Spring seasons passes on sale at Mountain High for $249

Mountain High released its Spring Season Pass rates today, just in time for the biggest snow storm of the season. The season’s biggest snow storm is fast approaching, with forecasters calling for anywhere from 6 to 16 inches by Saturday afternoon.

Beginning Saturday, skiers and snowboarders can purchase an adult Anytime Season Pass good for the remainder of this season and all of next season for $249. That’s a savings of 64 percent over a traditional single-year pass.

Plus guests can upgrade to a VIP Season Pass for $50 more and receive terrific benefits like free tickets to the North Pole Tubing Park, discounts on lessons and rentals, and three free days at 11 other Powder Alliance Resorts. That’s 33 free tickets. Information: http://www.mthigh.com/season-pass-sale

“This is the best value in Southern California — $249 for the rest of this year and all of next? You can’t beat it,” says John McColly, resort spokesman.

Mountain High’s Anytime Season Pass is good any day or night the resort is open with no restrictions. At just $249, it pays for itself in less than five visits. Children’s Passes for ages 7 to 12 are also available for $199 with the purchase of an adult season pass and $219 without (regularly $279). Children 6 and younger ski free when accompanied by a paying adult. Please note there is a $10 processing for all new passes purchased.

Ride the longest high-speed quad in the region at Mountain High’s East Resort. Ski under the stars at Mountain High’s West Resort. Or take the kids on an exciting winter adventure at the North Resort.

A season pass is good at all three areas and this year Mountain High has added a new Burton LTR Center, increased snowmaking, an updated smart phone app, new terrain features, and an enhanced family atmosphere. Pass holders also have the ability to track their days ridden, runs per day, vertical feel, and more.

Mountain High’s Spring Season Pass offer is available March 1 to April 20, 2014. Guests are encouraged to purchase the passes online at mthigh.com however passes can also be purchased at the resort and by calling 888-754 7878.

 

Snowboarding workshop brings strength, healing to veterans

The Southern California-based nonprofit Strength in Support on Thursday will head to Bear Mountain for a snowboarding workshop designed to help veterans overcome challenges resulting from years of service and sacrifice.

Strength in Support (www.strengthinsupport.org) was founded in 2013, and provides mental health services, including counseling, mentoring and workshops to active military, veterans and their families.

“We’re so happy that Strength in Support is hosting their workshop at Bear Mountain,” said Chris Riddle, Big Bear Mountain Resorts spokesman. “We want to say ‘thank you’ to our military service members, and welcoming groups like Strength in Support is one way we can do that.”

The snowboarding workshop is not only for veterans, but is also led by veterans. This “vet-to-vet” experience will allow participants to interact in a fun and relaxed setting, while receiving encouragement from one another to break down isolation issues and foster healthy and supportive relationships.

“Our recreational snowboarding workshop is being offered for the first time thanks to SIS’ board, donors and volunteers, as well as Big Bear Mountain Resorts,” said Jill Boultinghouse, Strength in Support board vice president. “Our vets are looking forward to a fun and healing day on the slopes. We need more organizations like BBMR that are supportive of our veterans, and can help make these types of events a reality.”

Strength in Support is one of dozens of military groups that BBMR has welcomed this season. In addition, BBMR hosts a number of Uniform Days throughout the year. On these special days, all active duty military, firefighters, EMS and police officers can take their identification to any Snow Summit or Bear Mountain ticket window to receive $38 lift tickets.

“It’s just one more way we can salute those who serve,” Riddle said.

The remaining Uniform Days for the 2013-14 season are March 5-6 and April 2-3.

Spring conditions combine with specials at Bear Mountain, Snow Summit

Despite the warm temperatures this winter, Bear Mountain and Snow Summit have been taking advantage of snow-making capabilities to improve conditions on the slopes. (Big Bear Mountain Resorts photo)

Despite the warm temperatures this winter, Bear Mountain and Snow Summit have been taking advantage of snow-making capabilities to improve conditions on the slopes. (Big Bear Mountain Resorts photo)

It may have been a warm winter, but Big Bear Mountain Resorts does have plenty of snow and more than 85 percent of both Bear Mountain and Snow Summit are open.

“We have up to three feet of snow at both resorts and we continue to make snow at every opportunity,” said Chris Riddle, Big Bear Mountain Resorts spokesman. “We’re excited to have such great spring skiing conditions right now. We’re featuring some of the best deals of the season to get skiers and boarders up the mountain to experience it for themselves.”

