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California's Newest Winter Innovations & Activities

Dec. 4, 2018

Contrary to popular belief, there are regions in California that also enjoy a winter wonderland. In fact, California is actually an incredible ski and snowboard destination. From the San Gabriels to the Sierras, here are some updates and opening dates from ski and snowboard destinations across the state.

    Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows is celebrating big milestones:

    • The resort is celebrating a commitment to use 100% renewable electricity starting December 1, 2018. With this change, the resort will reduce its total annual carbon footprint by 49% which is equivalent to the emissions generated by the annual electrical use of 959 homes. They will also be transitioning to reusable stone paper trail maps to reduce paper and water usage.
    • December 18, 2018 will mark the 50th anniversary of the Squaw Valley Aerial Tram, originally known as The Cable Car. When it opened in 1968, it was the largest aerial tram in the world and, to this day, marks a feat of modern engineering. Called the “The Monster” by the crew that installed it, the tram rises 2,000 vertical feet and is comprised of miles of cable, two 140 and 40-foot tall towers built into rugged terrain, and complex electrical and mechanical systems. Today, the Aerial Tram has been modernized with state-of-the-art cabins and electrical systems.

    Mammoth Lakes is now offering 'intro to backcountry' clinics and 'sidecountry' tours:

    • Mammoth Mountain’s new Intro to Backcountry Touring class provides a perfect introduction to backcountry travel, covering touring & safety equipment, skinning, kick turns, downhill transitions, skating and downhill ski practice, all with instructor demos, evaluation and feedback. It’s the easiest and safest way to give touring a try. Intro to Backcountry Clinics are taught by PSIA instructors and AMGA certified guides.
    • Sidecountry Tours: Mammoth is also offering sidecountry tours to Tamarack Lodge for the first time this year. Beginning at the summit gondola station and ending back at Main Lodge, this picturesque 3-hour tour is an ideal backcountry refresher and great way to see the backside of the mountain.


    Tahoe Donner improves beginner experience with new Snowbird Chair Lift:

    • The new Snowbird Chairlift is on schedule to debut opening day, conditions permitting. The fixed-grip triple chair replaces the original double chair installed in 1971. The new Snowbird Chairlift will provide improved access to beginner terrain, modern and reliable chairlift technology and an overall enhanced experience for skiers and riders. Its new location to the east edge of Snowbird Run will make more beginner skier terrain available and expand the size of the Learning Center area.


    Mountain High announces stellar deals for beginner skiers:

    • New this season, fifth graders receive a complimentary lift ticket to Mountain High with the purchase of a non-holiday adult ticket. Students are required to present a report card, school ID or birth certificate. Fifth graders who have never skied or snowboarded before can upgrade to a discounted lesson for only $89 ($25 off the regular rate). Offer is subject to blackout dates.
    • Mountain High is now offering a ‘bring a friend for fun’ offer, which includes one adult lift ticket for you, and a half-day beginner package for a friend. It is the perfect way to introduce a friend or partner to skiing or snowboarding, and is even endorsed by the National Ski Areas Association.


    Big Bear Mountain Resort opens Bear Mountain Adventure Academy:

    • The new 6,000 square-foot learning center in the Bear Mountain base area will serve as a one-stop shop for family and kids rentals, lift tickets, and sports school registration. The increased efficiency means families can spend less time in lines and more time enjoying the slopes. The facility is scheduled to open in mid-December and includes a dining venue serving artisan pizzas, full-service coffee bar, and spirits.