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Bear Valley CA? Who's skied there?

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  • Bear Valley CA? Who's skied there?

    Bear Valley has a cheap season pass, $179, for students (that's me, right now) and it's also the closest resort to my house this winter, so I might go for it.
    I'm also wondering what the touring is like up that way. I've never been and assume a pass that cheap, even with restrictions is probably worth it.
    This is of course assuming it does snow at least some this year.

    I'll be needing partners too, bonzai day trips from Central Valley-ish will be the name of the game. Probably mid-week.
    Last edited by bergbryce; 28 October 2014, 03:07 PM.

  • #2
    I've heard its decent but more than others it probably depends on a decent snow year.


    • #3
      I have skied there, but it was 20 years or so ago. Great spot, at least back then. Good snow (back then), no crowds whatsoever. Really cool base area, which paradoxically was not at the base. And a nordic area across the road. Also, at least back then, the traffic situation was way (way) more reasonable then heading up 80 or 50.


      • #4
        From a thread last year, post by JLB:

        "I live in Arnold and ski Bear Valley Resort weekly. Great area on a powder day, especially when the lower mountain is open. Very good backcountry skiing around Bear. I get out every week and rarely see anyone out there. Kirkwood is an excellent resort, but difficult to get to on a powder day. BC around Kirkwood is very good, but much more crowded than around BV."

        Hopefully he'll see this thread and, if not, you could try a PM.

        My "recent" experience at Bear was almost 10 years ago, and my "old" experience is damn close to 50 years ago. What I remember from the last time is decent, but limited, skiing inbounds (the lower elevation "backside" was closed), some good sidecountry (MAS Avy 1 class, so they knew where to go) and a couple of good backcountry options not far away, one starting up the road toward Lake Alpine. You could probably pick up some useful info by just dropping into the MAS office.

        Where do you go to school, living on a houseboat in the Delta?


        • #5
          I love Bear Valley. Great vibe. Most of the runs are pretty short but the snow is good from the lodge up, decent elevation compared to some Tahoe resorts. Unfortunately the best terrain is Grizzly Bowl and that's below the lodge/base area. Most of the time it's too warm and wet to be much fun. When it is good down low it's a blast. Decent touring out toward Mt Reba and the Nordic center is great.


          • #6
            My experience was also on an MAS Level I. Ditto what others have said: good local BC terrain and not much competition there. Best inbounds terrain is lower mountain, so there are elevation issues.


            • #7
              Bear has new ownership and plans on putting in a new lift from The Village to the mountain. They are also going to completely renovate the lodge, which has been the same for 40 plus years. A group of people who live in Bear Valley and those with ski homes have also pooled money into the project I believe and lots of changes are on the way. My neighbors have a cabin there. I like staying there, skiing from the cabin to the bus stop, riding the bus to the resort, and then at the end of the day you can ski back to the cabin/village. In addition to the chair they are going to put in, they will be adding a new run back to the village as well. They have also put in lot's of snow making equipment already (at least that's what my neighbor told me) and plan to open early if the weather is cold enough to make snow. If they get a decent amount of snow, for $179 you can't beat it. And Highway 4 beats the hell out of Hwy 88 any day, just watch out for tickets near Copperopolis.


              • #8
                Good stuff, thanks guys.

                Fogey, I'm at Samuel Merritt in Oakland and am splitting my time between Walnut Creek and Tracy. My wife is also in nursing school in the central valley, it's a little confusing at the moment.


                • #9
                  Welcome to the area, bergbryce. I bought some gloves from you in May, thanks again. Shoot me a PM if you like and I'll answer any questions you might have about BV.


                  • #10
                    That's right, I seem to recall you're at Merritt now. Awesome. Have a bunch of friends who did their NPs there.