2017-18 California Detail

Updated January 15, 2018

Mammoth had minimal snow from an early November storm but was hit hard by an atmospheric river during the second week of November. There was a mix of rain plus 27 inches of snow at Main Lodge, over 5 feet up top and perhaps 3-4 feet on chairs 3 and 5. A light drizzle and warm weather brought spring conditions for Thanksgivng week. A late November storm of 11-22 inches resurfaced the open terrain and opened some backside chair 14 runs. 100+mph upslope winds stripped some top of the mountain entry points Dec. 4, but mid-mountain and Main/Stump base area runs remained in excellent condition. Snowmaking expanded to open Canyon/Eagle on Dec. 13, and chairs 9 and 22 also opened in mid-December. Mammoth was 70% open for the second half of December but it only snowed 4 inches. Thus the holiday crowds brought up some rocks on the early season base, though groomed skiing was mostly still good. It snowed 2-3 feet Jan. 5-9 with some rain as high as 10,000 feet. This finally opened Dave's and Climax, and the upper steep terrain has a fairly normal 4-7 foot snowpack. Ungroomed terrain on chairs 9, 25 and 15 still needs more snow to open.

November was warm with record SoCal heat over Thanksgiving. Snowmaking began in late November, but the first openings were Mt. High West on Dec. 6 and the Big Bear areas on Dec. 8. Snowmaking got Big Bear close to half open by Christmas, but no further progress has been made through mid-January. It rained for a day before the season's first snow of 6-8 inches on January 9.

I consider the local areas worth visiting according to the following criteria (2017-18 summary):

Snow Summit: The Wall, Log Chute, Chair 10 and lower Westridge open. Summit Run, Miracle Mile and the beginner area open Dec. 8. 23% open Dec. 16. 48% open at Christmas with Chairs 7 & 9 plus Log Chute and Westridge.

Bear Mt: Silver Mt. and/or Bear Peak open. Bear Express open Dec. 8. 20% open Dec. 16. 43% open at Christmas including Silver Mt.

Snow Valley: Slide Peak open. 10% open by mid-December, 23% open at Christmas.

Mountain High: East as well as West open. Chisholm and the base area of West open Dec. 6. West 16% open Dec. 16, 29% at Christmas.

Mt. Baldy and Mt. Waterman: A natural snow base of at least 4 feet.

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