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Sun Drifts Into Snowy Picture in the Mountains

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Sunny skies and lots of snow were the reports coming out of the Sierra Nevada and San Bernardino Mountain ski areas Saturday, and meteorologists predicted sunny to partly cloudy weather and possible showers by the end of the holiday weekend.

Most of the roads closed earlier by the storms that pounded the mountain areas in Southern and Central California were open by Saturday, law enforcement agencies reported. However, there were still some closures on California 18 in the Lake Arrowhead-Big Bear area, the California Highway Patrol said.

During the last two weeks, heavy storms dumped near-record amounts of snow in the mountain areas, state officials reported. After years of drought conditions, the snow depths in the Sierra are up to 75% of normal, they said.

At the Mammoth Mountain Ski Area in the central Sierra, resort operators were reporting a nine- to 11-foot snow base with packed powder and spring-like conditions Saturday. “All the runs are open and the skiing is great,” said Renee Fontaine, a Mammoth spokeswoman.

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California 395 to Mammoth Lakes and the Mammoth Mountain Ski Area were open and no chains were required, the CHP reported Saturday.

At the Snow Summit Ski Area in the San Bernardinos, there was six to eight feet of snow, the skies were blue and the temperature at midday was in the low 50s.

California 330 from San Bernardino to Big Bear remained closed, Riddle said, but two other routes into the ski area were open--California 18 “going the back way” through Lucerne Valley and California 38, through Redlands.


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