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Why So Many People Are Still Skeptical About Mount Waterman, the Closest Ski Lifts to Los Angeles, Opening Again for the First Time Since 2020 This Weekend

Their business page on Facebook is home to more than 6,000 of the most passionate powder enthusiasts in Southern California. Over the last four years, it's received thousands of negative comments, primarily for not opening the lifts no matter how much snow fell on the resort

2:48 PM PDT on March 15, 2024

    Mount Waterman will open again to the public this Saturday and Sunday for the first time in four years. The family-owned ski lifts are less than a 60-mile drive from Highland Park, Pasadena, or Glendale. On a weekday with no traffic, it takes less than an hour to reach deep piles of snow on the privately owned ski resort on some of the highest peaks (8,000 feet and more) in Angeles National Forest up the 2 highway.

    Their business page on Facebook is home to more than 6,000 of the most passionate powder enthusiasts in Southern California. Over the last four years, it's received thousands of negative comments, primarily for not opening the lifts no matter how much snow fell on the resort. "Waterman is like a leap-year ski resort, open once every four years! This is exciting!" wrote Craig Hall in one comment. "Run [the resort] two days, Gets the forest service off your back for another year," wrote another user.

    Yesterday, the resort backtracked and posted that it will now be open only half a day on Saturday from noon to 4 PM, triggering another avalanche of negative comments after posting that they will be open for a full day. "Well, Yesterday I thought it was a Cold Day In Hell when Waterman Stated they were Opening Up. I about fell off my chair…Well, the update is a little premature, but half days are better than no days. I'll wait for the next Facebook Update. 🎿 😊" wrote another skeptical user eager to return to the slopes.

    The negative comments led the business account to close its comment section. In March, they re-opened their comment section, and the Facebook community continued to post hundreds of comments, including attaching videos of the functioning lifts alleging to be used by the friends and family of the owners on an invite-only basis. The highway to the resort is also constantly being damaged and closed due to the weather, which is another factor in the resort's on-and-off schedule.

    In 2011, President Obama signed "The Ski Area Recreational Opportunity Enhancement Act," which aimed to increase public access to privately owned ski resorts on public land, such as the Angeles National Forest. Many comments on the family-owned resort's heated Facebook page highlight this requirement, which added to their skepticism about the resort's opening this weekend.

    According to its website, Mount Waterman has been open (on and off) for 80 years. The current owner, Rick Metcalf, has been the owner since 2006. The resort boasts three ski lifts for snowboarding and downhill skiing. It does not offer rental equipment, and there are no gas stations on the short drive from La Crescenta to the resort.

    If the resort follows through with its promise, the momentous opening tomorrow is set to attract hundreds if not thousands of nostalgic ski-loving Los Angeles residents who will try to get in one last session before winter is over on County land, so plan accordingly if you're trying your luck to get a few runs in.

    L.A. TACO reached out for comment multiple times to Mount Waterman but has not heard back.

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