SnoCast: More Snow Follows Intense Coast to Coast Storm

CONUS_Snow

Following an epic coast to coast storm that dropped new snow from California to Maine, there's more snow ahead for ski country!

The weather pattern is very active, meaning there will be less lead time and a lot of changes the farther out you go in time due to complex interactions in the atmosphere. One thing is for sure, ski season will be strong for many parts of the country to finish February (and likely into March). 

Here's the forecast breakdown for February 23-30, 2023.

 

 

 

West

Let's start out West this week where a large atmospheric trough continues to bring stormy and cold weather...and it's not stopping anytime soon, skiers and riders. As of Thursday, lingering snow continues across the interior West from the most recent storm that dumped feet of snow. Check out some of the photos from the last few days. 

Meanwhile a new storm system is digging down the Pacific coastline.

This new system will bring renewed heavier snow and high winds to California by Friday and Saturday. And it's not just the Sierras this time! Snow will dig deep reaching to southern California with very low snow levels expected. Blizzard warnings are in effect Friday for the San Gabriels with potential for 2-5+ FEET of snow (locally more!) above 4,000' (yeah! insane!). Deep snow is expected for Mountain High, Bear, Snow Valley, and others in SoCal, not to mention big totals upwards of 2-5 feet northward to the Sierras from China Peak and Mammoth northward to the Tahoe area.

It should be noted, this is *significant* for the southern California peaks, historic even. Make sure if you plan to travel, you have appropriate gear and transportation to do so, and monitor pass closures.

This storm pivots toward the U.S. Southwest by Sunday, delivering new snow to Arizona, New Mexico, and southern Colorado ski areas especially.

Another prolonged period of snow develops across the entire west again Monday through Wednesday of next week as a cold pattern sticks around out west. Just keep the skis handy. 

East

Thursday ad Thursday night, snow continues to fall for Midwest ski areas eastward through southern Ontario, to northern New York's Adirondacks and northern New England. While not quite as much fell as predicted, we still picked up beneficial snow on the slopes with this most recent round.  

Scattered lighter snow showers redevelop for the northern Great Lakes to northern New England later Saturday in an otherwise fairly quiet weekend for the Northeast. Here's the snow forecast for the northeast from midday Thursday through early Sunday, February 26 from the National Weather Service. 

The next storm system for the East presses northward into the Great Lakes by later Monday and Tuesday, bringing a mixed bag to the Midwest (Monday) with milder air pushing into the area. However, in New England, with colder air in place, snow is likely to develop again for parts of upstate New York and New England by Tuesday. While early to pinpoint totals, it appears ski season is being saved (albeit a bit late in the season) here across the far Northeast and New England. 

 

Looking Ahead

The general pattern remains similar through mid and end of next week, with a large trough out West, keeping conditions colder and stormier than average. There is a good chance March will come in like a lion for the Western U.S. 

For the East, we continue to ride a border zone as warm, spring-like air tries to push northward. This will mean periodically milder pushes for the Midwest, solidly warm for the southeast, but still enough cold air in the Northeast that we will hang on to our existing snow, and potentially see more when storms come through. Here's the temperature and precipitation outlook from February 28 through March 4, 2023 from NOAA's Climate Prediction Center

 

 

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Big Bear Mountain Resorts, Mountain High Bring Skiing, Riding To SoCal

New-Mtn-High-Cover

Southern California skiers and snowboarders have plenty to choose from within a couple hours' drive from the Los Angeles Basin into the coastal mountain range.

Two of those resorts -- Mountain High and Bear Mountain/Snow Summit -- actually fill out five separate trail maps as, over the years, consolidation produced a wider variety of terrain.

At Mountain High, skiing began in the 1940s and has expanded to three separate mountains -- East, West and North -- that split out nicely according to skill and type of terrain. The West Resort, now combined with neighbor East Resort, acts as the focus for the three resorts. But each has its own base facilities. Free shuttles run between West and East bases.

This season, skiers and riders will benefit from more snowmaking capacity (essential for a SoCal mountain), more features in the terrain park and renovations to the Foggy Goggle Bar at the West Resort base.

Mountain High is a Powder Alliance member and accepts the two-day-free Indy Pass. Night skiing on 85% of West Resort goes until 10 p.m. every evening at West Resort, with tubing park at North Resort. Parking can be an issue. There is on free parking lot, at the West Resort, but all the others cost $20 per vehicle.

Head to northeast into the San Bernardino mountains to find a longtime favorite of SoCal's skiers and 'boarders, Bear Mountain and Snow Summit. Under the moniker of Big Bear Mountain Resorts, the two mountains sit separately above Big Bear Lake, but you only need one ticket or an Ikon Pass, to ski and ride both.

