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A police vehicle patrolled a street in Big Bear Lake, Calif., on Saturday. / Jae C. Hong, AP

Big Bear Lake, about a hundred miles east of Los Angles, is a mecca for winter sports, and the slopes of the San Bernardino Mountains getaway were packed Tuesday afternoon amid the gun battle with Christopher Dorner.

"We have about 3,000 guests on both mountains today," Chris Riddle, vice president of marketing with Bear Mountain and Ski Summit, told the Riverside Press-Enterprise. "We're in constant contact with the sheriff's department, and at this point, they don't have a problem with us staying in normal operation."

Because the manhunt was nearer to the Angelus Oaks area, which includes Seven Oaks, he said there wasn't much fear around the Big Bear resorts, which were remaining open for the normally busy Valentine's holiday.

The area's two major ski resorts have more than 50 runs between them, and they have stayed open since Dorner's torched pickup truck was found last week after he allegedly killed a Riverside police officer and wounded three others in separate shootings.

About 5,000 year-round residents live in the usually sleepy city of Big Bear, which sits on the south shore of one of the most pristine alpine lakes in California. Year-round it's a weekend refuge for residents of Los Angeles, San Diego and Las Vegas, as well as a destination for athletes in training.

On many weekends, more than 100,000 visitors crowd the cabins, resorts, homes and campgrounds in the greater Big Bear Valley area.

The surrounding San Bernardino National Forest teems with wildlife, including bald eagles.

The Pacific Ocean can be seen on a clear day in Big Bear, which rests at about 6,700 feet, with surrounding peaks rising to 9,000 feet.

And the sun almost always shines in Big Bear, averaging more than 300 days a year. That accounts for the Big Bear Solar Observatory.



Copyright 2014 USATODAY.com

Read the original story: Skiing continues in Big Bear amid Dorner manhunt

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