HELLO AGAIN, BALMY TEMPS: It looked for awhile there, back in January, that it would be summer-like 'round Southern California right through the actual start of summer. And then a bit of rain and refreshment arrived, and snow in the mountains. Some good snow, we should add; three feet fell in Mammoth Mountain over the second weekend in February. But those curiously warmish temperatures are set to return to the lower part of the state again -- hello, 80s, hello tank tops and shorts -- meaning that it is time to get your winter where you can get it. Mammoth is one of the mountaintop spots that hasn't gone the balmy route quite yet, thanks to all of that new snow, and there's a deal on to boot: Book three nights at a Mammoth Lodging Collection properties and fly for free, from Los Angeles or San Diego, to the mountain. There are asterisks -- limit two people, book through March 23, stay through April 6, and so forth -- but, please: If you haven't had your snow moment, the time is a-dwindlin'. How to book? Call 800-MAMMOTH.
100% TERRAIN: It's also very worth noting that "100% of the terrain will be open" over the Feb. 15-17 holiday weekend, "for the first time this year," says a resort rep. Meaning any skiers awaiting the full mountain experience should wait no longer. And call it quite the celebratory time to be on skis at Mammoth; a number of Olympians trained on the mountain or call upon it regularly, which translates to a lot of topical chitchat round the bars and fireplaces. Oh yes, and Olympic viewing parties, too. Skiing while ski competition is much on everyone's mind? That's called excellent timing.