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SPORTS WEEKEND

It's Winter at Last on Southland Slopes

April 09, 1999|PETE THOMAS

There hasn't been this much snow on the slopes since . . . last season.

La Nina, while a season-long blessing for Lake Tahoe resorts and Mammoth Mountain, hasn't been nearly as kind as El Nino was to local ski areas--until now.

A series of Arctic storms have finally found their way south and the transformation from barren brown to bright white is now a reality.

The New Mountain High in Wrightwood on Wednesday morning reported 12 to 16 inches falling through the night and has received nearly three feet in the past week. Barring a heat wave, the resort will be open through April.

Big Bear Mountain as of last Sunday had 12 to 18 inches of new snow and much more fell this week, there and on the slopes of nearby Snow Summit and Snow Valley. All three will stay open, on a limited basis, as long as conditions allow.

Said Genevieve Paquet, a spokeswoman for Snow Summit: "So far, it has been an awesome April. In one storm, we nearly matched the season's natural snowfall and there's more on the way. . . . We just wish it would have come sooner."

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