Lonely Planet Writer

Skiers take to the slopes in bikinis and shorts as temperatures rise in California

Wildly fluctuating weather patterns are leaving some California skiers and snowboarders happier than they’ve been in a while. Mammoth Mountain saw an historic 618 inches of snowfall – the most the resort has seen since its all-time high of 668.5 inches in the 2010/2011 season.

Unseasonally warm weather brings out bikinis and shorts at Mammoth Mountain
Warm weather brings out shorts, tank tops and even bikinis at Mammoth Mountain ski resort. Image by: Mammoth Mountain

“This season has brought so many ‘best day ever’ for people, whether it was a thigh deep powder day, or a warm, sunny spring day skiing top to bottom, said Lauren Burke, public relations manager and social media manager for Mammoth Mountain. “This season has really given you a little taste of everything.”

The incredible snowfall is allowing the mountain to stay open indefinitely into the summer, Burke said. “This is the best spring conditions we’ve had in decades,” she explained. “But Mammoth has stayed open into July over 15 times in the last 50 years.”

Now, Central California is experiencing the opposite end of the weather spectrum. With an intense heat wave hitting the coast, the mountains warmed up considerably. Californians took full advantage of the sunny days and hit the slopes in their favorite surf-wear. “People are having a blast up here skiing in shorts, tank tops and even bikinis,” Burke said.

Summer skiing

Mammoth Mountain will be opened at least until August, Burke told Travel News. She also mentioned that season passholders from any other ski resort can go to Mammoth and get 50% off lift tickets each day and kids 12 and under get to ski free. Sounds like a pretty great summer family vacation!

Can you surf and ski in the same day?

California is known for its beachy vibes and surf culture, but it also has killer mountains and incredible snow. In fact, many in the state like to claim you can surf and ski in the same day. Big Bear is about 2.5 hours from Los Angeles – so if you start early you can hit the slopes in the morning and watch the sunset over Venice Beach. Or do the opposite, surf with the early morning sun and head to the mountain for a few runs before enjoying apres ski with a mountain view.