2022-23 California Detail

Updated May 25, 2023

Mammoth had 11 inches of snow at the beginning of November and opened Broadway, Rusty's and Saddle Bowl Nov. 5 with snowmaking assistance. After 49 inches fell Nov. 8-9, Mammoth was 63% open Nov. 12, including the top, chairs 3 & 5, and the lower mountain as far east as Chairs 4, 16 and Canyon Lodge. Chair 12 opened Nov. 19 and Eagle opened at Thanksgiving. 25 inches fell Dec. 1-2, opening chairs 13 and 22. 24 more inches fell Dec. 3-4. 29 inches fell Dec. 10-11, yielding full operation on a 6-8 foot base. The mid-December season total of 138 inches was been exceeded by the 146 inches in 2004. Two atmospheric rivers over the holidays dumped 29 and 42 inches though sectors lower than Main Lodge saw some rain. It snowed 47 inches during the first week of January, 74 inches Jan. 8-10 and 45 inches Jan. 14-15, bringing Main Lodge base depth to 15 feet. The January 19 season total of 381 inches exceeded any prior season total through the end of January. 4 more inches fell later in January and 16 inches Feb. 5-6. 11 feet of snow fell Feb. 22 to Mar. 1, bringing the base to 19-25 feet. 30 inches fell Mar. 5-6, 44 inches Mar. 10-13 and 18 inches Mar. 15-16. There were 3 foot storms March 22-24 and March 29-30, putting Mammoth over 700 inches and breaking the former snowfall record of 652.5 inches in 2010-11. Mammoth remained cold and in winter mode with 3 more inches the first week of April before warming the second weekend. Canyon and Eagle facilities closed as scheduled April 15, but lift access continued to the end of April daily from Canyon and weekends from Eagle. Weekend access from Canyon continued to Memorial Day, along with chairs 9 and 12-14 beimg open. There was no more new snow in April and 10 inches over the first weekend in May. Mammoth will stay open at least "through July."

Southern California's 2022-23 season can be compared to the past 46 years in History of Southern California Snow Conditions. Season snowfall of 20 feet was exceeded only by the El Nino seasons of 1982-83 and 1997-98. Feb. 24-25 was probably the largest single SoCal storm since I started skiing in 1976. However the season does not reach the highest blue category in the above chart because the major snowstorms did not begin until late February. The first half of the season had some snow but also excessive rain. Note also that most roads were closed during the two A weekends in 2022-23.

November: SoCal was also hit by the early November storms, but both started as rain before turning to snow at the end. Total snowfall ranged from 4 inches at Mt. High to 13 at Big Bear so those areas opened with snowmaking assistance Nov. 12. Open terrain stalled in late November.
December: The weak early December storms were all rain. It snowed 5-9 inches December 11, and ensuing snowmaking opened more than half of Big Bear's terrain. After rains on Dec. 27 and 31 it snowed 3-7 inches New Year's Eve.
January: It rained all day Jan. 4, then snowed 6-10 inches. The storm of Jan. 9-10 was all rain, aside from 1-3 inches at Big Bear at the end. Other areas had to close some trails. From Jan. 14-16 there was some rain but also 15-21 inches snow. Over the next week some more runs opened but natural snow terrain remained very limited. 3-8 inches fell Jan. 30-31 to refresh surfaces.
February: There was no snow during the first 3 weeks of February but it remained cool enough to maintain all runs that were open at the end of January. From February 22 to the end of the month it snowed 7-8 feet, likely setting a one week record.
March: Two more storms totalled another 4 feet during the first week of March, and all roads into ski areas other than Mt. Baldy were continuously closed from February 24 - March 5. The Big Bear areas had "country club skiing" for locals from February 25 - March 7, only being closed on March 1. Access to Big Bear via Lucerne Valley opened to the public March 8, and the other roads the next week. It rained March 10-11 and March 14-15, degrading surfaces but minimally affecting the deep snowpack. It snowed 3+ feet March 20-21 and 5-12 inches March 29.
April/May: SoCal areas were mostly in full operation to April 16 with Snow Summit and Mt. High open to the end of the month and Mt. Baldy to May 20. Baldy got 8 inches snow in early May.

I consider the local areas worth visiting according to the following criteria (2022-23 summary):

Snow Summit: The Wall, Log Chute, Chair 10 and lower Westridge open. The beginner area plus one top-to-bottom run opened Nov. 12. Miracle Mile, Summit Run and upper Westridge were open Nov. 19. Ego Trip and chair 7 opened for Thanksgiving. Chair 9 and lower Log Chute opened Dec. 9. Chair 10 and lower Westridge opened Dec. 16, and the Wall opened Dec. 22. 70% open Dec. 24, 82% Jan. 6, 100% Jan. 15. Summit was 100% open mid-April, 85% open April 22 and 59% at April 30 closing.

Bear Mt: Silver Mt. and/or Bear Peak open. One run from Goldmine Peak opened Nov. 12 with more variations on the lower mountain over the next 3 weeks. Silver opened Dec. 9. Bear Peak opened Dec. 16. 79% open Dec. 24, 83% Jan. 6, 100% Jan. 17. Bear was 100% open mid-April and 55% open for its closing weekend April 22-23.

Snow Valley: Slide Peak open. 20% open at Thanksgiving, 37% Dec. 16, 60% Jan. 6, 47% Jan. 12. Slide Peak opened Thursday - Monday starting Jan. 21. Snow Valley had 150 inches snowfall since Feb. 22 but was closed Feb. 24 - Mar. 9 due to no road access. Snow Valley opened to local residents only March 10. Hwy 330 opened to the public Mar. 13. After the rain Slide Peak was only open weekends but after the March 20-21 storm Slide was open daily until Snow Valley closed April 16.

Mountain High: East as well as West open. Chisholm and a couple of beginner runs opened Nov. 12. Borderline/Wyatt opened Nov. 19. West 39% open Dec. 16, 61% open Jan. 6, 26% Jan. 12, 95% open Jan. 17. East opened 31% Thursday - Monday starting Jan. 26. Mt. High reported 115 inches snowfall Feb. 22-28 but did not report Mar. 1-2. Mt. High was closed for 10 days while Hwy 2 was closed, but reopened 100% of both East and West on Mar. 6. Since early March East was only open Friday-Sunday to first weekend of April, then closed. West was in full operation daily to April 16, then Wednesday-Sunday. West was at 94% April 22 but only 29% at May 1 closing.

Mt. Baldy and Mt. Waterman: A natural snow base of at least 4 feet. Baldy's beginner area opened Dec. 16. Thunder opened Bonanza Jan. 6. Chair 4 and upper groomed runs opened Jan 20. During the late February storm cycle, Baldy opened chairs 1&2 Feb. 26 and Thunder Feb. 27, closed for the next storm Mar. 1-2, reopened Mar. 3 and opened chair 4 Mar. 9. Baldy was closed Wednesdays all season, and up to mid-April chair 4 was open mornings, then Thunder in the afternoons until 5:15PM. Chair 1 steeps remained skiable during the second half of April but the bottom burned off by April 15. Baldy was open Friday - Monday during the second half of April, then Friday - Sunday and closed May 20. Mt. Waterman's road has been closed indefinitely since Feb. 24, was damaged during the March 20-21 storm and thus never opened this season.

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