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Enthusiasts Enjoy Late Snowfall

April 13, 2001|MARTIN BECK

Skiers and snowboarders got a late-season gift last weekend and early this week when a cold spring storm dumped more than a foot of snow on the slopes.

And because temperatures have stayed cool, the new snow is holding up well, according to ski area officials and others who have been up.

"The snow was cold and squeaky under your boots," said Keith Tatsukawa of the Mt. Waterman ski patrol. "Some of the locals said it was some of the best skiing they have seen there in the last decade."

The Mt. Waterman owners plan to remain open at least through Sunday.

"I think it depends more on how many people are coming," Tatsukawa said, "because I'm sure there will be plenty of snow."

The situation is similar at Mt. Baldy, lots of fluffy snow and few people to enjoy it.

"It makes for great skiing, although the crowds are pretty slim," said spokesman John Koulouris. "Everyone would rather be at the beach."

Mountain High in Wrightwood and the San Bernardino Mountain areas, which all received at least a foot of snow, are a bit more crowded. After three weeks of warm weather, the snow and cold weather came at the perfect time for those on spring break.

Snow Valley plans to stay open at least through Sunday and Snow Summit and Big Bear Mountain through April 22.

Mammoth Mountain, hit with more than two feet of snow last weekend, also is taking advantage of the wintry conditions this spring. The entire mountain will remain open until April 29, said spokeswomen Joani Saari, and the resort plans to offer skiing and snowboarding through Memorial Day.

"It's normal for us to have showers throughout the month of April but that was a pretty serious storm Saturday and Sunday," Saari said. "It tends to take people by surprise after they have been wearing shorts for a couple of weeks."

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