Pat AKA mustski

Making fresh tracks
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Big Bear, California
Unofficial Guide to BEAR MOUNTAIN
By @Pat AKA mustski

Bear Mountain is defined by it's terrain parks and it's youthful vibe. Big Bear Mountain Resorts hosted the first X Games at Snow Summit, in 1987, and continue to sponsor and support pro riders today. Without a doubt, Bear Mountain has become a park terrain Mecca in Southern California. There is a regular flow of competitions( amateur and pro) and events held at Bear throughout the season. Don't let this fool you into believing that Bear Mountain is only for the hardcore. Bear has terrain features for all levels, an excellent beginner area, and is home to a full time, on-site, adaptive ski school for children and adults with cognitive and physical disabilities. It also has some of the best steeps in SoCal and, in a big snow year, some great backcountry skiing in the canyons.

Like Snow Summit, Bear Mountain has excellent snow making, great grooming, and it also has an outstanding park development team.

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A view of Bear in December 2012. The fantastic snowmaking makes Bear and Summit both excellent early season bets as far as open terrain and snow coverage.

Aside from the beginner area, Bear Mountain divides into three categories: Park Terrain, The Scene, and The Steeps.

THE PARK (chairs 1,2,3,5,9)

The entire Western half of the resort is dedicated to park terrain, a continuous 1200 vertical feet from top to bottom. Although there are features for every level of ability, Bear's park terrain attracts some serious sliders, and the pace is fast and furious. The West side is dominated by intermediate and advanced park terrain and is often busy on the weekends. To avoid crowds, arrive early in the day on Saturday or Sunday. Then when the slopes and park get too busy, hit the beach bar and kick back and watch the park action from the sundeck.

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Central Park

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Lower Park Run

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Red Bull Plaza - an "urban themed" terrain park built in powder bowl

THE SCENE

The scene is located in the base area. New freestyle skiing and snowboarding features are often laid out here before being placed on the mountain, giving sliders the opportunity to hike and try them out. Here, Bear also hosts its numerous events and competitions throughout the season. From the opening competition event in September ( "Hot Dawgz and Hand Rails")

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This one if from Sept 27, 2014 .... It may still be "summer" in SoCal ... but that doesn't stop us~


to "Neff's Beach Bash", the scene keeps hopping all season long. "Hey, it's Southern California! What we lack in snow, we make up with personality!"

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The sundeck with view of "the scene"

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THE STEEPS (chairs 4 & 8)

Although "steep" is an exaggeration when compared to Mammoth, Bear Mountain does boast the longest, steep runs in Southern California. Most of the time, runs like Geronimo, The Wedge, and Exhibition are relatively uncrowded. While it may get repetitive skiing the same runs over and over (if avoiding park terrain) the room to ski is a definite plus. Be warned - on a powder day, all bets are off! Even the hardcore park rats appreciate a powder day as much as anyone else and will head for the peaks.

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The view of Big Bear Lake from the top of Geronimo

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Exhibition Run under chair 4

UNITED STATES ADAPTIVE RECREATION CENTER

"Big Bear Mountain Resort is proud to sponsor the United States Adaptive Recreation Center (USARC). USARC provides skiing and snowboarding to adaptive athletes of all ages. USARC uses the best adaptive equipment, the most effective teaching techniques available, and private one-on-one instruction to maximize each participant’s potential for success. Visit www.usarc.org for more information on the first, full-time, on-site, adaptive ski school in Southern California." BBMR

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USARC provides ski opportunities at little to no cost to the customer. The funding is providing via fundraising efforts. If you are interested in participating in a fundraiser or in donating, check out this event. The annual "Peak to Peak" ride from Big Bear to Mammoth is not for the faint of heart, but I have friends who have done it every year for 10+ years and they love it!

http://usarc.org/peak-to-peak-pedal

All photos are courtesy of BBMR.
 
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