Kids, parents delighted with mountain snow

February 19, 2011 5:42:36 PM PST
The Santa Cruz Mountains got fresh powder for the second straight day and the white peaks are visible from a distance.Some parents even brought their kids up to play in it, and it's sticking to the ground as low as 1,500 feet.

Snow is creating utter joy along Skyline Boulevard in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

"My kids begged me to come up here and to see if it was still up here," Saratoga resident Kristi Petters said.

At around 3,000 feet, it was impossible to miss and Sanborn Skyline County Park was covered in it.

"We weren't expecting to be like this. We thought only a little snow, but it's like Tahoe in the Bay Area," Fremont resident Rolanda Jamin said.

That also means Bay Area drivers who aren't used to the snow are hitting the mountains.

"We dug out and people helped us push including a sheriff who pointed out I shouldn't be parking there," Colin Miller from Felton said.

Caltrans trucks started plowing the roads overnight, when fresh snow started falling, and it's barely let up since. The heavy snow fall forced road crews to shut down some roads in the mountains, including Empire Grade in Felton and Highway 9 at Bear Creek Road.

"It was raining so hard and I knew at higher elevations there would be snow so we stayed home and waited it out," Ute Gillette from Felton said.

But the dangerous driving conditions weren't just in the mountains. A driver hydroplaned off Highway 17 down the side of the road and eventually flipped over into a creek. Emergency crews had to rappel down the embankment to save him. That driver suffered only minor injuries.

"The victim was trapped inside with their seatbelt and was able to reach in get seatbelt undone and pulled him out," CHP Officer Sean Smith said.

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