We Have The Most Dependable Snow Conditions In Southern California.
Big Bear Mountain Resorts has invested more than $12 million in the past few seasons to advance its snowmaking capabilities, which benefits guests by providing more reliable snow conditions as well as enhances the snow quality each and every day of the skiing and snowboarding season. This investment increased our snowmaking capacity by 50%. Each resort’s snowmaking system can convert about 5,000 to 6,000 gallons of water per minute into snow. That’s a good sized stream flow and would fill up a back yard pool in just 5 minutes.
Normal snowmaking conditions of temperatures in the 20’s allow production in the 2,000 to 3,000 gallon range. Snow Summit and Bear Mountain can cover 100% of developed runs with a fresh blanket of man-made snow – from three to five feet on many runs. This is substantially more than any other Southern California resort, as they rely on extremely limited amounts of well water and are often forced to reduce their snowmaking, thus offering fewer open runs.
Grooming by snowcats pushing and tilling the man-made snow is an important element in providing good skiing. While the snowmaking guns are moved frequently, there typically will be piles left in front of each gun which must be graded into a smooth, relatively flat surface before operations. After a good period of snowmaking some of these snow mounds may be as big as a small bus and are called “whales” by the crew.
After the new snow is spread evenly, the surface is gone over with a tiller on the back of the cat, which is a sort of grinder that pulverizes the top 3 to 6 inches of the snow to give it the ideal texture for skiing or boarding. Grooming is a real art to know when and how to push the snow around and condition it into a good grippy surface preferred by skiers and snowboarders. Fresh man-made snow is nearly always groomed into a consistently good surface prior to opening.