13 Season Pass by March 10 will receive a FREE Buddy ticket worth $69.

Mountain High’s Anytime Season Pass is good any day or night the resort is open with no restrictions.  At just $299 it pays for itself in just 5 visits.

Benefits include free skiing at Stevens Pass, WA, China Peak, CA, and Sierra At Tahoe, free tubing at the North Pole Tubing Park http://www.mthigh.com/mountain/north-pole-tubing-park , $10 Off Adult Ski/Snowboard Lessons, 10% Off non-sale retail apparel, monthly discounts for family and friends, early “ups” on select days, and the ability to TRACK your days ridden, runs per day, and vertical feet.

Prices are just $299 for adults ages 13 and up.  Children’s Passes for ages 7 to 12 are also available for just $199 with the purchase of an adult season pass and $249 without.  Children six and under ski FREE when accompanied by a paying adult.

Mountain High’s Spring Season Pass offer is available March 1to April 15 or when the resort closes (whichever is later).  Guestsamay purchase their passes online at mthigh.com; however, passes can also be purchased at the resort and by phone at 888 754 7878.  Please note there is a $10 processing for all new passes purchased.

Three resorts in one, Mountain High is a SoCal winter wonderland

Mountain High is popular with skiers and snowboarders from throughout Southern California, including the Inland Empire. They tend to make a day of it at the resort, instead of coming for an extended visit.

By Trevor Summons

The first time I went to a ski resort, I was entranced. I was only passing through but the atmosphere was truly wonderful. The ultraviolet light bouncing off the snow, the warm sunshine, the excitement of the skiers and the clump of their boots all added up to something magical.

Unfortunately, at the time I was very engaged in business and feared the sport for its injuries. Back then we were quite used to seeing returning winter sports enthusiasts with a foot and lower leg encased in plaster of Paris, and trying to maneuver crutches around. We didn’t have the quick-release bindings and other scientific advancements of today. I left it well alone.

Many decades later I did try, and perhaps it was too late by then, as after a few attempts I had two broken ribs, a lack of dignity and the decision to literally walk away from it all.

Had I waited until now, and joined the “Learn to Turn” course being offered by Mountain High Ski Resort, the outcome might well have been different.

“We offer a day’s course, on Tuesdays,” said Kim Hermon, the marketing manager of the resort. “For $39 we provide the equipment, the lift tickets and the instruction to get you started.”

I think that would have been just what I needed.
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Mountain High’s fresh powder prompts a cool video production

At Mountain High, they must be excited about the 8 to 10 inches of new snow the resort received on Wednesday, given this video that was posted on Vimeo…

Conditions at the Wrightwood resort should be wonderful for skiing and snowboarding all weekend long. Daytime highs through Sunday are expected to be in the upper 40s, and lows will dip into the 20s, according to weather.com.

Go East, young skiers and snowboarders at Mountain High

Skiers and snowboarders tend to get more out of those banner days on the slopes at Mountain High when they visit the less-crowded East resort. (Mountain High photo)

By Art Bentley

You know who you are.

Evidently, 1,600 vertical feet with a consistent pitch doesn’t appeal to you. Perhaps speed on skis or a snowboard isn’t an attraction. Maybe your legs (or your nerve) aren’t up to the challenge.

Or it could be that you simply don’t do well in your own company. You need to be surrounded by masses of humanity, often with a slightly maniacal streak, a perverse taste for short runs, and an insane fondness for lift lines that can border on anarchy.

Or maybe you’re simply not the sharpest ski on the slope.

Whatever your shortcomings, you’re a Mountain High skier or snowboarder with an irrational preference for the crowded West resort, where any minute, especially on a weekend, you can be run down from behind or sideswiped by an out-of-control snowboarder. Meanwhile, you display an unfathomable disdain for the tranquil, unhurried East. Are you masochistic? How else to explain why you avoid it in droves?

Clearly, you need help. Even those who run Mountain High can’t figure you out.

“It’s always a challenge getting people to go over there,” says John McColly, chief marketing office and an unabashed fan of East.

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Step aside Gangnam Style, it’s time for the Harlem Shake

By Jerry Rice

Sorry, Psy, but Gangnam Style is so 2012. The dance of this moment is the Harlem Shake.

With tens of thousands of Harlem Shake videos on YouTube — including nearly 9,000 uploaded today alone — it’s safe to call it the latest craze that’s sweeping the nation. Students at campuses around the country, office workers, firefighters, grandmas, and a unit of the Norwegian Army are all busting a move to the techno beat.

Anderson Cooper (inset) watches a video of his staff doing the Harlem Shake.

One video asks whether Wolf Blitzer would do it. His CNN colleague, Anderson Cooper, apparently wouldn’t. When the “Anderson Live” crew interrupted a morning meeting to shake it, they couldn’t get Cooper to join in.

“I gotta say, I was horrified. It made me so uncomfortable,” he said on Tuesday’s show.

Many of the videos are called “original.” Perhaps the one with the best stake to that claim was posted by five bored Australian teens who were stuck indoors during a storm. Their version, “The Harlem Shake v1 (TSCS original),” has 6.3 million views (and counting) in its first week on YouTube. Their story was told by The Courier-Mail in Brisbane.

A quick search came up with several Harlem Shakers in the Inland Empire, so we featured them in a Daily Bulletin story.

