by: anonymous_user - 1st December 2007

  • 4
  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Expert
  • 3All-Mtn. Terrain
  • 5Family Friendly
  • 2Aprés Ski
  • 3Terrain Park
  • Overall Value

Full review

Pros: Easy access due to low base elevation and highway 108, which climbs rapidly meaning less time driving in snow. Family friendly ski area with helpful staff and good ski school. Good place to turn the kids loose. Reasonably good odds they will turn up in front of the lodge at the end of the day. Wide range of terrain from beginner to advanced, with many fun lines through Granite Bowl. Wind holds are very rare. Excellent tree and backcountry skiing, freshies last in the trees for days. Hint: Know which runs face directly north. Arrive early and park directly in front of the lodge, steps from the main lift. No ugly condos obstructing the slopes, or annoying villages to trudge through. Go in March or April on a weekday, and have the place to yourself. Cons: Low base elevation, causing frequent spring conditions, heavy wet snow, sparse coverage especially on the beginner runs. Also, if the snow report states "Variable Precipitation", read: Rain. For truthful figure, take 25% off summit snow depth and 50% off "base" snow depth when reading snow report. Also, chairs 2 and 4 frequently will not be running mid week. Fixed grip lifts which slow down and stop frequently, especially on busy days. Lift operators either understaffed or poorly trained. Lifts usually open late after a storm. Resort not designed to handle large numbers of people efficiently. Long rental, food and lift lines on busiest days. Congested access road and limited parking on busy days. Few bathroom facilities. New building may have helped this for the base area, but the closest bathroom to the backside is the base of chair 7, which will have a line on busy days. Cross country trails infrequently groomed and do not have tracks. Better to use metal edged backcountry gear. No ticket required to use XC trails, however. $52 Ticket price is too high, considering no midweek discounts, no 2-fer-1's, and superior advanced and expert skiing, plus a high speed lift at nearby Bear Valley for $49. Conclusion: Dodge is a good family day-trip resort and fun place to ski, a place to relive the more relaxed skiing of the 70's and 80's. It is still acceptable to ski in jeans and use 30 year old equipment and have a good time. Check the snow and weather conditions, get there early, and avoid the busiest times such as President's Day weekend and MLK weekend. As a bonus, where else in California can you still ride a rope tow?
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