When the composer Beth Anderson said ‘everything is just better in California’ she wasn’t referring to the skiing, but she might as well have been. The snowfall averages 350 inches a year, there are innovations such as revolving jibs, the resorts are well connected transport-wise, the mountains are grandiose and challenging. But how to make California skiing work for you?
These are just some of the reasons to pivot and plough, schuss and carve your way around the slopes of California.
Interstate 180 and Highway 330 are the main routes to the big resorts around Lake Tahoe. The Highway Patrol requires drivers to use chains; your rental company will tell you how to get them.
November to March is the official season in California, although some regions enjoy good conditions up until May and June. After years of complaints from some resorts that the snowfall is inadequate, in recent times there’s been a surfeit; Mammoth Mountain received an unexpectedly high 209 inches in 2009!
If you’ve opted for Lake Tahoe Vacation Rentals and you’re not 100% confident about venturing into the sidecountry of the associated Sugar Bowl resort, then book a certified guide through the Sugar Bowl Lodge.
Hectic Days, Peaceful Nights
June Mountain stands proud amid the jagged peaks of the Eastern Sierras, half an hour north of Mammoth Lakes. Its 2,590 ft foliage-clad runs will suit adrenalin addicts, while the whole family can learn to ski lower down on the spacious runs.
Both of June Mountain’s summits are served by eight lifts and two super-fast quad chairs.
Apres-ski, you’ll want to visit the canyon-covered Old Village for a local delicacy: the High Sierra Barbecue. It’s the perfect, relaxing end to a fast-paced day on the piste.
Where the Style is Free
Nicknamed ‘Southern California’s Winter Playground’, Big Bear Lake was founded by Tommit Tyndall, the man credited with pioneering snowmaking guns.
With its heart-stopping terrain features and double-black run – not to say popularity amongst Olympic champions such as Shaun White – Bear Mountain has played an important role in the evolution of freestyle skiing.
This resort is also a favourite among snowboarders who, in the early 1990s, were tempted away from the more family-orientated Snow Summit by the creation of the world’s first freestyling park here at Bear.
The 3 million people per year that visit can’t be wrong. Take advantage of Big Bear Lake Vacation Rentals and book your accommodation now for the coming season.