2021-22 California Detail

Updated May 19, 2022

Mammoth had three small mid-November snowfalls totaling 17 inches before the atmospheric river of of Oct. 25 rained 7 inches at Main Lodge before dumping 15 inches of wet snow. That storm dumped 3+ feet up high, opening several runs off the top plus face of 3. Another 9-11 inches fell Nov. 9 and chair 23 opened the next day. The lower mountain remained thin with minimal snowmaking during the first half of November. Chair 5 has been open weekends since Nov. 13. Mambo opened on chair 2 Nov. 23 and chair 4 opened for Thanksgiving with cooler weather for snowmaking. 9-11 inches fell Dec. 9-10, expanded open terrain over 40%. 6 feet of snow Dec. 13-16 opened 90%. Another 40 inches fell by Christmas and 54 inches more between Christmas and New Year's. There was no new snow since Dec. 30 until a modest 2 inches fell Feb. 15 and 5 inches a week later. Most of the mountain went to spring conditions in late March until 7 inches fell March 28-29, and there were spring conditions top to bottom after a warm first week of April. Mid-April snowfall of 34 inches arrested the decline in snowpack. That plus a cold second week of May extended closing day to June 5.

Southern California's 2021-22 season can be compared to the past 45 years in History of Southern California Snow Conditions. Snowfall was barely half of average but was well timed as most of it fell during the last week of December. Groomed runs with snowmaking held up well through a dry but cool midwinter, and most of them stayed open to mid-March. A little bit of natural snow dependent terrain was skiable in January but almost none thereafter.
November: November was warm, so nighttime snowmaking just started late in the month.
December: Snow Summit and Bear Mt. opened Dec. 3. 3 inches fell Dec. 9-10 and a average 10 inches Dec. 14. The storm Dec. 23-24 was mostly rain, only 3 inches snow. Scattered storms totalling about a foot with ongoing cold weather opened more terrain after Christmas. The Dec. 29-30 storm dumped 2-3 feet in the San Gabriel Mountains but less than a foot in the San Bernardino Mts.
January: The entire month was dry so ungroomed snow deteriorated but groomed runs were well maintained in cool weather.
February: Warm weather the second week of February brought heavier spring conditions but areas were refreshed with an average 5 inches snow Feb. 15-16. A week later an inside slider dropped up to a foot in the San Bernardino Mts but less than half that in the San Gabriels.
March: A similar inside slider hit March 4-5. Heat reduced open terrain during the second half of March, and the March 28-29 storm underperformed with only 5 inches, so open terrain continued to decline.
April: Skiing became marginal after the hot first week of April. Only Snow Summit hung on to April 16 Easter at about 1/4 open. Both April storms that reached SoCal were all rain in the mountains.

I consider the local areas worth visiting according to the following criteria (2021-22 summary):

Snow Summit: The Wall, Log Chute, Chair 10 and lower Westridge open. The beginner area and one top to bottom run opened early December. Chairs 3, 7 and 9 opened by Dec. 17. Lower Log Chute opened after Christmas, lower Westridge Dec. 29 and the Wall opened Dec. 30. 83% open end of January, 94% open end of February, 81% mid-March, 65% end of March, 34% April 9.

Bear Mt: Silver Mt. and/or Bear Peak open. The Park Run opened early December and some other lower terrain and park features opened by Dec. 17. One run on Silver Mt. opened Dec. 21. Bear Peak opened Dec. 30. 80% open end of January, 94% open end of February, 90% mid-March, 41% end of March, 37% April 9.

Snow Valley: Slide Peak open. About 2/3 of the lower mountain opened after the Dec. 14 storm. The entire lower mountain opened after Christmas. Since Jan. 2 Slide Peak was open Friday - Monday through mid-February with not enough staff to open midweek. 50% open end of March, 13% April 9.

Mountain High: East as well as West open. One beginner run on West opened first week of December. Up to 30% of West opened after the Dec. 14 snow. Most of West and two runs on East opened by Dec. 29. Full operation of East and West Dec. 31, though the shuttle between East and West and the Discovery chair at East did not run midweek due to limited staff. West 95% and East 75% open end of January. East has been 40% open 4-5 days per week in February with West 87% at the end of the month. East was was about 30% open the first two weekends in March. West 65% mid-March, 42% end of March, 19% April 9.

Mt. Baldy and Mt. Waterman: A natural snow base of at least 4 feet. Baldy's beginner gulch opened mid-December. Thunder opened Dec. 31. Limited terrain was skiable on chair 1 after the Dec. 29-30 storm while chair 4 was closed due to limited staff. By end of January only the core area of Thunder was open. Baldy was open 6 days/week in Jan/Feb and 4 days/week in the first half of March, then closed. Waterman's road was closed for a week after the December storms and Waterman did not have staff and equipment ready until February, when snowpack was inadequate to open.

All content herein copyright 1996-2022 Bestsnow.net
All Rights Reserved.
No copies or reproductions may be made in whole or in part without express permission by Tony Crocker.
Prices for commercial users will be determined based upon intended use and distribution.