June Lake holds its breath as drought punishes community after comeback effort

June Mountain Ski Area is still open contrary to rumors, and the ski lift—at least one—is still running.
But there’s no doubt, even with all the masterful grooming by veteran groomers Steve Aldritch and Sam Poffle done after the last real storm in December, that it really has to snow.


“We certainly have enough for the next two weeks,” said the ski area’s general manager, Carl Williams. “The temperatures at night have been cold, the aspect of the run is good and this stuff they (Aldritch and Poffle) made is indestructible. But four weeks out? I can’t promise that.”

The timing of the drought winter couldn’t have been worse for June Mountain, which was put on the front burner by owner Mammoth Mountain Ski Area as a high priority to reopen and rebrand after MMSA closed down June Mountain all of last winter.

Now, locals are meeting once a week with their county supervisor Tim Alpers to discuss options for the future (see P. 8).

It’s not that the ideas behind reopening the resort—to cater to families and young skiers—is not a good one.

It’s a great idea, Williams said.

“Everything we are trying to do here, with that, is working,” he said. “Everything. Except the snow.”
There has been steady trickle of visitors, mostly young and new skiers, at June, he and Julie Brown, the director for guest services at the ski area, said.

“We are still holding our bonfires, there are still people here, kids who have never skied, who are skiing for the first time,” Brown said.

“We’re just missing the snow,” Williams said.