Snowmaking underway as Mount Rose Ski Tahoe aims for October opening | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Snowmaking underway as Mount Rose Ski Tahoe aims for October opening

Justin Scacco
jscacco@sierrasun.com

Mount Rose Ski Tahoe is once again aiming to be the first ski resort in the area to fire up its lift operations, and the wait won't be long for snowboarders and skiers with Rose targeting Oct. 27 for the opening day of the 2017-18 ski season.

A blanket of white began falling on the resort's slopes on Thursday, Oct. 12, as temperatures dropped below the required 32 degrees to start up Mount Rose's snowmaking equipment, according to information from Mount Rose, and has continued throughout the week.

With its more than 1,200 acres of skiing, the resort sports Lake Tahoe area's highest base elevation at 8,260 feet, and offers more than 60 trails and three terrain parks.

After a historic season that saw record snowfall, and lift operations continuing until Memorial Day, Mount Rose is back at it again, according to a statement from the resort, with a $2 million investment toward improvements for the 2017-18 season.

Mount Rose's major enhancement for the upcoming season is an enclosed dual conveyor lift, which is the first of its kind in North America according to the resort, and will provide children and people just starting out access to the resort's beginner trails.

The lift, named Magic, will replace the Flying Jenny surface lift, and will double the capacity of riders going up the run.

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"The new conveyor lift is extremely important to Mount Rose, as it is the preferred method for beginners and children to have a positive first experience on snow," said Mike Pierce, director of marketing at Mount Rose Ski Tahoe, in a statement from the resort.

"This lift will provide a more enjoyable experience, particularly during stormy conditions, and will allow our team to offer more consistent operation of this key learning area since the lift is fully enclosed."

Mount Rose will also have expanded snowmaking and grooming capabilities for the 2017-18 season, and upgrades to the Winters Creek Lodge base area.

For the past several years, the resort has worked to improve its snowmaking capabilities, said Jessica Weaver of JVP Communications, and this year Rose has added additional snowmaking at the top of the Blazing Zephyr 6 lift, which will allow for snowmaking on the Return to Rose trail. The increase in snowmaking will also allow the Slide Bowl side of the mountain to open earlier, providing skiers and riders access to more of the mountain much earlier than in past seasons. The resort has also installed fixed Pole Cat snow machines in the Enchanted Forest Area, above the Wizard loading station, and on the Lower Lakeview trail to give more early season snow coverage.

The resort now has 12 fixed tower Pole Cats in total, which have all been installed over the last two seasons. Rose also has 13 mobile snowmakers.

"Snowmaking is the insurance policy until there's enough natural snow to sustain ski operations for the duration of the season," said Pierce in a statement. "It always snows in the winter, but not always when you need it … early season especially. Snowmaking also helps to put extra coverage down on higher traffic spots and zones that may be more susceptible to wind scouring."

Mount Rose is typically among the first to open in the area, and is looking to match last year's six-month season.

Mount Rose is anticipating skiers and snowboarders will be able to take the season's first runs on Oct. 27, with beginner runs being the first to open, according to Weaver, which will be enhanced with terrain park features for more experienced riders and skiers.

In preparation for the upcoming season, Mount Rose has been hosting job fairs throughout the week, with the final job fair taking place on Thursday, Oct. 19 at Sierra Nevada College from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Season passes are currently available at SkiRose.com, and range between $299 and $599, depending on age, for the resort's unrestricted Premier Season Pass.

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