Burton U.S. Open Snowboarding Championship at Vail

The month of March is off to a strong start at Vail Mountain with seven inches of new snow reported Wednesday, 14” in the past 48 hours, and more than three feet in the past week!

In addition to fresh powder, guests visiting Vail this week can also catch some of the world’s best snowboarders live in action at Golden Peak during the 33rd Burton U.S. Open Snowboarding Championships.

The Burton US Open, which first took place in 1982, is the longest-running snowboarding competition in the world and draws the best riders to compete for a coveted US Open title.

On the heels of the 2015 Alpine World Ski Championships, snowsports enthusiasts can get their fill of world-class, Olympic-level slopestyle and halfpipe snowboarding competitions in Golden Peak by day, and enjoy free concerts from names including Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Moon Hooch, Girl Talk and more by night.

For more information visit www.Vail.com/Burton or www.Burton.com/USO.

Mammoth completes buy of Big Bear ski resorts

Rusty Gregory signing agreement.

Rusty Gregory signing agreement.

Mammoth Resorts has completed the acquisition of Big Bear Mountain Resorts as first outlined in September, becoming the leading four-season mountain operator in California.

Mammoth Resorts now includes Mammoth Mountain, Bear Mountain, Snow Summit, and ​June Mountain, which collectively host two million annual skier and snowboarder visits.

Uniting these four resorts under one umbrella paved the way for the Cali4nia Pass, providing skiers and riders with access to 200+ named runs on approximately 4,000 acres of terrain, serviced by 54 lifts.

Beyond the winter season, with the addition Mammoth Resorts will now operate two of the top mountain bike parks in North America ​along with numerous lodging properties, multiple golf courses and other guest attractions.

“This is more than a merger of ski resorts, we’re creating greater access to year-round mountain experiences with a distinctly southern California feel,” said Mammoth CEO Rusty Gregory. “At Big Bear Mountain Resorts our goal is to provide the best first-time ski, snowboard and mountain bike experience in the country.”

Seasoned resort executive Dave Likins has been named Chief Operating Officer of Big Bear Mountain Resorts with long-term CEO Dick Kun stepping back from day-to-day operations.

“The sale of Big Bear Mountain Resorts to Mammoth Resorts is a win-win for shareholders, suppliers, local businesses, the Big Bear economy, and most importantly, Southern California’s skiers and snowboarders,” said Dick Kun. “I am both humbled and proud to have been able to help lead the way in making the sale happen as the culmination to my life’s work.”

About Mammoth Resorts Mammoth Resorts is the leading four-season mountain resort operator in California. The company owns and operates a variety of recreation, hospitality, real estate development, food and beverage and retail enterprises.

This includes Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, Snow Summit, Bear Mountain and June Mountain, which collectively host two million annual skier/snowboarder visits.

Mammoth Resorts is also the owner-operator of Tamarack Lodge and Resort, Mammoth Mountain Inn, Juniper Springs Resort, the Village Lodge, Mammoth Mountain Bike Park, Snow Summit Bike Park, Mammoth Snowmobile Adventures, Sierra Star Golf Course, and Bear Mountain Golf Course.

For more information visit MammothMountain.com or www.bigbearmountainresorts.com.

Mountain High offers spring season pass sale

Winter weather has returned to Southern California, just in time for Mountain High’s Spring Season Pass Sale.  Now through March 31st, skiers and snowboarders can purchase an adult Anytime Season Pass good for the remainder of this season and all of next for just $249 ($229 for Young Adults ages 13 to 21).

That’s a savings of 64% over a traditional single-year pass.  Plus guests can upgrade to a VIP Season Pass for just $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!

Click here to learn more “http://www.mthigh.com/season-pass-salehttp://www.mthigh.com/season-pass-sale

Says John McColly, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, “This is the best value in Southern California!  $249 for the rest of this year and all of next?  You can’t beat it.”

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 5 visits.  Children’s Passes for ages 12 & under are also available for just $199 (Regularly $279).

Children six and under 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 through March 31st or when the resort closes, whichever is later.  At $249 it is the best deal of any major resort in Southern California.

Guests are encouraged to purchase their passes online at mthigh.com however passes can also be purchased at the resort and by phone at (888) 754 7878.

Mammoth Mountain weekend: Snow, sun then more snow

While it was snowy much of the weekend at Mammoth Mountain, the skies cleared on Saturday for a few hours of spectacular bluebird conditions. (Photo by Peter Morning/MMSA)

While it was snowy much of the weekend at Mammoth Mountain, the skies cleared on Saturday for a few hours of spectacular bluebird conditions. (Photo by Peter Morning/MMSA)

Winter’s not finished yet – certainly not at Mammoth Mountain, where 16 inches of new snow fell during the past 72 hours.

