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Ski, snowboard conditions flourish

January 09, 2008|Pete Thomas | Times Staff Writer

Southland skiers and snowboarders, lured by the white banner draped invitingly across the local mountains, are enjoying the best conditions in at least two years.

By Tuesday morning roads had been plowed and business was as brisk as the weather at Mountain High in Wrightwood and Bear Mountain, Snow Summit and Snow Valley in the Big Bear Lake areas.

(Chains were still required on all but four-wheel-drive vehicles with snow tires on most routes leading to Big Bear Lake.)

"Nearly every run has an amazing panoramic view of the snow-covered valley," said Suzie Jacques, a spokeswoman for Bear Mountain and Snow Summit.

Especially noteworthy was the opening Monday of expert-level terrain at Mt. Baldy in the western San Gabriel Mountains.

Though not big on glitz and almost totally reliant on natural snow, Baldy boasts some of the steepest terrain in Southern California.

After receiving up to three feet of snow during the weekend storm, it opened Chairs 1, 2 and 3, and the black-diamond trails beneath Chair 1.

"We received 27 inches total last year, and we've already exceeded that so we're quite happy," said resort spokeswoman Sian Howell.

Mountain High, which opened 100% of terrain at its East and West resorts, will open its North Resort on Friday.

Formerly known as Ski Sunrise, it has 70 acres of mostly beginner-to-intermediate terrain. The last time it opened for more than a day or two was during the 2001-02 season.

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pete.thomas@latimes.com

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