Traffic, post-storm conditions block mountain roads to ski resorts


Skiers, snowboarders and others seeking a day of recreation on Southern California’s snow-packed mountains ran into a mountain of delay as traffic, flooding and mudflows blocked just about every route to resorts.

The Angeles Crest Highway north of La Cañada Flintridge remained closed Sunday because of mudflows and unsafe conditions from the week’s storms, the California Highway Patrol reported. Meanwhile, a stretch of Highway 138 near Wrightwood was closed because of flooding, and more than 100 stranded cars blocked a section of Route 330 near Running Springs.

Access by buses and semi-trucks was restricted on many roads, and chains were required on cars, said Highway Patrol dispatcher Daisy Vargas.

But many were not deterred. Even before the lifts on Mountain High opened at 8 a.m., Route 138 leading to Wrightwood was filled with a long line of cars strapped with snowboards and skis, moving bumper to bumper.

“Congested. Extreme delays,” warned electronic highway signs on Interstate 15. Traffic started backing up on the 15-to-138 connector, moving at a snail’s pace the entire eight miles up a one-lane road to Mountain High.