This season, a multi-year renovation of the Bear Mountain base has produced an upgraded Laybacks Bar, a more convenient layout for the rental shop, and additional parking. Bear's 1,665 vertical drop serves a couple of long blacks, but the emphasis is on terrain parks. More than 200 features spread around the 200-acre mountain, plus a pair of halfpipes. The mountain's huge learning area focuses on getting never-evers up and onto the slopes, while progressive parks aim to step up freestylers' game.

Partner mountain Snow Summit is a couple of miles down the road, and emphasizes intermediate and advanced terrain with a double-blacks and a bevy of wide-open groomers. Fourteen lifts cover the mountains 240 acres, with two high-speed chairs to the 8,000-foot-high ridgeline. Night skiing at Snow Summit runs weekends and holidays.

 

 

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SnoCast: Will March Come in Like a Lion or Lamb?

Mt-High

 

This first weekend of March features a more "lion-like" and snowy setup across the West, while the East sees lamb-like signs of spring time weather. Let's dig into the forecast in this week's SnoCast.

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Alterra Announces Spending Spree For Next Season

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The creator of the Ikon Pass will invest more than $200 million this summer to further upgrade some of the 15 resorts it owns for skiers and riders in the 2020-21 season.

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Lake Tahoe, SoCal Resorts Open With More Snow Forecasted

Heavenly-Chair-Scenic

After a landmark season last year, California's ski and snowboard resorts are pumped to do it again, with a half-dozen more opening around Thanksgiving and plenty of snow on the way.

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SoCal Resorts Aim At Non-Skiers, First-Timers

Mtn-High-KIds

For a long time, the idea has to get more people on the mountain, but nowadays it’s just as good to get more folks on the property. Witness SoCal resorts.

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Skis And Boats: Waterfronts Near Western Mountain Resorts

Heavenly-Lake-View

Summer vacationers often seek out lakefront property to cool off, and a number of ski and snowboard resorts across the West are blessed with a lake within spittin’ distance.

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New Gondola At Winter Park To Reduce Crowding

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More carving at Winter Park with new gondola. (Winter Park/Facebook)

Winter Park Resort has announced that it will replace the mountain’s workhorse Zephyr Express chairlift with a gondola – a move aimed to upgrade the mountain’s infrastructure and to shorten weekend and holiday lines.

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Here’s What’s New On Cali’s Day Trippin’ Mountains

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Skiing and riding underway at Mount Rose. (Mount Rose Ski Tahoe/Facebook)

California has two dozen ski and snowboard resorts, and the bulk of them have minimal lodging and rely upon skiers and riders who drive up for the day.

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Aspen Skiing Company, KSL Partners To Acquire Mammoth Mountain

Aspen Skiing Company, KSL Partners To Acquire Mammoth Mountain

Aspen Skiing Company and KSL Partners are purchasing four California resorts, including Mammoth Mountain.

Moving quickly after purchasing Intrawest resorts, a new Aspen-based ownership group announced it has bought Mammoth Mountain and three other resorts in the Southern California mountains.


The heretofore unnamed entity, formed by Aspen Skiing Corp. and KSL Capital Partners, said it will close this fall on a sale of a quartet of areas including Mammoth Mountain, June Mountain, Snow Summit and Bear Mountain.

The announcement comes on the heels of the group’s industry-rocking purchase of Colorado’s Steamboat and Winter Park, Quebec’s Mont Tremblant, Vermont’s Stratton, Ontario’s Blue Mountain and West Virginia’s Snowshoe. The four Aspen mountains and Squaw Valley-Alpine, a KSL property, will come under the umbrella of the new group but will continue to operate independently.

Because both purchases aren’t expected to be finalized until next fall, resort-specific season tickets will be honored for next season. So will the M.A.X. Pass, Rocky Mountain Super Pass and Mountain Collective that overlap into the partnership’s new portfolio in various ways.

“We had greater plans for Mammoth but the Great Recession and then some less favorable weather, interfered with our strategic aspirations in a finite life investment vehicle,” said Barry Sternlicht of Starwood Capital Group that owned Mammoth and the other resorts “We know Aspen and KSL have the experience, commitment, and balance sheet to help make our vision a reality.”

No upgrading plans have been announced yet, but indications are that the new entity has the capital to put into improvements at these resorts – for both winter and summer. However, official statements have noted that coordinating e-commerce technology among all the resorts will a high priority in order to expand the marketing capabilities of all the mountains.

The move by Aspen Skiing Corp. to acquire and consolidate some 15 resorts under the Aspen-KSL roof is seen by industry officials as a response to Vail Resort’s two-decade effort to acquire 14 resorts across the U.S. and Canada.



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SoCal Resorts Opening, Top Terrain Parks Ready

SoCal Resorts Opening, Top Terrain Parks Ready

You find features all over Mammoth Mountain. (Mammoth Mountain/Facebook)

As the song contends, it seems “it never rains in Southern California,” but it does snow in the mountains. Enough has fallen already from the skies and out of the nozzles of snow guns that SoCal’s ski and snowboard season is underway.