“After a slow start, winter has come roaring back to the Eastern Sierra,” says Tim LeRoy, resort spokesman.

The fresh powder gives skiers and snowboarders a base depth of 32 inches at McCoy Station and 48 inches at the summit.

Even today, the white stuff continues to fall at Mammoth. The forecast calls for another inch of snow by 6:30 p.m. with nighttime temps dipping into the mid-teens.

Information: www.mammothmountain.com

Snow alert! At Northstar, 16 inches of fresh powder … and counting

Snow, snow and more snow. Here was the scene at Northstar California Resort today at 9 a.m. (Northstar photo)

Snow, snow and more snow. The scene at Northstar today at 9 a.m. (Northstar photo)

As of 11 a.m. today, Northstar California Resort has received 16 inches of fresh snow in less than 24 hours.

The mountain continues to experience very intense snowfall and an additional 6 inches of snow is forecast for tonight. Overnight temperatures are expected to dip into the teens and low 20s.

Information: www.northstarcalifornia.com

Ezakimak promises to be one crazy 5k under a pink moon

EZAKIMAK 11,053′ FULL MOON CHALLENGE

Date / Time
Apr 04 / 4:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Location
Category
Winter Events, Family Fun, Entertainment, Cross Country Ski, Après
Challenge yourself.  Race from the base of Mammoth Mountain to the top of Eleven53 on cross country skis, snowshoes or by foot.  The Ezakimak will bring participants from 9,000ft to 11,053ft in a winter trial featuring both competitive and novice classes.

Spectators and family can take an evening gondola ride to witness the spring Pink Moon from atop the Sierra and cheer on their participant.  The top of the mountain will be buzzing with indoor/outdoor fun for the whole family including the Ezakimak finish line, music, food and drinks, kids activities and more.

5K | 2,000ft of Elevation Gain

Dates: Saturday, April 4, 2015
Time: 4pm-10pm 

Ezakimak_SkiSnowRun_Image

About Ezakimak

Ezakimak is Kamikaze spelled backwards.  Our legendary Kamikaze mountain bike trail spans from Mammoth Mountain’s peak, weaving through the “backside” of the mountain and finishing at our Main Lodge.  We’re bringing summer fun to the snow with a backwards race, we’re sending you uphill.  Participants can cross country ski, snowshoe or run their way up the Kamikaze trail under the light of a spring full moon.

Event Registration

11,053 Ezakimak Ski/Run/Show Challenge | $40*

Entry fee includes race, finishers beer, bag check at registration, gondola ride down

after race, food & water stations, on-course DJ’s and bag check delivery to the top.
Race classes:
–Open Run (Male/Female)
–Open Ski (Male/Female)
–Open Snowshoe (Male/Female)
–Novice Run
–Novice Ski
–Novice Snowshoe

Register Today on Active.com

Event Schedule**

  • 4pm-6:30pm – On-site registration and bib pick up in the Main Lodge Ticket Office
  • 5-6:30pm – Ezakimak Practice on Lower Minaret Mile (Chair 11)
  • 6:30pm – Panorama Gondola Opens and Activities Begin at Eleven53
  • 7pm – Ezakimak Challenge Starts at Broadway Express (waves)
  • 8:20pm – Ezakimak Awards at Eleven53
  • 9:45 pm – Activities at Eleven53 close
  • 10pm – Panorama Gondola closes

– See more at: http://www.mammothmountain.com/winter/events/event-detail?url=11-053-ezakimak-ski-run-show-challenge-mammoth-pink-moon#sthash.A3dIIiAt.dpuf

Cold temps help Diamond Peak get back in the snow business

Little help from Mother Nature? No problem at Diamond Peak, where crews have been busy making as much as 5 feet of new snow since Saturday night thanks to an abundance of chilly temperatures.

The Incline Village resort currently has nearly half of its trails open (59 percent in trail acreage) with top-to-bottom skiing on runs that drop 1,840 vertical feet. Open terrain includes two major trails off Crystal Quad Express – Flume and Crystal Ridge (voted one of the world’s top 100 best ski trails by CNN Travel).

“Our mixture of snow-making technologies allow us to maximize our ability to make snow across the resort,” said Brad Wilson, the resort’s general manager.

