Snowfall makes for good skiing but difficult road conditions

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RIVERSIDE (CNS) – Fresh powder from a recent storm will greet skiers and snowboarders at local slopes this weekend, though the challenge may be getting there.

A storm earlier this week blanketed mountains across Southern California with up to 36 inches of snow, including Mountain High Resort in Wrightwood, which reported receiving one of its best November snowfalls in years.

Caltrans advised motorists heading for higher altitudes to come prepared with chains, even if vehicles are not required to be equipped with them.

“Yes, chain control is in effect in the mountain communities. Not all locations you are required to put them on, but bring them so you have them. This goes for your fancy 4WD/AWD vehicles too!” the agency warned on Twitter.

However, routes to popular ski destinations were blocked off due to the heavy snowfall.

Access to Mountain High was restricted because all lanes on State Route 2 between Wrightwood and State Route 138 were closed, according to Caltrans.

Snow Summit and its sister ski resort, Bear Mountain, opened earlier this week and reported a new record for November with 54 inches of snowfall.

But because of the heavy snowfall, eastbound State Route 18, the main highway to get to Big Bear, was closed from Green Valley Lake Road to State Route 38, according to Caltrans. The westbound side, leaving Big Bear, remained open.

Those attempting to head to Big Bear from Lucerne Valley will face a similar fate, with a closure on Highway 18 from Baldwin Lake Road and Camp Rock Road.

No estimated time for reopening was given by Caltrans.

“If you have no immediate business on the mountain, go a different day! The snow and beautiful communities will still be there!” Caltrans officials said.