The Bridgeport Winter Recreation Area opened for snowmobiling at 12:01 AM Dec 16th with accumulation from the weekend storm of approximately 3-4 feet of heavy wet snow at Leavitt Lake. Beware of obstacles! Use caution on stream and lake crossings as temperatures have been warmer than average and ice may be thinner than usual for this time of year. The low rain/snow level of the weekend storm makes access to the BWRA difficult; between the first gate (aka People’s gate) on Hwy 108 west of the US Marine base and the snowline (7500> feet and rising), expect areas of pavement with thin or no snow interspersed with stretches of too much snow and ice for wheeled vehicles. Permits are required- self issue at the information board at People’s Gate and outside the Bridgeport Office or fill out a request online.
Returning this year!– Bridgeport Ranger District applied for and received California State Parks OHV/OSV grant funding to continue the snowmobile avalanche awareness program. This funding has enabled us to hire avalanche forecaster/educator Adam Babcock, who will be providing FREE avalanche awareness clinics specifically targeting snowmobile enthusiasts. Topics include: avalanche terrain recognition, the effect of weather on avalanche hazard, recognition of signs of snowpack instability, decision making skills for riding around or in avalanche terrain, and basic avalanche companion rescue procedures. Look for the clinic schedule coming out in January! COMING SOON! New this year we will have a Bridgeport Avalanche Center website to inform you about snow and avalanche conditions at the BWRA!
Clinics will consist of a 2 hour evening classroom session with a field session the following day at the Bridgeport Winter Recreation Area. Class locations will alternate between north and south of Bridgeport and are open to all; however on-the-snow field sessions will be limited to eight participants.
Participants in the field session will each need a reliable snowmobile and intermediate mountain riding skills (comfortable with off- piste riding). Field sessions are NOT recommended for novice riders! The Bridgeport Winter Recreation Area is accessed by a 10 mile marginally groomed route with narrow treed sections and terrain at Leavitt Lake is not groomed. A modern avalanche transceiver, shovel, probe, and helmet are required equipment for the field session and must be provided by the participant. Bringing a lunch and plenty of water is highly recommended for each rider.
Class sessions for groups or clubs (minimum 12 attendees) may be arranged by request.
For more information contact:
Recreation Staff Officer
Bridgeport Ranger District
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