Mammoth Mountain gets two-feet of fresh snow

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The storm gates have officially opened and the season is underway here at Mammoth Mountain! It received 13-22 inches of sweet, sweet snow with a storm that rolled in yesterday and there’s more on the way.

Conditions up there are awesome and they’re just getting better. Want to be the first to know when it snows? Sign up for our Fresh Snow and Dump Alert emails here

Mammoth is currently getting hammered by a system that’s likely to leave between 2-3 feet of fresh on the summit when it’s all said and done. 

Also, Mammoth is offering a snow guarantee good for bookings by Dec. 15. It’s pretty straight forward, if the base depth isn’t at the required level, guests get the option of a $100 gift card or the ability to move the reservation dates with no fees or penalties. Though with all this snow, shouldn’t be much of an issue!

Twelve days of Christmas at Keystone Resort

With nearly five feet of natural snow falling in November, Keystone Resort enters December with a plethora of great snow, open terrain, exciting events and Holiday cheer. Here are twelve good reasons to visit Keystone this month:

Twelve Santas Smiling
Santa Claus visits Keystone twelve times during December, providing plenty of time to get those Christmas lists submitted and say “Hi” to the big guy. Various dates and locations throughout December.

Eleven Children Climbing
Keystone’s season-long Kidtopia programming begins with the grand opening of the Kidtopia Snow Fort, the world’s largest snow fort. Ribbon cutting at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 13 atop Dercum Mountain.

Ten Noses a Knowing
Keystone Executive Pastry Chef Ned Archibald utilizes 8,000 pounds of imported chocolate for the Keystone Chocolate Village, complete with various winter scenes. Free to attend, located in the Keystone Lodge and Spa from Dec. 19, 2014-Jan. 4, 2015.

Nine Trails a Glowing
Delay the après with Colorado’s longest ski day as Keystone provides 11.5-hours of skiing and snowboarding fun. Dec. 5-6, 12-13, and 19-31 Keystone is open from 8:30 a.m. until 8 p.m.

Eight Cooks a Cooking
Skip the cooking, cleaning and preparation needed for hosting a Christmas dinner and enjoy a delicious meal at one of Keystone’s signature restaurants. On Thursday, Dec. 25, the Alpenglow Stube, Der Fondue Chessel, Dinner Sleigh Ride, Keystone Ranch, Ski Tip Lodge and Bighorn Bistro & Bar all offer a Christmas menu. Reservations are required, 800-354-4386.

Seven Revelers Ringing
Live music, dining specials and fireworks are some of the great ways families can celebrate New Year’s Eve at Keystone. There is skiing and riding to be had too of course, guests can enjoy the slopes until 8 p.m. on New Year’s Eve and begin New Year’s Day with first chair at 8:30 a.m.

Six Families Brunching
Bighorn Bistro’s new family brunch provides kids and adults their very own buffets. Children will enjoy games, entertainment and a fun atmosphere with free supervision provided, while next door adults will enjoy a classic brunch including mimosas and a bloody-mary bar. Located in the Keystone Lodge and Spa on Dec. 7, 14, 21 and 28 from 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Five Golden Rings
Okay, not really. But during the 12 Days of Keystone guests can win prizes such as a season pass, snow cat tour, lift tickets and Keystone swag by posting ‘countdown’ photos to Instagram and tagging @Keystone_resort. Winners will be chosen daily from Dec. 1-12.

Four Free Clinics
Keystone’s Ski and Ride School will provide complimentary one hour clinics for first-timers or guests looking to hone their skiing or riding skills. Two-days, two-clinics – skiing or snowboarding, offered Dec. 13-14 at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. atop Dercum Mountain during Get to Know Keystone Days.

Three Peaks Open
December provides excellent early-season skiing and riding conditions, with access from all three of Keystone’s mountains; Dercum, North Peak and The Outback.

Two Nights Only
“Keller & His Compadres” will be performing at Warren Station Dec. 19-20; doors open at 8 p.m. Keller Williams will also perform a solo set each evening. More information and tickets available at warrenstation.com.

And; many a Kidtopia Activities
Ripperoo’s Village parades, Starquest and Fireworks round out an eventful December at Keystone.

Ripperoo’s Village Parade – featuring Keystone mascot Ripperoo and friends at 4 p.m. in River Run Village on Dec. 13, 20 and 27.

Starquest – Keystone Science School provides a unique exploration of the universe. Free to attend, meets at Kidtopia Headquarters in River Run at 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 5, 12, 19 and 26.

Fireworks – free firework display visible from River Run and Lakeside Villages at 7 p.m. on Dec. 13, 20 and 27.

Bigfoot Adventure Walks – A free adventure-filled nature walk. Meets at 6 p.m. on Dec. 13, 16, 20, 23, 27 and 30 at Kidtopia Headquarters.

