Sierra Summit Mountain Resort
Central Sierra- not Tahoe but that's ok
Thu 13 November 2008 by roland303
Sierra Summit is a decent-sized mountain that enjoys a variety of challenging runs - if the snow is any good. The problem being in the central and southern Sierras is that snowfall is erratic and and wildly varying quality. A "typical" storm may bring 10-15 inches of wet snow that hardpacks fairly quickly, so it is best to wait for the really cold storms that bring more powder conditions. Having said that, there are some nice little runs for intermediates and experts on the top portion of the mountain as well as the northeast section of the lower mountain. Runs like Waterfall and Grouse Mountain are excellent if they have the snow- steep and some nice features. The Face is probably the most challenging area with cliff drops, sheer slopes but is wide open and pretty nice with a couple of feet of powder.
The park is ok but the halfpipe is rarely maintained and it is mostly kickers varying with rails, although each year they seem to add more rails and "urban" features. I would say it iss decent and about what you could expect for a place that is somewhat out of the way. This place is popular with the local (Fresno) high school set, so unless you like gangsta-style kids rockin' their Ipods cramming most of the park lifts, you may want to come during the midweek.
Other things to note are the prevalence of bluebird days, which is nice if you like sunshine and whatnot but it also means a fair amount of freeze/thaw, which can ruin good snow within a day. The hotel on site is fair to poor and if you want decent accommodations or are traveling with a family, there are other places across Huntington Lake that may be better.
Bottom Line: if you happen to be in the area and it dumps, get your butt up here. Otherwise, I wouldn't go to far out of your way to get here, especially as there are better spots to the north and east of here.
P.S. You can see Mammoth Mt. from the top of Sierra Summit but no, you can't drive there from here. It's a five hour drive around the Sierras, unfortunately.