Outposts

Outdoors, action, adventure

Category: Snowmobiling

Yellowstone will open for winter season on Wednesday

The geothermal pools of Mammoth Hot Springs Terraces in Yellowstone National Park send clouds of steam into the frigid winter air.

The interior roads of Yellowstone National Park are being packed and groomed in order to open Wednesday to commercially guided snowmobile and snow coach travel.

The roads that link West Yellowstone, Mammoth Hot Springs and the park’s South Entrance with Old Faithful and Canyon are set to open at 8 a.m. Travel on the East Entrance road and Sylvan Pass is scheduled to begin a week later, Dec. 22, at 8 a.m.

The same limited-use plan as last winter will be in effect, allowing up to 318 commercially guided snowmobiles and 78 commercially guided snow coaches into the park daily.

The park’s list of permitted snowmobile and snow coach operators is available online at http://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/wintbusn.htm. No commercial operator submitted a proposal to provide snow coach tours from the park’s East entrance this season.

-- Kelly Burgess
twitter.com/latimesoutposts

Photo: The geothermal pools of Mammoth Hot Springs Terraces in Yellowstone National Park send clouds of steam into the frigid winter air. Credit: National Park Service

 

Winter X Games 15 announces competition schedule

Jeff Tweet (177) and Doug Henry (19) battle it out during Adaptive SnoCross final at Winter X Games 14.

The Winter X Games 15 competition schedule has been announced. 

All events will take place Thurs., Jan. 27, through Sun., Jan. 30, on Buttermilk Mountain in Aspen, Colo. 

Times listed are Pacific Standard Time and subject to change.

 

Thursday, Jan. 27
Event   Time
Skiing Slopestyle Men's Elimination   9 - 11 a.m.
Snowmobile Freestyle Elimination   10:30 a.m. - Noon
Skiing Slopestyle Women's Final   Noon - 1 p.m.
Snowmobile Freestyle Round One   6 - 7 p.m.
Snowboard SuperPipe Men's Elimination   6 - 7:30 p.m.
Snowmobile Freestyle Final   7:30 - 8 p.m.
Skiing SuperPipe Women's Final   8 - 8:40 p.m.
Continue reading »

Ski Dazzle opens Thursday at L.A. Convention Center

A snowboarder glides through fresh powder at Big Bear's Snow Summit ski resort.

Ski Dazzle makes its return to Southern California, opening Thursday and running through Sunday at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

The annual ski and snowboard consumer event will feature more than 275 exhibitors showcasing equipment and resort information.

There will also be daily activities, including ski and snowboard lessons, contests and seminars, cooking demos, a climbing wall and skateboard and BMX Vert ramp shows.

Event hours are 4 to 11 p.m. Thursday and Friday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday; and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Adult admission is $18; children ages 6 to 12 are $5; and those younger than 6 are free.

Once inside, paid adult tickets can be exchanged for a one-day lift ticket coupon to either Snow Summit or Bear Mountain resorts (certain restrictions and blackout dates apply).

-- Kelly Burgess
twitter.com/latimesoutposts

Photo: A snowboarder glides through fresh powder at Big Bear's Snow Summit ski resort. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times

Bomber floating eyewear helps you hold onto your glasses

Bomber D-Bombs in matte black.

I've come across some sunglasses which may prevent me from ever losing a pair again.

The Bomber line of sun- and safety-glasses includes models that come with a patented foam lining, which makes the glasses buoyant. The foam also provides a snug fit, helping hold them in place while keeping perspiration (and sunscreen) away from your eyes.

World Champion jet ski racer Tommy "the Bomber" Bonacci designed the floating eyewear when trying to solve the problem of his glasses falling off and sinking. Bonacci discovered the flotation foam also provided that snug fit, which prevents the glasses from blowing off when turning your head on a jet ski, boat, bike or motorcycle. Bonacci soon had people around the world asking him for a pair of these durable and stylish sunglasses.

Lightweight and comfortable, Bomber eyewear is affordable enough to own more than one pair. In fact, I have numerous -- clear safety for the shooting range; floating polarized which I keep in my tacklebox for fishing, and another polarized pair for driving and everyday use.

With prices ranging from $7.95 to $34.95, glasses can be purchased via the Bomber website or at more than 500 dealers nationwide.

