Mountain High sells out as skiiers and snowboarders hit the slopes
Clear skies and perfect conditions brought huge crowds to Mountain High resort in Wrightwood on Thursday morning, forcing the popular ski resort to stop ticket sales just 30 minutes after the slopes opened.
All three resorts at Mountain High stopped selling tickets at 9 a.m., marketing manager Kim Hermon said. She estimated that upward of 8,000 skiers and snowboarders were on the mountains.
Hermon attributed the crowds to fresh snowfall -- the resort received between 6 and 8 inches of snow Wednesday morning -- and the holiday season. She said the resort also sold out Monday and Tuesday.
"It's called a bluebird day," Hermon said. "When you look out and it's just shiny and powdery and beautiful. This is one of our best days."
Snowboarders agreed that the conditions were ideal.
"This is a perfect day; the weather is amazing," said Joseph Yo, who drove up with friends from Los Angeles. "There's just too many people."
Yo was fortunate to have a season pass that allowed him to ride today despite the sellout. All others were turned away until the start of the 2 p.m. night session.
Because the resort's lots quickly filled, many parked alongside Highway 2, the road that leads up to the slopes, and hiked up with their skis and boards.
Traffic on the two-lane road was especially slow, with some saying it took more than an hour to reach the resort from Highway 138, which is about 8 miles away.
Dan Akers said he and friends thought they would have no problem with traffic after they left his Santa Monica home at 6:30 a.m. But they ended up waiting more then an hour on Highway 2, and weren't able to purchase tickets.
"That was our downfall," he said.
-- Sam Allen in Wrightwood