After a day of frustration Friday, snow covered Big Bear late Friday and early Saturday, with almost a foot of snow on the ground by Saturday morning.
"This is just awesome. This is the storm that we've been waiting for all season long," Chris Riddle of Big Bear Mountain Resorts said.
NBC4 Meteorologist was in Big Bear early Saturday and reported that nine inches of snow were on the slopes. She added that Highway 18 was still closed as of 7:45 a.m.
Wind and rain ripped through Big Bear on Friday morning, knocking down signs, stripping away layers of snow, and prompting resorts and highways to close, Bear Mountain officials said Friday in a statement posted on their website and Facebook.
Resort officials said they plan to Snow Summt and Bear Mountain Saturday at 8 a.m.
The first wave of an aggressive -- but much-needed -- storm system hit the area Wednesday and Thursday.
- Running Dry: Drought Resources, Updates
The storms brought more than an inch of rain to Big Bear and other drought-stricken SoCal communities.
- Photos: Day 2 of Heavy Showers in SoCal
Snowgoers had been looking forward to a nice dose of winter for the weekend.
"This is really sad,” Bear Mountain ski instructor Christine Gallo said. “I’ve never seen them close on a rainy day.”
With talk of snow, Bear Mountain officials earlier in the week had encouraged patrons to come for the weekend: “100% chance of snow Friday night and Saturday. Call your pow buddies and get up here for some freshies!”
Small amounts of slushy snow began to fall in the afternoon.
Roads were opening up after travelers were met with obstacles in the form of rock slides and highway closures on two of the major mountain routes leading to resorts.
Motorists hoping to hit the slopes this weekend were encouraged to dress accordingly, carry snow chains and drive cautiously.