Beautiful snow? Hit slopes at your own risk-video

The parking lot at the Mt. Baldy Ski Lifts fills early but most runs are still open given the higher elevation of the slopes over 7800 feet. Courier photo/Peter Weinberger

Over the past two winters, Mt. Baldy and other snow resorts have dealt with higher than average snow totals, as the current ski season continues into April. But there’s no secret it’s getting more dangerous to ski and snowboard in Southern California.

We live near some of the largest ski resorts in the state. That includes Snow Summit and Snow Valley near Big Bear Lake. As snow levels have risen consistently this season, the slopes have become increasingly crowded. And this, combined with chilly winter weather has contributed to a 50% increase of ski injuries over the past seven years, as reported by the California State Health Department. Between 2016 to 2022, there were over 30,000 emergency room visits from skiing and snowboarding.

Crowding has not been the only reason injuries are up. The health department reports increased use of marijuana gummies and “magic mushrooms” have contributed to a party atmosphere on the slopes. Skiers and snowboarders angling for that incredible selfie are going to extreme lengths to get a perfect photograph, thus keeping their eyes off the slopes. Ramps are also getting larger and larger, and overshooting a landing after traveling 40 feet in the air can easily cause severe injury.

Experienced skiers and snowboarders say that if a slope looks too steep, or going airborne seems too risky, it probably is. The best advice is to work your way up in degree of difficulty. Advanced skiers can make difficult jumps or slopes look easy to master. They are not.

Check out snow conditions, buy tickets:

• Big Bear Mountain Resort

• Mt. Baldy Resort


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