Hundreds hit the slopes on opening day in Big Bear

Snowboarders look to head up the chairlift at Bear Mountain Resort in Big Bear Lake, Friday, November 28, 2014. California is suffering  one of the worst droughts in its history. (Eric Reed/For the Sun)

Snowboarders look to head up the chairlift at Bear Mountain Resort in Big Bear Lake, Friday, November 28, 2014. California is suffering one of the worst droughts in its history. (Eric Reed/For the Sun)

By Joe Nelson, Staff Writer

Ricky Vega held his 3-year-old daughter, Brooke, steady as she stood atop a snowboard, feet buckled securely in bindings, at the Bear Mountain ski resort on Friday,

Vega positioned his daughter in place, in a safe area at the bottom of the slope, away from the throng of snowboarders zipping down the mountain. He whispered a few words of encouragement in her ear, then gave her a gentle push forward. He darted forward, several feet ahead of his daughter, then turned and held out his arms to receive her.

Clad in pink ski pants, a pink ski jacket and a knitted Curious George ski cap, Brooke was all smiles as she slid about five feet across the slope and into her doting father’s arms.

“My two nephews started doing this when they were 3, and now it’s her turn,” said Vega, 36, of Lakewood. “We’re trying to make it a family tradition.”

Vega was one of hundreds drawn to Bear Mountain on the cloudless and rather warm Black Friday for the resort’s opening day of the season. Neighboring Snow Summit opened for the season on Wednesday.

“It’s awesome. It’s beautiful weather,” said Vega, who along with his twin brother owns a cabin in Big Bear Lake, where he and his family spent the Thanksgiving holiday before taking to the slopes on Friday.

“I’m on vacation. It’s opening day,” Vega said, “and I wanted to get out here before all the snow melted.”

The two opening-day events, at Bear Mountain on Friday and Snow Summit on Wednesday, marked their first under new ownership by Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, which announced its purchase of the sibling ski resorts in September. The sale awaits the closing of escrow, said Rio Tanbara, director of marketing for Bear Mountain.

Read more of Joe Nelson’s story SKI

Snow alert! Storm brings powder to Tahoe resorts with more on the way

 

A skier glides through the trees at Squaw Valley, where the slopes are expected to receive another 2 feet of snow by Thursday. (Squaw Valley photo)

A skier glides through the trees at Squaw Valley, where the slopes are expected to receive another 2 feet of snow and perhaps even more by Thursday. (Squaw Valley photo)

The winter storm that moved through Northern California late Friday has dropped 8 inches of fresh snow on Squaw Valley’s mid-mountain and 14 inches at Alpine Meadows, with snow still falling at both mountains.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the snowfall is expected to continue throughout the week with nearly three feet of new snow possible in the upper elevations by Thursday. 

Squaw Valley is open for the 2014-15 winter season with five lifts for skiing and riding, along with scenic Aerial Tram rides, snowtubing, ice skating, yoga, shopping and dining. Alpine Meadows is set open Friday, Dec. 12.

Vail Mountain offers 2,700 skiable acres this Thanksgiving

Skiers and snowboarders have even more to be thankful for this Thanksgiving holiday at Vail Mountain, one of the largest ski resorts in the world, as the resort opened the High Noon Express Lift (#5) today, providing access to the terrain of its legendary Sun Up and Sun Down bowls.

Vail received more than 30 inches of snow since Saturday, and more than six feet in the past three weeks, making for fantastic conditions across the mountain.

“We have a lot to be thankful for every year in Vail, but this year is extraordinary. It’s rare to have conditions this good, this early in the season,” said Chris Jarnot, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Vail Mountain.

“We’ll be talking about Thanksgiving 2014 for years to come. Our crews have been working incredibly hard literally around the clock to open terrain as quickly as possible. With Chair 5 now open, we hope to open China Bowl next, possibly yet this weekend.”

