The holiday weekend brought us eight inches of snow here in the Big Bear Valley, and though sunny skies are expected today (Monday), the National Weather Service has issued a Wind Advisory for the San Bernardino mountains. This Wind Advisory, in effect through this afternoon, means that winds of 35 miles per hour are expected, and these northeast winds could result in gusts up to 50 miles per hour across the mountains and through passes, making driving potentially difficult, especially for those in high profile vehicles.
And, as for driving, all highways to, from and within most of the Big Bear Valley, including Highways 18, 330 and 38 are under an R2 chain requirement, per CalTrans. (Portions of the North Shore have an R1 requirement, which requires chains unless you have snow tires.) R2 conditions mean that you must have chains on the drive wheels of your vehicle, unless in a four-wheel drive with snow tires on all four wheels and carrying chains. If not using or carrying chains as required, you could be ticketed and fined $108, per the California Highway Patrol. If putting chains on your vehicle, be sure you are safely out of the roadway before doing so. Also, as snow conditions are in effect, be sure that your vehicle is not parked in the street and blocking snowplow operations. Vehicles blocking snowplows in the City of Big Bear Lake are subject to ticketing and/or towing. [Update as of 10am hour, November 30: Per CalTrans, there are no longer chain requirements for any roads in our area. Update as of 11am hour, December 1: Snow conditions are no longer in effect, so parking on city streets is once again allowed.]
At the resorts, both Bear Mountain and Snow Summit, new snow accumulation reached up to 12 inches over the weekend so, coupled with snowmaking operations, both ski resorts have a snow depth of 18 to 24 inches. Snow Summit, which opened for Thanksgiving Day, now has three chair lifts open, and both resorts offer half-day session, starting at noon, with early season rates in effect for both mountains.