-- Kelly Burgess

twitter.com/latimesoutposts

Photo: Bomber "D-Bombs" in matte black. Credit: Bomber eyewear

New eyewear allows for hands-free video recording

50000 ikam Time for a new pair of sunglasses? You might want to check out i-Kam Xtreme eyewear, which allows the wearer to be their own videographer.

That's because each pair features a built-in video recording device, allowing for hands-free recording of your latest outdoor adventure. Be it hunting, fishing, skiing or even a ballgame, outdoor enthusiasts of all types have an easy way to record what they see, and play it back later for future enjoyment.

With no cords or battery packs required, the glasses have a digital camera incorporated into the frame, offering 4GB of built-in memory for up to 3 hours of recording, plus an integral microphone to capture all the sounds to go along with the video. The eyewear  will also accept a Micro SD card for an additional 8 GB of memory. 

The glasses can be hooked directly to a PC or Mac with the supplied USB cable to view video. When using a Micro SD card, it can be inserted into a card reader to watch footage.

Continue reading »

Forest service boosting patrol efforts to catch snowmobile trespassers

A warning sign marks the boundary which forbids the use of motorized vehicles and equipment.

Inyo National Forest officers will be adding aerial patrols in their effort to catch snowmobilers riding in off-limit areas this winter.

The airplane patrols will be added to monitor designated Wilderness and Research Natural areas, which have been prohibited to motorized vehicle access since the passage of the Wilderness Act of 1964.

Riding in closed areas is both a federal and state offense, punishable by fines up to $5,000, six months in jail and possible seizure of snowmobiles.

Areas that will be heavily patrolled include Devils Postpile National Monument, Mammoth Lakes Basin and Obsidian Dome and Shady Rest cross-country ski trails.

Many major winter trailheads and launching points have maps showing the restricted areas. However, since it is each rider's responsibility to know where closed and restricted areas and their boundaries are, it is strongly suggested that riders check with local ranger stations or visitor centers, or obtain a free Winter Recreation trail map at the Mammoth Lakes Welcome Center.

-- Kelly Burgess

Photo: A boundary-marking sign forbids use of motorized vehicles and equipment. Credit: Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press

Follow this blog on Twitter: @latimesoutposts

Weekend ahead should be a great opportunity to head outdoors

Even the foothills above La Crescenta received a dusting of snow.

A respite this weekend from the storms that have been pounding the region, coupled with the glut of snow from them, probably has those who have been stuck inside all week ready to head to the great outdoors to take advantage of both.

Just a reminder to be sure to have patience and use common sense when venturing out. Remember to have tire chains in your vehicle, just in case, as well as drinking water and perhaps taking some snacks for the road, as there may be delays caused by travel conditions and by other drivers. 

There may also be risk of falling rock and landslides because of saturated soil, and avalanche from all the fresh snow.

Travelers might want to check the websites for specific areas they are heading to (for instance, Yosemite National Park announced the closure of all roads into the park this morning), or check SigAlert.com or the Caltrans highway conditions Web page. Caltrans also offers a toll-free number, (800) 427-7623, to call for current highway conditions.

Here's hoping readers take the opportunity to get out and enjoy the crisp, fresh air these storms leave behind. Be safe and have fun!

-- Kelly Burgess

To follow this blog on Twitter, please visit @latimesoutposts.

Photo: Even the foothills above La Crescenta received a dusting of snow. Credit: Scott Bassin


Eastern Sierra motorists urged to carry chains, or risk being turned back

U.S. 395, heading southbound, near Lee Vining.
If you were among the roughly 400 northbound travelers turned back on U.S. 395 over the holiday weekend, you already know: It's not only safer to carry chains while traveling through the Eastern Sierra, it also might be the only way you'll be allowed to venture beyond an area just south of Mammoth Lakes.

Doug Northington, a public information officer with the California Highway Patrol, explained in a story on the Sierra Wave website that motorists are required to carry chains when signs are posted or when "R1" or "R2" conditions exist. That was the case over the weekend, and motorists stopped at checkpoints at Tom's Place and the famous Green Church were told they could not continue without chains.

Northington said even four-wheel-drive vehicles with snow tires must carry chains under the more severe R2 conditions.

Although this angered many motorists, it must have been a boon to vendors of tire chains in Bishop, which is the nearest city south of Mammoth Lakes. Northington conceded that strict enforcement of the codes is new. He also pointed out that heavy snow and strong winds in the Bridgeport area in northern Mono County on Saturday caused numerous cars to spin-out and said vehicles were "stacked like firewood" alongside the highway.