With the addition of Vail’s Legendary Back Bowls, guests now have access to more than 2,700 developed skiable acres of terrain accessible by the following lifts:

  • Gondola One
  • Avanti Express Lift (#2)
  • Wildwood Express Lift (#3)
  • Mountain Top Express Lift (#4)
  • High Noon Express Lift (#5)
  • Riva Bahn Express Lift (#6)
  • Game Creek Express Lift (#7)
  • Born Free Express Lift (#8)
  • Highline Express Lift (#10)
  • Northwoods Express Lift (#11)
  • Gopher Hill Lift (#12)
  • Little Eagle Lift (#15)
  • Eagle Bahn Gondola (#19)
  • Cascade Village Lift (#20)

The resort anticipates opening the remainder of Vail’s lifts and terrain, including Blue Sky Basin in early December.

All guests are reminded that they must observe all posted signs and closures, especially during the early season. Closed trails may contain hazards due to early snow coverage. Accessing closed terrain is a violation of the Colorado Ski Safety Act and will result in the loss of skiing privileges and could involve prosecution and a fine.

Snow Summit ski resort opens in Big Bear

First Chair Banner for Web (1 of 1)-2

Riders are already making their first turns on the mountain and everyone is talking about the 12 terrain features already available to ride.

DJ Slipmatt is busy keeping the base crowds entertained with music and contest updates.

Speaking of contests, the Message in a Bottle clue is on Twitter and Instagram. First person to find the bottle can bring it to Guest Services for a goody bag.

Be sure to tag all your photos from today with #summitopens. We’re keeping an eye on all those pictures. We’ll be updating the fan photo page with your pictures and the top photographer will get featured as the photo of the day and win a prize!

Just in case you missed it, here are our early season rates:

Discounted Early Season Rates Day Half-Day
Adult (22+) $45 $38
Young Adults (13-21) $38 $31
Child (7-12) $18 $14
Child (6 & Under)** FREE FREE

11.26.14

Conditions for Opening Day look fantastic with summit to base skiing and riding opening at 8:30 am! We will be operating Chair 1 to the summit and Chair 8 will service our beginner area. Skiers and riders will find 12 boxes and rails on the slopes as well as a roller! Our Crew will be adding more features as we make snow!

You can also compete in our first “Message in a Bottle” competition of the season. We’re going to hide a message in a bottle somewhere at Snow Summit. Follow us on Twitter  for the picture hint and use that clue to find the bottle. The winner can take the bottle to Guest Services to collect the prize!

Be sure to tag your pictures from the festivities with #summitopens. We’ll be tracking the tag and will post the winning image as our photo of the day which will also win a prize!

DJ Slipmatt will be providing the music and is stoked to see all the first day Summit guests!

Stay tuned to all of our Social Media Channels for updates throughout the day!

Mountain High opens for start of So Cal ski season

Mountain High Opening Day 2014

Ski season kicked off in Southern California yesterday with the opening of Mountain High.  This marks the 18th year in a row Mountain High has been the first to open in Southern California.

Roughly 1,000 guests donned their skis & snowboards and hit the slopes of Mountain High for their first winter fix of the season.  It’s a special treat to be open for Thanksgiving and the resort credits its hard working staff and dedicated employees.

“We’ve added several new snowmaking guns, our season pass sale is doing very well, and, with the hopes of a little El Nino snow, the stage is set for a great season,” said General Manager Ben Smith.

Operating hours will be 8:30am to 4:00pm through Thanksgiving.  Night skiing and Tubing Park operations will be evaluated after that.

Early Season Ticket rates will be just $45 for adults and young adults (Regularly $69) and $25 for children ages 7 to 12.  Kids six and under ski FREE with a paying adult.  Ticket sales will be limited so please arrive early for the best experience.  Prices are subject to change without notice.

The Coyote chairlift is currently spinning accessing an impressive rail garden on Cruiser with up to 10 features.  100% of the open terrain is groomed and thanks to Mountain High’s incredible snowmaking team we have a 10 to 12 inch base of machine groomed hard packed snow.  By next Wednesday the resort plans to have at least one top-to-bottom run open if not more.

For first-timers Mountain High offers a full line of rental and retail products however the Winter Sports School has not yet opened for the season.