Information: www.diamondpeak.com

Here’s a video that shows the snow-making team in action:

Durango businessman buys Purgatory ski resort

Last fall, James Coleman, a local Durango businessman and avid skier said he would be purchasing 100% of Purgatory at Durango Mountain Resort. The sale of the resort to James has been finalized.James Coleman

James is passionate about skiing in the southwest, having lived in Durango for nearly a decade and growing up skiing at Purgatory.

When the ski area was first founded in 1965, it was called Purgatory, and James believes that this name and all it represents hold a special place in the hearts of passholders and guests; in addition, next winter is the resort’s 50th anniversary.

So as the new owner, James’ first order of business is to change the name of Durango Mountain Resort back to “Purgatory” Resort and use the ski area’s popular “retro” logo with the red and white inverted triangles.

James is eager to put his passion for skiing and knowledge of resort operations and development to work at Purgatory. He is committed to expediting the approved projects in the resort’s Master Development Plan, including adding new terrain and making lift improvements while maintaining a focus on value and the family-friendly nature of Purgatory.

Since 2000, James has been the managing partner at Sipapu Ski and Summer Resort near Taos, NM. Last year, James entered into a strategic partnership with Los Alamos County and is in the process of acquiring Pajarito Mountain Ski Area in Los Alamos, NM. James is also in the process of acquiring Arizona Snowbowl, in Flagstaff, AZ, which is expected to be finalized by the end of the ski season.

Collectively, these four southwestern resorts, Purgatory, Snowbowl, Pajarito, and Sipapu, form the largest collective ski experience in the Southwest, totaling over 3000 skiable acres, more than 200 trails, 26 lifts, and 13 terrain parks, all within a convenient drive of each other.

Guests will be able to have unlimited access to all four mountains on one season pass, the Purgatory Power Pass, which is slated to go on sale next month. Additional Power Pass products will also be available at the Arizona and New Mexico ski areas.

The Chuck Cobb and Duncan ownership group will continue to retain ownership of Durango Mountain Realty and the remaining community real estate holdings surrounding the resort.

There are five other villages in the resort’s master plan where the real estate would remain under the ownership and development responsibility of Cobb and the existing shareholders, including the Duncan family.

These areas include Engineer and Tacoma Village, which are currently under active development, and Boyce Lake, Greyrock and Base Camp Villages, which will be developed in the future.

Superb snow at Squaw Valley despite warm temps

By Bob Goligoski, Correspondent

I could have been playing 18 holes along the Pacific. Or biking around the bay. Or just working on a tan at the nearby beach.

But as a dedicated ski writer for 45 years, none of that would work for me. I just had to get to the Sierra to see if we still had a ski season. Recent temperatures in the 60’s on the slopes had left the perception that maybe the season was melting away in February.

It was 64 degrees on Feb 18 when I arrived in Truckee, some 10 miles from Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows. But on my next day at Squaw Valley, it had probably cooled down about five degrees.

I was quite amazed at the scene at Squaw. Some 23 of the 29 lifts were operating and the snow was in superb shape.

Keeping mostly to the north-facing slopes and looking for runs where the trees protected the runs from the sun, I skied for about five hours before I noticed the first signs of soft, slushy spring-like snow. In all that time, I only scraped across one rock.

The next day at Alpine Meadows, 10 of 13 lifts were humming along but a number of runs that I favor were closed because of thin snow cover. There was plenty of skiing, some of the runs had a boiler-plate like surface while others had loose snow or were turning quite soft about noon. There were a few rocks but they were easy to avoid.

Mid-week, walk-up adult lift tickets were $119 at both resorts but Squaw was a much better buy. The two resorts are owned by the same corporation.

Melissa Matheney, public relations coordinator for the resorts, smiled as she looked at the large crowds of skiers and snowboarders. It was a semi-holiday week as there was no school for many children.

“We are still counting on more snow,” she said, “as we get about half of our annual snowfall in February and March. Business has been strong recently and the great weather here is one of our main attractions.”

Unfortunately, Squaw Valley has had to cancel a week of World Cup skicross and snowboardercross races set for March 4 – 8 because of the scarcity of snow. This was the first World Cup-level event scheduled for Squaw Valley since 1969.

The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association Hole Shot NorAm and U.S. Revolution Tour skicross and snowboardcross events planned for March 9 – 13 at Squaw Valley also have been cancelled.

I asked Matheney about the rumors that Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows will be merged into one huge resort with the erection of a lift between the two resorts. She responded that talks are on-going about that possibility “and we hope to make an announcement in the future.”