Snow Day in LA

The city of 10,000,000 people have mountains that reach over 10,000′ that begin about 10 miles from town. In these mountains, when the temperature and pressure drop, sometimes we get snow. Usually just a light dusting, but enough to make the caps look white in the distance as you pedal or drive up Highway 2.

As previous experiences have proven
, this snow is sometimes ridable, sticking mostly to the plants and rock outcroppings, while leaving the trails tacky and the corners smooth.

That was our thoughts on Saturday evening as Kyle and I planned a Sunday morning venture into the Angeles National Forest: ridable trails.

Sunrise and shred sleds

We met for coffee and then loaded the bikes onto my pickup before heading up for the roughly 40 minute drive to the trails. Once the sky cracked open, it was obvious it’d be a beautiful day in the ANF.


Beautiful, yet cold. After el Niño’s recent rains, the mountains weren’t just dusted with snow, they were covered. Snowmen lined the highway and as we neared the trails, it had become obvious that the roads were plowed.

Turning into the parking lot, the truck fishtailed in the snow and as we began to pedal up the fireroad, it was very apparent we’d be spending some of the time hiking. Our rationale at this point was that the south face of the mountain would be melted and thus, ridable. Something we held onto until the top.


Surely the trails would be in good condition and this wouldn’t be a 15 mile hike with bikes and for me, camera equipment.

You know that little voice in the back of your head that tells you something’s a bad idea? Not fear, the other one. Oh yeah, the voice of reason. If the snow is 6″ deep on the dark side, it’s still going to be a few inches deep on the south side… Which, you guessed it, was accurate. We hiked 15 miles and I barely rode more than 5 minutes. Kyle had a little more traction with the Ros9+, but my tires just sank in the snow.

It wasn’t what I expected, but it’s what I expected. The mountains are unpredictable, yet predictable if you know how to listen.

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