A severe rain and windstorm prior to the Christmas holidays forced most of the Southern California resorts to close for four days. But cooler temperatures and new snowfall allowed them to bounce back for the holidays-just in time to hit their stride for January crowds.
The resorts lauded the holiday snow conditions, and Facebook fans expressed surprise at the good quality of snow. Cooler nighttime temperatures allowed the snowmaking guns to go back into action, and new snow brought out the crowds making for sellouts at some resorts over the holidays.
Two feet of new snow resurrected Mountain High after the storm closure. Resort employees watched as rains stripped snow from the slopes, but the two-foot dump allowed the resort to rebound fast, cranking open the entire West Resort, tubing park, night skiing, and East Resort by the peak holiday ski days.
"It rained torrentially," spokesperson John McColly told us. "But then we got thick, wet, heavy snow that made a great base. That snow put us right back on the map, and less than a week later we were 98 percent open."
The two percent that stayed closed are two runs with severe erosion damage, according to McColly. "It may take bulldozers to get in to fix them, so they may be closed all year," he added.
Holiday skiers delighted in midwinter conditions. "We've got stellar conditions and are seeing good traffic," said McColly. "People are loving the fresh snow conditions."
The resort operates daily throughout winter with night skiing going to its regular schedule in January with lifts running 5 to 10 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays at the West Resort.
Mt. Baldy not only suffered a closure from rains, but torrents of water washed out the access road. Los Angeles County road crews repaired the damage to get the road to the resort open during the holidays. The resort, which started up its lifts for skiing, snowboarding, scenic rides, and tubing, operates daily throughout winter.
Heavy rains caused mudslides to close Highway 330/18, preventing access through Running Springs to Bear Mountain, Snow Summit, and Snow Valley. However, other routes to the resorts stayed open. Check for updated road conditions before driving up.
Snow Summit and Bear Mountain were able to open almost 100 percent of the runs at both resorts following the storm. The pair open daily in January with night skiing Fridays and Saturdays running until 9:30 p.m. at Snow Summit.
New snow following the rainstorm at Snow Valley allowed the resort to re-open almost all of the front side trails before the holidays.