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Many chair lifts are spinning in Southern California, and a tubing park is opening too

Many chair lifts are spinning in Southern California, and a tubing park is opening too
A snowboarder enjoys recent powder at Mammoth Mountain, which recently received up to three feet near the top. (Peter Morning / Mammoth Mountain)

December is here, and so is the snow. Many Southern California resorts are open, courtesy of last weekend's storms.

Beware of limited runs. Rejoice over reduced prices. For first-timers, early December also offers less-congested conditions.

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Mountain High, one of the busiest local resorts, opened Tuesday with a reported snow depth at West Resort of 8 inches and a top snow depth of 12. Limited trails are open now — check the website — but more trails and lifts are expected to open by the weekend. Night skiing is set to begin Friday and continues Saturday and Sunday evenings until further notice.

Mountain High's North Pole Tubing Park is scheduled to open Saturday and operate from 8:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. on weekends.

Higher up the mountains, Snow Summit has been open since Saturday, with at least three chairs spinning, and will remain open seven days a week. Bear Mountain opened last weekend and re-opens Friday. The sister resorts have a base of about 5 inches down low and up to 18 inches at the peak.

Snow Valley, probably the most inviting local resort for young families, opened runs on the lower part of the mountain on Wednesday and hopes to open higher runs this weekend. Check the website for current conditions.

Mammoth Mountain, a five-hour drive from Los Angeles, also is benefiting from the recent weather. Reps say the weekend storms dumped almost three feet at the summit. As of Wednesday, a significant portion of the mountain was still closed, but a good range of runs — from easy to difficult — were open.

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