Due to torrential thunderstorms in most of California in the weeks of December and January, the focal point of most people is the negative effects of El Niño, such as flooding. On the positive side, however, winter-sports fanatics and ski resorts in the area view El Niño as a force that guarantees a successful winter snow-season.
A majority of the Sierra Nevadas, Lake Tahoe, San Gabriel Mountains, and other high-elevation locations have already received a thick blanket of snow. El Niño has allowed several ski resorts in these areas to open earlier in the winter season. One prominent example is Mammoth Mountain in the eastern part of the Sierra Nevadas. This winter, it was able to open in late November due to almost 56 inches of snow during that month alone.
Mountain High, a ski resort located in the San Gabriel Mountains in Southern California, has also experienced the benefit of this winter’s El Niño. In the first week of January, the resort received 19 inches of snow on top of previous snow and manmade powder. As a whole, this substantial amount of snow has brought prosperity to the resort, with an extensive number of skiers and snowboarders visiting.
El Niño has not only pleased the numerous ski resorts in California, but it has also satisfied people who snowboard or ski. The amount of real snow on the slopes of ski resorts is an important feature for skiers and snowboarders, especially in California, where snow is somewhat limited. A small amount of snow is usually mixed with dirt patches and rocky terrain, which hinders a smooth and comfortable ride. In sharp contrast, an immense amount of snow, which El Niño can easily produce, guarantees prime conditions for skiers and snowboarders.
Isaac Kim, an avid skier, commented to JSR, “The snow quality at Mountain High this year is absolutely phenomenal compared to last year… [the] powder is soft and thick and allows me to easily maneuver my turns.”
Al Aguero, a new snowboarder, added, “Since I’m a beginning snowboarder, I tend to fall a lot. The thick snow cushions my falls, so I can ride without fear of falling to the ground hard and getting hurt.”
In short, this winter’s El Niño is “good news” to the ski industry and people who enjoy snow sports, such as skiing and snowboarding. The vast amount of snow that it will continue to bring will more than fulfill the desires of these winter-sports fanatics.