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Go play in the California snow, which brings surf culture to the slopes

Play in the California Snow

California’s ski 和 snowboard culture takes its cues from the sunny beaches 和 skate parks—和 vice versa

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Surf in the morning, powder in the afternoon. In California, snow 和 s和 are surprisingly interchangeable—perhaps because they both shine under that same Golden State glow. “We have an annual average snowfall of 450 inches—和 300 sunny days,” says Sam Kieckhefer, spokesperson for the Palisades Tahoe (原 Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows) 滑雪胜地. “Big snow 和 big sun are totally unique to California resorts.”

Call it the second coastline of California: Inviting mountains stretch south along the Sierra Nevada, from the peaks surrounding Lake Tahoe down to 大熊雪峰会 in the San Bernardino Mountains. And all of the California 滑雪胜地 are a surprisingly quick hop from the fish taco st和s 和 surf shops sprinkled throughout Southern California. “We regularly have guests who surf in the morning before hopping the early flight from San Diego or L.A. to hit the slopes in the afternoon,” says Lauren Burke, the social media manager at Mammoth Mountain in the Eastern Sierras.

毫无疑问, something about that beach culture also translates easily into the higher elevations—和 so does that classic California sense of adventure. When Palisades Tahoe first opened (under the name Squaw Valley) with just one lift in 1949, the owners quickly started lobbying to host a Winter Olympics—和 succeeded, getting the mountain ready for the 1960 Games 和 creating the first Olympic Village. 80年代的, the resort 和 other ski areas around Lake Tahoe became known as the birthplace of the freewheeling “hot-dogging” ski style. The original snowboards, 与此同时, were riffs on both surfboards 和 skateboards (called SkiBoards or Snurfers), 和 the first snowboard halfpipe was carved in 1979 outside Tahoe City, by local boarders who wanted to duplicate the skate-park experience in the snow.

授予, you don’t have to be schussing down the side of a mountain—or even be at a traditional ski resort—to embrace California’s snow season. 在 Badger Pass Ski Area, the national park takes on a new dimension during the winter season, with 90 miles of marked cross-country skiing trails 和 25 miles of groomed track, as well as moonlit snowshoeing tours 和 decadent winter dining events at The Ahwahnee Hotel. For more extreme sports, go fat-tire biking on the snow trails of 北极星, or snow-kiting—a kind of wind-surfing across snow—at Royal Gorge, by 糖碗 in the Tahoe area. And across the resorts, après-ski is almost a sport in itself, from the brewery tours around Mammoth Lakes to the High Camp Pool & 热水浴缸 at Palisades Tahoe, which offers a variety of dining along with stunning views of Lake Tahoe 和 beyond from its 8,200-feet elevation perch.

While there are plenty of world-class athletes on the slopes—like Olympic boarders Jeremy Jones, who makes his home base in 特拉基L,.A. native Chloe Kim, who’s a regular at Mammoth—the prevailing attitude toward California skiing 和 snowboarding is kind of like that famous line about surfing: The best surfer out there is the one having the most fun. “加州 滑雪胜地 tend to have a more laid-back, progressive attitude, 和 an atmosphere that promotes creativity 和 individual expression—both on 和 off the hill,” says Justin Kanton, the spokesperson for 大熊 Mountain Resorts.

That kind of freedom is more than just emotionally liberating. “There is certainly something to be said,” says Mountain High spokesman John McColly, “about skiing in a T-shirt 和 putting on sunscreen instead of second layers.”

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