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El Niño Snow Will Allow California's Mt. Waterman to Open for the First Time in Five Years

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The closest day ski area to Los Angeles has sat dormant for the last five years, but thanks to recent El Niño snow, the lifts will turn again starting on January 16. A small ski area in the San Gabriel Mountains about 1 hour from Los Angeles, Mt. Waterman boasts only three chairlifts but packs a lot of punch with over 60 percent of its terrain listed as advanced. Now, for the first time since the 2010-2011 ski season, Mt. Waterman is set to turn on the lifts and allow skiers to rejoice in the 3-foot base of recent snow.

The drought in California hindered Mt. Waterman's ability to open in recent years, as the mountain lacks any snowmaking capabilities. But El Niño often brings big precipitation to Southern California, and that's just what Mt. Waterman needed to open for the winter. Last week's intense rainfall brought flooding to downtown Los Angeles and snow to Mt. Waterman's San Gabriel Mountains. The higher elevations picked up 2-3 feet of powder.

All that snow means a solid base for skiers, and Mt. Waterman announced that they will be open January 16, 17th, and 18th from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. And great news for skiers who previously purchased tickets during years when the ski area remained closed: all tickets, vouchers, Groupons, and Liftopia tickets from 2011-2015 will roll over and be valid for this winter. Even if you don't have a long-lost coupon, a full-day lift ticket at Mt. Waterman will only put you back a cool $50, which is a good value for all that El Niño snow.

Two photos taken on January 9, via Mt. Waterman: