January 15, 2012 |
Ski resorts - and their patrons - from the Sierra to the Rockies are cursing La Niña. Up in western Canada, however, they're singing its praises. This weather phenomenon, and a resulting high-pressure ridge in the eastern Pacific, is being blamed for pushing the moisture-bearing jet stream north. That's bad news for mountain ranges from California to Colorado but good news for the western Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Alberta. At Whistler Blackcomb, in British Columbia, more than 17 feet has fallen.
January 9, 2012 |
Last year, big snow allowed Badger Pass Ski Area in Yosemite National Park to open ahead of schedule on Dec. 4. This year, things couldn't be more different. Not only did the ski area miss its Dec. 16 planned opening, it's still snow-free -- with no opening date in sight. Yosemite visitors are lacing up their hiking boots instead of snapping on skis during the unusually warm weather expected to last at least through this week. Bike stands and stables will reopen for those who want to indulge themselves in the summer-in-winter activities.
December 30, 2011 |
Months ago, Santa Monica filmmaker Francis De La Torre and his wife booked a vacation home in Lake Tahoe over Christmas week. They were looking forward to days of skiing and snowboarding in fresh, plush powder -- conditions they can't count on closer to home. But all they found when they arrived were slushy bunny slopes with artificial snow in patches of shade. By their first afternoon, they had shed their wool sweaters because it was too warm, left the slopes and headed for the area's beaches, hiking trails and casinos.
December 11, 2011 |
The first rule of skiing: There are no friends on a powder day. Technology has infiltrated every corner of our lives, but really, the idea of tweeting my snow stashes is sacrilege. In the spirit of keeping up with the technology, however, I set aside my skepticism/cynicism/self-interest to see whether anything could improve on what is already, for me, a great experience. And, at Vail Resorts, maybe even a picture-perfect one. Back in the day, pushy photographers made money by photographing skiers against mountain backdrops.
December 9, 2011 |
First, a little question: Does anybody hedge their bets the way a weather forecaster does? Predictions for this winter call for another La Niña, the same cocktail of conditions that delivered last season's epic snowfall. Sure to be a happy hour special this winter: La Niña Colada. But squint a little and you'll discover some fine print. Specifically, something called the Arctic oscillation, which the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration considers a wild card in North America's upcoming winter.
November 25, 2011 |
Southern California didn't get a big Thanksgiving storm, but that didn't stop area ski resorts from opening for those craving early powder. Mammoth and Lake Tahoe areas are open too. But this early in the season, it's always best to check conditions online before you head out. All-day tickets at Bear Mountain and Snow Summit sold out Friday, but skiers and riders can make reservations online for Saturday ($49 for adults for an all-day lift...
November 10, 2011 |
All hail 11-11-11. What a difference a date makes. Snow Summit and Bear Mountain ski resorts opened Wednesday and will mark 11-11-11 with $11 lift tickets on sale Friday only. To get the lift ticket discount, you must reserve lodging for a night or more during the winter season. The deal: The 11-11-11 Special Package requires at least a one-night stay Sundays-Thursdays (no weekends). The lift ticket voucher is good Mondays-Fridays, except holidays. The $11 lift tickets are limited to two per reservation, but additional lift tickets may be purchased for 25% off. Additionally, guests will receive 11% off the lodgings reservation.
October 24, 2011 |
The hottest new features for Mountain High's terrain park this winter will be ripped from the streets of L.A. The Wrightwood ski resort spent $9,000 to make a replica of the handrails outside the landmark Disney Concert Hall so boarders can do something they've never been able to do: shred them (as in tear up the terrain on a snowboard). The resort's version features a 48-foot jump over 38 stairs with 12 feet between the rails. "So many of our customers come from L.A., why not bring some of that to the mountain?"
October 12, 2011 |
Snow has started falling in Lake Tahoe's mountains, though ski resorts aren't scheduled to open until mid- to late November. But boarders and skiers revved up for the season might want to snag a six-pack -- six lift tickets at area resorts for $299 -- before the season begins. The deal: Ski Lake Tahoe Six-Pack Lift Ticket is on sale now for the 2011-12 season. Here's how it works: Each ticket can be redeemed for lift tickets at one of two resorts. Participating properties include Heavenly, Kirkwood, Mt. Rose-Ski Tahoe, Heavenly, Sierra-at-Tahoe, Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley USA. Holiday blackout dates and other restrictions apply.