Mountain High Resort hopes El Nino brings snow

WRIGHTWOOD, Calif. (KABC) -- With the leaves changing colors, we're getting deeper into fall and closer to winter.

Up at Mountain High Resort, the lifts are stopped, the snowmakers are quiet, and the hills are waiting for precipitation.

The question is will there be a lot of snow this year, or just a lot of rain?

"El Nino is a very wet, warm weather phenomenon, so there's going to be rain this year," said John McColly, spokesman for Mountain High Resort.

McColly says the last big El Nino back in the late 1990s brought a record amount of snowfall to the resort. However, the concern right now is making sure autumn rainstorms don't damage the all-important ski slopes.

"We take erosion protection really seriously here at Mountain High, so we take extra efforts to dig erosion ditches and make sure the water has a place to go," said McColly.

El Nino is a big topic throughout Wrightwood.

At the Willow Boutique and Salon, folks there are also hoping for snow, just not too much of it.

"The snow really benefits us if we have this wonderful fluffy snow and people can get up," said store owner Adrianne Edgerly. "The minute it gets crazy snow, people are afraid to come up."

Because of that, there's a lot of work going on around town before the big storms come. Volunteers are hoping for snow but preparing for a lot of rain.

"Our culverts back up, and our roads flood out, so we kind of get landlocked," said Wrightwood resident Sue Parody.

"We need the water, and we hope that it's going to be cold weather so that we'll have snow rather than just rain. But realistically we know that it very well could be just rain," said Wrightwood resident Lynne Haile.
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