Two of Southern California’s ski areas will open this week despite missing a key ingredient: snow.
Big Bear Mountain Resort, which includes Bear Mountain and Snow Summit, will open to pass holders Thursday and the general public Friday.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions last season, customers had to book their tickets in advance before arriving on the runways. This season, skiers and snowboarders can purchase tickets in base areas, resort officials said.
Justin Kanton, director of advertising and marketing for Big Bear Mountain Resort, said “no major operational changes” are expected this season.
Despite vaccination warrants in many areas of California, visitors to the resort will not be required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination, but guests will be required to wear masks when inside facilities on the premises. tracks.
This week’s opening follows a particularly dry fall in southern California, with low rainfall throughout the region.
Phil Gonsalves, a meteorologist with the San Diego National Meteorological Service, said there was not usually much snowfall in Southern California at this time of year. This season is no different.
“It doesn’t look like any of the resorts have had snow this season,” Gonsalves said. “The last time they reported having snow was in March, it was at the end of last season.”
Big Bear Mountain Resort uses artificial snow and relies on cold temperatures to stick to the ground amid a general lack of natural powder.
Current conditions aren’t exactly optimal for snow, and while it’s not unusual, it’s getting late in the season to see no precipitation at resort level, Gonsalves said.
Temperatures will stay within 50 degrees in Big Bear before the weekend, but will drop to 30 degrees overnight. By Saturday, the maximum at an elevation of 6,900 feet will reach 55, according to the National Weather Service.
While early-season snow in the Sierra helped some ski resorts, including Mammoth Mountain, open early, others were hampered by a lack of powder.
This month, the Sugar Bowl Resort in North Lake Tahoe postponed the start of its season due to warmer weather.
“We have been hopeful for as long as we can, but with forecasts for milder, drier weather in the week ahead, we have to delay the start of our winter season,” the Sugar Bowl Resort said in a statement.
But officials said the snow crew was ready to “activate our fleet of high powered snow cannons through the resort whenever conditions permit.”