Black Friday Special
No need to wake up early for the best price on lift tickets.  Stock up November 28th through December 1st, 2014, and save up to 40% on lift tickets to Mountain High, Southern California’s closest winter resort.  Prices start at just $20.00.  Click here to learn more http://www.mthigh.com/archive/email/blackfriday.html

Get Your 2014/15 Season Pass Before The Price Goes Up
For avid skiers and snowboarders a season pass is the best way to save money and pays for itself in as little as 5 visits.  Prices start at just $249 for young adult anytime season pass.  Or go VIP for just $49 and get free skiing at 12 other Powder Alliance Resorts plus tons of other great benefits.  No other resort in the region offers this.  Click here to learn morehttp://www.mthigh.com/season-pass-sale

Mountain High to open Tuesday with limited runs

mt

Mountain High will open for skiing and snowboarding tomorrow morning at 8:30am for the start of the 2014/15 season.  Get your Thanksgiving holiday started early and join us for this exciting day.

Operating hours will be 8:30am – 4:00pm.  Tickets are just $45 for Adults and Young Adults, $25 for kids ages 7 to 12.  Kids 6 and under receive a FREE ticket with the purchaes of an adult ticket.

Ticket sales will be limited to reflect the reduced terrain so please arrive early.  Night skiing and lessons have not begun yet but should be available shortly.

Our grooming staff will hit the mountain this evening at 4pm to begin preparing the slopes and our Park Crew is busy pulling out a dozen features to build a super sick rail garden for opening day.  Initially just Cruiser will be available accessing beginner to intermediate terrain but look for new trails and lifts opening shortly. 

This season we are proud to announce a wide range of improvements including new fan guns, new terrain features, and new terrain-based teaching programs. These snowmaking improvements will help Mountain High open even quicker this winter, allowing us to put down new snow faster than ever before.

Black Friday Ticket Special

No need to wake up early for the best price on lift tickets.  Stock up November 28th – December 1st and save up to 40%.  Ticket prices start at just $20 and make great stocking stuffers!  Click here to learn more.

14/15 Season Pass Sale Ends 11/30

Time is running out! Get your season pass today for as little as $249 and enjoy 5 months of terrific skiing and snowboarding at Southern California’s Closest Winter Resort. Go VIP for just $49 more and get free skiing privileges at 12 Powder Alliance Resorts. Hurry, sale ends November 30th. Click here to learn more.

Breckenridge opening 500 acres of ski trails

Thanks to recent storms which dropped temperatures for snowmaking and left behind generous amounts of early-season snowfall, Breckenridge Ski Resort will expand its operating footprint to over 500 acres of skiable terrain accessed via eight lifts and select learning carpets by Saturday.

Among the new terrain, the resort plans to open runs across Peaks 8 & 9 allowing guests to access both base areas as well as a triple jump line with a handful of features in Park Lane. Additionally, the Rocky Mountain SuperChair and portions of expert, upper mountain terrain off the 6-Chair open today.

“We’re pleased to have over 500 acres of skiable terrain ready for guests this weekend,” Breckenridge Vice President of Mountain Operations, Gary Shimanowitz said. “With over 54 inches of new snow in our opening week alone and extremely favorable temperatures for snowmaking, we’re having one of the better early seasons in years.”

Peak 9 trail openings will be Silverthorne and King’s Way via the Quicksilver SuperChair as well as Crosscut and lower Sawmill. The Peak 8 SuperConnect will be open to allow back and forth skiable access between Peak 8 and Peak 9 and the Snowflake lift will operate to offer mountain access from that bed base. The Peak 9 base area will operate with full services, including ski & ride school and on-mountain dining at Ten Mile Station and The Maggie.

Associated runs surrounding 6-Chair give skiers and riders access to approximately 197 acres of expert terrain on the upper mountain of Peak 8. At this time there will be no access out from the bottom of the lift and guests need to ride the 6-Chair and then ski or ride down Upper Four O’clock in order to return to Peak 8.

Guests who wish to access the Peak 7 base area including Sevens restaurant can do so via Fort Mary B from Claimjumper. At this time no additional terrain is open for skiing or riding on Peak 7.

Breckenridge Ski Resort requires all skiers and riders to observe all posted signs and warnings. Closed trails may contain hazards due to limited natural snow coverage and snowmaking operations. Please keep off closed trails and out of closed areas for safety reasons.