So it's not unreasonable to require that motorists come prepared, as weather can deteriorate quickly in the region.

-- Pete Thomas

Photo: U.S. 395, heading southbound, near Lee Vining. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times

Sierra Nevada resorts and national parks brace for season's first winter storm

The first winter storm of the season is due to arrive Friday and that's welcome news for skiers, snowboarders and other winter sports enthusiasts traveling to such places as Lake Tahoe, Mammoth Lakes, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park and Yosemite National Park for the Thanksgiving holiday period.

Here's a Wednesday afternoon alert issued by the National Weather Service

THE FIRST WINTER STORM OF THE SEASON WILL MOVE INTO THE CENTRAL
CALIFORNIA INTERIOR FRIDAY AFTERNOON...AND PERSIST OVERNIGHT. SNOW
LEVELS NEAR YOSEMITE WILL DROP TO AROUND 4,000 FEET FRIDAY NIGHT.
TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS IN EXCESS OF 4 INCHES ARE LIKELY ABOVE
5,000 FEET...WITH UP TO A FOOT POSSIBLE OVER THE HIGHER ELEVATIONS.
 
...WINTER STORM WATCH IN EFFECT FROM FRIDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH
SATURDAY AFTERNOON FOR THE SOUTHERN SIERRA NEVADA FROM YOSEMITE
TO KINGS CANYON... 

Continue reading »

Ski Dazzle opens Thursday at L.A. Convention Center

Snowboarder

Ski Dazzle makes its return to Southern California, opening Thursday and running through Sunday at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

The annual ski and snowboard consumer event, touted as the world's largest, will feature more than 375 exhibit booths showcasing equipment and resort information.

There will also be activities each day, including ski and snowboard lessons, contests and seminars, a climbing wall, and skateboard and BMX Vert ramp shows.

Event hours are 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday and Friday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday; and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Adult admission is $17; children ages 6 to 12, $5 ; and those 5 and younger, free.

Once inside, paid adult tickets can be exchanged for a one-day lift ticket coupon to either Snow Summit or Bear Mountain resorts (certain restrictions apply).

-- Kelly Burgess

Photo: A snowboarder takes a turn at Snow Summit in Big Bear. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times

Mammoth Mountain signs agreement for summer airline service from LAX

A Horizon Air turboprop plane touches down at Mammoth Yosemite Airport during a test run last October.

Mammoth Mountain Ski Area has reached agreement with Horizon Air to begin summer airline service to and from Los Angeles and Mammoth Yosemite Airport beginning in April.

The Mammoth Times reports and sources confirm that a deal has been signed and an official announcement will be made as early as next week.

Horizon already provides winter flights on a schedule that has grown from one to four flights per day -- with service from LAX, Seattle, Portland, Ore., and San Jose. Winter flight service is from Dec. 17 through April 11. Summer service will begin April 12.

The ski area helps subsidize the winter flights, and the ski area and Mammoth Lakes will subsidize the single daily summer flight.

-- Pete Thomas

Photo: A Horizon Air turboprop plane touches down at Mammoth Yosemite Airport during a test run last October. Credit: Peatross/MMSA

Mammoth Mountain skiing/snowboarding conditions epic after snowiest February in 10 years

Mammoth_030509_01

Mammoth Mountain Ski Area has been hit hard by an economic slump that is preventing many skiers and snowboarders from driving or flying to the Eastern Sierra resort.

But those making the trip are experiencing epic conditions, thanks to the snowiest February in 10 years and four consecutive days of abundant snowfall in March.

With water agency people everywhere crying drought, the entire Sierra Nevada range continues to thicken with snow.

For the season, Mammoth, which received 12 feet of snow in February, is reporting 418 inches. That's above a yearly average of 400 inches. The resort now boasts a base of 12-16 feet, and that will ensure open slopes at least through Memorial Day.

Mammoth could easily remain open beyond that, but if visitation remains down, it will become too costly.

Here are a few of Mammoth's so-called "Ski Stimulus Deals": Ski for $53 per day when you purchase an adult ticket for four or more days; slopeside hotel rooms from $99 at the Mammoth Mountain Inn and one-bedroom condos from $169 at Juniper Springs Lodge and The Village Lodge (Sunday-Thursday). Click on the blue link above for details.

--Pete Thomas

Photo of skier Ray McMillian taken at 10 a.m. Thursday. Credit: Brad Peatross, courtesy of MMSA

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Outposts' primary contributor is Kelly Burgess.



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