Mountain High Invests Another $1 Million In Seasonal Improvements

Mountain High Resort in Wrightwood is embracing the change of seasons with more than $1 Million in improvements.  These include a new Rossignol Experience Center, an expanded Children’s Sports Center, new snow cats and terrain features, and more than $300,000 in snowmaking improvements.  With opening day less than a month away, it’s time to box up your beach toys and get out your winter gear because we’ll be on the snow before you know it.  Read on to see how this year’s improvements are creating a better experience for guests at Southern California’s closest winter resort.

Increased Snowmaking
Mountain High has been Southern California’s first resort to open for the past 16 years and this winter they are able to make snow even faster with the addition of six (6) new Super PoleCat fan guns from SMI and one swing-arm fan gun from Technoalpine.  The SMI Super PoleCat snowmakers are big throw, simple nozzle fan guns that are fully automatic and perfect for all temperature conditions.  Plus the extended reach of the Technoalpine swing-arm snowmaker means the Mountain High can place the snow exactly where they want it, even in windy conditions.

Gone are the days of huge staff hiking the resort adjusting snow guns with a wrench and prayer.  These guns are fully automatic so they adjust themselves based on the conditions.  They can be dialed down to make heavier base snow or dialed up to create champagne powder.  Some guns can even be activated by remote control. 

Mountain High operates one of the largest snowmaking systems in the country and is continually striving to increase its coverage and efficiency while reducing overall fuel consumption.  This is no small task, so for the better part of 10 years, Mountain High has been adding electric fan guns, installing new compressors, and retrofitting its exiting hydrants to perform at peak capacity.  The current system is now 30% more efficient that it was a decade ago allowing Mountain High to make more snow than ever using fewer resources.  It is also being run by a new captain, Eric Loveng, formerly the Assistant Snowmaking Manager, who carries with him 20 years of snowmaking experience spread between Mountain High, CA, and Snow Valley, CA. 
Says Eric Loveng, Snowmaking Manager, “Our system has been in place for a while, but compared to some of the newer systems I’ve seen, they can’t touch the amount of snow we can make.” 

New Environmental Initiatives
Mountain High is proud to be a steward of the environment and constantly looking for ways to reduce its carbon footprint and fossil fuel consumption.  By converting many of its diesel snowmaking compressors to electric, the mountain will save more than 20,000 gallons of fuel this year equaling 512,400 lbs of carbon dioxide.  That equates to 15 school busses in weight.

Other environmental improvements for 2013/14 include:
1) Recycling – Mountain High has reinvigorated its recycling efforts by placing new, easy-to-see receptacles in both the base areas and parking lots.
2) Waterless Urinals – Newly installed waterless urinals at the North Resort will save 1.5 gallons of water per use.
3) Sustainability – Mountain High is committed to preserving the environment for generations to come.  This year they spread 10 tons of wood chips over key areas to maintain the soil density over the summer and reduce erosion.
4) National Forest Foundation – Mountain High is an advocate of the National Forest Foundation, government chartered organization that promotes the health and public enjoyment of the 193-million-acre National Forest System.  Purchase a “green” ticket from Mountain High for just $1 more and the resort will donate that to the National Forest Foundation.
5) Reusable Tickets – Mountain High uses one of the most technologically advanced ticketing systems in North America and keeps more than 100,000 lift tickets out of landfills every season by using reusable ticket stock.

New Natural Terrain Features / Park Cat
This season Mountain High added five new features to its all-natural terrain park Woodworth Gulch.  Before resorts began building monolithic parks with features that resembled staircases and skyscrapers, skiers and snowboarders used the natural terrain to get creative.  Woodworth Gulch is filled with features made entirely from wood including rainbow rails, flat down logs, tree bonks, and more.  This year the resort added 5 new jibs including a 15’ log wall, an A-Frame, a new pole jam, and a new bannister on the Woodworth cabin.  Woodworth Gulch caters to intermediate rides & above, and can be found near the bottom of the West Resort. 