All within driving distance of Los Angeles or San Diego, a half-dozen resorts feature ample varieties of trails and slopes, and terrain parks that play off of the popularity of skateboarding and surfing down below.

Another highlight is collaboration on lift tickets that make it easier and cheaper to get onto the slopes. It’s the second season for the consortium of Mammoth MountainJune Mountain, Bear Mountain and Snow Summit. The Cali4nia Pass covers all four resorts for the whole season, while Bear and Snow Summit join up with both unlimited and midweek versions. Season pass holders at Mountain High or Mt. Baldy get three free days at the other resort.

Snow Valley terrain park

At Snow Valley, there’s a new conveyor lift that doubles terrain for the kid’s learning area, while night skiing continues. At Snow Summit, a new 3,000 square-foot children’s center sprung up over the summer.

Flyin' high on Mountain High rail

San Diego fav Mountain High boasts two separate mountains that let skiers and riders choose the type of terrain they want to hit on any day.

Mt. Baldy boast less grooming, more challenges on its slopes.

And Mt. Baldy – about 45 miles from L.A. – keeps it old-school with fewer trails groomed every day to challenge skiers and ‘boarders to up their games beyond corduroy.

Mammoth Mountain – the largest resort in Southern California – adds to its Unbound Terrain Park legacy with a new hike-in terrain park in the Hemlocks Ridge area. A half-dozen parks of progressive difficulty dot the lower half of the trail map at Mammoth, including four half-pipes.

“Surfing and skateboarding are inherently ingrained in the fabric of Southern California, and freestyle snowboarding is a natural extension of that,” Mammoth’s Lauren Burke told SnoCountry.com. “The Southern California board sport culture slowly made its way to up north, first to June Mountain and then to Mammoth, and the Unbound Terrain Parks were born.”

Young rider contemplates Snow Summit terrain options.

At Bear Mountain and Snow Summit, terrain park crews regularly shift features overnight to keep things fresh.



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Summer Mountains Put Fat-Tire Bicyclists To Endurance Tests

Summer Mountains Put Fat-Tire Bicyclists To Endurance Tests

Rider in Big Bear Grizzly 100 gets encouragement from a fan (Big Bear Gran Fondo/Facebook/Pink Shorts Photography)

For those with big lungs, tree-trunk quads and a desire to spend hours on a mountain bike -- or folks who enjoy watching them -- the mountains all across the country are an endurance racer’s heaven.

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Spring Storms Let More Resorts Extend Seasons - SoCal To NW

Snow Summit SpringJust when we thought El Niño has petered out on the mountains of the West, the metrological maiden has come on with force to put down as much as two feet as April begins.Thus, a number of resorts in the West have decided to stay open a bit longer. 

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SoCal's Mountain High Temporarily Closed; Snow Valley Honors Passes

Mountain HighUnusually high temps have forced Mountain High to shut down it lifts until conditions improve, but one of its SoCal neighbors has stepped in to help.

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Shaun White Returns To SoCal Freestyle Roots; Buys Into Mammoth Resorts

Shaun WhiteBy age six, Shaun White was riding the rails at Big Bear Mountain -- and catching the eye of promoters of the new sport of freestyle. At age seven, the San Diego native had a sponsorship, and was tearing up the terrain parks at Mammoth Mountain.

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Western Resorts Dodge Wildfires So Far; Firefighters Getting Upper Hand At SoCal's Big Bear

Big Bear firesMore than a hundred wildfires in the mountains of the moisture-starved Pacific Coast have yet to cause any damage to ski and snowboard resorts, although a small fire near Snow Summit and Bear Mountain forced temporary evacuations and closures around the Southern California slopes.

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Deeper Discounts: So. Cal Resorts Entice Skiers To Learn, Ski & Ride

Mountain High noviceThis 2014-2015 winter has yet to be kind to Southern California mountains, so that means resorts are getting kinder and kinder to skiers and snowboarders.

 

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Four-Mountain Pass Created As Mammoth Buys SoCal's Bear Mountain, Snow Summit

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The CEO of Mammoth Mountain said the purchase of Big Bear Resorts will produce a “synergy” for Southern California skiers and snowboarders. That synergy is spotlighted in a joint season pass.

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Get Ski, Snowboard Fever Throughout West During January; Special Deals

Learning at A-Basin

Here’s a New Year’s resolution to work on: Take to the slopes to learn to ski or ride at any of dozens of winter resorts in the Rockies, Sierras and Cascades.

 

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Thinking Ahead: Season Pass Deals Roll Out For 2013-2014

Bear Mt.

Even though the lifts are still running for the 2012-13 season, some early-bird deals on season passes for next season can be had.

 

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