Skiers and snowboarders at Mountain High also have gotten in on the act. Here’s their version:

Skiers, snowboarders get a lift for less this month at Mountain High

Mountain High is taking up to 50 percent off the price of its lift tickets during February.

Express Pass Holders may use the coupon code FEBEXPRESS to receive an adult 8-hour lift ticket for $39. The discount is available through Feb. 28, but not valid President’s Day weekend, Feb. 16-18.

For those who don’t have an Express Pass, if they purchase an adult 8-hour lift ticket by Feb. 15 they will receive a free Express Pass plus a bounce back voucher for $39 that will be good for use on their next visit. The same restrictions apply for the bounce-back voucher (valid through Feb. 28, except Feb. 16-18).

Mountain High’s Express Pass is the most sophisticated and environmentally-friendly lift ticket in snowsports, says resort spokeswoman Kim Hermon. The reusable, hard-plastic card can be encoded time and again with almost any Mountain High lift ticket and benefits include:

  • $10 off 8-hour, 4-hour and night ticket options, non-holiday.
  • Free 8-hour ticket (non-holiday) after every four visits.
  • Track days ridden, total runs, vertical feet and more.
  • Guarantee reservations in case of a sellout.

Forecasters are calling for a snowy month ahead, with off and on storms.

“February is likely to be a stormy month especially in comparison to the quiet January we’ve just seen,” says Chris Manly from Snowforecast.com.

Information: www.mthigh.com 

Mountain High North opening Saturday

Mountain High North will open this Saturday at 9 am.  The North Resort offers 70 acres of beginner to intermediate terrain, one quad chair lift, and a 6,000 sq ft base lodge with restaurant facilities and giant, log-burning fireplace.

With no snowmaking, it relies on Mother Nature but a foot of new snow has fallen in recent weeks making this opening possible.

Mountain High North is great for families and introductory skiers and snowboarders.  If you were looking for the last stashes of powder, you’ll will find them as well.

The rolling terrain offers hours of excitement, with all trails ending at the bottom of the Sunrise Quad.  Formerly Ski Sunrise, the North Resort originated in the 1940’s along with other local resorts such as Mount Waterman, Krakta Ridge, and Blue Ridge, now known as Mountain High West.  During the 1960s and 1970s the North Resort was considered a local’s favorite.

The North Resort will operate weekends and holidays from 9 am to 4:30 pm through mid March.  With the exception of lessons, all amenities are available including rentals, retail, and food & beverage.  Mountain High now consists of three separate resorts (East, West, and North) but a single lift ticket is good at all three areas.

Artificial snow saves the day at SoCal mountain resorts

Early December conditions were disappointing at best at all of the mountain resorts in Southern California. Thanks to some natural snow and lots of manmade powder, 2013 is off to a great start at several of them. This photo at Bear Mountain was taken on Jan. 7. (Bear Mountain photo)

By Art Bentley

Back in December, a red Christmas seemed like a distinct threat to the balance sheets of Southern California ski resorts. Only Bear Mountain remained in business, and it was limping at best.

Uncooperative weather forced Snow Summit and Mountain High to halt their lifts after all three resorts had opened before mid-November, amid optimism prompted by the prospect of a profitable Thanksgiving holiday weekend clearly in sight.

Meanwhile, Snow Valley, Mount Baldy and Mount Waterman — the other Southern California ski areas — had yet to sell a lift ticket. (Waterman is the only local area that depends entirely on nature for snow. Consequently, it’s also the only area that remains closed.)

“We’d had three days of snow-making, we were open to the top at Snow Summit, and we had the beginner area open at the bottom,” said Chris Riddle, vice president for marketing for Big Bear Mountain Resorts, which operates Summit and Bear. “Then we had three weeks without one night of snow-making. It was a very strange warm spell.”

Visions of a strong start disappeared along with the Thanksgiving turkey, and the leftovers were disappointing enough to give an accountant heartburn.

Toward the middle of December, cold weather returned, bringing several small snowstorms. Far more important, however, it brought the kind of consistently frigid temperatures that play particularly to the strengths of Snow Summit and Bear Mountain, where huge snow-making systems draw unlimited quantities of water from Big Bear Lake.

Both resorts were in almost full operation by Christmas. At one stretch, Snow Summit, which returned to the lineup Dec. 15, was pumping 7,300 gallons of lake water per minute into its artillery.

“What really sets us apart is our access to that big storage unit down there,” Riddle said recently with a nod in the direction of the lake. “Wells (on which other Southern California resorts must rely for their water) don’t have the same level of recovery that we do. To go from closed to 95 percent open in two weeks without a big storm is unprecedented.”

Mountain High extends night skiing in Wrightwood

Mountain High will continue its night skiing operations seven nights a week through Jan. 27. After that, the Wrightwood resort will decide whether to return to its normal Wednesday through Friday schedule or remain open every night from 5 to 10 p.m.

“I love skiing at night. It’s so peaceful and serene. And with a schedule like mine, evenings are the only time I can get away. Thanks Mountain High,” says Chris McConnel of Fullerton.

Eighty five percent of the West Resort is lit including the terrain park and the beginner area. Ski under the stars after school or work. When finished, head up to the Bullwheel Bar & Grill and take a seat by the fire place where you can warm up with a hot cocktail.

Three to five inches of new snow fell overnight, and both the East and West Resorts are open with good mid-winter conditions.

Mountain High is open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. A single Mountain High lift ticket is good at any one of its three areas, and free shuttles are available to take guests back and forth.