What new park wouldn’t be complete without a specialized park cat?  To keep the mountain looking its best, Mountain High purchased a state-of-the-art Bison X park cat from Prinoth.  The maneuverability of its front blade lets the park builder push, carry, and place snow wherever they need.  And the center cab guarantees optimal visibility and support, even when building in extreme mountain conditions.  With t accessories such as the highly efficient PRINOTH® Power Tiller, Posiflex Tiller and the tried and true 12-way clearing blade, the Bison X provides the best ski slope conditions and enormous thrust, even when  pushing large masses of snow.

Rossignol Experience center
Mountain High has partnered with Rossignol to deliver state-of-the-art equipment and a performance-oriented rental experience.  Each Experience Center offers the latest ski gear, modernized tips, and full service instruction to help all levels of visitors quickly become better, stronger, and more confident skiers. The object of each experience center is to give guests a better rental experience with superior equipment, more confidence, and more fun.  Skiers and snowboarders can also reserve their equipment online at mthigh.com reducing their wait at the resort.  From industry leader RTP, this new online rental system reduces congestion by offering faster fittings and quick-capture of the renter’s preferences.  The new system holds the user’s information so they no longer need to remember their binding settings or equipment size from previous visits.

Expanded Children’s Sports Center
Mountain High added a second floor to its Children’s Sports Center to accommodate even more students ages 4 to 12.  Located adjacent the Bullwheel Grill, this two-story facility is now complete with rentals, restrooms, warming stations and more.  Parents can pick up their tickets and rentals here or book online (mthigh.com) and have their lesson packets waiting for them when they arrive.  This also guarantees their lesson reservation in case of a sellout.

On the snow Mountain High has partnered with Burton to offer a new Burton Youth LTR (Learn To Ride) Center and implemented Terrain- Based teaching.  When combined, these two elements are proven to help students progress faster and have more fun.  Resorts partnered with Burton not only have the training and experience to work with kids of all ages, but also the boards, boots, and bindings to provide the best start.  Soft-flex boards with catch-free edges make the equipment easy to control, and Velcro boots & bindings are something even a small mitt-covered hand can manage. Throw a Riglet towing accessory on the smallest boards and no child is left behind.  Lessons begin at age 4 and include individual attention and feedback with small class sizes in a safe and friendly environment.

Mountain High Presents #WOODWORTH
Mountain High is proud to announce the release of its newest movie, #WOODWORTH.  This feature-length snowboarding film takes viewers through the history of the Big Pines region culminating in the development of Woodworth Gulch, Mountain High’s new “all natural” terrain park named after Dick Woodworth, one of the resort’s mid-century developers.  Long before terrain parks existed, skiers were making the long trek up Highway 2 to sled, slide, and ice skate.  Here at Big Pines the Hollywood elite celebrated with winter sports carnivals and even erected a world-class ski jump in 1929 to attract the upcoming Olympics.  The Olympics never came but the region grew to become one of the most pronounced winter recreation areas in Southern California.  Get back in touch with the soul of snowboarding this fall in Mountain High’s new full-length movie #WOODWORTH.  It pairs the area’s historic beginnings with the best riding of today in the region’s ONLY all-natural terrain park.  #WOODWORTH will have you on your feet screaming “You WOOD if you could!”  And you can…at Mountain High.  Click here to watch the teaser now https://vimeo.com/73968972  . 

For more information on Mountain High’s recent improvements or to schedule an interview please contact John McColly, CMO, at john@mthigh.com or 760-316-7803.

About Mountain High
Mountain High is Southern California’s closest winter resort located just an hour and a half from Los Angeles and Orange County. The area consists of three separate mountains (Mountain High East, West, and North), and offers a wide variety of lifts and trails, a world-class terrain park, an outstanding Winter Sports School, and the region’s largest tubing area. Night skiing & snowboarding is available 5 nights-a-week and snowmaking covers more than 80% of the slopes.  Mountain High has been the first resort to open in Southern California for the past 16 years and traditionally operates from mid November to mid April. Get more at mthigh.com.    
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