Skiers and snowboarders can take advantage of some serious deals before hitting the slopes for some early spring skiing, including:

Plenty of snow Sundays
Skiers and boarders can enjoy a Sunday fun day at BBMR with mid-week priced lift tickets every Sunday. That’s a full day adult lift ticket for $60, young adults (13-21) and seniors (62+) for $50 and children for $25. Restrictions may apply.

Calling all season pass holders
Season pass holders from any other resort – from Mammoth to Squaw Valley to Mountain High – can head to Big Bear and receive half off their BBMR lift ticket. Restrictions may apply.

Bring a friend for half price
BBMR season pass holders can now bring a buddy for half price. Pass holders can bring their season pass and a lucky friend to the Guest Services office at either Snow Summit or Bear Mountain to score 50 percent off a buddy lift ticket for that day.

Half-off blacked out passes
On any day that a BBMR season pass is blacked out and not valid for use, pass holders can now take it to the Guest Services office at Snow Summit or Bear Mountain and receive 50 percent off a lift ticket for the day.

On all of the above offers, see the resort’s discounts and specials page for additional info.

Dropping in for a Sochi to California comparison on vertical descents

Sochi Downhill

We’ve been watching a lot of NBC’s Winter Olympics coverage – speed skating, slopestyle skiing, halfpipe, hockey – and have been wrapped up in much of it.

A few minutes ago, @NBCOlympics posted on Twitter the image above with course info on the downhill portion of the men’s super combined. The vertical drop of 3,205 feet caught our attention, and we thought it would be worth checking http://mountainvertical.com to see how the mountains near Sochi compare with the ski resorts in California. Here’s what we found:

Mammoth: 2,885
Heavenly: 2,735
Squaw Valley: 2,389
June Mountain: 2,420
Northstar-at-Tahoe: 2,276
Diamond Peak: 1,741
Bear Mountain: 1,665
Mt. Rose: 1,635
Homewood: 1,625
Kirkwood: 1,622
Sierra-at-Tahoe: 1,590
Mountain High: 1,588
Alpine Meadows: 1,555

The best U.S. match to the 3,205 vertical descent of the mountain where the Olympics competition is happening now is the Lake Placid/Whiteface Mountain Ski Resort – the area where the 1932 Winter Olympics took place.

– Jerry Rice

Two for one lift tickets on Valentine’s Day in Wrightwood

Spend a picture perfect day on the slopes then top it off with a romantic, mountaintop dinner. Mountain High is offering couples two adult 8-Hour tickets for the price of one this Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14.

Guests save $59. Tickets must be pre-purchased at https://shop.mthigh.com/p-115-valentine-special-2-for-1.aspx and are valid Feb. 14 only. No refunds.

Following your day, enjoy a four-course meal at the Bullwheel Grill for $50 per couple. Dinners include champagne, appetizers, desert and choice of four entrees.

A complimentary scenic sky chair ride is also available so couples can enjoy the lights overlooking the city. Limited reservations are being taken from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m. so call (760) 316-7818 to book your Valentines Day package early.

Mountain High reports best ski conditions in months

Cool, crisp air makes it feel like winter again in the mountains. And temperatures in the teens have allowed resorts like Mountain High to make snow, adding to its base and open new terrain.

For advanced skiers and snowboarders, Calamity has reopened offering a challenging thrill. And Conquest lift and trail opens this weekend providing more intermediate terrain.

Mountain High now has a 12- to 16-inch base with mid-winter surface conditions that range from packed powder to hard packed snow. Lesson and rental packages are available for ages 4 and older; night skiing takes place Thursday through Sunday from 5-10 p.m.

“The conditions are the best they’ve been in months and there is more snow in the forecast,” said John McColly, resort spokesman.

Several inches of new snow are expected Friday and Mountain High will continue to make snow whenever possible to ensure consistent conditions on all open trails. The Wrightwood resort has been making snow for the past five nights and will continue to do so as long as conditions permit.

Here’s what it looks like on the slopes at Mountain High. >>>

Mountain High celebrates Chinese New Year with $36 lift ticket.

Mountain High is celebrating the Year of the Horse with discount lift tickets through Feb. 14. Any guest who pre-purchases their tickets at https://shop.mthigh.com/p-114-chinese-new-year.aspx will receive an adult, 8-hour lift ticket for $36.

There’s a limit of one ticket per guest. This offer is not valid in conjunction with any other discount or promotion. Tickets must be used by Feb. 14 and refunds are not available.

“I’m thrilled Mountain High is celebrating the new year like this. Come ring in the Year of the Horse with me at Mountain High,” said snowboard instructor Xiaoyan Cindy Li.

Most of the West Resort is open with terrain for every age and ability. The base lodge offers sport shops, rentals, restaurants and lesson.

