Snow serves as both lure and obstacle as people flock to mountains

The winter weather keeps many people away from the mountains, while others can't wait to play in it.

But the road to get there can be paved with traveling trouble.

Constant snow created constant problems for some drivers heading up to Shaver Lake Friday.

CHP and the Fresno County Sheriff's Office were both out together helping those stuck along slippery roads.

It was a situation Armondo Martinez was trying to avoid.

He was heading up to his cabin with his family and stopped just before Cressman to put chains on his tires.

"It was pretty smooth up here until. We got to just maybe about a mile back and it started snowing so we decided to pull over and put our chains on.

A heavy wet snow fell on Friday at about 4,000 feet just outside of Shaver Lake. Cars were being forced to put chains on, and just down the road, the snow melted into waterfalls running along the highway.

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Valley weather ranged from sunshine to rain, and in the foothills - rain, runoff, sleet and snow.

Farther up the road was CalTrans.

Crews were busying plowing thick snow off the roadways.

They were not the only ones working hard.

The manager of one Shaver Lake convenience store said business significantly increased with people dropping in to buy chains and other winter merchandise.

"We are getting a lot of benefit out of it, we are enjoying it. I've seen a lot of snow in the last couple years but this by far is the worst," said Vijaypal Singh.

And business for China Peak Mountain Resort increased too.

Managing partner Tim Cohee says they received 16 feet of snow in the last two weeks.

Despite it being much better than previous years, Cohee admitted there have been some challenges.

"The biggest issue is parking lots. Whenever you have weather like this, it is always the off slope stuff that is more difficult than anything else."

And while authorities are encouraging people to stay off these dangerous roads.

Some said they are taking the risk while relying on faith.

"We prayed before we got up here... protection from the lord upon us so I feel secure and safe," said Sam Ben of Fresno.
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