Both [R43R, Bear Mountain] and [R261R, Mountain High] have opened for anxious Southern California skiers and riders to touch snow. Cold temperatures swept through the mountains in late October, allowing both resorts to fire up their snowmaking guns to blow a swath of white on the slopes.

Mountain High Resort cranked up its lifts Oct. 29, opening with three lifts, three runs, 20 terrain park features, and night skiing. The opening marked the resort's earliest date ever for skiing or riding on machine-made snow and maintained its status for the 13th year in a row as the first resort to open in the area. Saturday visitors sported costumes on the slopes to celebrate Halloween on skis and snowboards.

"This has the feel of a great season," said General Manager Karl Kapuscinski. "With our early opening, El Niño looming, and the economy recovering, we feel very positive about the upcoming winter."

Bear Mountain opened a day later on Oct. 30 with one chair running to access Central Park Run and a dozen terrain park features. "This is our earliest opening ever in the modern era. With this rare shift in the weather, we opted to fire up the snowmaking guns a bit early to give our visitors a sneak peek at the great season ahead," said Chris Riddle, Director of Marketing for Big Bear Mountain Resorts.

Early season weather typically yo-yos between blue skies too warm for snowmaking and weather cold enough for the guns to produce snow. Operating schedules for both resorts run on a day-by-day basis early season; check for current status.

More information. Or call Bear Mountain 909-866-5766 or Mountain High 888-754-7878.