Information: http://www.mthigh.com

Mountain High lowers ticket price for SoCal residents

Mountain High is offering big savings on lift tickets for Southern California residents.

For a limited time, adult 8-hour tickets start at $36 each day when guests purchase them online at least five days before visiting the Wrightwood resort. Only 50 tickets are available each weekday at that rate; 25 on weekends.

While there are no refunds, the price is a healthy discount off the $69 regular price.

“$36 for an adult 8-hour ticket is unheard of,” says John McColly, resort spokesman.

Information: www.mthigh.com

70 is the magic number at Southern California ski resorts

By Art Bentley

Old age, it is said, is not for wimps. But it could be just the lift ticket for those who would like to ski or ride a snowboard without charge.

To do that in Southern California, all you have to do is live for 70 years and be able to prove it. Once you’ve met those two simple requirements, just stride, stroll, lurch or hobble to the ticket windows at Mountain High near Wrightwood or the guest services office at Snow Valley near Running Springs, display a valid driver’s license, pay a nominal one-time processing fee, pose for a photograph and you’re the owner of a season pass that’s good any time.

Mountain High charges $10 and Snow Valley $20. If you’d rather not pay at the latter, Snow Valley will give you a day ticket whenever you show up with valid identification. The double sawbuck, however, provides the advantage of being able to head directly to the lifts upon arrival.

“We feel these people 70 and over have been supporting the industry most of their lives,” Snow Valley marketing director Chris Toth said. “We want to recognize that and have them come up and ski our mountain. And they might bring the rest of their family and spend some money. That doesn’t hurt.”

Mountain High and Snow Valley, like just about any resort in western North America, could use more snow. Open runs are limited at both resorts. At Mountain High, the east side is shuttered, pending the arrival of natural snow or a cold snap of sufficient strength and length to permit the manufacture of enough of the white stuff to ski on. Slide Peak, beyond the reach of the Snow Valley snow guns, also is idle.

John McColly, chief marketing officer at Mountain High, also doesn’t feel the resort is hurting itself financially by giving away the product to senior skiers and snowboarders.

“For us, it’s a way to give back,” he said. “Not a lot of our guests are over 70, so it’s not a big financial liability and people over 70 really enjoy it. We like to see them up there.”
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Technology helps Mt. Baldy ski area to combat water evaporation

Ron Ellingson, president of Mt. Baldy Ski Lifts Inc., holds one of the hollow plastic conservation balls produced by Glendora-based manufacturer XavierC LLC.

Ron Ellingson, president of Mt. Baldy Ski Lifts Inc., holds one of the hollow plastic conservation balls produced by Glendora-based manufacturer XavierC LLC.

By Sandra Emerson

Ron Ellingson will be watching the Mt. Baldy reservoir closely this ski season.

The 10-million-gallon reservoir is used to make snow during the ski season and like any body of water, succumbs to evaporation, but for Ellingson, president of Mt. Baldy Ski Lifts Inc., the evaporation means higher costs and less snow for skiers.

So, to keep costs down and provide more snow to visitors, Ellingson contracted with Glendora-based manufacturer XavierC LLC, to install hollow plastic conservation balls to reduce the evaporation.

“It really helps if we have a good ski season,” Ellingson said. “We depend on man-made snow right now, unless Mother Nature helps with a big storm.”

The company started delivering the balls in November, but due to the change in season, the rest will be delivered in the spring.

The balls are 4 inches in diameter and float along the top of the reservoir to reduce evaporation by up to 90 percent.

As the water level rises and lowers, the balls adjust by piling on top of each other or by spreading out across the surface. Water is pumped to the large reservoir from a smaller million-gallon reservoir that is filled from natural underground wells.

The use of the balls could save Ellingson about $10,000 a month in pumping costs and boost the production of the man-made snow they depend on for their ski runs.

“If we don’t have a full reservoir at the beginning of the year, we can’t cover all the runs and makes it so the skiing isn’t as good as it would be if we have them all covered,” Ellingson said.

The owner of XavierC LLC, Sydney Chase, approached Ellingson at the Mt. Baldy Lodge, which he owns, about the product. Chase has been visiting Mt. Baldy for 10 years and saw the need for her product.

“I knew it could help him and he really agreed, so we ended up getting as many (plastic conservation balls) as we could on before the big freeze and we will finish up in early spring,” Chase said. “He will be saving great amount of money by May, April of next year.”

The company has contracted with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to install $7 million to $8 million balls on its reservoirs.

“We’ve been approached by municipalities, water districts, we’ve been approached by several different ski resorts waiting and watching to see how Ron’s goes,” Chase said.