BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Alta Sierra Ski Resort is home to many Kern County families during the winter months and Friday morning mountain officials woke up to ten inches of snowfall.
“We’re optimistic like I said we’re expecting more snow and it’s early and we want to catch the holiday season the Christmas time and get everyone from Kern County, there’s a lot of pint up demand right now,” Alta Sierra Co-Owner Garro Ellis said.
The resort offers two ski lifts, snowboarding and tubing. All day adult lift tickets are $50, kids under 12 get in for $40 and tubers can buy tickets for $30 for two hour access to the mountain, “That’s one of the most popular things..you can tube down and you don’t even have to hike back up it takes you back to the top on your tubes,” Ellis said.
Some deals are also available according to Ellis, “Seniors, military and students with ID’s they get a discount just go on the website and find out what that discount is usually it’s around 10 percent, 20 percent.” He said ticket prices also vary each year, “When we have a price increase, which we haven’t really increased it in a while but yea the other resorts are all raising their prices, with again supply and demand you know. We think we are pretty inexpensive compared to the rest of the mountains and you know, you get a lot of ski time in because you our lines aren’t as large as the other resorts either. So you get a lot of time on that mountain.”
After only opening for two days last year in light of the California drought Ellis said this year’s opening dates for families will also depend on the snow fall, but so far he said they are off to a good start, “We’ve got 10 inches it's still snowing we're hoping to get, you know if we get two feet or a little bit more than that.. because then when we compact it we do have to groom, it so it does compact down but that mountain is pretty clear so we can usually open up with about two feet of snow.”
Ellis said for the last three months his team has been prepping the mountain for families to ensure everyone can enjoy the snow safely, “As far as greasing the rope, we’re making sure the breaks work, you know we have load tests, we even have inspectors up there to make sure we do pass inspection because it won’t open unless we pass inspection. So there is a lot of behind the scenes details whether it’s the engine room, or the kitchen, or the rentals, or the ticket office there’s a lot going on.”
However, Ellis said families need to be prepared for the commute before they head to Alta Sierra this year, “Yea I always recommend chains especially after it snows we’ll usually tell you on the internet but I would always carry chains with you takes about an hour and fifteen minutes, hour and twenty minutes depending on how fast you drive but if the canyon is closed, the 178’s closed, you can always go through Glenville, a lot of people like that Glenville route anyway.”
The Alta Sierra team is also staying enthusiastic about the season, “It’s so awesome we’ve all just been keeping our fingers crossed just hoping for the best and waiting for this and hopefully we just get feet more so that we can be snowboarding all the time,” Alta Sierra Ski Instructor Jason Blackstone said.
If you would like to view more specials or purchase tickets online you can also visit the Alta Sierra Website.