Roads to Some Mount Pinos Snow Play Areas Open

UPDATE—FRAZIER PARK (March 25, 2011 at 1:26 p.m.)—It’s Over! Or is it? It appears the great springtime storm may have passed. Skies are showing patches of bright sunsine. National Weather Service shows temperatures rising to 68 degrees between now and next Thursday. But beware. These predictions are likely to change the moment we’ve posted this note. We will continue updates, so check back.

FRAZIER PARK, CA (March 25, 2011 at 9 a.m.)—There is light snow falling, but temperatures are too high for it to stick. So far, it appears that pavement is wet but there is no snow buildup. Please drive slowly and carefully to avoid hydroplaning.

California Highway Patrol Officer Robert Shuck said that CHP is preparing "for a busy snow play weekend." However, Kern County Roads Department said they will not plow the road to the top of Mount Pinos until next week, according to a U.S. Forest Service spokesperson.

There is snow play in Frazier Mountian Park. The snow play area near Chuchupate Ranger Station (west on Lockwood Valley Road from Frazier Mountain Park Road) will be open and able to accommodate about 100 vehicles. Straight ahead on Cuddy Valley Road, the park service plans to plow parking areas for about 200-250 more snow play visitors. About five miles further west, at the base of Mount Pinos (at the Mil Potrero ‘Y’ intersection) there is room for another 300 cars, approximately.

Local businesses will be open in Frazier Park, Lake of the Woods and Pine Mountain to serve meals and provide supplies.

Visitors are asked to carefully observe parking and traffic laws and to carefully monitor children to be sure they do not run into the road. Please "pack it in, pack it out" by taking all litter, including broken sleds, home with them for proper disposal. Outhouses are available at the legal snow play areas for visitors’ use. Please play in public areas rather than on private property and do not damage fences.

FRAZIER PARK, CA (March 24, 2011 at 6 p.m.)—The U.S. Forest Service has issued the following statement; please watch this site for updates about weather and road conditions in the region:

Los Padres Cautions Snowplay Visitors to Mt. Pinos Ranger District

GOLETA, CA… Los Padres National Forest officials today announced that, due to heavy snowfall and the
forecast for additional accumulation this weekend, the public is encouraged to postpone any visits to the
snowplay recreation areas on the Mt. Pinos Ranger District until the roads and parking spots can be cleared.

Three feet of snow fell on the district last week, and the National Weather Service is predicting another two
feet of snowfall over the next few days.

“The conditions in and around Frazier Park, and throughout the Mt. Pinos district, are likely to get worse
before they get better,” said Mt. Pinos District Ranger Erik Van Walden. “We highly recommend that the
public refrain from traveling up the mountain until we have a chance to clear the snow. Those who do choose
to make the trip up here should be prepared to be turned around by the CHP.”

The California Highway Patrol may restrict access to local residents only at the Frazier Park exit on
Interstate 5.

Snow plow crews have made progress in clearing the major roads, however with more snow expected over
the next few days the crews will need to extract much of the snow by loading and trucking it out. In the
interim, parking is extremely limited.

For more information, contact the Mt. Pinos District Office at (661) 245-3731.

This is part of the March 18, 2011 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.

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