Small Angeles National Forest ski resort left praying for snow

A year after "snowmageddon" struck across the country, the owners of the Mt. Waterman are stuck praying for snow.

Rick Metcalf, who co-owns the small resort located just an hour up Angeles Crest Highway from La Cañada Flintridge, said that while he hopes to be able to open the slopes this year, so far it’s not looking good, with only inches on the mountain so far.

Metcalf said this is the first winter since he and his three partners acquired the resort that it was possible that the hill wouldn’t open at all. Mt. Waterman relies on natural elements, not snow-making equipment, he said.

“We don’t open, just pray for snow and hope that it comes,” he said. “I could use some storms rolling in, but it doesn’t seem like there’s anything and it’s just killing us.”

A La Cañada High School graduate who now resides in San Diego, Metcalf purchased Mt. Waterman in 2006 with his brother, Brien, and fellow LCHS grads Roberto Martinez and Craig Stewart. He said that while the dry winter was unfortunate, he wasn’t totally unprepared.

“I knew it was possible, it happens once every 10 years or so,” he said. “The good news is, we’re well financed, we’re free and clear, so if it doesn’t run, it doesn’t cost us a tremendous amount to keep it.”

Mt. Waterman dealt with an abbreviated ski season just a couple years ago, when the Station fire burned up to the area’s perimeter and difficult access meant the mountain was open for just 17 days of the 2009-10 season.

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-- Daniel Siegal, Times Community News

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