2023-24 California Detail

Updated May 17, 2024

Mammoth opened Broadway and Saddle Bowl on snowmaking. Most of November's 15 inches fell Nov. 18-19, allowing Face of 3, Gremlin's, St. Anton and the race courses to open Nov. 19. Mambo opened a route to chair 2 Nov. 23, but by Nov. 25 the Face of 3 and the race runs closed. Stump Alley and Cornice opened to 13% by Dec. 1; 15% open Dec. 9 with addition of chair 4 despite only 3 inches early December snow. By December 16 single runs opened on chairs 17, 8 and 15. Dec. 19-20 it snowed about 8 inches at Main Lodge and up to 2 feet up top but mostly rained at Canyon/Eagle. Most of the Chair 23 runs opened Dec. 22, but chairs 5, 9 and 22 still needed more snow. Base depths of 1.5-3 feet were marginal for the holiday week at 56% open. New Year's was 63% open by trail count but likely less than half by acreage. 2 feet of snow during the first week of January raised the base to 3-4 feet and 70% open. After another 2 feet during the second week of January Mammoth reached 90% open though some of the steeps needed more coverage. 19 inches during the second half of January maintained the status quo. Mammoth got 31 inches Feb. 1-3, 47 inches Feb. 4-6, 10 inches Feb. 7-10, 11 inches Feb. 14 and 2 feet Feb. 19-21. 38 inches fell March 1-4 and 2 inches March 12. 51 inches fell during three storms during the last week of March and 29 inches the first week of April. It snowed 10-12 inches May 5-6. Mammoth will close after Memorial Day when gondola maintenance starts, because Chair 1 closed April 15 for reconstruction.

Southern California's 2023-24 season can be compared to the past 47 years in History of Southern California Snow Conditions. 2023-24 had above average snowfall, about half of it during the first week of February. Before then the season was totally snowmaking dependent. Despite some rain, there were enough snow refreshers in the latter half of the season to keep most terrain open to mid-April closings.

November: Southern California had all rain November 15 and 18. The Big Bear areas opened Nov. 26 and Mt. High West Nov. 30.
December: Progress over the next month was due to night time snowmaking as there was no natural snow. It rained for at least two days Dec. 20-22 with just a couple inches snow at the end. Terrain expansions through New Year's were modest.
January: Cold weather after 4-6 inches of snow in early January expanded open terrain on snowmaking. It snowed 5-6 inches Jan. 20-22 but half of that storm was rain so no change in open terrain.
February: The Feb. 2-3 storm was 10-17 inches and brought the Big Bear areas and Mt. High West over 90% open. The larger storm Feb. 4-6 started as rain but then dumped 33-54 inches. Another 1-2 feet fell overnight Feb. 7. It rained Feb. 18-19 before turning to snow Feb. 20, when snowfall ranged from 8 inches at Mt. High to 21 at the colder Big Bear areas. The light Feb. 26 storm was all rain.
March: March 1-2 was mostly rain ending with up to 6 inches above 7,500 feet. 2-7 inches fell a few days later. On March 14-15 the storm moving into the Southwest dropped a foot in the San Bernardino mountians but very little in the San Gabriels. Small storms a week later averaged about 10 inches while the end of March storm averaged 20 inches.
April: Another foot fell the first week of April.

I consider the local areas worth visiting according to the following criteria (2023-24 summary):

Snow Summit: The Wall, Log Chute, Chair 10 and lower Westridge open. Summit Run, Miracle Mile and the beginner area opened in late November. Upper Westridge opened Dec. 12. Chair 7 opened Dec. 22. 33% open Dec. 31. Chair 9 opened Jan. 3, Log Chute Jan. 5, Ego Trip Jan. 7, lower Westridge Jan. 8 and Chair 10 Jan. 9. 61% open Jan. 9. Wall opened Jan. 13, 72% open Jan. 16. 90% open Feb. 3, 100% Feb. 7, 88% Mar. 16, 88% Apr. 13, 70% at Apr. 21 closing.

Bear Mt: Silver Mt. and/or Bear Peak open. Upper Park Run and a few lower variations opened in late November. More lower park features opened by mid-December. 38% open Dec. 31. Silver Mt. open Jan. 5. 55% open Jan. 9. Geronimo opened Jan. 13, 66% open Jan. 16. 90% open Feb. 3, 100% Feb. 7 to Apr. 14 closing.

Snow Valley: Slide Peak open. Limited opening Dec. 9. 16% open Dec. 31, 20% open Jan. 7. 100% including Slide Peak Feb. 10. 94% including Slide Peak at Apr. 14 closing.

Mountain High: East as well as West open. Chisholm, Borderline/Wyatt and a beginner run opened Nov. 30. West 29% open Dec. 16. Conquest opened Jan. 7, 42% Jan. 16, 90% Feb. 3. East and West 100% Feb. 9 with East closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays. West 94% and East 60% Feb. 29 and Mar. 16 with East open only on weekends to Mar. 17. West 100% on Mar. 31, 96% Apr. 13, 80% at Apr. 21 closing.

Mt. Baldy and Mt. Waterman: A natural snow base of at least 4 feet. Chair 1 opened to skiing Feb. 7 and Thunder Feb. 9. Chair 4 was delayed by mechanical issues until Feb. 14. At the end of February Thunder and chair 4 were fully open but chair 1 required walking at the bottom after rain damage. As of mid-March Baldy's upper chairs remained well covered but ungroomed skiing was limited by rain and ice in early March. Baldy's upper terrain was resurfaced by the end of March snow but chair 4 only lasted a week into April. Thunder was open weekends to May 5. Mt. Waterman's road was closed by the early February storms until Feb. 21. Staff started work a week later but were delayed by phone line repairs. Mt. Waterman opened March 16 for the first time since January 2020, continuing the next weekend plus Saturdays Mar. 30 and Apr. 6 and Sunday Apr. 14.

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