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Mount Waterman Summary:
|Ski area:||150 acres|
I started as a skeptic as I have skied many of the un-challenging Los Angeles area ski resorts but fell in love with this little gem just north of Los Angeles California. It is the closest ski area to Los Angeles and provides a variety of terrain from plenty of steep tree runs to easy beginner runs. This ski area which appears small with only three lifts, has a vast skiable area. There are your classic ski runs cut out of the forest but it is the forest itself which offers the best runs for the advanced skier. The naturally wide tree spacing is the blessing that this ski area has received.
I would classify Mount Waterman as a ski area rather than as a resort as it does not have the signature ski village at the base nor does it have accommodations. The closest town and lodging is located in La Canada. This is also true for ski rentals. The Sport Chalet in La Canada can outfit you with boots skis and poles.
Mount Waterman has had a long history with the city of Los Angeles opening under the ownership of Lynn Newcomb Sr. in 1939 with a rope tow and progressing to its first chair lift in 1942, the second resort in the state of California to have one. In 1981, Mount Waterman erected chair 3 in the "Bighorn" area and was the last major addition to the ski area. In 1954, the Kratka Ridge ski area opened up next door. While the old chair lift remains, the Kratka Ridge ski area does not and is not an operational ski area.
Southern California drought has afflicted Mount Waterman as it does not have snow making facilities nor a water source for snow making. It was closed for five years until it reopened in the winter ski season of 2015-2016, an El Nino ski season.
This mountain is the opposite of most. The beginner runs and the lodge are at the top. The advanced runs are at the base, thus you will see timid beginners taking the chair lift down to bypass the advanced lower section of the mountain. Mount Waterman currently does not make snow but receives much more natural snow than its Los Angeles ski area counterparts.
While Mount Waterman does not have your classic steep treacherous chutes, it does possess plenty of steep terrain to make you pay attention.
There is no grooming of the advanced runs. Moguls will appear and disappear as conditions and skiers dictate.
The most notable feature about the Mount Waterman terrain is the vast area of tree runs.
This mountain has plenty of terrain for the beginners and intermediates. Beginners should stay at the top of the mountain.
Don't be shy about taking the chair lift down from the top to avoid the steeper terrain which leads to the bottom (most beginners do it).
There are no specific "terrain parks", enjoy the whole mountain as your terrain park.
Nightlife centers around Newcombs Ranch (mostly for "Apres Ski"). The restaurant has amazingly good food for what appears to be a biker bar at the side of the road filled with ski patrol and locals from Mount Waterman.
There is no base village at Waterman. The lodge is at the summit and supplies some basic essentials. The finest shopping in the area is on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills which is only a little over an hour away.
Most of the skiers at Mount Waterman drove from 40 minutes to one and 1/2 hours from the Southern California population centers of Los Angels.
Stay in the Los Angeles foothill towns of La Canada or Pasadena.
Discount ski lift tickets
Discount Ski Equipment