Snow alert! Mammoth gets pounded, offers a guarantee

Snow was falling earlier today at the base of Mammoth Mountain's Broadway Express. Forecasts call for as much as 3 feet of fresh powder by Thursday morning. (Photo by Kevin Westenbarger/MMSA)

Snow was falling earlier today at the base of Mammoth Mountain’s Broadway Express. Forecasts call for as much as 3 feet of fresh powder by Thursday morning. (Photo by Kevin Westenbarger/MMSA)

By Jerry Rice

Mammoth Mountain is at the center of a storm system that’s likely to leave between 2 to 3 feet of fresh powder on the 11,060-foot summit by Thursday morning. As of 4 p.m. today, 7-10 inches of new snow was being reported at the base.

The Eastern Sierra resort also is offering a “snow guarantee,” which is good for bookings made by Dec. 15. It goes like this: if the base depth isn’t at a certain minimum level, guests get the option of a $100 gift card or the ability to change the reservation dates without being charged fees or penalties.

In other words, if the reservations are for Jan. 1, for example, the base depth needs to be 40 inches or more. If not, guests can take advantage of the guarantee. By Jan. 15, the level rises to 50 inches. The chart has dates through Feb. 15, and is available here.

Earlier, we reported that this could be California’s best ski and snowboard season in years. Don’t believe it? We have three reasons for the well-placed optimism.

Heavenly offers ultimate holiday experience

Enjoy the ultimate holiday experience to Heavenly Mountain Resort this season, where twirling ice skaters, chainsaw-sculpted ice displays, and world-class fireworks will stir up the energy of the holiday season in Heavenly Village.

Co-produced by Tahoe South, the fourth annual Heavenly Holidays will feature 12 days of festivities beginning with photos with Santa in his snow globe and ending with a glittering New Year’s celebration with the sparkling Gondola Drop to ring in the New Year.

“The spirit of the season really comes to life during Heavenly Holidays. It’s a first-class experience with something that everyone can enjoy,” said Pete Sonntag, vice president and COO of Heavenly. “This time of year is all about spending time with family and friends, and Heavenly Holidays gives you the opportunity to go all in with a full day spent on the mountain and a full event roster in Heavenly Village.”

With more snow storms in the forecast and the power of the West Coast’s largest snowmaking system behind it, Heavenly is proud to provide holiday guests with fantastic snow surface conditions for skiing and riding.

After experiencing Heavenly’s 3,500 vertical feet of terrain above soaring views of Lake Tahoe, guests continue their adventure with daily festivities in Heavenly Village, leading up to the final blow out at the New Year’s Eve Celebration.

Santa’s Workshop Snow Globe – December 20-24, 2:00-7:00 p.m.
Enter Santa’s 16 foot snow globe to share your holiday wish list and snap a photo with the man himself.

Ice Skating Spectacular – December 28-30, 7:30 p.m.
Unique performances featuring some of the best figure skaters in the country will take place at the Heavenly Village Ice Rink.

Fear-No-Ice Sculpting – December 28-30, 10 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
Catch the chainsaws in action while Heavenly Village gets a makeover with dazzling ice sculpture displays by talented artists each day.

New Year’s Eve Celebration – December 31, 6:00-9:00 p.m.
The pinnacle of Heavenly Holidays will come alive with the celebration of the New Year. The Fire Groove fire dancers will be spinning flames to a live performance by Wes Quave, while the energy of the night continues with games, face-painting and a photo booth to archive all the amusement of the night. The “Fear-No-Ice” sculptors will bust out their saws to carve their crowning glory for the New Year. Heavenly’s Gondola Drop will descend over the crowd at 9:00 p.m., when families celebrate in concurrence with the midnight Ball Drop in New York City’s Time Square. The brightly lit gondola cabin soars over the crowd while the fireworks dazzle in the sky above, capturing the wonder of kids and adults alike. Guests looking to go all in on New Year’s Eve can gear up for a full night in the variety of clubs, bars and casinos that South Lake Tahoe is famous for.

Book a Heavenly Holiday Vacation!
Heavenly Mountain Resort is the ultimate holiday destination, with 12 days of vibrant events, 3,500 vertical feet of skiing and riding, and endless dining and nightlife options. Visit www.skiheavenly.com for details on vacation packages.

EpicDay Lift Tickets: Buy Online. Skip the Line.
EpicDay Lift Tickets offers up to 25% savings on advanced purchase lift tickets at Heavenly and across Vail Resorts via the new EpicDay Lift Tickets platform. Tickets can be purchased through an easy-to-use online and mobile site, www.skiheavenly.com/epicday, and picked up at an EpicDay Express Ticket Pick-Up window at the resort. Additional days can be added online, avoiding a return trip to the ticket window. EpicDay Lift Tickets reward advanced planning with the lowest guaranteed price and less time spent in the ticket line.

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