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I've spent a lot of time in LA on business in recent years.  It's amazing
how much snow can be found close to LA.  It is about one hrs. drive on the
Angeles Crest Hwy. from the western end near Pasadena to 11K ft.  I've
driven that road many times, most recently last Oct. when a big early snow
closed it just east of the Nat'l forest HQ.  The road is a real white
knuckler for the first 10 miles from it's start on I-210 and the mountains
are extraordinarily rugged, far more so than most of the Rocky Mtns.
These are the San Gabriel Mtns.  If you have the download speed and/or the
time, check out this video at Mt. Baden Powell in this area.

http://www.telemarktips.com/Moviepage.html

There should be skiing well into June on Baden Powell this year.

Taking I-210 headed east from Pasadena it is about a 1 hr. drive to the
base of Baldy.  I took a look in Feb. in the low snow year of 02-03.  It
was closed to skiing although the chair was running for sightseers.  The
terrain visible from the parking lot is steep and spectacular.  Everyone
claims that it is the best terrain of the half dozen or more areas within
2 hrs. of LA.  The mountain is not named Baldy, it is Mt. San Antonio
IIRC, and the back side of it, accessed from the Mojave Desert side, is a
huge bowl, one of the best backcountry playgrounds in the country.  There
is a hut so you can stay right there and it goes up well above 10,000 ft.
with skiable vertical well over 4000.

I have read that 75% of the backcountry skiers in the US live in So. CA.
The last time I posted this on the list it was immediately challenged by a
half dozen or more skeptics.  Well, I have no idea of the veracity of the
75% figure, but it is a lot.  The population base is huge and it is very
outdoor sports oriented.  LA is more than gorgeous babes and beaches, not
that I hold anything against them of course, although I'd like to.  (Slap!
 Note to self; mind your manners!)

Closer to the Pacific, on the west side of I-5 there is another national
forest with good XC and BC skiing.  Mt. Pinos, another well known area is
there.  All of these places are on my list, but so far I have been only to
Mammoth, Big Bear, Snow Summit, June Mtn., and Tioga Pass.  I need more
time, or I need to retire, or both.  If you go to LA on business from Nov.
- May, bring your skis and make a couple extra days of time.

http://angeles.sierraclub.org/nordic/text/areas.htm

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