Breck for a Buck
Buy 3 days of lift tickets and lodging and get the fourth night for only $1.00! Breck for a Buck offers the savvy traveler a lift ticket and lodging package with unbeatable savings. Rules and Restrictions may apply. Discounts may vary. Blackout dates may apply. Based on availability. Visit Breckenridge.com to book.

Breckenridge Thanksgiving Dinners
Enjoy Thanksgiving at Sevens restaurant – the only on-mountain dining option in Breck for the holiday. Sevens is located at the base of Peak 7, with a stunning patio and gorgeous views of the resort and the town. The special Thanksgiving Prix Fixe menu includes all the fixings of a home cooked meal without the hassle. Reservations are recommended; please call 970-496-8910.

Breck’s Cyber Monday Deal
Take Advantage of “First Tracks Fridays” and Up to 50 Percent Off at Breckenridge
Guests who book during the Cyber Monday Sale can save up to 50 percent off at the DoubleTree by Hilton Breckenridge, the Village Hotel and the Studio Suites at the Village at Breckenridge, all located by the base of Peak 9 and within walking distance from historic downtown Breckenridge.

Also this winter, guests staying at official lodging properties of Breckenridge Ski Resort, including these properties in the Cyber Monday Sale can take part in “First Tracks Fridays” and receive access to the mountain one hour before it opens to the general public on Friday mornings from mid-December through March.

Check out the deals below or log on to http://www.snow.com/cybermonday for more information. These deals cannot be booked until 12:01 a.m. MDT on Dec. 1, 2014.

Heavenly Ski Resort ready to open Friday in Lake Tahoe

Opening-Day-Blog

Opening Day is Friday at Heavenly Ski Resort! The countdown to the 2014-2015 ski and ride season is almost over.

The first skiers and riders of the season will load the Heavenly Gondola at 9 a.m. Get here early and stay late- they’ll be raffling off free snowboards, skis, Smith goggles, and a GoPro in the Gondola line and at Unbuckle.

The Gondola and Tamarack Express will give access to 14 acres and 1.5 miles of skiable terrain on California Trail to Tamarack Return. For park fanatics, there will be a variety of terrain park features on the left side of California Trail.

Ski and ride school will offer a few different lesson options. For specifics on what those products are, give our school a call at 1-800-HEAVENLY, press 7.

Heavenly’s snowmaking team has been hard at work making snow whenever the wet bulb temperature allows, and our grooming team has taken advantage of the huge whales (piles) of snow to cover the trails and prep the lift ramps and access areas for opening.

Opening Day kicks off at 8 a.m. at the bottom of the Gondola in Heavenly Village with a live DJ, the Heavenly Angels, giveaways, and free Heavenly Donuts. Get there early because the first 100 guests will get Heavenly Swag and will be entered into a pre-opening raffle for a pair of skis or snowboard.

At the first Unbuckle at Tamarack après party of the season at 3:30 p.m., the first 100 guests will also receive a raffle ticket for a pair of skis or snowboard, a GoPro and Smith goggles, as well as Hard Rock Hotel and Casino swag.

The California Base Lodge will be available for free parking. We will be running free shuttles every 20 minutes between the Cal Base and the Gondola.

 

Mammoth Mountain video of opening weekend

Mammoth Mountain’s 2014-15 season is now underway, but many are still recovering from an amazing opening weekend at Mammoth.

They put together a quick video edit of the festivities on and off the hill, which you can find here

This weekend new terrain including Discovery Chair, Facelift Express and Thunderbound Express are set to open, providing access to Saddlebowl, Sesame Street and Lower Main Park, with more on the way.

Vail Mountain to open on Friday at 9 a.m.

Vail Mountain, one of the largest ski resorts in the world, will open for the 2014-2015 season on Friday, Nov. 21, 2014 with access out of both Vail Village and Lionshead as well as return routes to both base areas.

“We know that we’ll be opening both base areas, but we’re going to give our snowmakers, groomers and patrollers one more night to confirm exactly what we’ll be able to open on Friday morning for Vail’s opening day,” said Chris Jarnot, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Vail Mountain. “Stay tuned for an update tomorrow.”

Vail Mountain lifts will open at 9 a.m. throughout the early season to accommodate early-morning operations. Skiers and snowboarders are asked to observe all posted signs and closures, especially during the early season.