Mountain High: A Huffington Post Travel Ski Resort Guide
The Huffington Post
| By Bernard Yao
Mountain High in California is a popular destination for skiers and snowboarders. As part of a series on ski resorts, Huffington Post Travel offers our guide to Mountain High, featuring all the key information snow lovers need to know before they hit the slopes.
Mountain High, a 1 1/2-hour drive from Los Angeles, California, is nestled in the Angeles National Forest. The mega complex contains three ski resorts -- located a mile apart from each other -- that offer varying terrain for a range of skill levels. Mountain High West, once known as Blue Ridge Ski Area, is the site of on-hill contests, while Mountain High North, formerly known as Ski Sunrise, provides a play area and ski school for amateur skiers. Mountain High East, previously called Holiday Hill, features a beautiful view of the Mojave Desert from its soaring peak. Mountain High is the only local resort that offers night skiing every night of the week.
Mountain High's close proximity to Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties, along with its long ski season -- from early November to late April -- are big draws for Southern California residents. Mountain High East takes the cake for tallest peak among the three resorts, with an elevation of 8,200 feet and a 1,600-foot vertical drop. Since Mountain High receives only 142 inches of snow per year on average, the resorts supplement the natural powder with snowmaking machines. Mountain High can cover 80 percent of its 290 skiable acres with artificial snow.
Trails And Lifts
Mountain High features 95 trails, 25 percent of which are easy, 40 percent intermediate and 35 percent advanced. Goldrush, on Mountain High East, is the resort's longest trail at 1.6 miles. Mountain High has 13 lifts to cart skiers and snowboarders up the three mountains: two high-speed quads, two quad chairs, two triple chairs, five double chairs and two moving carpets. Mountain High West, which is well-lit five nights a week for nighttime skiing and snowboarding, is home to the 100-acre Faultline Terrain Park, while the eastern resort features moguls and tree glades for traditional Alpine skiing.
In The News
Mountain High hosts several United States of America Snowboard Association point-rated competitions from December to March in the categories of half-pipe, slopestyle and skiercross. The events split boarders into 26 age divisions (13 male and 13 female), and contestants who place first in each division qualify to participate in the USASA National Championships. Apple users can also compete on the slopes Mountain High using their iPod touch, iPhone or iPad. Along with Flachauwinkl Resort in Austria and LAAX Resort in the Swiss Alps, Mountain High is one of three locations featured in the popular snow sports games MyTP Snowboarding 2 and MyTP Freeskiing 2.
An eight-hour, all-resort lift ticket costs $59 for adults and $25 for children 12 or younger. Senior citizens 70 and older, as well as children 6 and younger with a paying adult, ski for free. Adult skiers who want to avoid the daytime crowds can ski from 5 to 10 p.m. for $30 during the week. Lift ticket prices are generally higher on weekends and holidays. Group discounts are also available, with reduced rates for groups of 15 or more. Equipment rentals range from $5 for all-day helmet use to $35 for a full-package snowboard rental. Kids and adults can learn some skills before hitting the slopes with ski and snowboard lessons starting at $35 for adults and $79 for children.
Exhausted skiers can relax and unwind at several pubs and restaurants located in Wrightwood and neighboring areas. The Evergreen Cafe & Racoon Saloon is a charming mountain cafe that serves up big all-American breakfasts. The Village Grind & Wine Cellar, a local coffee house that offers free Wi-Fi, serves customers daily and also offers happy-hour specials and live music. Famished skiers and snowboarders craving a burger can also drive 35 minutes northeast to In-N-Out, a favorite West Coast burger chain.
WATCH: Mountain High
Trikke Skki offers a new alternative to skiing or snowboarding down the slopes at Mountain High.