Sierra Hello: June Mountain’s Opening

The frosty roll-outs continue, with a 395-close favorite opening next.

June Mountain

ADVENTURE STORY PEAKS: For many years running, December meant, at least in terms of cinema, a release of another "Lord of the Rings" or "Hobbit" film. It was the big, end-of-the-year-tastic, oh-so-epic treat many a fan looked forward to, though those same fans often left their neighborhood cinema dreaming of a trip to Middle Earth by way of New Zealand, which played Middle Earth in both series. And while we should all venture to New Zealand at some point, if we can, to have our breaths taken away by the very mountains Frodo and Gandalf and all their pals traversed, we can get a dose of that spectacularness here in the Golden State. For sure, the next thing we're about to type is "395," as in the highway, and the next thing after that we're going to type is "Eastern Sierra." Drive in and around Mammoth and you'll see some of those adventure-worthy mountains that stir your journey-taking soul. And one of the loveliest? Why it is June, a joyful word that inspires happiness in both skiers and lovers of lakes alike. It's one of California's great mountains, and it features fine skiing to boot. It re-opened a couple of years back, after a closed spell, and it is ready again for its seasonal debut. The date? Tell all your fellow Hobbits to make for the mountain on...

SATURDAY, DEC. 12: Bucky'll be out, the antler'd mascot of June Mountain, and so will all the skiers who love a crack at the opening day scene. Mammoth Mountain, June Mountain's sister property, has now been open for over a month, but expect some of the Mammoth mavens to be over on June, checking out the 35 named trails and 1,500 acres of ski-ready terrain. Do kids 12 and under ski for free at June? That is tradition, yes. Are more lifts opening in the area, and lodges, too? The snowflakes keep falling in pretty prodigious fashion, so look for Eagle Lodge, Canyon Lodge, and the Village Gondola to rev up on opening day. Can you play at your Middle Earth fantasies while schussing in all of that frosty white atop a Sierra peak? It's hard not to make comparisons. One day soon you'll get to New Zealand, but, to sate that desire right now, you can ski June Mountain in the magnificent Sierra.

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