Spot Check
Sierra Summit, California
By Chris Engelsman
Where in the world is Sierra Summit? Turns out, it’s just outside of Fresno, California-about an hour-and-a-half drive from the city’s airport. The resort is, you guessed it, high atop the Sierra mountain range, and it’s very reminiscent of Mt. Baker-an old resort that hasn’t seen a lot of modern updating. That’s right, no high-speed chairs, just classic slow lifts. This means one thing: powder lasts much longer. Once you get off the area’s groomers, the terrain is steep and littered with boulders-much like a similarly named resort, Sierra-at-Tahoe. You almost feel like you’re in a video game riding down it as you rack up points by jumping off more and more rocks. Some of these boulder-strewn runs are on good, north-facing slopes, so the powder stays great forever.On the backside of the resort is an open groomed area with a T-bar lift. This is where the Nixon JibFest went down last season. They chose to hold it at Sierra Summit to avoid all the hassle of people trying to sneak into the event. They succeeded-it’s a mellow resort where you and a friend can have a good time snowboarding without worrying about your doo-rag hanging out just right. But be warned-the Fresno airport isn’t a major destination, so you have to plan trips ahead of time to get the best airfares. Most of us going to the Nixon JibFest found this out the hard way …Stats
Average annual snowfall: 300 inches
Summit elevation: 8,709 feet
Vertical drop: 1,679 feet
Number of lifts: Five chairs, three surface lifts
Shreddable acres: 240
Pipes: Hopefully
Parks: One
Snowskate parks: Nope
Lights: Nope
Nearby skateparks: Various parks in Fresno